World-Renowned HIV Physician-Scientist Named New Chair of Sightline's Scientific Working Group

WINNIPEG, Aug. 19, 2015 /CNW/ - Sightline Innovation Inc. is pleased to announce the establishment of Sightline's Scientific Working Group and thrilled at the appointment of the world's premier HIV/AIDS physician-scientist, Dr. Frank Plummer, as its Chair.

"We are incredibly honoured to have Dr. Plummer chair our Scientific Working Group," said Wally Trenholm, Founder and CEO of Sightline. "Not only is he a giant among his scientific peers, he is highly regarded internationally as one of the foremost physician leaders and research specialists in infectious diseases. Dr. Plummer's scientific findings and sound governance have influenced public health policy in Canada and abroad. His innovative work on HIV/AIDS has led to the development of research programs and policies that have saved millions of lives in Africa and globally. Dr. Plummer's foresight, leadership and team building ability led to the development of two promising Ebola countermeasures by a single research program. We look forward to his leadership, contributions and the wealth of experience and expertise he will provide in helping to advance biomedical applications for our Sightline Perception Engine."

Dr. Plummer has over 30 years of clinical leadership and research experience in infectious disease prevention and control. His professional life began in the early 1980s, when he moved to Kenya where he spent the next 17 years researching sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS. During this period and into the 1990s, Dr. Plummer led the University of Manitoba's STI/HIV research and training "Kenya AIDS Control Program" which has been lauded as a globally recognized program of excellence. His studies on HIV epidemiology in Kenya were central to global understanding of the risk factors for HIV transmission and how to prevent its spread. In the late 1980s, fueled by curiosity and a passion for discovery, Dr. Plummer was the first to reveal two very important medical findings: first, that heterosexual women could also be infected with HIV/AIDS (even though the world viewed HIV/AIDS as a homosexual disease at the time) and second, that a cohort of Nairobi sex workers had a natural immunity to HIV/AIDS. This latter discovery suggested the possibility that a vaccine could eventually be developed.

In 2000, following his tenure in Africa, Dr. Plummer accepted the position of Scientific Director General of the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML), Health Canada, in Winnipeg. He joined the Department of Microbiology, at the University of Manitoba as a distinguished professor. Under Dr. Plummer's leadership, the NML flourished into a global scientific force. During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, it was Dr. Plummer that Mexico called first seeking assistance and he has led the Canadian laboratory response to numerous outbreaks including SARS in 2003 and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza outbreak. Dr. Plummer also oversaw and managed the monitoring of bio-terrorism threats at the 2010 Winter Olympics, put in place the team that developed two promising Ebola countermeasures (ZMapp, VSV-Ebov) and for a time was scientific lead of the Ebola vaccine program at the NML. Dr. Plummer was chair of the Global Health Security Action Group Laboratory Network, leading and supporting efforts to rapidly identify global health and biosecurity threats. In addition, Dr. Plummer has an incredible track record of publishing ground breaking research, with over 350 peer-reviewed articles in prominent scientific journals.

He is an Officer of the Order of Canada (Canada's highest civilian honour), and a recipient of the Order of Manitoba. He has received many national and international awards and honours including the Scopus Award from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the I.S. Ravdin Basic Science Award from the American College of Surgeons; "Researcher of the Year" from Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Grand Challenges in Global Health Award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Killam Prize for AIDS research, and two honorary doctorates. The Francis A. Plummer Theatre at the National Microbiology Laboratory was unveiled by the Government of Canada in 2014.

About Sightline Innovation Inc.

Sightline is Canada's only machine and deep learning (artificial intelligence) cloud services company that specializes in advanced quality inspection and data analytics servicing multiple verticals from healthcare to manufacturing. Sightline's proprietary self-learning technology can detect patterns at a higher level of accuracy, quality and speed than legacy vision systems or archaic data analytical approaches, by uniquely mimicking human perception to see and act on what is happening in real-time.

SOURCE Sightline Innovation Inc

Image with caption: "Dr. Frank Plummer (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods, 2012) (CNW Group/Sightline Innovation Inc)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150819_C6969_PHOTO_EN_480365.jpg

For further information: contact (Kyle Joseph-Hill) (416-628-7095 x2114) or (kjh@sightlineinnovation.com)

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