President - Alex Cooke

Hi everyone! My name is Alex Cooke. I will be your EMGSS President for 2018-2019. I am a 4th year PhD student in Dr. Daskalopoulou's Vascular Research Lab, and co-supervised by Dr. Kaberi Dasgupta. I am from Montreal, and have been a student in the Division of Experimental Medicine since 2011. If you have any questions about the Graduate Diploma in Clinical Research, MSc or PhD program, don’t be shy to reach out!

I am very excited build on the strong precedent set by past Presidents and the various initiatives that EMGSS has developed over the years. I am fortunate to be working alongside a great group of students, who all work very hard to enhance the graduate student experience in Experimental Medicine. We hope to bring as many of you together over the next year at our numerous social and academic activities, and do our very best to support your academic and professional development. 

I look forward to hearing from as many as you as we can so that we can plan a great year for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions, suggestions, or concerns:



I am a second year PhD student working with Dr. Matthias Friedrich in Cardiology & Radiology. Our research focuses on the utilizing and developing an oxygenation-sensitive sequence to be utilized in Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 

As the VP Communications for EMGSS my role is to send regular newsletters to keep EMGSS updated on events and deadlines, to manage and update the website, and to manage the email account. If you ever have any questions about events, deadlines, or student information, please do not hesitate to email

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Hi, I’m your 2018-2019 VP Marketing!

I’m a second year Ph.D. student in the RNA Biology Research Unit led by Dr. Éric Lécuyer at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM). I study the recruitment of RNA species to extracellular vesicles, as well as their association to disease.

In my role as VP Marketing this year, I hope to generate a more active following of the EMGSS’ events via the use of diverse social media platforms. A major objective for this role will be to inform ExMed students about the departmental, and university-wide, resources that are available to them. Furthermore, I will work with the EGMSS’ sponsorship network during the organization of student-led events.

If you have comments or suggestions in regard to this role, please feel free to contact me at:


Hey EXMED people,

It was a great honor for me to be your VP-External representative during the past academic year. Throughout that journey, I understood that we live in a vastly interconnected World, in which communication is the essence for resolving multifaceted issues. Analogously, the dialogue between scientific disciplines is essential and integral part for the successful growth of medicine and medical sciences and us as professionals. For this reason, I shall continue enhancing our intradepartmental collaboration with the following platform:

  • Expand our communication with other science and medical centric student organizations
  • Sustain and expand the current Methods Seminar Series event
    •  (holding the 2018 PGSS Award for the Best Collaborative Event of the year )


Hi everyone, I'm Dilhan Perera, a second year MSc student in experimental medicine doing research on vaccines for Schistosomiasis. I will be serving as your VP internal this year and I'm really looking forward to meeting you all!



Hello! My name is Harmehr Sekhon. I am from Mississauga, Ontario, and am currently pursuing my PhD at McGill University in the department of Experimental Medicine. I completed my MSc (Experimental Medicine) and Hons. BSc, from McGill University and the University of Toronto (UofT), respectively. I look forward to working with you this upcoming year! Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, feedback, innovative initiatives, or just to say hello!


Hi my name is Neera Sriskandarajah. I am a PhD student in ExMed and I work at the IRCM. I have served on council, twice as IRCM rep and once as VP admin. This year I am your Health, Wellness, Equity & Diversity representative. I hope to team up with VP social to create many events that promote our health. I also want to make it easier for those of you who seek assistance or would like to talk to anyone about anything you face during your graduate studies. I am here to help! Say hi if you are at the IRCM or write me an email (neera.sriskandarajah@mail.mcgî if you want to meet up. So excited to see you all!



Hello! I am Nida Haider, your elected VP Academics for this year. I am a Ph.D. Candidate and my research is focused on molecular mechanisms behind the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes. My involvement with EMGSS has been an incredible experience over the past few years, so I am very excited to lead the organization committee for the McGill Annual Biomedical Conference (AMBGC) for another year! If you would like to get involved with the organization of the 19th AMBGC or if you have any suggestions and feedback, please feel free to reach out. I would be happy to hear your thoughts, and recommendations for AMBGC 2019.  Contact me for any questions, concerns, and to have your voice heard at the council meetings! My email is




Hey everyone! I am your VP Social, and I’m really enjoying my work with this wonderful team! I’m a first-year M.Sc. student studying gastric adenocarcinoma peritoneal metastasis under the supervision of Dr. Lorenzo Ferri at the RI-MUHC Glen site. Being able to collaborate and plan events with the members of EMGSS has added another dimension of significance and fun to my current research.

With my past experience from my undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario, I’m hoping to offer students an environment of inclusiveness and an opportunity to meet like-minded people with a passion for science. I strive to bring fresh and creative ideas to this position through new activities each month. By offering a balance of health-and-wellness, recreational, sports-driven and social events, there will truly be something for everyone!

I’m excited to represent and work in conjunction with Experimental Medicine students, and I believe that getting involved in EMGSS events is a great way to develop personal and academic networks. I look forward to meeting many of you in the future, and to answering any questions or feedback that you may have through my email at I’m always open to hearing suggestions and ways to improve the student experience!





Hi EXMED students!
My name is Samantha Bovaird, and I’m a Master’s student in Eric Lecuyer’s lab over at the IRCM. My project within the RNA biology unit focuses on characterizing the role RNA localization plays in the DNA damage response (#hallmarkofcancer).

In the 2017 – 2018 academic year, I joined EMGSS as your PGSS representative, shuttling your opinions on important graduate topics between PGSS and our own council. This year I’ll be serving as your VP Finance and I couldn’t be more thrilled to continue working with such an enthusiastic team. Put briefly, I will be responsible for the budget and financial affairs of the society, securing student life grants, and ensuring funds are allocated in the most beneficial way for you!

Don’t be shy to reach out to me at with your ideas, comments and concerns. I look forward to seeing you all at our future events. Good luck in the coming year! 


Hey! My name is Sam Preston and I’m your new co-VP Social, alongside Chantelle. I’m a first year international PhD student, working under the supervision of Dr Stephane Richard at the Lady Davis Institute. Even though I have only just joined the Experimental Medicine Division, I’m excited to be a part of council for the 18/19 academic year! 
Chantelle and I will be working hard all year to create a load of (budget-friendly) events that appeal to everyone. Keep your eyes peeled for the exciting plans we have coming up!

I'm looking forward to meeting everyone!


As the Glen site representative, Sanket will communicate all EMGSS-related information to Experimental Medicine students residing at the RI-MUHC (Glen) site. He will also assist the VP Internal with Glen related activities (social, academic or otherwise). Lastly, he will connect with ExMed students at the Glen site and raise their issues, if any, to the EMGSS. 

Sanket is currently in his 2nd year of Master’s in the ExMed department. Having been the co-president of the IDIGH trainee program, Sanket believes he can translate his experience to EMGSS. His project is to understand and to characterize the role of antibodies in controlling HIV infection, especially in HIV elite controllers (ECs), a rare subset of HIV infected individuals who can control the viremia without antiretroviral therapy. This knowledge will advance the development of anti-HIV vaccines by designing potent anti-HIV antibodies which can induce the human innate immune system. When he is not planning or performing experiments, he often watches and discusses soccer and Manchester United enthusiastically. You can always contact him at


My name is Sepideh Mikaeeli and I am an IRCM representative for the year 2018-2019.I did my bachelor studies in Iran where I am from. My passion for the biological and medical sciences led me to the field of Genetics at IAUMB University. I moved to Canada to continue my research career in a cutting-edge research atmosphere.

Presently, I am a second-year master student in Experimental Medicine at McGill University. I am working in Dr.Seidah’s lab at the IRCM. My major research focuses on identifying the functional effect of natural and archaic mutations in PCSK9 protein (which is involved in FH disease) in order to understand the underlying mechanisms of this molecule.

 I really enjoy studying at McGill because of the friendly and professional working atmosphere and the combination of liberty and groupwork. Here, you find graduate and undergraduate students from all over the world with a large spectrum of cultures, languages, religious believes, and attitudes where everyone is free to exchange ideas and life experiences, which is very inspirational.

My major goal as an IRCM representative is to provide a friendly atmosphere for IRCM students to mention their concerns and expectations from the council. I will collect students’ feedbacks and advocate their demands in council meetings. Also, I am very motivated to inspire more students from the EXMED program to get involved more actively in the student council.

If you have any ideas, suggestions, concerns and questions please feel free to contact me. Send your emails to:


“you are what you believe yourself to be” Paulo Coelho