Bravo Gala celebrates researchers at McGill

Photo: Owen Egan Photo: Owen Egan

McGill applauded the achievements in research excellence on the 10th anniversary of event, Bravo. This gala evening, honoured over 75 prize winners from across a full range of research disciplines, who received notable prizes, awards and scholarships in the year 2014.We congratulate all the honorees from the Faculty of Medicine!

Simon Gravel, Department of Human Genetics: Honoured for receiving the Alfred Sloan Research Fellowship

Gustavo Turecki, Department of Psychiatry: Honoured for receiving Découvertes de l’année

Loydie Jerome-Majewska, Departments of Pediatrics and Human Genetics: Honoured for receiving the Haile T. Debas Prize

Brent Richards, Departments of Medicine, Human Genetics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics: Honoured for receiving the Jody Ginsberg Youth Investigator Award

Philippe Gros, Department of Biochemistry: Honoured for receiving the McLaughlin Medal

William Foulkes, Departments of Medicine, Human Genetics and Oncology: Honoured for receiving the O. Harold Warwick Award

Guy Rouleau, MNI, Hopsital Department of  Neurology and Neurosurgery: Honoured for receiving Prix d’excellence du Collège des médecins du Québec

Constantin Polychronakos, Department of Pediatrics: Honoured for receiving the Royal Society of Canada Fellowships

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Award winner of the Fonds Santé (Leora Witkowski and Jian Carrot-Zhang)


PhD students in Human Genetics, McGill University

Award-winning publication:

Germline and somatic SMARCA4 mutations characterize small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type


“Small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) is the most common undifferentiated type of ovarian cancer diagnosed in women below the age of 40. While it is rare, with only ~400 cases described in the English literature, it is a very aggressive disease, with 5-yr survival rates for early stage diagnoses at 33%. Prior to our publication, the histogenesis of the disease remained elusive, and publications discussing the histogenesis of SCCOHT were merely speculative. Our publication confirmed for the first time that SCCOHT is a monogenic disorder and that deleterious germline mutations in the chromatin remodelling gene SMARCA4 predispose to the development of SCCOHT. Our discovery provides women with a family history of early onset ovarian cancer with the option of being tested for germline mutations in SMARCA4, and provides patients with an answer as to why the cancer developed.” in Nature Genetics 46, 438-443 (2014)

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Cette molécule qui nous déprime (Institut Douglas – Université McGill)

Turecki(2)Par Dominique Forget – 03/12/2014

Que se passe-t-il dans le cerveau en cas de dépression?
En autopsiant des cerveaux, des chercheurs de l’Institut Douglas ont trouvé qu’une petite molécule, la miR-1202, était présente en moins grande quantité dans le cerveau des personnes dépressives que dans celui des personnes en bonne santé mentale. Ce «micro-ARN» régule l’expression de plusieurs gènes, dont celui du récepteur au glutamate, un neurotransmetteur qui exerce un effet stimulant sur le cerveau. L’équipe a aussi découvert que la miR-1202 est moins abondante dans le sang des personnes dépressives. Et ce n’est pas tout: le taux de miR-1202 augmente chez les patients qui répondent bien aux médicaments antidépresseurs. Ce marqueur constitue donc à la fois un indicateur de dépression et un indicateur de réponse au traitement, mais aussi une piste pour mettre au point de nouveaux médicaments contre la dépression.


[Video: Québec Science et Canal Savoir]

[Video: Daily Planet from Discovery Channel]


Appointment of Dr. Gustavo Turecki as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at McGill

GustavoTurecki  2014

It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Dr. Gustavo Turecki as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, effective March 1, 2015. Dr. Turecki succeeds Dr. Mimi Israël, who led the department with great distinction since 2007. We take this opportunity to offer our sincere thanks to Dr. Israël for her outstanding leadership throughout her term, and we wish her continued success.

Dr. Turecki is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill, where he currently is Associate Chair of Research and Academic Affairs. He has been an Attending Psychiatrist at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute since 1999, and he is also Director of the McGill Group for Suicide Studies, as well as head of its Depressive Disorders Program and Co-Director of the Douglas Bell-Canada Brain Bank. In addition, he is the Director of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) funded provincial network on suicide and mood disorders.

Dr. Turecki studied at Escola Paulista de Medicina in Brazil, earning an MD, as well as a Masters of Science in Psychiatric Epidemiology/Genetics. He completed his Psychiatry residency at São Paulo General Hospital in Brazil, and he obtained a PhD in Neuroscience (Genetics) at McGill. He is a Fellow of several scientific and professional organizations, has served as President of the International Academy of Suicide Research, and currently sits on Council for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

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Funding, Jobs, and Other Announcements:

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March 19 – April 02, 2015

  • March 25, 2015 at 3:00pmElika Garg’s M.Sc. Seminar entitled “Examining NanoString normalization methods for mRNA data” to be held in the Stewart Biology Building, 1205 Dr. Pendfield, Room W4/12.
  • May 28, 2015 - 2015 McGill Systems Biology Symposia: Topic Personalized Medicine of Cancer to be held at the Faculty Club.

2015 NCTU Taiwan Elite Internship program – 3rd Intake now open

The National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) Taiwan Elite Internship Program is currently recruiting Master or PhD students from partner universities and other renowned foreign universities to do research (at least 2 months) at NCTU.
Students will be conducting research on either a small independent project or assisting an ongoing project in the host laboratories.
Qualified students would be offered 1) free round-trip economy class flight ticket from their home country to Taiwan and 2) additional NTD 5,000 scholarship (including tax) for the first month in NCTU.

3rd Round: Application Deadline: 8th June, 2015 ; Research Starting Dates: 3rd Aug.,2015 onward

The application documents are accessible on the website for downloading.



Invigilator Posting – April 16 @ 9:00am

Invigilator position available for BIOL 575 Winter’15 Final Exam. The exam will be held on April 16, 2015 from 9:00am -12:00pm at the Stewart Biology Building, Room s4/106.

$16.00/hr + 4% vacation pay

Invigilator Posting

Application - Deadline: March 24, 2015


Invigilator Posting – April 22 @ 2:00pm

Invigilator position available for BIOL 568 Winter’15 Final Exam. The exam will be held on April 22, 2015 from 2:00pm -5:00pm at the Stewart Biology Building, Room s4/106.

$16.00/hr + 4% vacation pay

Invigilator Posting

Application - Deadline: March 24, 2015


Technical Electives – Academic Year 2015-2016

The Department of Bioengineering is offering the students enrolled in the Department of Human Genetics with the following eight elective courses for the Academic Year 2015-2016:

  • BIEN 210: Electrical and Optical Properties of Biological Tissues (Instructor: A. Ehrlicher)
  • BIEN 310: Introduction to Biomolecular Engineering (Instructor: Y. Xia)
  • BIEN 330: Introduction to Tissue Engineering (Instructor: J. Kinsella)
  • BIEN 340: Transport Processes in Biological Systems (Instructor: A. Kamen)
  • BIEN 510: Applications of Nanoparticles in the Biomedical Sciences (Instructor: J. Kinsella)
  • BIEN 520: High Throughput Bioanalytical Devices (Instructor: D. Nicolau)
  • BIEN 530: Imaging and Bioanalytical Instrumentation (Instructor: A. Hendricks)
  • BIEN 550: Biomolecular Devices (Instructor: A. Hendricks)
  • BIEN 570: Active Mechanics in Biology (Instructor: A. Ehrlicher)


Canadian GE3LS and Health Services & Policy Research Conference

The Canadian GE3LS and Health Services & Policy Research Conference: Integrated Approaches to Opportunities and Challenges in the Genomics Era will address the integration of new genomic technologies into the healthcare system, at the level of practice and policy, including implications for patients and families, clinicians, health care systems, and society.

To be held at Pinnacle Hotel, Vancouver Harbourfront from April 18-21

Program Outline

Opportunities for Trainees

Conference Posters

Official Website


2015 – AMGQ Annual Conference

Theme for the 2015 Association des médecins généticiens du Québec (AMGQ) annual conference is “New Technologies in the Prenatal context: Screening, Diagnosis and Imaging”

To be held at Best Western Ville-Marie Hotel, 3407 Rue Peel, Montreal  on May 8, 2015

Program Details

Registration Form: Deadline – April 24, 2015

Abstract Submission Form: Deadline – April 16, 2015


2015 – HG Excellence Award Winners

On behalf of Graduate Training Committee;

This year we have awarded 3 M.Sc. and 7 Ph.D. candidates, Excellence Awards ($2,500). The Committee evaluated your contributions while enrolled in graduate studies in the Department of Human Genetics for 2014. 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 2014. We wish you continued success in 2015!

Ranked by Degree & Alphabetically:

  • Fillion, Marie-Lyne (M.Sc. 3) – Gupta Laboratory
  • Kwong, Aaron (M.Sc. 1) – Yamanaka Laboratory
  • Patoine, Alexa (M.Sc. 2) – Moffatt Laboratory
  • Choquet, Karine (Ph.D. 2) – Brais & Kleinman Laboratory
  • de Kock, Leanne (Ph.D. 2) – Foulkes Laboratory
  • Lopez, Juan Pablo (Ph.D. 4) – Turecki Laboratory
  • Monlong, Jean (Ph.D. 3) – Bourque Laboratory
  • Papillon-Cavanagh, Simon (Ph.D. 2) – Majewski Laboratory
  • Witkowski, Leora (Ph.D. 3) – Foulkes Laboratory
  • Zhang, Jian (Ph.D. 6) – Majewski Laboratory


4th Global Congress – American Society of Mechanical Engineers

ASME 4th Global congress on Nanoengineering for Medicine and Biology will focus on nanoscale materials, methods and devices for the study of biology and the treatment of diseases.

To be held in Minneapolis, MN from April 19 – 22, 2015

Further details


RegistrationDeadline – April 16, 2015 


2015 – Canadian Consortium for Humanitarian Training (CCHT)

CCHT is pleased to announce that the 2015 Edition of the Disaster and Humanitarian Response Training Program will be held from May 4-17 in Montreal, Quebec.

This exciting, multi-disciplinary training program that includes in class learning and a 3-day field simulation, will provide students and mid-career professionals with the core humanitarian competencies that are essential for anyone involved in disaster response and/or humanitarian assistance.

Participants will learn about the background and context of humanitarian emergencies, international humanitarian law, doctrines and operating procedures for technical areas. Instructed by a community of humanitarians and faculty from around the globe the program also offers an occasion to join an exciting network of humanitarians.

 Details and contact information


Recruiting participants – Information technology adoption and learning

Seeking graduate students, library staff and faculty at McGill to participate in a survey regarding the adoption of reference management (RM) software (e.g., EndNote, Mendeley, RefWorks, Zotero). This study is being conducted as part of a Doctorate of Business Administration dissertation research.

To Participate in Research Study


RI-MUHC Extension for Thesis Submission Deadline of April 15th, 2015

Associate Dean MemoNote Graduate students who plan to submit their thesis by next April should inform the thesis office: of their intention to do so, before Jan 31st 2015.


2015 Cold Spring Harbor Lab Course in Mouse Development, Stem Cells and Cancer

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is now accepting applications to the 2015 Cold Spring Harbor Lab Course in Mouse Development, Stem Cells, and Cancer. Since 1983, the NIH-funded Mouse Course has been the premier venue for scientists at all levels to learn cutting edge tools of mouse genetics and interact with some of the most engaging speakers in the field. To ensure opportunities for interaction and maximize learning, space is limited.

Further Details

Registration. Deadline: March 15, 2015


2015 – European Research Projects on Rare Diseases, Joint Transnational Call

Three Canadian institutes: CIHR Institute of Genetics, Genome Canada, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé are jointly participating to provide Canadian researchers an opportunity to ‘work with their European colleagues to build an interdisciplinary, multilateral research project based on complementarities and sharing of expertise, with a clear translational research approach’.

Further details

These international collaborations will help in coordinating the research efforts in the field of rare diseases and to implement the objectives of the International Rare Disease Research Consortium (IRDiRC).


Desjardins and the Montreal Children Hospital partner to support the next generation of leaders in pediatric research

The Research Institute of the Montreal Children Hospital (MCH) is pleased to announce a major partnership agreement with Desjardins Group to fund the Desjardins Scholarships in Child Health. This collaboration will allow young talented researchers specialized in pediatrics to benefit from research scholarships for a total of $1,000,000 over 10 years.

This year, eight young researchers have the privilege of benefiting from a Desjardins Scholarship in Child Health. Learn more about them by visiting their website.

  • Bahaaeldin  AbdRabo, MD : Neurosurgery
  • Kelly Benisty : Nephrology
  • Kyle Dickinson : Nephrology
  • Marie-Lyne Fillion : Nephrology
  • Nancy Lévesque, PhD : Genetics
  • Joanna Merckx, MD : Immunology and Infectious Diseases
  • Namrata Varma , MD :  Otorhinolaryngology
  • Laura Whidden : Genetic Development



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