Who are we?

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The Division of Experimental Medicine is comprised of faculty members with diverse research interests in biomedical sciences and students from a wide variety of cultural and educational backgrounds, creating a uniquely rich social and academic environment. The Experimental Medicine Graduate Students' Society (EMGSS), composed of a Council, the working body of the Society, and its membership, the graduate students and alumni of Experimental Medicine, was formed to promote and defend the rights, welfare and interests of its members, as well as to enhance their educational, social, cultural and environmental conditions. As a society, the EMGSS organizes the Annual McGill Biomedical Graduate Conference (AMBGC), as well as hosting a variety of non-academic social and sporting events.

EMGSS Council Members


President - Neera Sriskandarajah

PhD, Year 4 at the IRCM, Dr. Hipfner’s Lab

Research Focus: I study the role of protein kinase Slik in regulating tissue growth in a Drosophila wing model.

Role: This year I’m so excited to lead our EMGSS team through many important events organized for both the well-being and academic progress of all students and post-doctoral trainees in Experimental Medicine!

kathryn.bozek@mail.mcgill.ca ; @ktbozek

kathryn.bozek@mail.mcgill.ca ; @ktbozek

VP Communications - Katie Bozek

PhD, Year 2 at the LDI, Dr. Basik’s Lab

Research Focus: My project focuses on determining mechanisms of chemoresistance and testing new therapeutic combinations in aggressive breast cancers using patient-derived xenografts.

Role: I am responsible for sending out email communications through our weekly listservs as well as managing the website and answering any questions that you send to emgss.pgss@mail.mcgill.ca!


PGSS Representative - Elias Jabbour

MSc, Year 2 at the MUHC, Dr. Jabado’s Lab

Research Focus: My project focuses on characterizing the role of an epigenetic complex within the context of histone-mutated pediatric high-grade gliomas using patient-derived cell lines.

Role: As a PGSS representative, I am excited to serve as the link between the graduate student council and EXMD trainees. I will also work towards ensuring that university policies, resource allocations and graduate opportunities match EXMD’s best interests.

alyssa.francis@mail.mcgill.ca  ; @alyssa_francis17

alyssa.francis@mail.mcgill.ca ; @alyssa_francis17

VP Administration - Alyssa Francis

MSc, Year 2 at GCRC, Dr. McCaffrey’s Lab

Research Focus: I study the role of the immune microenvironment in early-stage breast cancer progression, using mouse models and patient samples.

Role: As VP admin, I will be responsible for organizing monthly meetings, keeping all of our documents up to date, and supporting the rest of council with executing the best social and academic events for all the students of ExMed.


VP Finance - Sydney Ross

MSc, Year 2 at the MUHC, Dr. McDonald’s Lab

Research Focus: I study the risk of adverse drug events in polypharmacy older adults, and the potential benefits of deprescribing as an intervention, in association with the MedSafer clinical trial

Role: I am in charge of securing funding for the society and assuring it is responsibly distributed, allowing us to host many social events. I council the society on all financial matters, keep an accurate and complete record of all our expenses and prepare bi-annual budget reports.

juan.padilla@mail.mcgill.ca  ; @juan0919.jpg

VP Academic - Juan-Carlos Padilla

PhD, Year 3 at the IRCM, Dr. Lécuyer’s Lab

Research Focus: My project focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms involved in the localization of RNAs to sites of extracellular vesicle (EVs) biogenesis prior to their release to the extracellular environment.

Role: During my tenure as VP Academic, I will work with my fellow council members to carry forward our efforts to empower EXMD trainees by showcasing educational events and academic information useful to them. Furthermore, I will work throughout the year on the planning, fundraising, development and execution of the 20th edition of the Annual McGill Biomedical Graduate Conference (AMBGC).

sepideh.mikaeeli@mail.mcgill.ca  ; @sepidehmikaeeli

Health and Wellness Representative - Sepideh Mikaeeli

PhD, year 1 at the IRCM, Dr. Seidah Lab

Research Focus: I investigate the cellular trafficking PCSK9, a critical protein in Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) pathogenesis, as well as its new regulators.

Role: As Health and Wellness representative, I will be responsible for organizing several well-being activities during the year to help EXMD students to enjoy their academic life in less stressful environment.


VP External - Rutherford Exius

MSc, Year 2 at the MUHC, Dr. Ben-Shoshan’s Lab

Research Focus: I study the risk factors associated with true allergy to antibiotics in pediatric patients.

Role: As VP External, I run our award-winning Technical Seminar Series where EXMD students get to share their knowledge on methods and techniques. I also act as liaison between Post-Graduate Student Associations and other external bodies.


LDI Site Rep - Brandon Shokoples

PhD, Year 2 at the LDI, Dr. Schiffrin’s Lab

Research Focus: I investigate immune cell activation and inflammation during the development of hypertension and vascular disease using a murine model of hypertension.

Role: As the LDI site rep I look forward to integrating the voices of students from the LDI and Experimental medicine and promoting more engagement from the LDI community in ExMed events.