Dr. Monica Wu receives Barbara Vivash award for the best PhD thesis in Molecular Genetics

Dr. Monica Wu receives Barbara Vivash award for the best PhD thesis in Molecular Genetics

Dr. Monica Wu has been awarded the 2018 Barbara Vivash Award for her PhD thesis, entitled "Characterization of two opposing small RNA pathways required for germline homeostasis in Caenorhabditis elegans".  The Barbara Vivash award is given annually to the graduating student with the best PhD thesis in Molecular Genetics.  Monica, second from the left, was presented with a certificate and a cheque following a Departmental seminar on her work on Wednesday, August 7, 2019.

Monica’s PhD studies, with Julie Claycomb, examined small RNA mediated gene regulatory pathways in the model nematode C. elegans. Monica contributed extensively to numerous projects in the Claycomb lab, including identifying novel gene licensing (instead of silencing) roles for an essential small RNA pathway, exploring the conservation of this licensing small RNA pathway in different nematode species, and defining the roles of a conserved splicing factor in germline small RNA pathways. In her most important and extensive work, Monica characterized a new Argonaute effector (Argonautes are the proteins that interact with small RNAs to elicit gene regulation), which she named VSRA-1 (Versatile Small RNAs Argonaute). In these studies, Monica uncovered novel roles for VSRA-1 in distinct small RNA pathways, including the miRNA and piRNA pathways. This observation redefines our understanding of Argonaute function and points to far more dynamic roles for Argonautes throughout development than previously appreciated.

Monica is now a Research Scientist I at New England Biolabs in Ipswich, MA, where she continues to study RNA biology. At NEB, Monica is developing novel enzymes, reagents and toolkits for rapid large-scale synthesis of homogenous RNA populations to be used in biopharmaceuticals, including RNA-based therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics.

Picture credit: Julie Claycomb

Alan Bernstein receives U of T honorary degree

Alan Bernstein receives U of T honorary degree

For his “leadership of major Canadian and international research institutions” and his promotion of collaborative research that has “enriched the field of medicine,” Alan Bernstein, Adjunct Professor at the Department of Molecular Genetics, receives a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from U of T. Congratulations!

More details can be found here.

Donnelly Centre investigator Mikko Taipale wins inaugural Catalyst Award in Molecular Genetics

Donnelly Centre investigator Mikko Taipale wins inaugural Catalyst Award in Molecular Genetics

Mikko Taipale, Assistant Professor in the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research and in the department of Molecular Genetics (MoGen), is the inaugural recipient of the David Dime and Elisa Nuyten Catalyst Award in Molecular Genetics. The award was established by Dime, a U of T alum, to support exploratory research projects which are not obvious candidates for government funding.

Read more about the award, the project and the researcher here.

New phage taxa named for Dr. Louis Siminovitch

New phage taxa named for Dr. Louis Siminovitch

Dr. Lou Siminovitch, Professor Emeritus and founder of the Department, has just been honoured by the creation of a new bacteriophage genus named after him. The International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses has just approved the new genus, Siminovitchvirus, which contains 3 species of phage. See the 2018b release on their taxonomy website: https://talk.ictvonline.org/taxonomy/p/taxonomy_releases

Order:  Caudovirales
Family:  Myoviridae
Genus:  Siminovitchvirus
3 species:
Bacillus virus CP51
Bacillus virus JL
Bacillus virus Shanette

Prof. Scherer receives Killam Prize for contributions to health sciences

Prof. Scherer receives Killam Prize for contributions to health sciences

University Professor Stephen Scherer is a professor at the Department of Molecular Genetics, and the director and co-founder of the Centre for Applied Genomics TCAG at the Hospital for Sick Children.

Prof. Scherer was awarded a Killam Prize for his groundbreaking research on genomic variation - congratulations on this well-deserved honor!

Photo by Perry King.

MoGeNews Issue 12 is Now Available

MoGeNews Issue 12 is Now Available

Issue 12 of the MoGeNews is now available. Find out about Departmental activities, research, education, new initiatives and the successes of our faculty and trainees.

Graduate Information Sessions Oct 17 & Oct 23, 2018

Graduate Information Sessions Oct 17 & Oct 23, 2018

What: Molecular Genetics M.Sc./Ph.D. Graduate Programs and Application Info Sessions

When: WEDS. Oct 17, 5-6:30 pm. , TUES. Oct 23, 5-6:30 pm

The sessions are the same - you only need to attend one!

Where: MoGen Interacthome, Medical Sciences Building #4284, 1 King's College Circle

Come Talk with professors about how to apply and learn about a career in science!

Free pop and pizza!

RSVP required by Oct 15th

Next application deadline is Nov. 15th, 2018

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Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Bognar on his retirement!

Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Bognar on his retirement!

The Department of Molecular Genetics had a retirement celebration in honour of Dr. Andrew Bognar’s service for 33 years (spanning changes from the Department of Microbiology to Medical Genetics & Microbiology to Molecular Genetics) on August 13, 2018 in the InteractHome, MSB. Many of the core faculty members and administrative staff attended, and shared memories and favourite stories with Andy. We also had guests from the Environmental Health & Safety and the Division of Teaching Laboratories to acknowledge Andy’s many years of contributions to lab courses and research biosafety. We wish Andy all the best and a happy retirement.

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Graduate School Fairs

Graduate School Fairs

Come and visit us at one of the many Graduate School fairs we will be attending this year.  Learn more about our programs, talk with some of our students and get the low down on graduate admissions. See you there!

Queen's University Career Fair, Athletic and Recreation Centre - September 25, 2018. 10:30a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

University of Ottawa National and International Studies Fair, Main Campus,- October 10, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

University of British Columbia Graduate and Professional Schools Fair, UBC Student Life Building - September 28, 2018, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

University of Toronto, Mississauga, Graduate and Professional Schools Fair, RAWC Gym - September 19, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

University of Toronto, Scarborough, Graduate & Professional Schools Fair, Science Wing Meeting Place - September 27, 2018, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

University of Calgary Grad School Fair, McEwan Student Centre - October 2, 2018, 10:30 a.m.. - 3:00 p.m.

McMaster University Continuing Education Fair- October 17, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (more details to come)

University of Western Ontario Graduate and Professional School Fair, University Community Centre - October 18, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

York University Graduate and Professional Studies Expo - October 4, 2018, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. (more details to come)

University of Waterloo Further Education Fair, Student Life Centre Great Hall - October 22, 2018, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 

Guelph University Beyond Graduation Educational Opportunities Fair, University Centre Courtyard - October 23, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

McGill University Graduate Schools Fair, New Residentce Hall (3625 Parc Ave.) - November 6, 2018, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

University of Toronto Graduate and Life Sciences Education Undergraduate Fair, MSB Student Commons - November 1, 2018, 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

 

Course Selections for Fall 2018 Open!

Students, selections for Fall Topic Courses are open from July 23 to August 15, 2018. A registration survey link is found under each topic course offered this fall on the Topic Courses page. You will also receive an email with the survey links. The surveys close on August 15th at 5pm.

Three New & Two Renewed Canada Research Chairs for MoGen Faculty Members

Three New & Two Renewed Canada Research Chairs for MoGen Faculty Members

Congratulations to the new and renewed Canada Research Chairs!

New

Xi Huang  University of Toronto  Canada Research Chair in Cancer Biophysics       

Xi Huang

University of Toronto  Canada Research Chair in Cancer Biophysics       

Leah E. Cowen  University of Toronto  Canada Research Chair in Microbial Genomics and Infectious Disease

Leah E. Cowen

University of Toronto  Canada Research Chair in Microbial Genomics and Infectious Disease

Laurence Pelletier  University of Toronto  Canada Research Chair in Centrosome Biogenesis and Function

Laurence Pelletier

University of Toronto  Canada Research Chair in Centrosome Biogenesis and Function

Renewed

 

Amy A. Caudy  University of Toronto  Canada Research Chair in Metabolomics for Functional Enzyme Discovery

Amy A. Caudy

University of Toronto  Canada Research Chair in Metabolomics for Functional Enzyme Discovery

Michael D. Wilson  University of Toronto  Canada Research Chair in Comparative Genomics

Michael D. Wilson

University of Toronto  Canada Research Chair in Comparative Genomics