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Archived - Government of Canada Officially Opens World Class Infectious Disease Research Hub

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February 21, 2014
For Immediate Release

The new state-of-the-art JC Wilt Infectious Diseases Research Centre will advance important research and diagnostics in Canada

Winnipeg, MB – Today, the Public Health Agency of Canada officially opened the JC Wilt Infectious Diseases Research Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Centre will advance and strengthen infectious diseases research and science.

The JC Wilt Infectious Diseases Research Centre is a state-of-the-art facility that will expand Canada's capacity to combat a range of established and emerging infectious diseases. It will also be a hub of HIV/AIDS laboratory research in Canada. The Centre will play a key role in developing new approaches to combat antimicrobial resistant organisms and carry out early vaccine research. The Centre features some of the most advanced laboratory training facilities in the world. Including a training area dedicated to high-containment, or Level 4, laboratory environments. It represents a significant investment in the Province of Manitoba and Winnipeg and will accommodate up to 200 highly-skilled employees.

The new infectious diseases research centre was named in honour of Dr. John Charles Wilt, a medical doctor and microbiology professor. Dr. Wilt was a pioneer of infectious disease research in Winnipeg and a well-respected member of the medical science community.

Quick Facts

  • The JC Wilt Infectious Diseases Research Centre will complement the Agency's National Microbiology Laboratory's work by providing surge capacity for diagnostic testing during emergencies, by carrying out early vaccine development research, and by acting as a hub for important HIV and AIDS research.
  • The Centre will also play a key role in developing new approaches to combat antimicrobial resistant organisms to further prevent food related illness.
  • The building where the new JC Wilt Infectious Diseases Research Centre is located was previously a provincially-owned laboratory.
  • The Agency acquired the old laboratory from the Province of Manitoba and retrofitted with unique design elements to ensure it is safe, secure, sustainable, and efficient.
  • The retrofit design started in 2008, and construction began in March 2011.
  • The JC Wilt laboratory was designed and constructed to be sustainable and environmentally friendly maintaining green building philosophies throughout conceptualization, planning, and construction stages.

Quotes

“Our Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians. This new state-of-the-art research centre reaffirms and strengthens Canada's position as a leader in science and research at home and around the world. We will continue to invest in science and research and look for new and innovative ways to protect Canadians from established and emerging infectious diseases.”

Rona Ambrose Minister of Health

“Winnipeg has become a global force in infectious disease research and this new facility adds to that reputation. The JC Wilt laboratory is far more than just a new building, it boosts Canada's already world class research capacity, houses some of the most advanced laboratory training facilities in the world and will attract leading infectious disease scientists to this city. This new laboratory is truly an important facility for Winnipeg and for all Canadians”

Dr. Greg Taylor Deputy Chief Public Health Officer

“The University of Manitoba and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory work in close partnership to train some of the best young scientists in Canada. The addition of this new laboratory to Winnipeg will create new research and career opportunities for our students and solidifies this city’s reputation as one of the leading scientific research communities in the country.”

Dr. Brian Postl Dean of Medicine, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences and Vice-Provost (Health Sciences), University of Manitoba

Contacts

Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
(613) 957-2983


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