Leading Canadian microbiologist joins Quadram Institute

15th May 2020

Leading Canadian microbiologist Dr Matthew Gilmour has been appointed as research group leader for the Quadram Institute’s Listeria group in the UK.

Dr Matthew Gilmour

Dr Matthew Gilmour is currently the Scientific Director General of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) and its teams based in Winnipeg, Guelph, and St. Hyacinthe.

Dr Gilmour will start in his new role at Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB) on the Norwich Research Park, UK, in July.

Listeria remains an important foodborne pathogen with considerable impacts on human health and wealth.

Dr Gilmour’s group is based at the £75m Quadram Institute, an interdisciplinary research institute at the forefront of a new era in food and health research which brings together medical and molecular microbiologists, epidemiologists, bioinformaticians and clinicians to deliver pioneering interdisciplinary research focused on microbes in the food chain.

Quadram Institute Director Ian Charles said: “I’m delighted to announce Matt Gilmour’s appointment as group leader for the Listeria group within our Microbes in the Food Chain research programme. He has a wealth of experience in microbiology and public health genomics, and we look forward to Matt joining the Quadram team in the summer.”

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Medical Director, Professor Erika Denton, said: “Dr Gilmour’s appointment is a real sign of the strength of international biomedical talent and expertise that our partnership with the Quadram Institute is able to attract.  We look forward to working with Matt in due course and welcoming him to Norwich.”

Dr Gilmour’s focus in his current role in Canada is the strategic leadership of science informatic needs for the NML and their partners that result from modern genomics and other ‘big data’ technologies.

Dr Gilmour has previously served as a Clinical Microbiologist at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, where he was the laboratory lead for Infection Prevention and Control, and he remains interested in the evolution and transmissibility of antibiotic resistant organisms.

In his time leading Canada’s NML, Dr Gilmour worked on responses to the Ebola and Zika outbreaks. This same expertise in managing public health crises, and the ability to bring experts together from across Canada and across the globe, is being seen again now, as Matthew has been a driver in Canada’s world-leading laboratory response to COVID-19.

Canada rapidly instituted testing across the country, first through new assays against coronavirus that were developed and refined at NML, and then in quick succession this testing capacity spread to all the provincial laboratories.

Dr Gilmour went to the University of Alberta where he read biological sciences for his undergraduate degree and where he  received his PhD  under the mentorship of Dr Diane Taylor, and his thesis work was awarded the Izaak Killam Memorial Scholarship, the Canadian Society of Microbiologist’s Graduate Student Microbiologist of the Year Award, and the Governor General’s Gold Medal.

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Matthew Gilmour

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