EMGSS is incredibly proud of all the great things Experimental Medicine trainees are doing!
This month, we’d like to shine our spotlight on…
Alex Cooke, Ph.D. Candidate
Alex Cooke is a PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Daskalopoulou and Dr. Dasgupta. Alex has previously served as the EMGSS President and has been actively involved in the graduate life at McGill. She recently presented a poster entitled, “From Rest to Stressed: Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Exhibit a Greater Exercise-Induced Increase in Arterial Stiffness and Vessel Hemodynamics”, at Canadian Student Health top 12 poster presentations), and the Gairdner Prize (awarded to the top 5 poster presentations).
Nida Haider, Ph.D. Candidate
Nida Haider, is a PhD student in Dr. Larose’s and Dr. Wing’s lab at MUHC-RI. Nida has been another active member of the EMGSS, been recently serving as the VP, Academic. She received the CIHR Silver Award in the National Poster Competition held at the Canadian Student Health Research Forum, Winnipeg. She presented a poster on “ Nck1 Adaptor Protein Impacts White Adipose Tissue Biology”.
Previous Spotlight Students
Sibat Anim, M.Sc. Student
Sibat is an M.Sc. student in the lab of Dr. Hugh Clarke at the MUHC-RI. His research focuses on understanding the mechanism of oocyte growth through its use of filopodia-like extensions called transzonal projections (TZPs) that communicate physically with the oocyte’s surrounding nursing cells. Sibat is heavily involved in graduate student life on campus, having previously served as the EMGSS VP Finance and currently represents all McGill graduate students as the Financial Affairs Officer of the Post Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS). Among some of his work, Sibat has created the first PGSS Travel Award program which provides funding to students going to competitions or conferences. The program officially opens February 15th.
Katarina Pessina, M.Sc.
Katarina was an M.Sc. student in the MUCH Nephrology Research Group under the joint supervision of Dr. Andrey Cybulsky and Dr. Elena Torban. Her research work centered on the TNFα Signaling Pathway in Glomerular Injury. During this time, she successfully presented her findings at the American Society of Nephrology 2017 Live Meeting and the Metabolic Disorders and Complications (MeDiC) Program Annual Research Day 2018, winning a poster prize for the latter. Passionate about student-led initiatives, Katarina served as President of the Experimental Medicine Graduate Students' Society (EMGSS) from 2017-2018. Since graduating from ExMed, Katarina has been working as a Medical Writer for IC Axon. There, she writes and develops medical content to uphold the global learning curriculums for pharmaceutical representatives and medical science liaisons. Her work involves collaboration among medical illustrators, learning and design specialists, and project managers. To current trainees she states, “Any upcoming graduates (Masters, Doctorate, and Post-Doctorate) are welcome to reach out if they have any questions about my work and/or are interested in applying to IC Axon.”
Ashley Chin, PhD Student
Ashley is a Ph.D. Student in the Lab of Dr. Eric Lécuyer at the IRCM. Her research work focuses on Defining the Role of mRNA Localization in Regulating Epithelial Cell Polarity. An outstanding and highly dedicated student, Ashley has won numerous awards and prizes including her current fellowship as a Vanier Scholar bestowed by the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship program from CIHR. She has also been the recipient of multiple presentation prizes, including 1st Place prizes for poster presentations at international conferences such as RNA 2016 in Japan (The Annual Meeting of the International RNA Society) and the RiboClub 16th Annual Meeting; as well as university level prizes such as 1st Place for Oncology Poster Presentation at EMGSS's very own 17th Annual McGill Biomedical Graduate Conference. Furthermore, she is one of the past national image contest winners for NSERC Science Exposed Contest. Her recent publications include those in the journals Methods (DOI: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2017.06.027) and Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects (DOI: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2017.06.011). Aside from doing science, she also enjoys participating in various outdoor activities such as skiing, running and playing Pokémon Go.
Nida Haider, PhD Student
Nida is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Louise Larose’s lab and has been awarded an FRQS Doctoral Scholarship and a RI-MUHC Studentships to study the role of adaptor proteins in obesity and diabetes. Her research findings have led to numerous Best Poster Presentation Awards, including the Young Investigator Award at the ICAN Conference Series (Paris, France), and the Dr. Charles Hollenberg Award at the 2016 Canadian Diabetes Association Meeting. Recently, her research findings have been published in iScience, a new Cell Press journal (DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2018.07.010). A very involved student, Nida has been an Executive Member of the Experimental Medicine Graduate Students' Society (EMGSS) for the past four years, which she considers one of the main highlights of her Ph.D. experience.
Roxane Vandenbeek, MSc
Roxanne was a M.Sc. student in the lab of Dr. Jennifer Estall at the IRCM, where she was working on the molecular basis of increased diabetes susceptibility in carriers of the PGC-1a(482Ser) risk allele. The fruits of her research efforts were recently published in the Endocrine Society’s journal, Endocrinology (DOI: 10.1210/en.2017-00872). Upon completion of her graduate degree in Experimental Medicine, she transitioned to her new job as Science Policy Officer under the Program Development and Engagement Division at Environment and Climate Change Canada. There, she works in regulatory policy by developing strategies that can be used by the government to ensure better compliance with government regulations. For instance, she was recently involved in the publishing of a document outlining how the government plans to increase transparency with respect to the chemical substances that are in commerce in Canada. About securing her new job, she stresses the importance of networking and keeping connections with previous employers.
Mansi Arora, M.Sc.1
Mansi is a M.Sc. student in the lab of Dr. Mari Kaartinen. Her research work is centered on the investigation of the links and associations of F13A1 (Factor XIII-A transglutaminase) 15 expression levels to markers and pathways leading to metabolic disturbances in Finnish obese-lean homozygotic twins through the use of bioinformatic approaches to analyze GWAS/Affimetric mRNA and whole genome RNAseq data sets. Prior to joining EXMD, Mansi was Gold Medallist graduate from her Bachelor of Technology (Bioinformatics) program. Moreover, she was the recipient of the Summer Research Fellowship through Indian Academy of Sciences and Indian Institute of Science (selection rate 5%). Recently, her undergraduate research work was published in the journal BioEnergy Research (DOI: 10.1007/s12155-018-9944-x).
Saima Ahmed, PhD Student
Saima is a Ph.D. Student in the lab of Dr. Carmen G. Loiselle, and her research interests include cancer care, health behaviours, e-health and m-health, person-centered care, patient support and empowerment. An outstanding graduate student, she was recently awarded the Maysie Macsporran Graduate Studentship. This award is awarded by the Faculty of Medicine's Postgraduate Awards Committee to top-ranked students in official training programs.