McGill alumni, Vanessa Sancho Shimizu (PhD in Human Genetics 2007), is starting her own lab at Imperial College London and is interested in recruiting a PhD student (EU tuition and stipend fully covered).

For further details, visit the webpage:


Or Contact: Vanessa Sancho Shimizu PhD


Sciencescape: Annotators

Sciencescape is a tech-start-up based out of Toronto, and looking for senior PhD’s to help with a number of students to work remotely, part-time. This is a paid position. Please contact rabia@sciencescape.net for more information.


Human Genetics Research Day Winners


A big thank you to everyone who attended and presented at the Human Genetics Research Day last Thursday, May 21st. It’s great to hear about the variety of work going on in our department and to find out more about what everyone does after meeting you all throughout the year at various events. We hope you were also able to attend the Scriver Family Visiting Professorship lecture by Dr. Feng Zhang, who impressed faculty and students alike with his extensive work on the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system and applications in neuroscience. Congratulations to both oral presentation (Renata Bahous, Mathieu Mancini and Gabriel André Leiva-Torres) and poster presentation (Aaron Kwong, Marie-Lyne Fillion, Fiona-Vanessa Allum-Bordage, Sabrina Torre, Leanne de Kock, Mona Wu and Vinicius Medeiros Fava) winners.

Lastly, the HGSS would like to thank the judges and organizers, with special thanks to Ross MacKay who made the whole day possible.


The HGSS Exec.


Recruiting Sciencescape Staff Writers

Sciencescape is a platform that connects scientists to groundbreaking research around the world and throughout history, with the ultimate mission to organize and deliver all of the world’s research in real time (like a verticalized version of Twitter).

Sciencescape’s new scientific blog will report the most impactful scientific discoveries, as well as interviews with researchers, conference descriptions, etc. Currently, Sciencescope is in the process of recruiting several scientific writers within the biomedical community. It is a great occasion to concordantly exercise your scientific writing skills and enhance your resume!

In order to become a Sciencescape Staff Writer, you must:

  • Be a graduate student (preference will be given to PhDs and postdocs)
  • Be at a recognized basic or translational science institute
  • Commit to writing at least 1 blog post (~500 words) per month

What you get in return:

  • The ability to update your LinkedIn/social profiles as a bonafide Sciencescape Staff Writer
  • Exposure on our blog, with scaling exposure depending on the popularity of your posts
  • Top writers from each institution will be nominated as Sciencescape Senior Correspondents for that institute
  • Top 10 writers across Sciencescape will be featured on our site

If you are interested in becoming a Sciencescape Staff Writer, or have any questions, please contact Irena for additional information.

For more information on Sciencescape, please watch our short video http://bit.ly/OarTyH

Read articles on Wired and TechCrunch  http://tcrn.ch/12Axk4b,  http://bit.ly/13TVAuA,  http://tcrn.ch/1gR2fNh.

Sciencescape was recently voted to be one of the Top 10 Innovations of 2014 by The Scientist Magazine.


5th Cytometry and Microscopy Symposium, June 18-20, Toronto

The Canadian Cytometry and Microscopy Association Organizing Committee is pleased to invite you the 2015 Symposium: Technologies to Treatments. CCMA symposium 2015 will cover many aspects of flow cytometry and  cellular imaging technologies. There will be a focus on workshops that provide key information on how to practically implement these technologies. A keynote presentation by Dr. François Jean – a world leader in infectious disease research from the University of British Columbia – and several plenary talks from leading researchers in the field, will put these technologies in context and inspire attendees to apply the technologies in their own research projects and programs.

Program available for download

The symposium will be held June 18-20, 2015 in Toronto, ON at the Chelsea Hotel and at the Peter Gilgan Centre at SickKids.

Key Dates:
October 2014: Registration opening
April 30, 2015: Early bird
 rates end
April 30, 2015: Poster Submission deadline
June 18, 2015: Core Facility Managers’ Meeting
June 19-20, 2015: CCMA Symposium
or more information, please contact ccma.accm@gmail.com.


2015-16: HGSS Call for Nominations

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

HGSS Executives 2015-16: Call for Nominations: Nominations are now being accepted for HGSS Executive Positions from April 10 – May 8, 2015.

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

Please nominate yourself or others here.

Elections will take place from May 15-29, 2015. The elected will be announced at the Annual HG BBQ to be held in June 2015.


Workshops on Social Science Research

Want to spend the day with one of Canada’s leading public figures? Interested in learning new qualitative or quantitative research techniques? The Workshops on Social Science Research (WSSR) are short, intensive learning experiences and networking opportunities that allow you to develop your critical thinking skills, make new contacts, and succeed as future decision makers. The WSSR offer over 35 workshops led by prominent politicians, public servants and academics from Canada and abroad in the areas of public policy, democratic governance, and research methodology.

Participants can attend these workshops for as little as $50 per day!

Download a copy of the workshops program here: WSSR Program

Find out more about the credit course (the course codes for the WSSR this year are POLI489, POLI683, and POLI815) here: Register for Credit or the non-credit option here: Register for Non-Credit

For more information: Contact


Career Coaching  - White Consulting LLC

Thinking about transitioning from academia to the industry? If so, White Consulting, LLC is here to help. Spearheaded by two Harvard Medical School-trained PhD research scientists who themselves went through this transition, Colin White and Anthony Collmann have career coach many scientists who chose to explore non-academic options.

Their team uses a personalized approach which allows their clients to find and secure opportunities that complement their skill sets. Noha Gerges, an HGEN Alumnus used their services while writing her PhD thesis and highly recommends them to anyone not only looking to tailor their CVs to non-academic positions but to those also looking to improve their overall career-related profile.

For more information, visit the website at http://www.whiteconsultingllc.com or

Contact Noha directly if you have any questions at noha@whiteconsultingllc.com.


2015 NCTU Taiwan Elite Internship Program

The National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) Taiwan Elite Internship Program is currently recruiting Master or PhD students from partner universities and other renowned foreign universities to do research (at least 2 months) at NCTU.
Students will be conducting research on either a small independent project or assisting an ongoing project in the host laboratories.

Qualified students would be offered 1) free round-trip economy class flight ticket from their home country to Taiwan and 2) additional NTD 5,000 scholarship (including tax) for the first month in NCTU.

3rd Round: Application Deadline: 8th June, 2015 ; Research Starting Dates: 3rd Aug.,2015 onward

The application documents are accessible on the website for downloading.



Technical Electives – Academic Year 2015-2016

The Department of Bioengineering is offering the students enrolled in the Department of Human Genetics with the following eight elective courses for the Academic Year 2015-2016:

  • BIEN 210: Electrical and Optical Properties of Biological Tissues (Instructor: A. Ehrlicher)
  • BIEN 310: Introduction to Biomolecular Engineering (Instructor: Y. Xia)
  • BIEN 330: Introduction to Tissue Engineering (Instructor: J. Kinsella)
  • BIEN 340: Transport Processes in Biological Systems (Instructor: A. Kamen)
  • BIEN 462: Engineering Principles in Physiological Systems (Instructor: G. Mitsis)
  • BIEN 510: Applications of Nanoparticles in the Biomedical Sciences (Instructor: J. Kinsella)
  • BIEN 520: High Throughput Bioanalytical Devices (Instructor: D. Nicolau)
  • BIEN 530: Imaging and Bioanalytical Instrumentation (Instructor: A. Hendricks)
  • BIEN 550: Biomolecular Devices (Instructor: A. Hendricks)
  • BIEN 570: Active Mechanics in Biology (Instructor: A. Ehrlicher)



Thompson House
3650 McTavish, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1Y2

September 4, 2012:
2:00 pm – Orientation Session for New Students
3:00 pm – Welcome Back/General Info Session for New AND Returning Students
4:30 pm – Cocktail/Wine & Cheese Party for all students, faculty and staff

These information sessions are very important and we expect all students to make every effort to attend. We also hope that you will be able to stay for the cocktail immediately thereafter. Faculty members are always welcome and encouraged to attend the information sessions, and please plan to come and say good bye to Thomas.


Important: Don’t forget to defer your tuition and fees by the end of August on Minerva! Please see the following link regarding:
Tuition & Fees Payment Deferral
Deadlines and penalties


A fantastic advanced genetics course: http://www.eurogene.org/?p=corsi&cc=next&m=3&s=2
Very highly recommended by Dr. Koenekoop.


You are invited to a free-skate this Saturday, August 4th, at 5:00 PM to benefit the Cedars Cancer Institute Fuller Landau “Rain or Shine” Dragon Boat Race and Festival Fundraiser.
Our purpose is to raise funds and awareness for Cedars CanSupport which provides free psychological and emotional support, practical information, and financial assistance to cancer patients and their families at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). We are having a fundraiser this Saturday, August 4th, at 5:00 PM at the Aréna Roberto Luongo in St. Leonard. It will consist of a friendly shoot-out followed by a “Free-Skate” where donations would be accepted and most appreciated. Everyone is welcome to come with their skates and beat the heat during an hour of restful skating. Reminder: please bring a helmet if you wish to skate for liability issues.

The arena is located at the following address:
Aréna Roberto Luongo
7755 rue Colbert

All are welcome so invite your friends and family!


Course: Advances in Human Genetics
Theme: Cancer Genomics

The course will have three subthemes:

1- Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics (Yasser Riazalhosseini)

2- High-throughput approaches in Cancer Genomics (Jacek Majewski)

3- Clinical applications of Genetics in hereditary cancers (Patricia Tonin)

The course will cover topics related to cancer genomics including cancer-associated genetic defects and epigenetic patterns, recent methodological advancement for the study of cancer genome, and examples of clinical application. Each session starts with an introductory presentation given by an instructor on the topic of session followed by student presentations. Two students present critical reviews of related papers selected by the instructor, however all students are expected to participate in discussions.


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


Academic Integrity Day!

Have your graduate students been asking questions about authorship? Do they know how to use data appropriately to develop an accurate analysis? Understanding the terms of academic integrity at McGill is essential to mastering scholarship. Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Teaching and Learning Services is pleased to announce Academic Integrity Day.

The annual SKILLSETS flagship event will address questions regarding academic integrity which have been raised by graduate students. We are inviting you to a) inform supervisors of this student opportunity, and b) encourage your graduate students to participate in this important and interactive event where these issues will be explored through debate and discussion.

Date: Thursday, January 31, 2013, 9:00-12:00PM

Please register online. Check-in and on-site registration begins at 8:30AM

Location: Omni Hotel (1050 Sherbrooke Street West)

Refreshments will be served.


  • Prof. Andre Costopoulos, Dean of Students
  • Prof. Abraham Fuks, Research Integrity Officer
  • Prof. Rosalie Jukier, Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, Faculty of Law
  • Prof. Josephine Nalbantoglu, Director, Integrated Program in Neuroscience, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery
  • Prof. Lisa Travis, Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • Prof. John White, Graduate Program Director, Department of Physiology

What students who attended Academic Integrity Day had to say about the event:

- “The most useful aspects were the case studies and realizing that the issues are not always so black and white.”

- “I enjoyed hearing professors from different disciplines discuss questions they had encountered in their own work, and learning how the citation process varies so wildly from field to field.”

- “Having discussions with other graduate students, post-docs and faculty about academic integrity-related issues… like authorship were very helpful.”



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.