Congratulations! Dr. Hamed Najafabadi named the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow

Source: McGill Newsroom

Hamed Najafabadi, an assistant professor in McGill’s Department of Human Genetics, and Stuart Trenholm, assistant professor at the Montreal Neurological Institute, have been selected as 2018 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows – a coveted distinction awarded to highly promising early-career scientists from the United States and Canada. Past recipients include towering figures in the history of science, such as physicists Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann and game theorist John Nash. Forty-five fellows have received a Nobel Prize in their respective field.

The fellowships are open to scholars in eight scientific and technical fields: chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics. Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists and winning fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars on the basis of a candidate’s research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in his or her field. Winners receive a two-year, $65,000 fellowship to further their research.

The Sloan Foundation announced this year’s Fellows on and in an advertisement in the New York Times on Feb. 15.

A look at McGill’s two new Sloan Research Fellows and their work:

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Epigenetic alteration of a vitamin B12 gene shines new light on our understanding of rare diseases

Reported by EurekAlert and AAAS on Jan 30, 2018  

Rare hereditary recessive diseases were thought to be expressed in off-spring only when both parents carry a mutation in the causal gene, but a new study is changing this paradigm. An international research team led by scientists at the University of Lorraine in France along with McGill University and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) in Canada discovered a new cause of a rare condition known as cblC, that they named “epi-cblC”. They reported it in patients from Europe and the United States. Patients who have cblC are not able to process *vitamin B12, leading to severe health problems.

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Lung cancer: the numbers don’t lie

Fact: according to statistics from the Canadian Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer for both men and women in Canada. That’s why this month, the Goodman Cancer Research Centre – as part of a new video series – is highlighting lung cancer, and the work of Dr. Logan Walsh, Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Genetics.

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Funding, Jobs and Other Announcements:

 Jobs and Other Opportunities:

Awards – Call for Nominations:

  • McGill Department of Human Genetics Department: 2017-2018 Clinical and Research Faculty Teaching Awards. Deadline: Monday, May 07, 2018.
  • McGill GPS Graduate Mobility Award 2018: Participate in international research collaboration. Application on a rolling basis.

Funding Opportunities:

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February 2018

  • February 22, 2018 at 9:00am – Scheduled Medical Genetics Academic Half Day activities. To be held at the MUHC Glen Site, Room B 02.9390.
  • February 26, 2018 at 10:30am – MUGQIC seminar series presents a talk by Dr. Samra Turajlic, entitled “Renal Cell Carcinoma: evolution and neo-antigen landscape”. To be held at the Strathcona Anatomy Building, Room 1/12.
  • February 26, 2018 at 1:00pm – Alanna Crouse’s MSc Seminar entitled “A Syst-OMICS approach to ensuring food safety: Identifying genetic determinants of Salmonella virulence”. Supervisors: Drs. Danielle Malo & Samantha Gruenheid. To be held in the Goodman Cancer Center, Room 501.
  • March 02, 2018 at 9:30am12th Annual Human Genetics Students Society Conference entitled “Frontiers in Personalized Medicine“. Key Note Speaker: Dr. Katheleen Barnes. To be held at the New Residence Hall (3625 Park Ave). Registration here by deadline: Friday, February 23, 2018.
  • March 14, 2018 at 4:00pm – Lundi Ly’s Ph.D. Seminar entitled “Intergenerational effects of folate deficiency and folic acid supplementation on reproductive outcomes and epigenetic programming” Supervisor: Dr. Jacquetta Trasler. To be held at the Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building, Room W-315F.
  • March 28, 2018 at 3:00pm – Emma Brasell’s Ph.D. Oral Defence entitled “Nonsense suppressor therapy of cystinosis“. Supervisor: Dr. Paul Goodyer. To be held at the Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building, Room W-315F.
  • April 12, 2018 at 12:00pm QLS/CAMBAM seminar series presents a talk by Dr. Fred Adler from University of Utah, entitled “Using ecological models in biomedicine“. To be held at McIntyre Medical Building, Room 906.

March 02 – Info Session on international opportunities in Germany for graduate and postdocs

This information session will explore international opportunities for graduate students and postdocs in all academic fields at two top-ranked universities in Germany – Freie Universität Berlin and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Participants will learn about the universities’ research profile, grants and fellowships for short-term research stays, as well as resources and services available to students and postdocs. The session will also look at other important steps for planning a stay abroad like accommodation and costs of living.

Please RSVP here.

Date: March 2, 2018

Location: James Administration Building Room 301

Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

For more info contact:


March 22 – Annual McGill Biomedical Graduate Conference (AMBCG)

Each year the Experimental Medicine Graduate Student Council organizes the Annual McGill Biomedical Graduate Conference (AMBCG) as opportunity for trainees within the division of Experimental Medicine as well as other departments at McGill to showcase their research achievements through a poster or an oral presentation.

This year the conference will take place on March 22nd at McGill’s New Residence Hall. 

We are thrilled to have Dr. Laurie Goodyear join us for the keynote address. Dr. Goodyear is a senior investigator at the Joslin Diabetes Center and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard University. Dr. Goodyear’s research focuses on the underlying molecular mechanisms behind the beneficial effects of exercise on health. See her full bio here. If you are interested in meeting Dr. Goodyear separately, please let us know.

Abstract submission for a poster or an optional oral presentation is due on Friday, February 16th by 11:59pm. We will not accept any abstract submissions after this date. To submit, please visit our website, and complete the abstract submission form. 

We have several monetary prizes to be won for best poster and oral presentations!

If you are not submitting an abstract, but would like to attend the conference, please let us know before March 1st by registering here

Any questions regarding AMBGC should be directed to Co-VP-Academics, Alex at, and/or Nida at


Mitacs Workshops available in Montreal / Offre d’ateliers Mitacs à Montréal

Mitacs will be offering a workshop for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to create opportunities to build and practice their presentation skills through a series of short presentation practices while receiving in-person peer and expert feedback.

The workshop will be offered in English and in French. For full details, please visit the respective workshop link below.

ENGLISH – Practice Your Presentation Skills

Date: Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm (Registration starts at 8:45am)

Where: CRIM, Room 11 (405 Ogilvy avenue)


FRANÇAIS – Exercer ses techniques de présentation 

Date: jeudi le 1 mars 2018

Heure:: 9h00 à 17h00 (Inscription commence à 8h45)

Où: CRIM, salle 11 (405 avenue Ogilvy)


For more info contact the Training team at or


May 16-18: Montreal World Health Organization Simulation (MonWHO 2018)

The Montreal World Health Organization Simulation (MonWHO) is a conference that aims to promote a macroscopic perspective of global health, and to draw attention towards the social, cultural, ethnic, economic, and political factors of international relations that affect the global health care system. In 2007, MonWHO executives hoped to create a conference where students from any field of study could collaborate together to broaden their perspectives of international health.

This year’s conference features 9 unique, action-filled crisis committees. Committee delegates’ main mission will be to produce a delegation paper to be approved in order to manage the crisis while navigating the complex delegations’ politics.

The committee topics are as follows:

  • Crisis 1: HIV/AIDS Crisis, 1980s
  • Crisis 2: Tuberculosis and Antibiotic Resistance
  • Crisis 3: Malaria in Africa Today
  • Crisis 4: The Black Plague
  • Crisis 5: Cholera
  • Crisis 6: The Obesity Epidemic
  • Crisis 7: Le Désastre de Fukushima (French/English bilingual committee. Delegates may debate in their preferred language, fluency in both French and English is required)
  • Crisis 8: The Day Humanity Was Almost Wiped Out – Mystery Epidemic
  • Crisis 9: The Spanish Flu

Delegate registration is now open for the 2018 conference, which will take place on March 16th-18th at the Delta Hotel in Downtown Montreal.

Registration deadline: March 1st at 11:59PM

For complete registration information, please see the Theme Guide and visit the MonWHO 2018 website.

For more info contact:


May 08-11: 7th International Symposium on Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Presented by the Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Foundation in collaboration with the Program in Cancer Genetics at McGill University, this biennial Symposium brings together some of the finest researchers and world-renowned experts from Canada, the USA, Australia, Brazil, Israel and Europe to present their most current research findings and latest innovations in clinical care related to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. To be held on May 8 – 11, 2018 at Centre Mont-Royal, Montréal, Québec, Canada

The Symposium includes sessions on:

·        BRCA biology and gene variants;
·        Molecular genetics and pathology of inherited forms of breast and gynecological cancers;
·        DNA Repair in the clinic: origins, diagnosis and outcomes;
·        Prevention of HBOC;
·        Treatment of HBOC;
·        New challenges in Genetic Counselling;
·        New and old genes for breast cancer;
·        Modifying, classifying and assessing risk for HBOC;
·        Special Round Table: BRCA1/2 clinical practice – global perspectives;
·        Genomic analysis of inherited breast and ovarian cancer: From gene discovery to precision medicine and public health;
·        and an Introductory Session for Newcomers to the Field.

Plus Special Interest Group Discussions on:
·        Moderate Risk Genes: Risks, counselling and outcomes
·        Next Generation Tumor Sequencing: beyond tumor genotyping
·        Surgery for HBOC and its aftermath
·        Next Generation Genetic Counseling – Tools for Challenging Psychosocial Cases

For more information, please visit


Weekly Puzzle 

Anacrostic Puzzle 1


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