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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Funding, Jobs, and Other Announcements:

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February 2016

  • February 03, 2016 at 4:00pm – Abeer Al Tuwaijri’s Ph.D. Seminar entitled Role of DNA methylation in common disease: analysis of two asthma-associated regions“. Supervisor: Dr. Anna Naumova. To be held in the Stewart Biology Building, Room W4/12.
  • February 05, 2016Medical Genetics Academic Half-Day Announcement. To be held at the MUHC Glen Site, Bloc B, Room B02.9390
  • February 15, 2016 at 10:00 am - Research Ethics Workshop Series: Return of Research Results and Incidental Findings facilitated by Erika Kleiderman, Centre of Genomics and Policy.
  • February 15, 2016 at 12:00pm – CTG Seminar Series presents a talk by Dr. Paige Lacy, University of Alberta, entitled ”Mechanisms of protein trafficking in eosinophils – contribu6on to allergic airway responses To be held in McIntyre Building, Meakins Amphithearter, Room 521.
  • February 17, 2016 at 3:00pm – Gregory Boivin’s Ph.D. Oral Defence entitled “Identification of the genetic component of host susceptibility to viral infection in mice”. Supervisor: Drs. Silvia Vidal & Robert Sladek. To be held in the Stewart Biology Building, Room W4/12.
  • February 24, 2016 at 4:00pm - Mihaela Pupavac’s Ph.D. Seminar entitled “Next generation sequencing to discover gene variants for Mendelian diseases and exploring the ethical considerations of those findings”. Supervisor: Dr. David Rosenblatt. To be held in the Stewart Biology Building, Room W4/12.

Call for Abstracts: Human Genetics Research Day 2016

This year’s Human Genetics Research Day will be held on May 19th, 2016 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: Call for Abstracts

Deadline for abstract submission is April 08th, 2016

 Registration details will follow in April.


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:


Call for Submissions – 3MT

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition features McGill graduate students giving three-minute presentations about their research and its impact on the community to a diverse non-specialist audience.

Proposals will be accepted in the form of 200-word research summaries and a 30-second video introducing your research. All graduate students are welcome to submit proposals for presentations in English. The French competition is open to doctoral students only (see below).

Successful applicants will receive in-depth coaching. The event will be videotaped and streamed live online.

Apply to present! Deadline: 5 pm – February 8, 2016

When: March 16th, 2016 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Where: The Thompson House Ballroom

Audience registration: click here.

Winners will be selected to represent McGill at the CAGS 3MT Eastern regional finalsU21 3MT international competition and concours ACFAS Ma thèse en 180 secondes.


McGill SKILLSETS: Events in January – February 2016

Strengthen your Academic Writing and Communication
Workshops: Graphos is offering a slate of free, 2-hour, interactive workshops this winter. Topics include how to critically read academic sources in your discipline, ways to polish your poster presentations, and strategies to respond to journal reviewers. Take advantage of all our offerings and reserve a spot now.

Networking Skills January 25, 2016 (Full day: 9am-5pm)
Where: CRIM, 405 Avenue Ogilvy, suite 101, Room: room 10
You’ve all heard the saying “you are only as good as your network,” but have you ever wondered how to get one?

Teaching Workshops January 29, 12:00-4:30pm
Open to all students, this half-day session offers 8 teaching workshops to choose from to develop communication skills, learn about myCourses, and engage in discussions with other graduate students and TAs.

Academic Integrity Day February 2, 9:00am-12:00pm Do you have questions about authorship? Not sure who owns your research? These questions can be very challenging to answer. Join us and explore the nuances of managing your research through small group discussions of cases with faculty members and trained facilitators.

Managing your Supervisor: Closed door discussion – February 3 or 8. Looking for advice to strengthen your relationship with your supervisor? You will be introduced to different supervising styles, learn strategies on how to handle disputes and misunderstandings, and hear how to distinguish between your responsibilities and those of your supervisor.


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:


Upcoming Awards and Funding: Forms and Deadlines

Call for Applications:

Excellence Awards (Deadline: January 21, 2016)

Travel Awards (Deadline: January 29, 2016)

CHGSM Travel 2016 (Deadline: February 1, 2016)


CookBook Fundraiser: Cedar CanSupport



This cookbook is a fundraiser for Cedar’s CanSuppport.

The price is $20 and all proceeds go to CanSupport.

The cookbook can be purchased at Multimags, at the Glen Site of the MUHC.

Hear more about it from CTV News!





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