Meet the Speakers



Zena Samaan

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences;
Director, Clinical Investigator Program, Faculty of Health Sciences;
Associate Member, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI);
Core Faculty, Population Genomics Program;
McMaster University

Trained in three continents, Dr. Samaan received her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery), MSc in science, Diploma of Management for Medical Doctors (DMMD) and PhD in psychiatric genetics. She has a large research program focused on cohort studies of psychiatric morbidity and mortality aiming to train the next generation of clinician-scientists.

Guillaume Paré

University Scholar and Professor of Medicine;
Senior Scientist, Population Health Research Institute;
Director, Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory;
McMaster University

Guillaume Paré is a University Scholar and Professor in the Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine at McMaster University and Director of the Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory. He was recently inducted as a member into the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Dr. Paré held the Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Genetic & Molecular Epidemiology from 2009-2019. His clinical interests are centered on lipoprotein disorders, obesity and cardiovascular disease prevention. His corresponding research interests are in cardiovascular genetics, biomarker development and pharmacogenomics. These interests have led to expertise in bioinformatics, high-throughput biology and genetic epidemiology. Since joining McMaster University in 2009, Dr. Paré has published over 230 original contributions in peer-reviewed journals, all related to his research program in cardiovascular disease and genetics. These include first or last authored articles in high-impact journals including the NEJM, The Lancet, Circulation, European Heart Journal, JACC, etc. Overall, he has published over 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts, which have been cited over 30,000 times.



See Program for Presentation Abstracts

Andrew G. McArthur

Associate Professor, Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research;
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences;
McMaster University

Dr. McArthur is an Associate Professor in the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research and Department of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University. His research team focuses on building tools, databases, and algorithms for genomic surveillance of infectious pathogens and leads the globally recognized Comprehensive Antibiotic Resistance Database ( During the COVID-19 pandemic, he co-led the genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in Ontario.

Parameswaran Nair

Frederick E. Hargreave Teva Innovation Chair in Airway Diseases;
Professor of Medicine;
McMaster University

Dr. Nair is the Frederick E. Hargreave Teva Innovation Chair in Airway Diseases & Professor of Medicine in the Division of Respirology at McMaster University, providing tertiary care to patients with severe asthma and other complex airway diseases. He directs a patient-centred translational research program centred on charactering bronchitis using sputum biomarkers and targeted therapy. The research program has been recognized by a Canada Research Chair, The American Thoracic Society’s Ann Woolcock Award, The Asthma Society of Canada’s Bastable Potts Award, and Fellowships of the European Respiratory Society, American College of Chest Physicians, and the Collegium Internationale Allergologicum, and has contributed to over 270 peer-reviewed publications.

Aleixo Muise

Professor, Department of Biochemistry;
University of Toronto

Dr. Muise is a Clinician-Scientist in the Cell Biology Program and Co-Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto. His clinical and research focus centers solely on understanding the pathogenesis of severe forms of intestinal disease in very young children, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Unfortunately, these patients often do not respond to conventional therapies, suffer significant morbidity and are at risk of premature death. The goal of his lab is to develop a precision medicine approach to better treat these young children by elucidating the underlying genetic/functional causes. To achieve this goal, Dr. Muise has established the first clinic focused exclusively on very young children with IBD (VEOIBD) at SickKids and is PI of NEOPICS ( and co-PI of the Helmsley Charitable Trust VEOIBD Consortium ( and Pediatric Congenital Diarrhea and Enteropathy Consortium (PediCODE;

Russell de Souza

Associate Professor, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI);
McMaster University

Dr. de Souza is a registered dietitian and nutrition epidemiologist. His current research interests lie in advancing methodology for systematic reviews and meta-analysis and clinical trials in the field of nutrition, with an interest in the contribution of dietary patterns and macronutrients (specifically fructose, saturated and trans fats) to cardiovascular disease risk throughout the lifespan. He is a co-investigator on the INMD-funded Birth Cohort Alliance, which seeks to explore associations among maternal nutrition, infant feeding patterns, and epigenetic/epigenomic determinants of maternal and child health; and the Alliance for Health Hearts and Minds cohort examining neighborhood-level factors that contribute to cardiovascular risk. He is also interested in the reproducibility and validity of current methods of assessing nutrient intakes.

Lucile Capuron

Research Director, Laboratory of Nutrition and Integrative Neurobiology (INRAE);
University of Bordeaux

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences;
Emory University School of Medicine (USA)

Dr. Capuron is Research Director at INRAE and leader of the team Nutrition and Psychoneuroimmunology: experimental and clinical approaches. Her main research activity focuses on understanding the relationships between inflammation and neuropsychiatric symptoms in clinical/human settings and their modulation by nutritional and metabolic factors. She is internationally recognized for her experience in the investigation of the central/mood effects of inflammatory factors in medically ill patients and the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these effects. Dr. Capuron has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications in the field of psychoneuroimmunology, psychiatry, neuroscience, and general medicine. Her articles have been published in renowned journals such as the NEJM, Mol Psychiatry, Biol Psychiatry, Arch Gen Psychiatry, Trends Neurosci, Trends Immunol. Dr. Capuron is Associate Editor for Frontiers in Neuropharmacology and serves on the Editorial Board of the reviews Brain, Behavior and Immunity and Case Reports in Psychiatry. She also served as a scientific expert for the ITMO Neurosciences, Cognitive Sciences, Neurology and Psychiatry (Aviesan) from 2014 to 2020.

Rod Rassekh

Clinical Associate Professor;
University of British Columbia

Dr. Rod Rassekh studied Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He then completed a pediatric residency, followed by a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellowship, both at BC Children’s Hospital. He obtained a Masters of Health Science degree from UBC in 2007. He is currently an oncologist and Clinical Associate Professor at UBC, and an investigator whose research interests include the implementation of genomics into pediatric oncology clinical care.