Suggested Articles to Read

  • “Investing in research is the best way to create an innovative economy” written by Paul Armstrong and Carol Herbert in The Globe and Mail. Read here.
  • “Scientists can’t be silent” written by Christopher Coons in the Science Magazine. Read here.


McGill Residency Program in Medical Genetics

The Department of Human Genetics offers a 5 year residency training program in Medical Genetics that meets the requirements of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Collège des médecins du Québec, the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists (CCMG), and the American Board of Medical Genetics (ABMG). The program involves 2 years of core training including Pediatrics and Internal Medicine followed by 3 years in Medical Genetics. The three years in Medical Genetics include at least eighteen months in clinical genetics (genetic counselling, dysmorphology, teratology, inherited metabolic disease, cancer genetics, neurogenetics and prenatal diagnosis) and six months of clinical laboratory exposure (biochemical genetics, cytogenetics, molecular genetics). The final year allows for increased training in any of the above areas.

Congratulations to both Ebba Alkhunaizi and Thomas Kitzler on finishing their residency program!


Simon Papillon-Cavanagh announced April month winner of Étudiants-chercheurs étoiles award

Simon Papillon-Cavanagh, a PhD student in Department of Human Genetics at McGill University, is the award winner of the Fonds Santé, one of the three Fonds awards of the Fonds de recherche du Québec. His Award-winning publication: Impaired H3K36 methylation defines a subset of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas is published in Nature Genetics.

Using public data, Simon Papillon-Cavanagh and his team discovered that head and neck cancers may be classified into five categories according to patients’ specific clinical features.

Read the full abstract here.

In addition to promoting research careers in Quebec, this competition recognizes the exceptional research contributions of university students (master’s, doctorate), postdoctoral fellows and members of professional bodies who are enrolled in advanced research training programs in the areas covered by the three Fonds de recherche du Québec.

To learn more about the awards, click here.

Congratulations Simon!


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Funding, Jobs and Other Announcements:

 Jobs Opportunities:

  • IC Axon, Montreal QC – Medical Writer position
  • Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium – Post-Doctoral Position in Follicle Biology Laboratory (FOBI)
  • Jewish General Hospital, Montreal QC – Research Assistant Position in The Infectious Diseases Research Group
  • Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam Germany – PhD Positions available from Sept-Oct 2017
  • Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria – PhD Positions in Molecular Inflammation, Molecular Medicine, Adv Medical Biomarker Research

Awards – Call for Nominations:

Funding Opportunities:

  • Trudeau Foundation Scholarship: Doctoral scholarships in the humanities and social sciences. Submit application to department by deadline: October 18, 2017.
  • BSMP and BSHQ: Funding for students holding Master’s or Doctoral Scholarship from FRQSCS for an internship project in QC or outside QC. Deadlines: April 18, 2017 and October 2017.
  • CONACYT and McGill: Funding to recruit top Mexican students to pursue graduate studies at McGill for Fall 2017.
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September 2017

  • September 22, 2017 at 9:00am – Scheduled Medical Genetics Academic Half Day. To be held at the Glen Site, Rooms D03.6020 and B07.1273
  • October 06, 2017 at 3:00pm – Andreanne Morin‘s PhD Oral Defence, entitled “Studying complex traits in the post-GWAS era: applications to investigate asthma and allergy-related traits”. Supervisors: Drs. Tomi Pastinen and Catherine Laprise. To be held in the Stweart Biology Building, Room N7/1.
  • October 11, 2017 at 3:00pm – Kezhuo (Steven) Zhang‘s PhD Oral Defence, entitled “Transcriptional regulation of cachetic liver and locus-specific chromatin proteomics”. Supervisor: Dr. Robert Sladek. To be held in the Stweart Biology Building, Room N7/1.
  • October 18, 2017 at 3:00pm – Naghmeh Nikpoor’s PhD Oral Defence, entitled “Roles of long non-coding RNAs in Skeletal Muscle Development and Disease“. Supervisor: Dr. Robert Sladek. To be held in the Stweart Biology Building, Room N7/1.

Backpacking With A Purpose: 2018 Applications Now Open!

Operation Groundswell is a non-profit organization that runs volunteering programs abroad. We examine various social justice issues while working in solidarity with local activists, non-profit organizations, and communities. We are looking for globally conscious and socially active students who want to spend their summer exploring some of the most complex and beautiful countries in the world! 

If you’re into cultural exchange, meaningful community service, and off-the-beaten path adventure, apply by November 22nd!


Programs of various themes are currently open in the following countries: 

Bolivia – Environmental Justice

Thailand – Alternative Tourism, Environmental Conservation, or Food Justice

India – Alternative Education or Gender & Religion

Guatemala – Human Rights, Food Justice, or Fair Trade

Cambodia – Environmental Justice or Alternative Education

Peru – Human Rights, Environmental Justice, or Alternative Tourism

Ecuador – Food Justice

Bangladesh – Fair Trade


Winter 2018 – HGEN 676 Course

HGEN 676 Lab Course in Genomics 3 Credits: Introduction to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Based Genomics in the form of seminars and laboratory work. Lectures in state of the art sequencing technologies and their applications. Laboratory work in the preparation of high-quality libraries for analyzing DNA and large/small RNAs. Hands on experience in setting up next Generation Sequencing using specialized equipment. Tutorials in use of Bio-informatics Analysis tools in experimental design, quality control, and in-depth analysis of data. Practicum in using computational tools for personalized data analyses. Technology paper presentation, as well as production of a report on course data generation and analysis.

Submit application:  hgen_676.pdf  by Deadline: October 13, 2017


Professional and career development activities

Below are activities open to both RI-MUHC and non-RI-MUHC affiliated McGill graduate students.

  1. Tips for success: CIHR/FRQS Training Awards*

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m in Room Em1.3509 (Glen site)

2. Tips for success: CIHR/FRQS Training Awards*

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. in Room L7-140 (MGH)

Register to attend an information session.

  1. Peer Career Groups (PCG) START FALL 2017


Many graduate students are not aware of the incredible diversity of career options they can pursue and need some guidance in learning how to explore these options. The Peer Career Groups (PCG) program provides an opportunity to explore self and career from A to Z. Similar group coaching programs offered by private career counselors cost almost $1000. Our program, offered by CaPS and D-CAT, is FREE for McGill students and fellows. Register at 

  1. Admission to medical school information session (Representatives from McGill University Admissions on site)

Thursday September 21 from 1:30 – 3 pm in Room EM1.3509 (Glen site) 

  1. Trainee Career Half-Day

Friday, November 24, 2017 from 9:00am – 1:45pm in Room ES1.1129 (Amphitheatre/Atrium), Glen site

A series of talks and a panel discussion in the morning where you will learn about the hiring processes in place at different companies, get advice on the role of a recruiter and hear about the transition of other senior and junior professionals into work outside of academia. Full registration to this half-day includes a two-hour networking lunch session and roundtable attended by representatives from academia, industry, government agencies, and research agencies who are there to talk with trainees about career preparation.

Registration will open in the Fall. See the website for information, updated frequently.


Student OPUS card order form – now in Minerva!

STM and McGill University have teamed up to create a new online feature that allows students to order their reduced-fare OPUS card directly from Minerva.

For more information, such as the conditions of eligibility, visit:


Machine Learning with Python

Mcgill Department of Physics is hosting a crash course into Linux, Python and a trending topic of Machine Learning (ML) for students with no programming experience. It should be a good start for those interested in using programming for their research!

The event series consists of one 1 hour long lecture and four 4 hour long workshops featuring Sarath Chandar, who has been working in the field of ML previously for IBM and currently at MILA.

Everybody is welcome to attend the lecture – no experience in programming, ML and no registration necessary!

The workshops though require mandatory registration, as space is limited.

For more information check out this: webpage, Facebook event, or contact us at



Fonds de Recherche du Québec: NEW eligibility criteria for non-Canadian and out-of-province applicants

The eligibility criteria for financial support from the three provincial agencies (FRQNT, FRQSC and FRQS) have been updated. The three Fonds will now accept applications from non-Canadian and out-of-province candidates. Certain conditions apply. Please consult the FRQ Common General Rules for detailed information (Section 2; paragraph 2.1).

More information on funding opportunities and application submission deadlines is available on the agency-specific websites listed below.

  • Science and Engineering: FRQNT
  • Social Sciences, Humanities, and Fine Arts: FRQSC
  • Health Sciences: FRQS


Writing and Presenting at the Graduate Level

Graphos presents graduate-level courses in scholarly communication, which are available at no cost to doctoral students and many Master’s students.

This fall, Graphos is offering 1-credit (pass/fail) courses in written and oral scholarly communication:

  • Cornerstones of Academic Writing(CEAP 642): develop and refine your writing for structure, flow, and concision.
  • Fundamentals of Academic Presentations (CEAP 652): enhance your ability to deliver effective presentations.
  • Literature Review I: Summary and Critique (CEAP 661): summarize and engage with the work of other scholars.
  • Literature Review II: Establishing Scholarly Niches (CEAP 665): situate your research or argument in a field of study.

They also have courses tailored to meet the needs of students whose first language is not English.

  • Strategies for Academic Communication in English(CESL 631): expand your productive vocabulary to express complex ideas.
  • Fundamentals of Academic Writing in English (CESL 641): integrate rhetorical structures of academic writing with grammar essentials.
  • Pronunciation for Effective Communication (CESL 651): focus on your intelligibility (e.g., word stress, phrasing).

Registration can be completed through Minerva. For more info contact:


BioConnect 2017 Biotechnology Conference, Nov 03

The McGill Biotechnology Graduate Student Society (BtGSS) is organizing its 7th annual Biotechnology conference called “BioConnect 2017” under the theme “Today’s Passion, Tomorrow’s Innovation” on Friday, November 3rd 2017 at McGill New Residence Hall in Montreal. This conference is a great way for students to learn about current biotechnological advances and be inspired to emerge as the future leaders in this field. With speakers of diverse academic and career backgrounds, students can also learn practical ways to penetrate the Biotech industry. At the networking cocktail, students will have an opportunity to speak on an individual basis to many of our speakers.

BtGSS is currently selling early bird tickets and accepting abstracts for poster presentation competition. Abstract submissions deadline is Sunday, October 1st 2017 until 11:59PM. Abstracts from any biology-related fields are invited. Abstracts must be within 500 words and should be sent to before the deadline.

For more information, visit:


EXSU 684: Signal Transduction

For Fall 2017, the Department of Experimental Surgery is offering a new and improved course in Signal Transduction: EXSU 684.

Course Syllabus

Course Schedule

For more information, contact: Sharon Turner or visit


European Registration for Clinical Laboratory Geneticists

The European Board of Medical Genetics (EBMG) has opened the possibility for recognition of practitioners / non-Medical Doctors working in Human Genetics diagnostics laboratories to be recognized as European registered Clinical Laboratory Geneticists (ErCLG).

The EBMG has developed a set of standards and a curriculum for clinical laboratory geneticists undertaking analysis of genetic material. These standards reflect consensus amongst experts in this field from a wide range of European countries and apply to professionals trained in either clinical science or medicine who are working in clinical genetic laboratory settings.

Program Brochure

Program Website

Registration Details


McGill School of Continuing Studies: French credit courses

The School of Continuing Studies offers French credit courses as part of the French for Professional Communication Part-Time Program. This program is specially designed for people who need French for their work and who hope to use French as an important tool or catalyst for their careers.


All Graduate students that are new to the program, and wish to register for the Fall 2017 semester must take an Entrance Placement Test prior to registering for a particular course.

Please click the following link to reserve your spot at the next Entrance Placement Test on August 10th:


Returning students can now register directly on Minerva, or contact our department if you encounter any registration restrictions.

All students enrolled in Graduate-level programs (excluding International students who are Qualifying, classified as  Special or Visiting , or in  Certificate or Diploma programs; and ALL self-funded programs such as MBA) at the time of registration are eligible for the Quebec Tuition Fee Rate when registering for any French credit courses.  See list of exclusions at

Please visit the following website for more details about our Certificate Program:, or the interactive timetable, to help you plan your schedule.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Manon Gadbois


McGill’s Graduate Certificate in Translational Biomedical Eng.

McGill University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering has launched a new exciting graduate certificate in Translational Biomedical Engineering starting Winter 2018. The certificate aims to train students who wish to translate advances in biomedical engineering research into clinical and commercial solutions.  The certificate provides students with complimentary skills needed for careers in industry.

The certificate is composed of three core courses: i) BMDE 653 – patents for medical devices, ii) BMDE 654 – regulatory affairs and quality management systems for medical devices, and iii) BMDE 655 – clinical trials for medical devices. The core courses will draw upon the expertise of invited speakers currently working in the medical devices industry. In addition, the students will take two complementary courses in specialized areas of biomedical engineering.

For more information, please visit our website:


Fall 2017: HGEN 670

HGEN670: Advances in Human Genetics 1: Neurogenetics; current topics in genetics of neurological disorders (3 credits)

This course will deal with recent progress in genetics of neurological disorders, and its applications to health care. A specific focus will be given to current controversies and issues related to proper implementation of genetics research, concepts and methodologies.

HGEN670 Syllabus


CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: GPS Graduate Mobility Award 2017-18

The Graduate Mobility Award encourages graduate students to study and conduct research abroad as part of their McGill degree program by defraying part of the cost of the international experience. The award, funded by the Government of Quebec, is available to all full-time thesis students enrolled in a graduate degree program at McGill who have been nominated by their academic unit and faculty to take part in a mobility opportunity. The mobility award is meant to contribute towards the completion of the student’s thesis. A limited number of Awards are available each year on a competitive basis.

Deadline: Rolling Submission. Submit your request to the Department of Human Genetics.

For information regarding eligibility and how to apply, visit here.


Human Genetics Research Day 2017

Thank you to everyone who attended and presented at the Human Genetics Research Day yesterday, Thursday, May 18th. It was great to hear and see the variety of ongoing research throughout the Department.

Congratulations to:

Oral Presentation Winner (12min Talks): Karine Choquet

Honorable Mentions (Oral Presentations – 12min Talks): Caitlin Fierheller & Jean Monlong

Three-Minute Presentation Winner: Mathieu Mancini

Poster Presentation Winners: Brian Krug, Deepak Saini, Isabella Straub, Mathieu Mancini, Rached Alkallas & Wedad Fallatah

Participation Winners: Patricia Goerner-Potvin & Mathieu Mancini

Left to right: Patricia Goerner-Potvin, Jean Monlong, Brian Krug, Deepak Saini, Caitlin Fierheller, Mathieu Mancini, Karina Choquet & Wedad Fallatah

Lastly, special thanks to the oral and poster presentation judges for volunteering their time!



McGill graduate students enrolled in an MSc/PhD program, who hold Canadian citizenship or permanent residence status are eligible to apply for:

  • 3-12 months research stays at a non-Canadian Commonwealth institution as a part of their Master or PhD research;
  • Applications accepted on an ongoing basis

The “Quantitative Biology and Medical Genetics for the World” program offers awards of $6000 to $8000 to help with travel and living expenses during the stay. Institutions at all commonwealth countries are eligible, including:

South Africa, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland.

Eligible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Quantitative genetics
  • Population genetics
  • Genetic/genomic epidemiology
  • High-throughput experimental methods in biology associated with quantitative analysis of data
  • Bioinformatics and computational genomics

For further information and application instructions, consult the guidelines.

For more info contact:


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