Dr. Aimee Ryan appointed Associate Dean, Biomedical BSc, Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Aimee Ryan to the position of Associate Dean, Biomedical BSc, Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs, in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University.

Dr. Ryan takes over from Dr. Elaine Davis who for two years as Assistant Dean, Graduate Studies and then for two terms in the expanded Associate Dean role, initiated new programs, resolved problems and facilitated communication for over 4,000 postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students. She participated in the creation of many successful new graduate programs, ensuring continual improvement of the quality of education and research in the Faculty. Dr. Davis led the Faculty’s graduate support programs, in which she was responsible for fund distribution and allocation, and participated in award granting. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Davis for her outstanding contributions during the past decade and wish her ongoing success.

Dr. Ryan received her BSc in Genetics in 1985 from the University of Manitoba. She followed this with an MSc in Human Genetics in 1988 and a PhD in Biochemistry in 1994, both at Queen’s University. She then held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, San Diego from 1994 to 2000.

Dr. Ryan joined McGill’s Faculty of Medicine in 2000 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. She became Associate Professor of Pediatrics in 2010 and Associate Professor of Human Genetics in 2014. From 2013 to 2018 she was the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Human Genetics. She is currently Interim Deputy Executive Director and Deputy Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Interim Head of Child Health Research at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.

Dr. Ryan’s own research focuses on morphogenesis, the process that drives organ formation in early embryonic development. Her laboratory is currently investigating the role of the claudin family of genes in the development of the left-right axis, neural tube closure, kidney development and the blood-testis barrier. She is the recipient of research grants from, among others, the Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

Reporting directly to the Vice-Principal (Health Affairs)/Dean, as Associate Dean Dr. Ryan will be a liaison to the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) and the Faculty’s academic departments and schools. She will provide strategic guidance and oversight to the Faculty’s graduate programs and represent the educational interests of the biomedical science programs at the Education Leadership Council. She will also develop and implement interdisciplinary initiatives and oversee activities to ensure that the needs and priorities of the Faculty of Medicine are met with respect to education and training of students and postdocs in the biomedical BSc, and graduate and postdoctoral programs, including the MDCM & PhD program and the new BSc/MSc thesis track program.

Dr. Ryan will manage the annual allocation of GPS funding (over $4 million) to the individual graduate programs and various competitions, and provide strategic guidance for the use of these funds to enhance recruitment and retention. She will also organize and chair Graduate Program Directors and Graduate Program Coordinators meetings to discuss procedural issues, new policies and initiatives.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Ryan and wishing her every success as she embarks on her new role.


Dr. David Eidelman
Vice-Principal (Health Affairs)
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Lesley Fellows
Vice-Dean, Academic Affairs

Dr. Anna Naumova – New Graduate Program Director, Department of Human Genetics

I am pleased to announce that Anna Naumova has agreed to take over the position of Graduate Program Director (GPD). Anna has served on the Graduate Training Committee for a number of years, and I am sure that she will take over seamlessly where Aimee left off. Please join me in welcoming Anna to this important position in our Department.

Sincerely, Eric Shoubridge, Ph.D. Chair, Department of Human Genetics

Dr. David Rosenblatt to receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Source: Med e-News

Dr. David Rosenblatt, Holder, Dodd Q. Chu and Family Chair in Medical Genetics and Professor, Departments of Human Genetics, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Biology at McGill University, has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists (CCMG) Founders’ Award for Career Achievement.

The award is meant to recognize a CCMG member who has had an outstanding career in medical genetics in Canada or abroad. This award is named in honour of the visionary men and women (known as the “Committee of Seven”) who, along with 17 founding members, established the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists on January 13, 1976. Previously known as the Founders’ Award, it was officially renamed in 2017. In announcing his selection for the award, the CCMG noted Dr. Rosenblatt’s outstanding career across all domains of service, research, teaching, administration, and scholarly activity and highlighted that within the CCMG his presence has been steadfast and ongoing, from its earliest days until now and he remains an enthusiastic advocate for the profession of medical genetics, not only within Quebec but across the Canadian scientific community. [Read More]


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August 2018

  • August 14, 2018 at 3:00pm Catherine Argyriou’s Ph.D. Oral Defence entitled “Development of therapies for Peroxisome Biogenesis Disorders of the Zellweger Spectrum”. Supervisor: Dr. Nancy Braverman. To be held in the Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building, Room 2/36.
  • August 16, 2018 8th Annual BioConnect Symposium In Conjunction With International Biotechnology Symposium 2018   “Bioconnecting Academia and Industry” at Palais De Congrés.
  • August 29, 2018 at 9:00am Gabrielle Bertier’s Ph.D. Oral Defence entitled “Clinical implementation of next-generation sequencing technologies in France and Quebec: A multidisciplinary analysis of policy implications”. Supervisor: Drs. Yann Joly & Anne Cambon-Thomsen. To be held in the Burnside Hall Building (805 Sherbrooke St W), Room 107.
  • September 6, 2018 at 1:00pmHuman Genetics Orientation Session at Thompson House (3650 McTavish St.) You may register for the event HERE
  • September 30-October 3, 20185th Canadian Conference on Epigenetics will take place in Estérel, Québec

8th Annual BioConnect Symposium In Conjunction With International Biotechnology Symposium 2018

Bioconnecting Academia and Industry at Palais De Congrés on August 16, 2018

This conference is a great way for students and professionals to learn about career prospects of biotechnology and biology related fields in both academia and industry as well as explore the future and growth of these fields.  The event features presentations by internationally renowned scientists and professionals, a poster presentation competition, an in-depth panel discussion and a networking cocktail.

BtGSS is currently selling early bird tickets ($20): www.bioconnectmontreal.com.


SCS French Credit Courses for Graduate Students

The School of Continuing Studies offers French credit courses as part of the French for Professional Communication Part-Time Program. This program is especially 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 2018 semester must take an Entrance Placement Test prior to registering for a particular course.  Next Entrance Placement Test: August 9, 2018

RNA-Seq Workshop by C3G

This is the first module of the Montreal Genomics Analysis Workshop Series,  It is a 2 day workshop with no prior knowledge expected. It will cover RNA-Seq workflow and analysis through GenPipes

Date: August 21 and 22, 2018  688 Sherbrooke Street.  Register here.


Quebec Forum on Genetic Discrimination

Join the discussion!

The Genetic Discrimination Observatory (GDO) is a unique communication platform created to help prevent genetic discrimination. The GDO is currently holding an online public forum on genetic discrimination to enable residents of Quebec to share their opinion or questions on this subject. The Forum started July 4th and will last 4 to 6 weeks. The data collected will be used to assess the concerns, needs and opinions of Quebec residents.

 To access the Forum you will need to register by creating a username to share your opinion anonymously here: www.gdo.global

 Come join the discussion, your perspective matters!


MATH 697: Reading Course in Statistics

This new course covers much of the material in MATH 323-324; i.e. foundational statistical inference concepts. It is designed for graduate students who are interested in improving their statistics knowledge but who have not taken 323-324 or equivalent.

After taking this course, students should have the prerequisite material needed for graduate level regression or generalized linear models (i.e. MATH-523 Generalized Linear Models, etc).

Please email Alexander DeGuise (coordinator.qls@mcgill.ca) for permission to register.


EXSU 500: Artificial Intelligence in Medicine

Open to ALL Graduate Students and Undergraduate Students

September 10th –  Nov 26th   every Monday 5pm-8pm, MGH Hospital


Experimental Surgery : Introduction to artificial intelligence (AI) applied to issues in medical diagnosis, therapy selection and learning from health data. Various AI methods, electronic medical records, and ethical/security concerns. Machine learning approaches including deep learning and reinforcement learning without delving too deeply into the technical details.

 More information HERE.


Save the Date!

3rd International Conference on Stem cells, Development and Cancer, Montreal, Canada, October 18-19th, 2018

Cancer progression, embryo development and tissue regeneration have in common a strong dependency on stem and progenitor cells. Which characteristics are shared, and which are unique to embryonic, cancer and adult stem cells remain open questions.  Are cancer stem cells derived from adult stem cells or differentiated cancer cells that have acquired stem cell properties? What determines the potency of embryonic and adult stem cells? These questions and many others await a better understanding of stem and progenitor cell properties within different biological contexts.

To address these challenges, the third conference “Stem Cells, Development and Cancer” will be held in Montreal, October 18-19th, 2018 and is aimed at bringing together world experts in the fields of embryonic, adult and cancer stem cells. The synergy created by the reunion of leaders at the crossroads of these research themes will highlight novel approaches to address the important challenges associated with stem cell biology and therapeutics.

Please find attached the meeting flyer highlighting our world-class speakers.

 More information here:


We are looking forward to welcoming you to Montreal in October!


Congratulations to the Human Genetics Research Day 2018 winners!

Thank you to everyone who attended and presented at the Human Genetics Research Day, Thursday, May 17th. It was great to hear and see the variety of ongoing research throughout the Department.

Congratulations to our:

Oral Presentation Winners (12min Talks): Katie Teng, Patricia Goerner-Potvin & John Morris

Three-Minute Presentation Winners: Karine Choquet & Saumeh Saeedi

Poster Presentation Winners: Caitlin Fierheller, Graham Lean, Rached Alkallas, Nicholas Anthony, Wejdan Alenezi & Karine Choquet

Left to right: Wejdan Alenezi, Caitlin Fierheller, Katie Teng, Graham Lean, John Morris, Dr. Nancy Cox, Karine Choquet, Nicholas Anthony, Saumeh Saeedi & Patricia Goerner-Potvin Missing: Rached Alkallas

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



Weekly Puzzle 

Anacrostic Puzzle 5


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