Congratulations to the Winners of the Maude Abbott, Haile T. Debas and Rosemary Wedderburn Brown Prizes!

Congratulations to the 2014 winners of the following three major Faculty of Medicine prizes:

Dr. Julie St-Pierre, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and a member of the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre, McGill Faculty of Medicine, is the 2014 recipient of the Maude Abbott prize, established in 2010.

Dr.  Loydie Jerome-Majewska, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Associate Member in the Department of Human Genetics, McGill Faculty of Medicine, and a member of the Research Institute of the MUHC (Montreal Children’s Hospital), is the recipient of the 2014 Haile T. Debas prize, also introduced in 2010.

Dr. Sylvie Lambert, Assistant Professor at the Ingram School of Nursing, McGill Faculty of Medicine, is the 2014 recipient of the Rosemary Wedderburn Brown Faculty prize, established in 2013.

The laureates will present their work at a future Town Hall, the date of which will be confirmed.

CONGRATULATIONS to this year’s winners!


O’Rosenblatt’s Lab on St. Patrick’s Day

St Patty's Day

Former Chair of the Department of Human Genetics, Dr. David Rosenblatt, ensured the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were in full stride at the O’Rosenblatt laboratory, supporting the day’s festivities with a colorful bunch of lab members.


Congratulations to the Researchers at the Lady Davis Institute

Congratulations to the researchers at the Lady Davis Institute for identifying the first deadly genetic mutation of ovarian cancer that affects young women. For more information on this break through news click here.


Dr. William Foulkes Receives the Prestigious O. Harold Warwick Prize

Congratulations to Dr. William Foulkes for receiving the 2013 O. Harold Warwick Prize by the Canadian Cancer Society.

The Warwick Prize is given to Canadian scientists who have made great contributions to cancer control in Canada and internationally.


Simon Gravel awarded Sloan Fellowship

Simon Gravel

Simon Gravel, an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Genetics, was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship earlier this morning, in recognition of his potential to make substantial contributions to the field of human genetics. Gravel is breaking the research mold, and refining our understanding of modern human origins by learning from history, biology, and technology.

Using mathematical, computational, and statistical models to push forward understanding of diverse types of genomic data, Gravel is tackling biological questions otherwise unanswerable using conventional cell-biology methods.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation established the fellowship program in 1955, for early-career researchers in three categories: physics, chemistry, and mathematics. Additional research-areas were added in subsequent years, to include neuroscience, economics, computer science, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, and ocean sciences. Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists, and winning fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars. The Foundation currently awards 126 Sloan Research Fellowships each year, and Fellows receive $50,000 to further their research. The Foundation awards $5.9 million annually.

Read the full story in the McGill Reporter.


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Funding, Jobs, and Other Announcements:

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April 9 – April 23

  • April 16, 2014 at 12:00pm – Excellence in Genetics & Immunology Seminar Series presents Sylvain Moineau, PhD’s lecture entitled “CRISPR-Cas systems: from humble beginnings to today’s headlines” to be held at McIntyre Medical Sciences Building, Martin Amphitheatre, Room 504
  • April 16, 2014 at 3:00pmOlga Zurita Rendon’s Ph.D. Seminar entitled “Functional characterization of nuclear-encoded genes in the expression of the mitochondrial genome”. Supervisor: Dr. Eric Shoubridge. 1205 Dr. Penfield, Stewart Biology Building, Room W4/12
  • April 16, 2014 at 4:00pm – Bioengineering Seminar presents Haiyuan Yu’s lecture entitled “Unraveling protein network evolution through whole-proteome cross-species interactome mapping” to be held at the Macdonald Engineering Building, Room 267
  • April 23, 2014 at 8:00am - Steinberg Professional Development Day to be held at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, Room C-417 (2300 Tupper St)
  • April 23, 2014 at 1:30pmAlexandra Iliescu’s seminar entitled: “Reporting Results from WGS/WES in the Clinic: Can we Follow the ACMG Model?” in the context of HGEN 674: Research Internship in Genomics & Policy. 1205 Dr. Penfield, Stewart Biology Building, Room W4/12
  • April 23, 2014 at 3:00pmMitra Heravi’s Ph.D. Oral Defense entitled “Interaction of Combined Administration of Ionizing Radiation and Multi-Targeted Kinase Inhibitors in breast cancer”. SupervisorDr. Danuta Radzioch & Dr. Thierry Muanza. 1205 Dr. Penfield, Stewart Biology Building, Room W4/12
  • April 25, 2014 at 9:00am – MAUT 13th Workshop - Tenure, Renewal, and Mentoring for Academic and Librarian Staff to be held at The Faculty Club (followed by lunch). RSVP – Open to Members/Non-Members.
  • April 30, 2014 at 12:00pm – Biochemistry Seminar presents Dr. Arthur Horwich’s lecture entitled “Chaperone action in health and disease” to be held at McIntyre, Room 504
  • May 03-06, 2014 - The third annual Canadian Human and Statistical Genetics Meeting to be held at the Fairmont Empress, Victoria, BC
  • May 12-13, 2014 – 2nd RUIS McGill SymposiumSave the Date – 2nd RUIS McGill Symposium
  • May 14-16, 2014 -The “Réseau de Médecine Génétique Appliquée” (RMGA) presents the 10th Edition of Journées Génétiques at the Gouverneur Hotel Place Dupuis, Montreal: Deadline to Submit an Abstract: March 31 2014
  • May 22, 2014 at 4:30pm Albert Aguayo Lecture entitled “Neuronal Plasticity and Genomic Diversity” by Fred H. Gage PhD to be held at Jeanne-Timmins Amphitheatre (3801 Rue University)
  • June 2-3, 2014 (Montreal) - Canadian Bioinformatics Workshop Series - Informatics for RNA-seq Analysis. For course requirements and to apply visit:
  • June 12-13, 2014 (Montreal) - Canadian Bioinformatics Workshop Series - Microarray Data Analysis. For course requirements and to apply visit:
  • June 19-20, 2014 (Vancouver) - Canadian Bioinformatics Workshop Series - Informatics for RNA-seq Analysis. For course requirements and to apply

Excellence Award Winners

On behalf of Dr. Aimee Ryan, GTC Chair

This year we have awarded 5 M.Sc. and 7 Ph.D. candidates Excellence Awards. The Committee evaluated your contributions while enrolled in graduate studies in the Department of Human Genetics for 2013. Please note that contributions for 2014 were not evaluated in the review of your dossiers.

The GTC would like to congratulate all applicants on their productivity during the past year. You have made many important contributions both locally, nationally and internationally in the form of talks, posters and publications. Congratulations also to those of you who have been awarded scholarships during 2013. We wish you continued success in 2014!


Ranked by Degree & Alphabetically:


Brebner, Alison (M.Sc. 2)

De Knock, Leanne (M.Sc. 2)

Fayer, Shawn (M.Sc. 2)

Honeyman, Lisa (M.Sc. 2)

So, Derek (M.Sc. 2)


Bazett, Mark (Ph.D. 3)

Cruceanu, Cristiana (Ph.D. 6)

Gerges, Noha (Ph.D. 5)

Lopez Buitrago, Juan Pablo (Ph.D. 4)

Witkowski, Leora (Ph.D. 2)

Wu, Mona (Ph.D. 2)

Yuki, Kyoko (Ph.D. 5)


Request for Participation – Educational and Counselling Psychology Program Student Survey

Educational and Counselling Psychology Program Student is looking for participants to take part in their research by completing a survey entitled “professors’ motivation for improvement in teaching’.  For more information, the survey and to view the approval certificate please click here:  ECP Survey Information


The Leena Peltonen School of Human Genomics – (Wellcome Trust Summer School) Aug. 17-21 2014

The Wellcome Trust Summer School for PhD students has been renamed The Leena Peltonen School of Human Genomics as of 2011 in tribute to Leena Peltonen.  The 3 day interactive course will be August 17-21 2014.  The application deadline is May 15th 2014.  For more information please click here: The Leena Peltonen School of Human Genomics



The Centre for High-Throughput Biology at the University of British Columbia ( invites applications for a Tier II Canada Research Chair (CRC) position in the field of high-throughput biology. The focus of the chair will be to advance the science of high-throughput biology, either through technology development or through creative use of high-throughput approaches to biological questions.

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Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

FDA tells to immediately stop marketing Personal Genome Service.



Medical Genetics at McGill: The History of a Pioneering Research Group

Take the time and read more about it HERE.


Stem Cell Renewal Theory

Over 60 years ago, Yves Clermont and Charles Leblond characterized the steps of sperm differentiation in the testis. This enabled them to identify for the first time the population of spermatogonia responsible for the production of spermatozoa. We celebrate 60 years later the publication of their landmark paper and their discovery which is described by them as “the reappearance at each cycle of a new dormant cell which acts as the stem cell of a subsequent generation of spermatocytes…is described as the ‘Stem Cell Renewal Theory’. This paper reveals the first identified population of stem cells and the first use in the literature of the term stem cells in this biological context. This ground breaking discovery resonates today with the therapeutic application of stem cells in order to alleviate human disease from cancer to devastating degenerative diseases (Y. Clermont and C.P. Leblond. Renewal of spermatogonia in the rat. Am. J. Anat. 1953. 93:475-501).


GAPPS Repository Pregnancy Specimens and Data Available to Researchers

The GAPPS Repository comprises pregnancy specimens and linked phenotypic data that are widely-accessible to researchers. Using GAPPS Repository samples, you can pursue research studies without the burden of creating a unique cohort of pregnant women.  These samples are a valuable resource for researchers in many fields, including genetics, epidemiology, pathophysiology, translational science, fetal origins of adult diseases, and healthcare delivery.

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