Dr. Patricia Tonin awarded the Karen Campbell Award for Research Excellence

From RI-MUHC and Med e-news

Congratulations to Dr. Patricia Tonin on receiving the 2017 Karen Campbell Award for Research Excellence from Ovarian Cancer Canada.

Dr. Patricia Tonin, professor in the Department of Human Genetics and Faculty of Medicine received this award at The Lady Ball event, the first in a series of special events being held this year to celebrate fearless women everywhere. The Karen Campbell award recognizes overall research excellence and important scientific achievements that impact the understanding and treatment of ovarian cancer. Dr. Tonin’s outstanding contribution to the advanced understanding of the role of specific gene mutations in the development of ovarian cancer, particularly among French Canadians was recognized.

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Dr. Roderick McInnes appointed Acting President of CIHR

Our congratulations to Dr. Roderick McInnes on being appointed the Acting President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

On March 31st, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health has announced that Dr. Roderick McInnes was appointed the responsibility of Acting President of CIHR. Dr. McInnes said, “It is a great honour to be asked to assume this important position at this critical time in CIHR’s history. I look forward to listening to the research community for its guidance in helping me and my CIHR colleagues to build on the opportunities ahead.”

For more information, visit this webpage.


In Memory of


Gillian Elizabeth MacLean

December 17, 1987 – March 21, 2017

A former student of the Department of Human Genetics, McGill University, having completed her M.Sc. in February 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Nancy Braverman and whose academic pursuit lead her to the University of British Columbia to pursue a second Masters degree in Genetic Counseling.

Arrangements have been entrusted To Brunswick Funeral Home, Perth-Andover and Plaster Rock.

Resting at St. Andrew’s United Church in Plaster Rock with visitation on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 from 6-8 pm. Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 2 pm from the church. Rev. Sarah Magie officiating.

Should you wish to share your memories or express your condolences, please visit here.

A memorial page has been set up by UBC to share their memories, please visit here.

Our most sincere sympathies to Gillian Elizabeth MacLean’s family and friends.


Canadian House of Commons Passes S-201: Genetic Nondiscrimination Act

A message from the CCMG National Office: “Yesterday, Canadians became closer to being able to make‎ informed decisions about genetic tests without fear.  Bill S-201 passed the 3rd reading in the House of Commons.  The Bill still needs to go back to the Senate but all indications are that it will be supported.  After several attempts by the Liberal Justice Minister to gut the Bill through amendments, it passed in its entirety.  The Bill includes Pan-Canada legislation that makes it a criminal act to discriminate against a person based on their genetic test information, as well as amendments to the Canada Labour Code and amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act.  The bill passed by a free vote (in which MPs are allowed to vote according to their own personal conscience rather than according to an official party line) with an overwhelming majority of 222-60.  This is a historic development, as Canada is the only G8 country without this type of legislation.”


A surprise advance in the treatment of adult cancers

Researchers at the RI-MUHC have made a discovery that could improve care for about 15% of patients with head and neck cancer linked to alcohol and tobacco use

Simon Papillon-Cavanagh, McGill University PhD candidate, Drs Nada Jabado and Jacek Majewski, PhD


A team of researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) has found an epigenetic modification that might be the cause of 15% of adult cancers of the throat linked to alcohol and tobacco use. This is a first in the field of epigenetics and the researchers are hopeful that the discovery can blaze a path in the development of new, targeted, more effective treatments that could arise over the next few years.

“This discovery was absolutely unexpected since it seemed highly improbable that the kind of alterations of the epigenome that we had previously found in other types of tumours in children and young adults could also target an epithelial tumour like throat cancer that occurs only in adults,” explains Dr. Nada Jabado, a researcher at the RI-MUHC and one of the principal authors of the study published in Nature Genetics.

Head and neck cancers, also called oropharyngeal cancers or throat cancer often have devastating consequences. Standard treatments involve surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the side effects of these treatments are significant and relapses are common. That’s why oncologists are searching to develop more effective treatments that will be less harmful and have fewer deleterious effects. The discovery of this epigenetic modification opens new treatment possibilities. In fact, some promising drug molecules are already on the market for other illnesses and could possibly be tested for head and neck cancers as well as other cancers like multiple myeloma and lung cancer.

Dr. Jabado, who is also a pediatric hemato-oncologist, has hopes that this discover will have positive repercussions for pediatric cancers as well. “Now that we’ve identified this cohort of patients, we can move quite quickly since in the case of adults, as opposed to children, there are more patients and lots of clinical trials. The medicines could then be tested on children afterward.”

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Prof. Mark Lathrop re-appointed Scientific Director, McGill University Genome Quebec Innovation Centre

Our congratulations to Prof. Mark Lathrop on being re-appointed as the Scientific Director at McGill University Genome Quebec Innovation Centre.

Vice-Principle and Dean of The Faculty of Medicine, Dr. David Eidelman along with Vice-Dean, Dr. Mara Ludwig made the following announcement “It is with pleasure that we announce the re-appointment of Mark Lathrop, PhD, to the position of Scientific Director, McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre, a position he has held since 2011, during which time he has helped strengthen our position as a hub for genomic research in Quebec and a leader nationally and internationally.

A native of British Columbia, Professor Lathrop completed his Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees at the University of Alberta before obtaining his PhD from the University of Washington (Seattle) in Biomathematics. He then moved to France, where he was one of the founders of the Centre d’Étude du Polymorphisme Humain, which pioneered international collaboration on the human genome in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1993, Dr. Lathrop moved to the University of Oxford, where he was a Wellcome Trust Principal Fellow and Professor of Human Genetics, during which time he co-founded and was first Scientific Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, an institute created to apply genomic approaches to understanding the molecular basis of human disease. In 1997, he was asked by the French government to form the Centre National de Genotypage outside of Paris in Evry, which he directed until 2012.

Professor in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill, Professor Lathrop’s current research is focused on the use of the human genome sequence, and other information about the human genome, to understand the molecular basis of disease, and how these can be applied to individualize approaches to disease prevention and treatment. His work has been recognized with many honours throughout his career, including the French Order of Merit and the French Legion of Honour.”

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April 2017

  • April 21, 2017 at 9:00am – Scheduled Medical Genetics Academic Half Day activities. To be held at the MUHC Glen Site, Room B 02.9390.
  • April 25, 2017 at 12:00pm – MUHC Department of Medicine Medical Grand Rounds presents a talk by Dr. Brian Kobilka, 2016 Louis & Arthur Lucian Award recipient, 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry recipient, entitled “G Protein-Coupled Receptors: Challenges for Drug Discovery“. To be held at the MUHC Glen Site, Bloc E, RI Auditorium, E S1.1129.
  • April 26, 2017 at 1:30pm – MRCCT Seminars presents a talk by Dr. Johannes TextorRadboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, entitled “Landscapes of tumor infiltrating Lymphocytes: Quantification, Modeling and Clinical Relevance”. To be held in the Goodman Cancer Research Centre, Room #501.
  • May 03, 2017 at 4:00pm – Gabriel André Leiva-Torres’ Ph.D. Seminar entitled “Mouse chemical mutagenesis to identify new immune mechanisms against cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus 1”. Supervisor: Dr. Silvia Vidal. To be held in the Stewart Biology Building, Room N2/2.
  • May 12, 2017 at 1:00pmMcGill Faculty of Medicine presents a lecture by Dr. Richard Stallamn, Father of the Free Software Movement, entitled “Freeing science – from software to medicine“. The lecture also features talks by Dr. Aled Edwards, Director and CEO, Structural Genomics Consortium, and by Dr. Guy Rouleau, Director, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. To be held in the New Residence Hall Ballroom (3625 Parc Avenue).

REGISTER NOW! Human Genetics Research Day: May 18, 2017

To ALL HG Faculty, Students & Fellows:

This year’s Research Day will be held on May 18, 2017. Talks and poster presentations will not only be offered by M.Sc./Ph.D. students, but have been opened up to Postdoctoral Fellows as well.

Keynote Speaker: Schahram Akbarian, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Chief, Division of Psychiatric Epigenomics
Friedman Brain Institute
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Talk entitled: Chromosomal Conformations Affecting Cognition and Behavior in Human and Mouse Brain

The full day’s events, starting at 8:30am will be held in the Palmer Amphitheatre, Room 522, McIntyre Medical Building (3655 Sir William Osler), boxed lunches will be providedfollowed by a wine & cheese after the keynote speaker. Complete program and abstracts to be released in May 2017. 

Registration Deadline: May 3rd, 2017

Registration by the May 3rd deadline is mandatory in order to receive a lunch ticket and ALL students are strongly advised to attend.



Know your rights: What to consider before you submit to a journal and sign a copyright transfer agreement

This workshop will go over some of the main points to consider when submitting to a journal with regards to author rights. For example, what rights do you maintain? What can you do with your article once it’s published? Are you permitted to post it online? Can you share it via social media sites? Etc.

This workshop will engage in practical, hands-on exercises to review the author agreements of major journal publishers.

At the end of this session participants will be able to:

  • Identify and compare copyright transfer agreements between journal publishers
  • Evaluate journals based on their author rights agreements
  • Describe which author rights are retained/transferred in these agreements

Date: Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Time/Duration: 10:30am / 75 mins

Location: Redpath Library Building, Room Research Commons A



4th Annual McGill GMCA Case Competition, May 1st-12th

What is a case competition in a nutshell?

  • Teams are given a case: for example, how company A could expand to a new market/country?
  • Teams have 7 days to:
    • analyze the company, its product, competitors and clients;
    • come up with a recommendation of whether company A should move to the new market and if the answer is yes, suggest a step-by-step implementation plan for the expansion;
    • create a powerpoint presentation of their analysis and recommendations.

On the last day of the competition, deliver their presentations to the CEO of the company A and a board of professional management consultants.

Register individually or within a team of up to 5 members here: https://goo.gl/forms/pt45cAKwZMsPrD1J2 Deadline: Friday, April 28th by 23:59.
Program Details


Department of Family Medicine, Summer Sessions this May and June

The Research and Graduate Programs Division of the Department of Family Medicine is proud to present its official summer session for May and June.  Graduate students, health professionals and others are welcome to register for these courses for either professional interest or credit.***Mainpro-M1 CME credits will be available for these courses. 

Courses include:

  • FMED500 Introduction to Research and Scholarly Activity*
  • FMED511 Introduction to Art in Healthcare: Making Art Accessible
  • FMED600 Mixed Studies Reviews
  • FMED603 Participatory Research: Patient and Partner Engagement
  • FMED605 Canadian Healthcare Policy and Decision-making
  • FMED611 Health Care Systems and Primary Care Reform
  • FMED612 Evaluation Research & Implementation Science
  • FMED615 Applied Knowledge Translation and Exchange**

More details on course offerings and research seminars can be found in the Summer Session brochure.

* Faculty Development course only. Not open to graduate students for credit or non credit. 
** This course was not included in our brochure but has been added to our website 

Summer Session Brochure

For more information on how to register: www.mcgill.ca/familymed/summer


28th Annual Canadian Bioethics Society Conference, May 24-26

The MUHC Centre for Applied Ethics is hosting the 2017 Annual Conference of the Canadian Bioethics Society (CBS), which will address the theme of intersecting vulnerabilities in all its complexity; from conceptual foundations to the need for practical responses. An important challenge for bioethics today is how to help individuals who are at risk of “falling through the cracks” especially when health and social service programs targeting disenfranchised populations are struggling.

Date: May 24 – 26, 2017

Location: Hyatt Regency Montreal, Montreal, QC

Early Bird Registration Deadline: Friday, April 07

Event Agenda


1st RIKEN – McGill Symposium on Excellence in Immunology & Genetics, May 8-9

The 2017 RIKEN – McGill Symposium is held with the following objectives:

  • Deepen collaborations between RIKEN IMS and McGill University in areas of shared excellence
  • Advance the agenda of using combined immunological and genetic approaches to address emerging questions in biology and medicine
  • Define mechanisms to fund and implement collaborations

Date: May 8-9, 2017

Location: McCord Museum – 690 rue Sherbrooke O, Montréal, H3A 1E9

Program Details available here.

Attendance is free but registration is mandatory. If you plan to attend, please register quickly as places are limited.


Call for Clinical Genetics Metabolic Cases: CCMG Annual Scientific Conference

CCMG 41st Annual Scientific Conference “Celebrating Canada’s Medical Genetics”, April 30-May 3, 2017, Le Westin Montreal, Montreal, Quebec is coming up soon and we are seeking participants for the Clinical Genetics & Metabolic Cases Breakout Session, which will take place Tuesday, May 2 from 16:00-17:30.

Depending on the number of proposals presentations should be between 5 and 7 minutes with 5-7 minutes for discussion (15 minutes per case/presentation will allow us to accommodate a total of 6 presenters)

Please read further details here.


Call for Abstracts: Human Genetics Research Day

To ALL Human Genetics Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows:

Please note this this year’s Human Genetics Research Day will be held on May 18th, 2017 and is open to not only M.Sc./Ph.D. students, but to Postdoctoral Fellows, as well.

Details regarding the submission of abstracts can be found here.

Deadline for abstract submission is April 07th, 2017

Registration details will follow in April.



McGill graduate students enrolled in an MSc/PhD program, who hold Canadian citizenship or permanent residence status are eligible to apply for:

  • 3-12 months research stays at a non-Canadian Commonwealth institution as a part of their Master or PhD research;
  • Applications accepted on an ongoing basis

The “Quantitative Biology and Medical Genetics for the World” program offers awards of $6000 to $8000 to help with travel and living expenses during the stay. Institutions at all commonwealth countries are eligible, including:

South Africa, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland.

Eligible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Quantitative genetics
  • Population genetics
  • Genetic/genomic epidemiology
  • High-throughput experimental methods in biology associated with quantitative analysis of data
  • Bioinformatics and computational genomics

For further information and application instructions, consult the guidelines.

For more info contact: qe2@mcgill.ca


Graphos: Strengthen Your Academic Writing and Oral Communication

This May, Graphos is offering 1-credit courses designed to improve your ability to develop coherent manuscripts and clear presentations.  Offered in a 5-week, pass/fail format, the courses are capped at 23 students so as to allow for personalized feedback on multiple drafts of your work.

For students who wish to learn how to:

–          better organize complex ideas in writing, take CEAP 642;

–          write effective literature reviews, take part one, CEAP 661 now (part two, CEAP 665, in Fall);

–          polish presentations skills, take CEAP 652.

For students whose primary language is not English and who want to improve their ability to:

–          express complex ideas by using appropriate academic phrasing, take CESL 631;

–          apply the conventions of English grammar in academic prose, take CESL 641,

–          speak clearly in academic and scholarly settings, take CESL 651.

Registration for the spring term is open in Minerva.  Doctoral students and many master’s students can take the courses without paying extra fees.

For questions about these courses or any other Graphos offerings, contact graphos@mcgill.ca or 514-398-8430


McGill Global Health Workshop: Advanced Grantsmanship for Postdoctoral Fellows

McGill Global Health Programs is organizing a series of workshops targeted to McGill postdocs working in a global health field.

The first workshop will focus on Advanced Grantsmanship and will be held over two days on April 11 and 13, 2017 between 11:30AM and 4:30PM.

Registration is required as space is limited.

Additional information and the registration link can be found here: https://www.mcgill.ca/globalhealth/node/2341


Summer 2017 Internship Opportunity in Panama

Do you want to gain work experience with the United Nations? Are you passionate about topics of safety and security in Latin America? Do you enjoy extensive research and analytical writing?

The United Nations Office of Safety and Security is seeking an intern for summer 2017 to work in its office located in Panama City. Applications must be returning to McGill in fall 2017, and possess intermediate to advanced language proficiency in Spanish.

For more information, please see the internship posting or visit our website: https://www.mcgill.ca/internships/current-ion-internship-opportunities/undss-panama

For more info contact: Laura Di Maio (514-398-2916)


CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: GPS Graduate Mobility Award 2016-17

The Graduate Mobility Award encourages graduate students to study and conduct research abroad as part of their McGill degree program by defraying part of the cost of the international experience. The award, funded by the Government of Quebec, is available to all full-time thesis students enrolled in a graduate degree program at McGill who have been nominated by their academic unit and faculty to take part in a mobility opportunity. The mobility award is meant to contribute towards the completion of the student’s thesis. A limited number of Awards are available each year on a competitive basis.

Deadline: Rolling Submission. Submit your request to the Department of Human Genetics.

For information regarding eligibility and how to apply, visit here.


IRCM Conferences 2016-17



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