Joe Schwarcz is Director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, which is dedicated to demystifying science and separating sense from nonsense. He is well known for his informative and entertaining public lectures on topics ranging from the chemistry of love to the science of aging. Professor Schwarcz has received numerous awards for teaching chemistry and for interpreting science for the public. He is the only non-American to win the American Chemical Society’s prestigious Grady-Stack Award for demystifying chemistry. He hosts "The Dr. Joe Show" on Montreal radio, has appeared hundreds of times on television and is the author of 16 best sellers. Also an amateur conjurer, Dr. Joe often spices up his presentations with a little magic.
John Basarab received his PhD in Animal Genetics and Biochemistry in 1981 from the University of Alberta. As Senior Research Scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, he has over 25 years of experience in beef cattle production and management. Current areas of work include improving feed efficiency, delivering genomic and production technologies to the beef industry, and investigating greenhouse gas mitigation in beef cattle. John is an Adjunct Professor at the universities of Alberta and Manitoba, member of the senior management team of Livestock Gentec, and former Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Animal Science. He is also the author or co-author of over 300 scientific and extension articles, and the winner of the 2010 Canadian Animal Industries Award in Extension and Public Service.
Steven Jones gained his PhD at the Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK in 1999, where he was involved in the C. elegans genome project. He has played a role in numerous genome projects, including that of the human, mouse, rat, bovine, fruit fly and the SARS coronavirus. Currently, he is Head of Bioinformatics and Co-Director of the Genome Sciences Centre at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver. Dr Jones’s major research focus is in the computational analysis of DNA sequence and the analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data. In health care research, he has applied next-generation DNA sequencing technology to detect mutations in patient samples and cancer cell lines of various cancer types, and under the influence of different therapeutics. A key goal is to develop bioinformatic approaches to predict the most efficacious therapies from patient tumour samples to help guide clinical decision making. In 2014 and 2016, Thomson Reuters named him one of the world's most influential researchers, being in the top 1% of cited scientists.
Dr. Tad Sonstegard is Chief Scientific Officer of Acceligen, a food-animal genetics subsidiary of Recombinetics, where he leads business development and research efforts dedicated to livestock improvement around the world. The main focus is to apply advanced precision breeding or genome editing to improve livestock genetics in a way that promotes sustainability and animal welfare. Previously, he led a livestock genomics research program at the USDA, ARS Beltsville that delivered many applications in germplasm conservation and genetic improvement for livestock, including the first commercially successful, ag-based SNP tool. He also identified the causative variation affecting fertility and thermo-tolerance in cattle and has led consortia to generate genome assemblies of the water buffalo, goat, Zebu cattle, and an expression atlas of cattle. Dr. Sonstegard received his undergraduate degree from Iowa State University and his PhD from the University of Minnesota. He has published 187 peer-reviewed articles, and received award recognition for his work in improving livestock genetics through genomics research.
Tim McAllister was raised on a mixed cow-calf operation in Inniisfail Alberta. He obtained his MSc in Animal Biochemistry at the University of Alberta, and his PhD in rumen microbiology and nutrition from the University of Guelph in1991. After an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Calgary, he held appointments in technical, biology and science positions, and was promoted to Principal Research Scientist in 2005. Tim leads a diverse research team studying various areas of beef research. He has participated and led projects that relate to antimicrobial resistance in beef cattle production systems since 1997. He has authored over 500 papers, and is a recipient of the Pfizer Young Scientist Award, the Canadian Animal Industries Award in Extension and Public, the Elanco Award for the Production of Safe and Affordable Food, the Shurgain Award for Excellence in Meat Science and Nutrition, the American Feed Industry Research Award, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal and the Governor General’s award for Excellence in the public service. He was also a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former US Vice President, Al Gore.