We have evaluated your 2015 contributions while enrolled in graduate studies, in the Department of Human Genetics. An overwhelming number of you achieving at such high standards has made our review quite difficult. We 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 2015. We wish you continued success!

This year we have awarded 3 M.Sc. and 7 Ph.D. candidates, Excellence Awards (valued at: $2,500).

Ranked by Degree & Alphabetically:

Chichkov, Victor (M.Sc. 2) – Crist Laboratory

Kwong, Aaron (M.Sc. 2) – Yamanaka Laboratory

Rahimi, Sophia (M.Sc. 1) – Trasler Laboratory

Bahous, Renata (Ph.D. 3) – Rozen Laboratory

Bertier, Gabrielle (Ph.D. 3) – Joly Laboratory

Choquet, Karine (Ph.D. 3) – Brais & Kleinman Laboratories

Cruceanu, Cristiana (Ph.D. 7) – Turecki & Rouleau Laboratories

de Kock, Leanne (Ph.D. 3) – Foulkes Laboratory

Lopez, Juan Pablo (Ph.D. 5) – Turecki Laboratory

Witkowski, Leora (Ph.D. 4) – Foulkes Laboratory


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: http://eupancreas.com/meetings-events.

The direct link to the registration site is: https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/forms/external/esoc/trainingschool/


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: Extended till February 12th, 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 finals, U21 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: andreanne.morin@mail.mcgill.ca or Renata Bahous: renata.bahous@mail.mcgill.ca


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!



1DegreeBio lists antibodies and custom services, supported by reviews by scientists, to help us choose the best products and
services for our work. It¹s free and easy to use, and features handy info like antibody dilutions, and which company is best for ordering primers.


Here is a link to the courses being offered this year:


It is recommended that students only take one course at a time. Courses (other than the mandatory HGEN 692) are to be selected in consultation with your supervisor.


For students interested in enrolling in the Bioinformatics Option, here are the details:


Interested students should discuss this program with their supervisor and then submit the letter and application to dept.humangenetics@mcgill.ca


HGSS Executive 2012-13:

Jeremy Saban President
Nick Light Vice President Internal
Emma Brasell Vice President Internal
Juan Lopez Vice President Academic
Nikki Meadows Vice President External/Post-Graduate Student Society Representatives
Shaza Mokhtar Vice President External/Post-Graduate Student Society Representatives
Shian Yea Wong Vice President Communications
VACANT Post-doctoral Fellow Rep
Nikki Meadows HGSS Conference Chair (2012)
Jian Zhang HGSS Conference Chair (2013)
VACANT Hospital/Site Rep.: Medical Residents
Murielle Akpa Hospital/Site Rep.: MCH
Sam Smillie Hospital/Site Rep.: MGH
Nick Light Hospital/Site Rep. Innovation Centre
Cristiana Cruceanu Hospital/Site Rep.: Douglas
Peter Moussa Hospital/Site Rep.: Bellini/Goodman/Life Sciences
VACANT Hospital/Site Rep.: RVH
Shaza Mokhtar Hospital/Site Rep.: JGH
VACANT Hospital/Site Rep.: Shriner’s
VACANT Hospital/Site Rep.: MNI
Michelle Lane Hospital/Site Rep.: Genetic Counselling




2012-13 Tuition Information!

Updated Course Outline for HGEN 660B: Genetics, Ethics and Law

Acclaimed Jeremy Saban President (1):
Election Nick Light Vice President Internal (2):
Emma Brasell
Murielle Akpa
Acclaimed Juan Lopez Vice President Academic (1):
Acclaimed Nikki Meadows Vice President External/Post-Graduate Student Society Representatives (2):
Acclaimed Shaza Mokhtar
Acclaimed Shian Yea Wong Vice President Communications (1):
VACANT Post-doctoral Fellow Representative (1):
Acclaimed Jian Zhang HGSS Conference Chair for HGSS conference 2013 (1):
VACANT HGSS Hospital/Site Representative: Medical Residents
VACANT HGSS Hospital/Site Representative: Montreal Children’s Hospital
 Acclaimed Samuel Smillie HGSS Hospital/Site Representative: Montreal General Hospital
Acclaimed Nick Light HGSS Hospital/Site Representative: McGill University-Génome Québec Innovation Center
Acclaimed Cristiana Cruceanu HGSS Hospital/Site Representative: Douglas Hospital
Acclaimed Peter Moussa HGSS Hospital/Site Representative: Bellini/Goodman/Life Sciences Ctr
VACANT HGSS Hospital/Site Representative: Royal Victora Hospital
Acclaimed Shaza Mokhtar HGSS Hospital/Site Representative: Jewish General Hospital
VACANT HGSS Hospital/Site Representative: Shriner’s Hospital & Research Institute
VACANT HGSS Hospital/Site Representative: Montreal Neurological Institute
 Acclaimed Michelle Lane HGSS Hospital/Site Representative: MSc in Genetic Counselling


June 6, 2012, 3:30pm – Stewart Biology Building Room W4/12

Ph.D. Seminar

Vince Forgetta

“Extending Genome Analysis Software into Biology”

Dewar Lab



June 13, 2012, 3:30pm – Stewart Biology Building Room W4/12

Ph.D. Seminar

Nafisa Jadavji

“Impact of genetic and nutritional disturbances in one-carbon metabolism on brain function and  structure in mice.”

Rozen Lab




June 19, 2012, 3:30pm – Stewart Biology Building Room W4/12

Ph.D. Oral Defence

Ashley Birch

“Transcriptome, genomic and genetic analyses of chromosome 3p genes implicated as tumour suppressors in ovarian cancer”

Tonin Lab




June 20, 2012, 9:00am – Stewart Biology Building Room W4/12

Ph.D. Oral Defence

Karine Jacaob

“Identification of genetic/molecular events specific to gliomas and involved in gliomagenesis”

Jabado Lab




June 21



In collaboration with

The McGill Distinguished Lectureship in Human Genetics (4:00pm)

Dr Adrian Hill, MRCP (Royaume-Uni). DM (Oxford). D.Phil. (Oxford)

Director, The Jenner Institute and Professor of Human Genetics

Oxford University

“Host genetics of tropical infectious diseases and some applications to vaccine design”

Charles Martin Amphitheatre, McIntyre Medical Sciences Building

3655 Promenade Sir William Osler, Montreal, Quebec


June 27, 2012, 3:30pm – Stewart Biology Building Room W4/12

Ph.D. Oral Defence

Paulina Wojnarowicz

“Chromosome 17 and epithelial ovarian cancer: Evidence of genomic loss, altered gene expression, and tumour suppressor gene candidates”

Tonin Lab




Date TBA

Ph.D. Seminar

Xiaoyang Liu

Jabado Lab




Date TBC

Ph.D. Seminar

Zia Choudhry

Joober Lab


MSc/PhD Scholarships are available from the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Foundation

Deadline: August 1, 2012



The First-Year Office at McGill is host to a program for new Canadian graduates students admitted to all departments at McGill, and we are writing to ask for your help!


Our program is called the Student Life Ambassador Program and is modeled on our very successful First-Year Student Life Ambassador Program as well as the International Buddy Program.  As you may expect, these programs have played important roles in helping many newly-admitted students with the transition process. We definitely foresee the benefits of this program for new Canadian graduate students.


How can you help?


Our first step is to recruit volunteers who will be Ambassadors to new students; we hope you will be interested in applying! Ideally, volunteer characteristics include the following:


Ÿ  Has a good knowledge of McGill and Montreal.

Ÿ  Will attend McGill in the 2012 Fall Semester.

Ÿ  Has access to email during June, July and August.


If you are interested, please fill out the information form available at the following link:


Student Life Ambassador Application Form


More about the Student Life Ambassador Program


Through the Student Life Ambassador Program, newly-admitted Masters and PhD students will be assigned to senior student volunteers with whom they will correspond with, via e-mail, over the summer. The senior students answer any questions that the new students have and play an important role in welcoming the new students to McGill.  The First-Year Office will contact Ambassadors by e-mail and provide all relevant materials.  Historically, our Student Life Ambassador Program has succeeded because so many of the participants end up enjoying this unique opportunity to either help or be helped. Many people remain in contact and become friends.


When to sign up?


As soon as possible! We can offer this program if we have a sufficient number of volunteers from each faculty. So please get involved and help us welcome new graduate students to McGill.


We would appreciate hearing from you by May 31st, 2012. In the meantime, if you need any further information, please feel free to contact me at any time.


Thank you for your help and I look forward to hearing from you!




Manon Lemelin

Student Life Ambassador Program Coordinator

First-Year Office


Tel: (514) 398-6913



In support of the AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science, several corporations are sponsoring a limited number of two-year subscriptions to

Science magazine (which includes membership in AAAS) for graduate students, medical students, PhD candidates, and postdocs working in the life sciences.

Students who are interested can send their full names and email addresses to gradadmin.med@mcgill.ca by 18-May-12 (subscriptions are limited to 50).


This opportunity includes full membership in AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) for two years, which

includes a two-year subscription to the digital version of the weekly journal Science at no charge.


Students will be contacted and invited to participate in the AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science. Those who are ultimately selected will

join the nearly 130,000 AAAS members and Science subscribers in the world’s largest multidisciplinary science organization.


In the next few months, McGill will be announcing significant new initiatives in support of thesis and scholarly writing for all thesis graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. These offerings will be available through
The McGill Writing Centre (MWC) and will be phased in during the 2012-13 academic year. The MWC will offer a suite of modules, workshops, and other activities designed to enhance scholarly writing, for both native and non-native English speakers, including instruction in writing strategies and techniques, self-editing processes, and the development of peer-review groups and dissertation “boot camps.” These offerings will form part of McGill’s larger network of professional and transitional training for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows (most notably SKILLSETS) and thus be provided without charge to participants. We will be communicating with you on an ongoing basis to bring you the latest news on this exciting development.


The MWC will continue to offer credit courses in academic writing and oral communication in 2012-13. These courses will not be part of the new scholarly and thesis writing initiative and, as “Extra Courses,” will be subject to appropriate fees.


(Courses taken outside of the graduate program are considered ‘extra courses’ and are listed here for 2011-2012. You will be able to access the upcoming list of extra courses for 2012-2012 by consulting the 2012-2013 edition of Programs, Courses and University Regulations for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies that will be available in July 2012 at www.mcgill.ca/study.)




Welcome back to this year’s Human Genetics Student Society career cafes. The Career Cafe is meant as an opportunity for you to informally meet professionals and speak with them about their careers and experiences. It is our pleasure to host this event, and we would like you to nominate the professionals who will lead the discussions. If you think someone in industry or academia can be good speakers, please reply to Jian Zhang jian.zhang6@mail.mcgill.ca with their names, positions and contact information. We would like to send our invitations soon. Thank you very much and have a great academic year.


Deadline: April 6, 2012


The Life Sciences Library is conducting a research study about how you use your mobile device like an iPhone, iPad, or other internet-enabled phone or tablet computer. We are asking you to fill out a 14 question survey that will take 10 minutes of your time.

Click here to start the survey: https://surveys.mcgill.ca/limesurvey/index.php?sid=98379&lang=en

It is your choice whether you wish to participate in this survey. Any question you prefer not to answer can be skipped and you can terminate the survey at any time.  At the end of the study, you will have the option to provide your contact information for a follow-up interview. If you choose to provide this information, we will separate your contact information from your responses before reading and analyzing this data

The plan for this study has been reviewed for its adherence to ethical guidelines by McGill University. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your rights or welfare as a participant in this research study, please contact the McGill Ethics Officer at 514-398-6831 or lynda.mcneil@mcgill.ca.


  • The AMBGC is scheduled to be held on Thursday February 16th, 2012 at the Holiday Inn Mid-town. Dr. Galit Alter, from the Ragon Institute of Harvard, MIT and MGH, will deliver the keynote address. Participants have the chance to give oral and poster presentations to their fellow students and faculty in 10 different categories, and to win cash prizes. Registration is FREE. 

  • SKILLSETS fall schedule: Please see the preliminary fall schedule of offerings for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Dates and times are subject to change so please see, the online calendar which is updated on a regular basis. InfoBulletins will go out bi-weekly starting next week.




Bahareh Hekmatnejad (Shriners)


Vice-President Internal (2 slots)

Jian Zhang (Genome Centre)

Christine Watt (MCH)


Vice-President External (2 slots)

Shaza Mokhtar (JGH)

Nikki Meadows (MCH)


Vice-President Academic

Juan Lopez (Douglas)


VP Communications

Tomasz Tomko (Meakins-Christie)


HGSS Conference Chair

2011 Noha Gerges (MCH)

2012 Nikki Meadows (MCH)