Success Story: Reduced size of a brain tumor

Congratulations to Drs. Nada Jabado and Jean Pierre Farmer from MUHC – Research Institute, on a major discovery that has helped in reducing the size of a child’s brain tumor.

Follow the success story here, on these major news outlets:

La Presse

CTV News


Stand Up To Cancer Canada’s (SU2C)- New Cancer Stem Cell Dream Team

Dr. N. Jabado

Congratulations to Dr. Nada Jabado on being named Principal Investigator of the SU2C Canada Cancer Stem Cell Dream Team. “The Dream Team will bring new insights to brain cancer research, which has been an underfunded area.” “In their search for new treatment approaches in two of the most devastating cancers, both in brain, in adults and children – glioblastomas and infant ependymomas – the Dream Team will focus on a specific type of cell, called brain tumor stem cells (BTSCs).”

Dr. Nada Jabado along with Research Teams from across Canada will receive $11.7 Million in funding from SU2C, Genome Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Cancer Stem Cell Consortium and Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

Dr. Nada Jabado, Senior Scientist at RI-MUHC, Professor at the Department of Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University research focuses on brain tumors, the leading cause of cancer-related mortality and morbidity in the pediatric years. Using Next Generation Sequencing, her research team was among the first to use and achieve a breakthrough in cancer research. Published in the journals Nature, and Cancer Cell her work identified two genetic mutations involved in up to 40% of pediatric glioblastomas, a fatal cancer of the brain.

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Arno Motulsky-Barton Childs Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Education – Dr. Roderick McInnes

Congratulations to Dr. Roderick McInnes on being named recipient of the ASHG Arno Motulsky-Barton Childs Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Education, 2015. We would also like to congratulate the other recipients Dr. Robert Nussbaum and Dr. Huntington F. Willard.

Roderick McInnes

The ASHG Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Education was established to recognize those who have made significant contributions of exceptional quality and great importance to human genetics education. Individually and together, each of this year’s three recipients is an accomplished geneticist and educator. Over the years, they have taught regularly as well as run their own laboratories, and have been involved in program development and/or mentoring at various levels.

Dr. Roderick R. McInnes is the Director of the Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish General Hospital, Alva Chair in Human Genetics, Canada Research Chair in Neurogenetics and Professor of Human Genetics and of Biochemistry at McGill University. Dr. McInnes has made important contributions to scientific understanding of retina and eye development, as well as retinal degeneration, and currently, his laboratory focuses on neuronal processes. He has served on numerous educational committees since the 1970s, launched a training program for clinician-scientists, and taught genetics and provided guidance at the medical and graduate levels.

Since 2001, Drs. Nussbaum, McInnes, and Willard have collaboratively authored the sixth, seventh, and eighth editions of the human genetics textbook Genetics in Medicine. Nearly 60 genetics education programs worldwide currently use the textbook, in levels ranging from undergraduate to graduate and professional study, and in diverse contexts including medical, nursing, public health, speech and language, and dental programs.

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Canadian study sheds surprising light on the causes of cerebral palsy


Cerebral palsy is the most common cause of physical disability in children. Every year 140 children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy in Quebec. It has historically been considered to be caused by factors such as birth asphyxia, stroke and infections in the developing brain of babies. In a new game-changing Canadian study, a research team from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) has uncovered strong evidence for genetic causes of cerebral palsy that turns experts’ understanding of the condition on its head.

 The study, published online August 3 in Nature Communications could have major implications on the future of counselling, prevention and treatment of children with cerebral palsy.

 “Our research suggests that there is a much stronger genetic component to cerebral palsy than previously suspected,” says the lead study author Dr. Maryam Oskoui, Paediatric neurologist at The Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) of the MUHC, co-director of the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Registry and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Paediatrics and Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. “How these genetic factors interplay with other established risk factors remains to be fully understood. For example, two newborns exposed to the same environmental stressors will often have very different outcomes. Our research suggests that our genes impart resilience, or conversely a susceptibility to injury.”

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May 2016

  • May 24, 2016 at 4:00pmAlbert Aguayo 2016 Lecture presents Prof. Martyn Goulding’s talk entitled “Sensorimotor Circuits in the Spinal Cord: From Genes to Behavior.” To be held at the Jeanne-Timmins Amphitheatre, MNI (3801 Rue University).
  • May 25, 2016 at 8:00am - Francoeur Family Foundation presents lecture by Dr. Elie Haddad entitled “Immune Reconstitution After Transplantation in SCID“. To be held at the MUHC Glen Site, RI Auditorium, Room E.S1.1129.
  • May 26, 2016 at 12:00pm - Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research presents a lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Molkentin entitled “Tension based model predicts heart growth in the familial cardiomyopathies.” To be held at the LDI Bloomfield Lecture Hall, F-4.
  • May 30, 2016 at 12:00pm - Child Health and Human Development presents seminar by Dr. Myriam Srour entitled “Genetics of Joubert Syndrome in French Canadians“. To be held at the RI-MUHC Glen Site, RI Auditorium, E.S1-1129.
  • June 1, 2016 at 3:00pm – Amandine Bemmo’s Ph.D. Oral Defence entitled “Orchestrated intron retention and histone modification marks in exon inclusion level”. Supervisor: Dr. Jacek Majewski. To be held in the Stewart Biology Building, Room W4/12.
  • June 08, 2016 at 3:00pm – Kyoko Yuki’s Ph.D. Oral Defence entitled “Identification of novel Salmonella susceptibility loci using ENU chemical mutagenesis”. Supervisor: Dr. Danielle Malo. To be held in the Stewart Biology Building, Room W4/12.
  • June 10, 2016 at 10:00am – Leora Witkowski’s Ph.D. Oral Defence entitled “Reclassifying non-epithelial ovarian cancer, one family at a time”. Supervisor: Dr. William Foulkes. To be held in the Stewart Biology Building, Room W4/12.

3rd Canadian Conference on Epigenetics, Sep 18-21

The Canadian Epigenetics, Environment and Health Research Consortium (CEEHRC) Network, would like to invite you to register for the 3rd Canadian Conference on Epigenetics, titled “Epigenomics in Development and Disease”.

Confirmed speakers include Cheryl Arrowsmith, Nathalie Berube, Daniel De Carvalho, Michael Kobor, Janine LaSalle, John Lis, Jason Locasale, Matt Lorincz, Tim Reddy, Alex Ruthenburg, Yang Shi, and Li-Huei Tsai. The majority of speakers (still to be determined) will be selected from submitted abstracts.

Date: September 18-21

Location: Estérel  Resort, QC

Register online:

Travel awards are available for research trainees, medical students, and knowledge dissemination experts. Applications must be submitted by July 7th.

Please see for more information.


HGSS – Call for Nominations

To All M.Sc./Ph.D. Candidates & Postdocs,

HGSS Executives 2016-17: Call for Nominations: Nominations are now being accepted for HGSS Executive Positions until June 1, 2016.

Executive positions and duties are available here (under section 4.4).

Please nominate yourself or others here.

Elections will take place from June 2-14, 2016. The elected will be announced at the Annual HG BBQ to be held on June 17, 2016.


REGISTER NOW – Human Genetics BBQ

To All Students, Faculty & Staff,

This year’s Human Genetics Summer BBQ will be held on Friday, June 17, 2016 at 12:00pm. The event will take place at the Three Bares Fountain outside the Redpath Museum.

Food & beverages will be provided. This is an excellent time to gather the HG community over what will hopefully be a beautiful day, so please take the time to register by June 2nd!



Graphos courses from May-June

This spring, Graphos is offering several 1-credit, 5-week, pass/fail courses that teach written and oral academic communication.  All doctoral students and many master’s students are eligible to take the courses at no extra cost (learn more).

To learn how to strengthen your research papers, write effective summaries and critiques for a literature review, or deliver a smooth academic presentation, consider taking the following:

  • Cornerstones of Academic Writing (CEAP 642)
  • Summaries and Critiques (CEAP 661)
  • Fundamentals of Academic Presentations (CEAP 652)

If English is not your first language, learn key strategies to build a productive scholarly vocabulary, techniques to strengthen your research papers, and ways to improve your pronunciation with these courses:

  • Strategies for Academic Communication in English (CESL 631)
  • Fundamentals of Academic Writing in English (CESL 641)
  • Pronunciation for Effective Communication (CESL 651)

Courses available at downtown and Mac campuses.

Register now through Minerva!


SAVE THE DATE: Montreal Malaria Symposim

Science and policy shield the vulnerable from malaria

Invitation Letter

Free Registration

Date: Monday, June 20, 2016
McGill University, New Residence Hall


IGES 2016: Save the date!

25th Annual International Genetics Epidemiology Society meeting, to be held in Toronto, Canada – October 24-26, 2016.

Call for abstracts opens: April 1, 2016

Submission Deadline: June 15, 2016

Note: All abstracts are to be ranked by the program selection committee, for talk selections. Top two McGill – Human Genetics ranked students will be awarded a $1,000 travel award, each, to attend the meeting.


Interactions in Complex Disease Analysis, April 27-29, 2016 in Belgium

A COST Action Training School on interactions in complex disease analysis will be held at Antwerp University from April 27-29, 2016. One of the aims of the training is to introduce to course participants different faces of interactions, depending on the study field. Both the theory and application of methods to identify medically relevant interactions will be covered. Topics that will be addressed by confirmed speakers include statistical versus biological interactions, gene-environment interactions, causality, dynamical interaction systems, symbiotic and pathogenic interactions, protein networks and components-based path modeling. We welcome participants from diverse fields, including statistics, genetic epidemiology, bioinformatics, pharmacology and (bio-)medicine. Participants are encouraged to bring case studies to the floor for discussion with the experts.

For updates, please visit:

The direct link to the registration site is:


HGSS: Pint of Science

On Behalf of the Human Genetics Student Society (HGSS)

To PhD students, Post-Docs and Professors,

The HGSS has decided to participate in the series “Pint of Science”.

The purpose of these series are for members of the public to meet with researchers in a pub to learn about science, and more specifically for us, about genetics.

These events are scheduled for Monday the 23rd, Tuesday the 24th and Wednesday the 25th of May 2016.

For each night, we would need 2 professors for 20-25 min presentations and 10 min presentations from PhDs or Post Docs (total 6 professors and 6 students).

If you are interested, please contact Andréanne Morin: or Renata Bahous:


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