Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance: The CIPARS team
On this page
- In memory of Dr. Michael Mulvey
- Infectious Diseases and Vaccination Program Branch (IDVPB)
- National Microbiology Laboratory Branch (NMLB)
- Other team members
- Contact information
In memory of Dr. Michael Mulvey
We dedicate this page in memory of our colleague, mentor and friend, Dr. Michael (Mike) R. Mulvey. This “Super-Bug Fighter” was passionate and committed to the battle against AMR. He was a pillar to the CIPARS program from its inception over 20 years ago and his contributions (knowledge, experience, and resourcefulness) were instrumental to our program. Mike’s legacy will echo in CIPARS for countless years to come.
Infectious Diseases and Vaccination Programs Branch (IDVPB)
IDVPB team’s program leads
Epidemiologists and veterinary epidemiologists
Agnes Agunos, Brent Avery, Angelina Bosman, Anne Deckert, Sheryl Gow, David Léger, Kathryn McDonald, Colleen Murphy, Cassandra Reedman, Daniella Rizzo, Michelle Tessier, Frederick Carl Uhland, Virginia Young, and Hilary Ziraldo
Administration and operations
National Microbiology Laboratory Branch (NMLB)
NMLB team’s program lead
National Microbiology Laboratory at Winnipeg
National Microbiology Laboratory at Guelph
National Microbiology Laboratory at Saint-Hyacinthe
Other team members
Students and short-term employees are invaluable members of the CIPARS team and contribute to the program through various activities or projects.
Infectious Diseases and Vaccination Programs Branch (IDVPB)
Agnes Agunos, Veterinary epidemiologist
Agnes joined the CIPARS team in 2009 and the development of the Poultry Farm Surveillance Framework was her initial task with CIPARS. She is a poultry veterinarian and an avian pathologist, a licenced poultry practitioner in Ontario. In addition, she is a graduate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians, after completing her graduate courses (Avian Medicine and Pathology Graduate Diploma and Master of Science) both from the University of Guelph. Her current role includes the analysis of antimicrobial use (AMU) data, reporting and communication of surveillance data of broiler chickens, turkeys and layer hens, and conducts relevant research studies in collaboration with industry and research partners. She has an interest in international AMU and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance capacity building.
Brent Avery, Acting surveillance manager
Brent joined the CIPARS team in 2003 as an epidemiologist following completion of his graduate studies in Epidemiology. Brent was involved with the implementation of both the CIPARS Retail and Farm programs in 2003 and 2004 and led the CIPARS Retail program from 2003 to 2019. Since 2011, he has supervised the CIPARS Data Management and Analysis teams and leads activities related to Interactive Data Visualization. He has also been the Epidemiology lead/co-lead for the CIPARS Human component since 2015. Brent is currently an Acting Surveillance Manager in the Foodborne Disease and Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Division.
Louise Bellai, Surveillance operation assistant
Louise joined the Public Health Agency of Canada in December 2005. She is working specifically with the CIPARS Farm Surveillance program with the very first swine sampling kits. She now oversees surveillance operations for all CIPARS/FoodNet Canada Farm Surveillance programs, the CIPARS Abattoir program, along with many research projects.
Angelina Bosman, Veterinary epidemiologist
Angie joined CIPARS in 2016 as a student, and in 2021 as a veterinary epidemiologist. In addition to her veterinary degree, she completed a master's in public health and a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree in Population Medicine. Angie’s primary roles include analysis and reporting of antimicrobial sales data from the Veterinary Antimicrobial Sales Reporting system, and grower-finisher antimicrobial use data from the CIPARS Farm Swine Surveillance component. She is also a contributor to the CIPARS antimicrobial use working group and communications working group. Her interests include antimicrobial use metrics and data visualization.
Carolee Carson, Analysis and communication manager
Carolee started working for the Government of Canada in 2000 and was a member of the team that developed and implemented CIPARS in 2002. She is a veterinarian and has a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Epidemiology. During her career, her main focus has been on antimicrobial use reporting, antimicrobial resistance risk assessment, and communication of surveillance findings. Currently, she is a co-lead of CIPARS, alongside Dr. Amrita Bharat and Dr. Richard Reid-Smith.
Anne Deckert, Veterinary epidemiologist
Anne joined Health Canada in 1999 and was a member of the team that developed and implemented the CIPARS program in 2002. After obtaining her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine, Anne spent time in food animal practice and later obtained a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree in Epidemiology. She leads the CIPARS Abattoir program and brings her swine industry expertise to the CIPARS Farm program team.
Sheryl Gow, Veterinary epidemiologist
Sheryl joined CIPARS in 2004. After completing her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) she worked in mixed practice focusing on cow-calf production. She later returned to the WCVM to complete her PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree in Epidemiology. Sheryl played a significant role in the development of the CIPARS Farm Surveillance program. In recent years she has been instrumental in developing and implementing the feedlot beef surveillance component through her collaboration with industry and veterinary practitioners. Currently, she leads the feedlot beef surveillance program, leads the antimicrobial use database development, and performs the farm surveillance antimicrobial resistance analysis. She also is involved in several operational aspects of farm surveillance.
Ela Kulyk, Project officer
Ela joined the Public Health Agency of Canada in November 2003. She started working with CIPARS in 2021. Ela monitors the CIPARS generic inbox and assists with the tracking of data requests for the CIPARS team. She also provides support to other operational activities across the Foodborne Disease and Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Division.
David Léger, Veterinary epidemiologist (retired)
After 16 years in rural veterinary practice, with a focus on dairy production medicine, David joined the Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses, Health Canada in 2002 while working on his graduate research on antimicrobial use and resistance in dairy herds. Guided by the vision that became CIPARS, David led the development and implementation of the Retail surveillance component. He was also a member of the group that developed and implemented farm-level surveillance programs in grower-finisher swine, broiler chicken and turkey, and more recently, in the dairy industry. David also contributed to the development of metrics and indicators of antimicrobial use, and to the analytic approaches to presenting antimicrobial use data. David retired in November 2022. Thank you, Dave, for your hard work and contribution to CIPARS over these years!
Melissa MacKinnon, Veterinary epidemiologist
Melissa joined CIPARS in February 2019 as a student while completing her PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree in Population Medicine and Epidemiology degree, and then officially in May 2021 as a veterinary epidemiologist. Melissa’s main role with CIPARS is analysis, development of novel modelling approaches and communication.
Kathryn McDonald, Epidemiologist
Kathryn joined CIPARS in 2018 as a graduate student while completing her Master of Public Health degree. She then joined CIPARS as an epidemiologist in 2021. She primarily supports the operations and data management of the farm surveillance components, as well as providing divisional support for data validation and analysis.
Colleen Murphy, Veterinary epidemiologist
Colleen Murphy is a veterinary epidemiologist with the CIPARS, Public Health Agency of Canada, and has been associated with CIPARS for many years. The scope of her roles and responsibilities ranges from analysis, communications, contributing to externally funded research projects and expansion of CIPARS surveillance components. Colleen is a graduate of the University of Guelph with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (1999), Master of Science degree in Epidemiology (2004), and Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) in Epidemiology (2010).
Kelly Pike, Project officer
Kelly joined CIPARS in 2017. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science before joining the Public Health Agency of Canada. Kelly provides support to CIPARS by assisting with the annual rollout of the Farm and Abattoir programs and by coordinating other operational activities across the Foodborne Disease and Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Division.
Cassandra Reedman, Epidemiologist
Cassandra joined CIPARS in April 2022 as an epidemiologist. She completed her PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree in Epidemiology in 2021 and is a member of the CIPARS farm surveillance team; she supports the Dairy Surveillance program, provides divisional support for data validation and analysis, and is a member of the antimicrobial use working group.
Richard Reid-Smith, Surveillance operations and research manager
Dr. Richard Reid-Smith has been a veterinary epidemiologist with CIPARS at the Public Health Agency of Canada since 1999. During his career, his main focus has been on antimicrobial use records and reporting, antimicrobial stewardship and antimicrobial resistance research. Currently, he is a co-lead of CIPARS, alongside Dr. Amrita Bharat and Dr. Carolee Carson.
Richard received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph in 1990. He practiced small animal medicine in Ontario for 15 years. Richard received a Doctorate of Veterinary Science in Clinical Epidemiology and Medical Informatics from the University of Guelph in 1999, and is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.
Daniella Rizzo, Veterinary epidemiologist
Daniella joined CIPARS in the fall of 2019 as a student while completing her Master of Public Health degree, and then officially in 2020 as an epidemiologist. Daniella brings her expertise from working as a large animal veterinarian for the past 5 years to the farm surveillance team within CIPARS; she is one of the leads of the Dairy Surveillance program, and a contributor to the antimicrobial use (AMU) working group.
Michelle Tessier, Veterinary epidemiologist
Michelle joined CIPARS in 2007 as a veterinary epidemiologist to assist with data validation and the review of the French version of annual reports. Over time, Michelle was involved in planning the production stages and the final revision of the English and French versions of the reports. Since September 2019, she has joined the CIPARS communications team to contribute to the development of new communication products, take care of the final editing of reports and their publication on the web. More recently, she helped to redesign the CIPARS web pages.
Frederick Carl Uhland, Veterinary epidemiologist
Carl has been working off and on with CIPARS since 2008 and has been working as a veterinary epidemiologist with CIPARS since 2018. He works in support of the Farm surveillance group and with the risk analysis group. His experience as an aquaculture clinician (clinical diagnostic) and microbiologist motivates his interest and focus on AMR and its relationship with aquaculture and seafood.
Virginia Young, Epidemiologist and Policy analyst
Virginia joined CIPARS as a co-op student and laboratory assistant in 2002 and later completed her Master of Science in Food Safety and Quality Assurance in 2008. Currently, she is part of the CIPARS communication working group and works on report and communication product generation. Additionally, she is acting as a policy analyst as part of the Food Safety and Antimicrobial Resistance Policy Pilot.
Victoria Weaver, Executive assistant
Victoria joined the Agency in 2001 and has been the administrative support for CIPARS off and on since the inception of the program.
Hilary Ziraldo, Policy analyst
Hilary joined CIPARS in the fall of 2020 as a student while completing her Master of Science degree and returned in 2022 as a policy analyst. Hilary works on a variety of projects to share the policy impacts of CIPARS surveillance activities, including supporting briefings, drafting presentations and coordinating input to national and international foodborne antimicrobial resistance initiatives.
The National Microbiology Laboratory Branch’s team
Gitanjali Arya, Veterinary Microbiologist and Head of the Guelph Reference Services Unit and World Organisation for Animal Health-WOAH Reference Laboratory for Salmonellosis)
Gita joined the National Microbiology Laboratory at Guelph in 2015. She leads timely and reliable ISO 17025 accredited reference testing of foodborne pathogens from food, water, animal and environment. She provides laboratory support to the Agency’s integrated surveillance programs (FoodNet Canada and CIPARS) to facilitate source attribution, and providing laboratory results to PulseNet Canada for pathogen source information to support outbreak investigation and source attribution. She fulfills commitments as a World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) Reference Laboratory for Salmonellosis by providing support, advice and laboratory services to the WOAH member developing countries and the annual reports to the WOAH.
Olivier Ariel, Laboratory technician
Olivier joined the CIPARS team in the fall of 2021. He is a laboratory technician in the Saint-Hyacinthe unit. He performs microbiological analyses on farm samples for CIPARS and performs PCR (polymerase chain reaction) analyses on isolates.
Amrita Bharat, Head of Mycology and Molecular Enteric Antimicrobial Resistance
Dr. Bharat is a Research Scientist who joined the National Microbiology Laboratory at Winnipeg (Manitoba) and the CIPARS team in 2017. She conducts genomics-based research on enteric bacteria and manages in silico AMR prediction and a portion of laboratory testing for CIPARS. Currently, Dr. Bharat is a co-lead of CIPARS alongside Dr. Carolee Carson and Dr. Richard Reid-Smith.
Audrey Charlebois, Head of Antimicrobial and Metal Tolerance Unit
Audrey joined CIPARS in the summer of 2020 as the Manager of the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Saint-Hyacinthe (Québec), which is responsible for primary isolation and antibiotic susceptibility testing for CIPARS. Audrey brings her expertise in microbiology and antibiotic resistance.
Sara Christianson, Chief of Reference and Diagnostic Services for the Division of Enteric Diseases
The Reference and Diagnostic Services Section is comprised of two laboratories; one that focuses on food and animal testing for bacterial enteric diseases (Guelph, Ontario) and one that focuses on testing isolates from human disease (Winnipeg, Manitoba). Both laboratories provide data to provincial and federal clients for Canadian food-borne disease surveillance and outbreak detection activities. Sara also has a strong relationship with the National Enteric Surveillance Program which provides both weekly and annual reports on the state of enteric diseases identified in the Canadian population.
Sindy Cleary, Laboratory technician
Sindy joined the Public Health Agency of Canada St. Hyacinthe unit in 2004 as a microbiology technician. She performed the sampling and initiated the microbiological testing of retail meat samples. She was responsible for the production of culture media. She performs microbiological analysis on samples from farms and participates in various projects.
Matthew Cook, Laboratory technician
Matthew has been working with CIPARS at the Public Health Agency of Canada since 2014 and performs Shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli isolation in the Immunology Research laboratory. In 2017, he joined the Guelph Reference Services Unit at National Microbiology Laboratory Guelph. He performs serotyping and whole genome sequencing on enteric bacteria (E. coli and Salmonella) in the surveillance programs and CIPARS projects.
Marie-Claude Deshaies, Microbiology technician
Marie-Claude joined CIPARS in the winter of 2008. She is a microbiology technician at the Saint-Hyacinthe unit. She performs microbiological analyses on samples from farms and abattoir and participates in various projects.
Nina Dougherty, Laboratory technician
Nina joined Guelph’s Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses Public Health Agency of Canada (now named the National Microbiology Laboratory at Guelph) in 2005. She performs serotyping and whole genome sequencing on enteric bacteria (E. coli and Salmonella) in the surveillance programs and CIPARS projects.
Christopher Gemmell, Laboratory technician
Christopher joined the Guelph Reference Services Unit at the National Microbiology Laboratory at Guelph in 2021 as a laboratory technician. He performs serotyping and whole genome sequencing on enteric bacteria in the surveillance programs and CIPARS projects.
Simone Gurnik, Laboratory technician
Simone joined Guelph Reference Services at the National Microbiology Laboratory in 2020, but has been with the organization since 2015. She performs serotyping and whole genome sequencing on enteric bacteria in the surveillance programs.
Bob Holtslander, Biologist
Bob joined the Guelph Reference Services Unit at the National Microbiology Laboratory at Guelph in 2015. He manages the day-to-day operations in the laboratory including the provision of laboratory services for the Public Health Agency of Canada surveillance programs.
Suzanne Johnson, Laboratory technician
Suzanne has been working with CIPARS at the Public Health Agency of Canada and now the National Microbiology Laboratory at Guelph since 2010. She performs serotyping and whole genome sequencing on E. coli and Salmonella bacteria in the surveillance programs.
Lisa Li, Laboratory technician
Lisa joined the CIPARS team in 2021. She conducts antimicrobial susceptibility testing of enteric bacteria at the National Microbiology Laboratory at Winnipeg.
Lila Maduro, Support technician
Lila has been a laboratory support technician at the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in St-Hyacinthe since January 2022. She is responsible for CIPARS retail sampling in Québec. She is also responsible for the material and media preparation for the primary isolation and antimicrobial resistance testing at the NML at St-Hyacinthe.
Ketna Mistry, Biologist
Ketna joined Health Canada in 2001 as a microbiology technologist and since 2021 has been a manager for the Guelph AMR laboratory. She performs microbiological and AMR prediction analysis to characterize bacterial isolates for CIPARS projects.
Michael Mulvey , former Chief of the Antimicrobial Resistance and Nosocomial Infections Laboratory
Dr. Mulvey was the former Chief of the Antimicrobial Resistance and Nosocomial Infections Laboratory and Acting Chief of Wastewater at the National Microbiology Laboratory Branch. He was also a Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Manitoba. For over 25 years, Dr. Mulvey has supported antimicrobial research and surveillance activities in Canada.
Linda Nedd-Gbedemah, Data clerk
Linda has been a laboratory support technician and data clerk at Guelph Reference Services at the National Microbiology Laboratory since 2003. She is responsible for the data entry into Laboratory Information Management System of all the isolates submitted to WOAH Laboratory for Salmonellosis including CIPARS surveillance projects. She looks after the record keeping, filing and binding entry logs, worksheets, results reports. She helps with maintenance of the Quality System in the lab by equipment monitoring and maintenance and assisting with weekly environmental monitoring.
Julie Roy, Microbiology technician
Julie Roy joined the Public Health Agency of Canada Saint-Hyacinthe unit in 2004 as a coop student, then officially in 2005 as a microbiology technician. She performs microbiological analyses on samples from retail meat as part of CIPARS and participates in various projects.
Sophia Sheriff, Senior Microbiology technician
Sophia joined the Public Health Agency of Canada St. Hyacinthe unit in 2004 as a coop student, then officially in 2005 as a microbiology technician and since 2016 has worked as a supervisor. She is involved in primary bacterial isolation for CIPARS projects, as well as antimicrobial resistance (AMR) testing.
David Thumbi, Microbiology technologist
David joined the National Microbiology Laboratory at Guelph in 2021 as a technologist. He performs antimicrobial resistance (AMR) prediction analysis for CIPARS projects.
Lien Mi Tien, Microbiology technician
Lien Mi Tien joined the Public Health Agency of Canada in May 2003 and works as a microbiology technician at the Saint-Hyacinthe unit. She performs microbiological analyses on samples from farms as part of CIPARS and participates in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) analysis.
Irene Yong, Laboratory supervisor-biologist
Irene joined the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in 1990 (at that time the National Microbiology Laboratory at Guelph of PHAC was called Health of Animals Laboratory, Agriculture Canada, it was renamed as Health Canada in 1996 and then PHAC in 2003). She manages day-to-day operations in the lab including the provision of laboratory services for the PHAC surveillance programs.
Kim Ziebell, Head of Integrated Surveillance Unit (retired)
Kim has been working with CIPARS at the Public Health Agency of Canada for 21 years. Her initial roles included the provision of PFGE (Pulsed-field Gel Electrophoresis) analyses for various Salmonella serotypes isolated as part of the CIPARS program. She collaborated on various research projects (Salmonella and Shigatoxine-producing Escherichia coli) and implemented routine sequencing for various CIPARS projects. More recently, she was involved in a working group to look at the Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) for FoodNet Canada and CIPARS Salmonella sequences to identity trends and other information to support surveillance activities. Kim retired in August 2023. Thank you, Kim, for your hard work and contribution to CIPARS over these years!
To obtain additional information, please contact us by email: email@example.com
Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS)
Foodborne Disease and Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Division,
Centre for Foodborne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases,
Public Health Agency of Canada
370 Speedvale Avenue West, Unit 201, Guelph, Ontario N1H 7M7
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