Mission of CSV

The Canadian Society for Virology (CSV) is an organization that fosters and supports virology research across Canada.  

Virology is the study of viruses – submicroscopic, parasitic particles of genetic material contained in a protein coat. Viruses are remarkably diverse, and comprise the large majority of the genetic diversity on planet Earth. 

Successful systems attract parasites; distinct viruses infect every living organism on the planet. Viruses are relatively simple biological machines, and they depend heavily on host cells for energy and biosynthetic capacity. 

Because of this dependence, viruses have evolved many ways to co-opt and subvert host cell processes; viruses are excellent teachers, and we have learned a great deal about the cell, the immune system, and other aspects of animal, plant and bacterial physiology, by studying viruses. 

Some viruses cause disease (not just in humans), so virus research is essential for understanding viral causes of disease, and discovering new vaccines and therapies. 

The CSV was founded in 2016 by Drs. Nathalie Grandvaux (Université de Montréal) and Craig McCormick (Dalhousie University). CSV has  members representing universities, hospitals, and research institutes across Canada. 

The society provides a focal point for Canadian Virology by organizing a biennial symposium. The CSV also recognizes scientific excellence via a number of awards including investigator awards at various career awards, trainee awards including, poster and oral presentation awards, and travel awards that allow graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and new investigators to attend biennial CSV meetings and international virology meetings. In addition, CSV provides support for a Lab Exchange Program that enables trainees to obtaining training in a visiting institution. 

The CSV acts as a liaison for communication between its membership and national funding agencies such as the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Infection and Immunity. Internationally, the American Society for Virology strongly supported the establishment of CSV, and we have plans for continued partnerships via future co-hosted Workshops. 

The CSV also provides exclusive privileges to its membership by providing CSV member-specific publication rates to  internationally recognized journals in the field of virology.




Our Partner


CSV executive members

The CSV is managed by an executive committee consisting of a President, a Vice President, a Past president, a Secretary-Treasurer, 3 Directors and a Trainee Representative. The CSV Executive committee members are elected by full CSV members and serve one-year or two-year terms.

The current members of the board of directors are:

Dr. Rod Russell (Memorial University)

Dr. Selena Sagan (McGill University)

Dr. Linda Chelico (University of Saskatchewan)

Dr. Craig McCormick (Dalhousie University)

Dr. Maya Shmulevitz (University of Alberta)

Director – Early Career Investigator:
Dr. Che Colpitts (Queen’s University)

Trainee representative:
Hannah Wallace (Memorial University)

Past President (non voting):
Dr. Jimmy Dikeakos (Western University)


CSV Executive 2018-2020

CSV University Delegates

Université de Montréal: Nathalie Grandvaux

Dalhousie University: Craig McCormick

McGill University: Selena Sagan

University of Alberta: Maya Shmulevitz

University of Manitoba: Jason Kindrachuk

University of Western Ontario: Jimmy Dikeakos

Memorial University of Newfoundland: Rodney Russell

Université Laval: Amelie Fradet Turcottte

McMaster University: Matthew Miller

Queen's University: Che Colpitts

Simon Fraser University: Zabrina Brumme

University of British Columbia: Eric Jan

Universty of Calgary: Jennifer Corcoran

University of Guelph: Sarah Wootton

University of Ottawa: Marceline Côté

University of Saskatchewan: Vikram Misra

University of Toronto: Samira Mubareka

University of Waterloo: Josef Nissimov

York University: Andrew White

VIDO Intervac: Darryl Falzarano

University of Sherbrooke: Brendan Bell

Institut Armand Frappier: Alain Lamarre

Wilfrid Laurier University: Stephanie DeWitte-Orr

Université du Quebec: Benoit Barbeau

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Helene Sanfacon

University of Lethbridge: Trushar Patel

Public Health Agency of Canada: Logan Banadyga

University of Winnipeg: Renee Douville





President: Dr. Rod Russell (Memorial University)

Dr. Rod Russell is a Professor of Virology and Immunology within the Division of BioMedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN). He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry and a Master’s Degree in Medicine studying HIV under the supervision of Dr. Michael Grant at MUN, and then did a PhD at McGill University with Drs. Mark Wainberg and Chen Liang in the field of HIV research. Dr. Russell carried out Postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health (USA) under the supervision of Drs. Suzanne Emerson and Robert Purcell where he switched his research focus to the hepatitis C virus. In 2008, he returned to MUN to establish a research program that now covers fundamental virology, viral immunology and viral pathogenesis, as well as antiviral drug discovery and development. His team is currently funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research to study virus-induced cell death and inflammasome activation, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to develop novel virus imaging techniques. Dr. Russell sits on Editorial Boards for Pathogens & Immunity, Frontiers in Immunology, Frontiers in Microbiology, and Viruses, and he is the Editor-in-Chief of Viral Immunology. Dr. Russell delivered over 150 media pieces via online, radio and television during the COVID-19 pandemic.



Vice-President: Dr. Selena Sagan (McGill University)

Dr. Selena M. Sagan, Ph.D. is a Canada Research Chair in RNA Biology & Viral Infections and Associate Professor in the Departments of Microbiology & Immunology and Biochemistry at McGill University. Her laboratory studies positive-sense RNA viruses of the Flaviviridae family (including hepatitis C virus, dengue and Zika viruses) as well as respiratory viruses (including respiratory syncytial virus and human coronaviruses). The focus of her research program is RNA-RNA and protein-RNA interactions at the host-virus interface.



Secretary/Treasurer: Dr. Linda Chelico (University of Saskatchewan)

Dr. Linda Chelico received her Ph.D. in 2004 from the University of Saskatchewan in Applied Microbiology. Following 5 years of postdoctoral training at the University of Southern California with Myron F. Goodman, she accepted a faculty position at the University of Saskatchewan in 2009 and was promoted to Professor in 2019. She has been studying the APOBEC family of enzymes since 2004 and was the first to purify and characterize biochemically APOBEC3G, the primary APOBEC3 enzyme studied for its ability to restrict replication of APOBEC3G. In her independent lab, she has characterized numerous APOBEC3 family members. Her lab has been funded by CIHR since 2011 to study how APOBEC3 enzymes restrict HIV replication. She has also received funding from NSERC, CANFAR, and Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation. In 2018 she received a “Best Supervisor Award” from the College of Medicine. Apart from running her research lab she is also Vice Department Chair of the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Director of the Protein Characterization and Crystallization Facility (PCCF) in the College of Medicine, and was Co-Lead from 2017-2022 of a community based organization, Saskatchewan HIV/AIDS Research Endeavor (SHARE), which aims to increase the research capacity in communities affected by HIV.



Director: Dr. Craig McCormick (Dalhousie University)

Dr. Craig McCormick received a B.Sc.(Hons.) in Biology/Chemistry from the University of New Brunswick in 1995, and a PhD in Microbiology & Immunology from the University of British Columbia in 2000. He completed postdoctoral training at the University of California San Francisco under the mentorship of Dr. Don Ganem, where he studied KSHV, a cancer-causing herpesvirus. In 2006, he was recruited to the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Dalhousie University, where he continued studies of KSHV and expanded the scope of his research program to include influenza viruses and coronaviruses. His lab now studies host antiviral defences and the tactics employed by viruses to overcome these defences. Dr. McCormick is committed to research, teaching and service. In 2016, he co-founded the Canadian Society for Virology with Dr. Nathalie Grandvaux (U. de Montreal). He continues to serve as a Director on the CSV Executive. He is a current Dalhousie University Distinguished Research Professor (2020-2026), which recognizes his contributions to research. In 2018, he was voted “Lecturer of the Year” by the Society of Microbiology & Immunology Students, and in 2019, he received the Rosemary Gill Award for Outstanding Service to Students.



Director: Dr. Maya Shmulevitz (University of Alberta)

Dr. Maya Shmulevitz is Professor in the department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Alberta, and Canada Research Chair in Molecular Virology and Oncotherapy. She trained at the University of Alberta (BSc Honors Biochemistry), Dalhousie University, Weizmann Institute (Rehovot, Israel), Argonne National Laboratories (Chicago, USA), and the University of Saskatchewan’s Veterinary and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO). The Shmulevitz laboratory repurposes reovirus, a benign enteric virus, into potential cancer therapies and oral vaccine vectors. The laboratory explores reovirus and host factors that establish virus-host relationships unique to tumors versus the natural entire niche, and that differentially impact reovirus infection and immunological responses among these distinct environments. Ultimately the Shmulevitz lab hopes to improve the potency and predictability of reovirus as an oncolytic therapy and oral vaccine vector.



Director – Early Career Investigator: Dr. Che Colpitts (Queen’s University)

Dr. Che Colpitts joined the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences at Queen’s University in 2019 as an Assistant Professor in Molecular Virology. She obtained her PhD in Virology from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where her research focused on characterizing the antiviral mechanisms of novel broad-spectrum viral entry inhibitors. She then moved to the University of Strasbourg (France) and later to University College London (UK) for postdoctoral research focused on hepatitis C virus, supported by a fellowship from CIHR. Since establishing her lab at Queen’s University, Dr. Colpitts’ research program has focused on Coronaviridae and Flaviviridae, with the aim of characterizing conserved virus-host interactions and cellular antiviral responses to advance the development of broadly-acting antivirals. One research theme focuses on determining the roles of viral and cellular glycans in coronavirus entry and pathogenesis, while another focuses on understanding how cyclophilin inhibitors and other molecules enhance cellular resistance to positive-sense RNA virus infection. The Colpitts lab is currently comprised of six graduate students, and is supported by grants from CFI, NSERC, CIHR, the J.P. Bickell Foundation and Queen’s University.



Trainee Representative: Hannah Wallace (Memorial University)

Hannah Wallace is a PhD Candidate in the lab of Dr. Rod Russell (CSV President) at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Prior to her move to Memorial, Hannah completed her BSc (honours) at the University of New Brunswick – Saint John where she fell in love with viruses despite her honours project having focused on fish physiology. Hannah’s PhD work focuses on virus-induced programmed cell death induced by RNA viruses. Overall, she is interested in the pathogenesis of emerging viruses, particularly from a One Health perspective. Hannah is a trainee in the Canadian Network on Hepatitis C and has been a member of CSV since 2018.



Past President (Non-voting): Dr. Jimmy Dikeakos (Western University)

Dr. Jimmy D. Dikeakos is an Associate Professor (with Tenure) and Chair of the Graduate Program in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Western University within the Schulich School of Medicine of Dentistry. Dr. Dikeakos is the past the President of the Canadian Society for Virology. He obtained a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Montreal and received PostDoctoral training in HIV Pathogenesis at the Vollum Institute in Portland. In 2012, he joined the Faculty at Western where he directs a laboratory focused on diverse membrane trafficking pathways in both infected and non-infected cells. His research program is primarily focused on the HIV-1 accessory proteins Nef and Vpu. In the last two years, Dr. Dikeakos has also shifted his research interests to study SARS-CoV-2. In 2019, Dr. Dikeakos received the Dean’s Award of Excellence from the Schulich School of Medicine for his achievements. In 2022, was awarded the “Faculty Scholar” title by the Office of the President at Western for the 2022-2024 period. Dr. Dikeakos regularly sits on the Canadian Institutes of Health Research peer review committee for “Virology and Viral Pathogenesis” and was Chair of VVP for the last two years. In addition to his role within the Canadian Society for Virology, Dr. Dikeakos also currently sits on Council for the American Society for Virology.


The CSV is an organization incorporated under the not-for-profit corporation Act #967119-6.