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The main goal of our meetings is to continue/establish productive interactions amongst the scientists involved in research in the various aspects of telomere biology. These meetings are essential for researchers in our field to be effective and remain competitive on an international scale. We believe that this platform will provide a showcase for the extensive expertise and knowledge on telomere biology present in Canada.

Secondly, we believe that there is a need for exposing our students and trainees to the stimulating environment of a national conference. For this reason, an important emphasis of the meeting is on student participation and in the past, we have secured funds from corporate sponsors for prices for best trainee poster and best trainee oral presentations. This was a huge success, as students made a real effort to get involved in the discussions.

This symposium is hosted at a different institute each time. This has fostered the attendance of a large number of local participants to contribute to the visibility of the telomerase in cancer research in Canada on the national stage. 

This in turn has attracted trainees, researchers and partners not affiliated with Aging and Cancer research at the time of the meeting to become informed about this area of investigation.

Each year we have invited speaker of international repute. Invited speakers of past meetings include Dr. Titia de Lange (Rockefeller University, New York NY) in Montréal, 2000; Dr. Dorothy Shippen (Texas A&M University, College Station TX) in Vancouver, 2002; Carolyn Price (University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati OH) in Sherbrooke, 2004; Christopher Counter (Duke University, Durham NC) in Calgary, 2006; Carol Greider (Nobel Laureate 2009) (John Hopkins University, Baltimore MD) in Winnipeg, 2008; Julia Cooper (Cancer Research UK) in Hamilton, 2010; John Petrini (Rockefeller University, New York NY) together with Susan Smith (Skirball Institute, New York University, NY) in London, 2012; Peter Baumann (Stowers institute, Kansas City) and Roger Greenberg (University of Pennsylvania) in Quebec city,2014. This objective allows Canadian research on cancer and related topics to be visible at the international level.


  • Provide Canadian researchers in the telomere/telomerase field with an exchange platform by bringing together all the prominent PIs and their students and postdoctoral fellows in this and associated fields. 
  • Promote exchange of ideas, concepts and new developments. 
  • Avoid unnecessary research overlap. 
  • Allow students and post-doctoral fellows to present and discuss their research. 
  • Foster interchange with the pharmaceutical industry by developing partnerships with the private sector. 
  • Facilitate the transition from basic research to pre-clinical and clinical applications. 
  • Retain an internationally competitive edge in the telomere/cancer research field.