Dr. Janet Rossant honoured by UNESCO-L'Oreal

Dr. Janet Rossant honoured by UNESCO-L'Oreal

"By showcasing the achievements of top female scientists, the annual awards may encourage more women and girls to consider a career in science. Women remain underrepresented in the field, with fewer than three per cent of Nobel prizes given to women since the award’s inception."

See full article

Graduate Information Days Oct 23 & Oct 30

Graduate Information Days Oct 23 & Oct 30

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

When: MON. Oct 23rd, 5-6:30 pm. , Mon. Oct 30th, 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 20th

Next application deadline is Nov. 15th, 2017

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Molecular Genetics Retreat 2017

Molecular Genetics Retreat 2017

The 2017 Department of Molecular Genetics Annual Retreat and Power Hour, was held September 20-22rd at YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre on Lake Couchiching in Orillia.

The Retreat began with a Power Hour where faculty members presented their lab's research to our new rotation students in 3 minutes with one prepared slide. The remainder of the Retreat involve faculty talks and a poster session presented by faculty, students, post-docs and staff. Entertainment on Thursday evening was organized by our graduate students.

Congratulations to our Poster Prize Winners:

Duah, Kwamaa (Cowen lab), Chloe Rose (Ciruna lab), Liu, Shixuan (Kafri lab), Ashrut Narula (Rissland), Michael Pryszlak (B. Pearson lab), Daniel Witvliet (Zhen Lab) and Eesha Sharma, (Blencowe lab)

Congratulations to the Departmental Award Winners:

Harley O'Connor Mount (Ensminger Lab) - L.W. Macpherson Award

Kaitlin Laverty (Hughes/Morris Labs) - Roman Pakula Award

Dustin Ammendolia (Brummell Lab) - Norman Bethune Award

Elissa Currie (Gray-Owen Lab) - Eric Hani Fellowship

Photographs: Dr. Mikko Taipale

 

5 MoGen Students Win the 2017 Cecil Yip Doctoral Research Award

5 MoGen Students Win the 2017 Cecil Yip Doctoral Research Award

Author: Jovana Drinjakovic

Ten PhD candidates who come from diverse training backgrounds, and are enrolled in different U of T graduate programs, have been awarded the Cecil Yip Doctoral Research Award, the award committee has announced. The prestigious award is given annually to first year graduate students who do their doctoral research in the Donnelly Centre and whose proposed projects extend beyond traditional scientific field boundaries. This year’s successful candidates come from three U of T departments: Molecular Genetics (MoGen), Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry (ChemE) and the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME).

“This year’s candidates exemplified the unique interdisciplinary environment and collaborative culture of the Donnelly Centre. The diverse backgrounds of the candidates, ranging from biology to engineering and philosophy, and, in some cases, extensive industrial experience, clearly demonstrates how the Donnelly Centre attracts those who are keen to work in areas outside of their comfort zone on some of the most challenging questions in biomedicine,” says Professor Christopher Yip, Associate Vice-President of International Partnerships and Chair of the Yip Doctoral Award Committee.

Benjamin Kingston, Jessica Ngai and Wayne Ngo Research at the intersection of biology and engineering has the potential to develop new methods for delivering drugs precisely when and where they are needed in order to target cancer for example, or spur on tissue regeneration to heal damage or injury. Mr. Benjamin Kingston (IBBME), Ms. Jessica Ngai (ChemE) and Mr. Wayne Ngo (IBBME) in the Chan lab are studying how tiny nanoparticles can be better engineered to deliver cancer drugs directly into tumours to avoid the all-out toxic assault on the body that typically comes with chemotherapy.

Alaura Androschuk To boost repair of nerves damaged by, say, high blood glucose that can cause diabetic patients to lose all feeling in arms and legs, Ms. Alaura Androschuk (IBBME, Sefton) is investigating if a biomaterial, previously discovered by the lab to promote healing of the muscle, can also drive nerve repair.

Clarence Hue Lok Yeung and Daniel Merritt

Clarence Hue Lok Yeung and Daniel Merritt

Investigating cellular processes in easy-to-study organisms such as yeast and worms can reveal basic principles of biology that apply to all animals but would be very hard to study in humans. To understand how cells change with age, Mr. Clarence Hue Lok Yeung (Mogen, Andrews and Boone) is investigating complex genetic networks that drive the aging process in yeast cells. And Mr. Daniel Merritt (Mogen, van der Kooy lab) is taking advantage of nematode worms as a model system for understanding the molecular basis of how animals detect smell.

Alexander Sasse and Kaitlin Laverty

Alexander Sasse and Kaitlin Laverty

One of the greatest outstanding questions in biology is how cells interpret the genetic information encoded in the DNA and its RNA copies that contain the blueprint for making proteins, the building blocks of life. The so-called RNA binding proteins (RBPs) play an important role by ensuring that an RNA message is correctly prepared before being translated into a protein, but it remains unclear how the RBPs recognize the countless RNA molecules and act on them appropriately. Mr. Alexander Sasse (Mogen, Morris) and Ms. Kaitlin Laverty (Mogen, Hughes and Morris) are tackling this problem by developing advanced computational models for predicting which RBPs bind which RNA molecules.

Dmitri Segal and Greg Martyn

Dmitri Segal and Greg Martyn

Proteins make up our cells and do most of the work in them by interacting with each other to carry out cellular processes. When proteins go awry—cease to interact with their normal partners and/or acquire new alliances—that’s when diseases occur. Two of this years’ Yip award winners are studying rules behind protein interaction to gain a deeper insight into basic cell biology and mechanisms of disease: Mr. Dmitri Segal (Mogen, Taipale) is uncovering binding partners for the 14-3-3- family of “scaffolding” proteins that interact with hundreds of diverse proteins to facilitate molecular events in the cell, whereas Mr. Greg Martyn (Mogen, Sidhu) is focusing on the family of SH2 proteins that are involved in a number of diseases, including cancer. Martyn will engineer SH2 superbinders, or protein fragments that bind so strongly to the SH2 proteins that they can be used to manipulate their function and as such used in research and drug development.

The award was established as a tribute to Professor Cecil Yip, who was the former Vice-Dean, Research in the Faculty of Medicine and a key player in both the ideology and eventual realization of the Donnelly Centre as an interdisciplinary institute at the forefront of biomedical research.

Cover photo: Samantha Yammine

Dr. Janet Rossant - Cambridge University Honorary Doctor of Science

Dr. Janet Rossant - Cambridge University Honorary Doctor of Science

University Professor Janet Rossant received a 2017 honorary Doctor of Science degree from Cambridge University, for her contributions to stem cell biology and other research. Dr. Rossant is a Professor in the Departments of Molecular Genetics, and Obstetrics and Gynaecology, at U of T. She is also a Senior Scientist at SickKids as well as President and Scientific Director of the Canada Gairdner Awards.

McLaughlin Centre, University of Toronto Scholarship Recipients Announced

McLaughlin Centre, University of Toronto Scholarship Recipients Announced

The Genetic Counselling program is pleased to announce the inaugural McLaughlin Centre, University of Toronto recipients. The McLaughlin Centre has provided funds to support two merit-based scholarships for the MSc Genetic Counselling Program. One incoming first year student will be awarded an entrance based scholarship to be granted based on overall merit including demonstrated academic excellence prior to entering the program. In addition, one second year student will be awarded an in-course scholarship based on overall academic excellence in their first year of study in the M.Sc. Genetic Counselling Program. This year each successful student will receive a $10,000 CAD scholarship.

Congratulations to incoming student Kalene van Engelen and second year student Emily Thain!

Kalene van Engelen

Kalene van Engelen

Emily Thain

Emily Thain

 

 

Dr. Brenda Andrews - University Professor

Dr. Brenda Andrews - University Professor

Dr. Brenda Andrews is among four faculty members to be named University Professor, the highest rank that can be awarded by the university.

"A professor of molecular genetics, Dr. Andrews is the director of the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research and an alumna who completed her PhD in medical biophysics at U of T. Dr. Andrews’s current research interests include analysis of genetic interaction networks in budding yeast and mammalian cells. She sits on many editorial and advisory boards and is the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Genes|Genomes|Genetics, an open access journal of the Genetics Society of America. Andrews is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology." See full story here.

Molecular Genetics Welcomes Dr. Aaron Reinke

Molecular Genetics Welcomes Dr. Aaron Reinke

Dr. Aaron Reinke, our top candidate in the MoGen search "Molecular Microbiology & Infectious Disease", will join the Department as an Assistant Professor in September 2017, on the 16th floor of the MaRS West Tower. His research program is focused on a unique model system of microsporidial parasites that infect worms, specifically studying co-evolution of Caenorhabditis nematode hosts and Nematocida pathogens. His research encompasses interdisciplinary approaches with biochemistry, genetics, systems biology, and technology development. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Davis, and his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Amy Keating’s laboratory studying bZIP-mediated protein-protein interaction networks using biophysical approaches. During his postdoctoral work with Emily Troemel at the University of California, San Diego, he has developed technology to identify microsporidian effector proteins with tissue and subcellular specificity in C. elegans, and has leveraged genomic analyses to dissect mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions.

Ryan Gaudet - 2017 Winner of the Barbara Vivash Award in Molecular Genetics

Ryan Gaudet - 2017 Winner of the Barbara Vivash Award in Molecular Genetics

Dr. Ryan Gaudet is the 2017 winner of the Barbara Vivash Award in Molecular Genetics for his thesis, TIFA-Mediated Innate Immune Recognition of the Bacterial Metabolite HBP and its Role in Host Defense. This award acknowledges the most outstanding Ph.D. thesis defended during the 2015/2016 academic year. Nominees for this award must have produced a major work of scholarship that has led to significant advance in understanding the molecular genetics mechanisms underlying an important biological process. This is in addition to having written an outstanding thesis and conducted an excellent oral defence. 

Seminar and Award Ceremony: June 26th, 2017 @ 2PM in MSB 4171

MoGeNews Issue 9

MoGeNews Issue 9

Issue 9 of the MoGeNews is now available. Find out about Departmental activities, research, education, new initiatives and the successes of our faculty and trainees.

Molecular Genetics Welcomes Dr. Thomas Hurd

Molecular Genetics Welcomes Dr. Thomas Hurd

Dr. Thomas Hurd, our top candidate in the MoGen search "Genetic Models of Development & Disease", will join the Department as an Assistant Professor in January 2018, on the 15th floor of the MaRS West Tower. He studies mitochondrial biology in Drosophila and mammalian cells. His research program will focus on determining how mitochondrial DNA is inherited through the female germline, and how mitochondria influence stem cell fate and differentiation in vivo, with a long-term interest in applying this knowledge to develop better protocols for reprogramming and differentiating human stem cells in vitro. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Toronto, his PhD at the University of Cambridge in Mike Murphy’s laboratory at the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, and his postdoctoral work with Ruth Lehmann at NYU School of Medicine.

Lewis Kay - Recipient of a 2017 Canada Gairdner International Award

Lewis Kay - Recipient of a 2017 Canada Gairdner International Award

Dr. Lewis Kay has been recognized with a 2017 Canada Gairdner International Award “For the development of modern NMR spectroscopy for studies of biomolecular structure dynamics and function, including applications to molecular machines and rare protein conformations.” Dr. Kay, a professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Chemistry is the 1st Canadian to win this award since 2008.

Gairdner

Globe & Mail

 

Dr. Julie Brill & Dr. William Navarre Win Undergraduate Teaching Awards

Dr. Julie Brill & Dr. William Navarre Win Undergraduate Teaching Awards

Dr. Julie Brill is the 2017 recipient of the Excellence in Undergraduate Laboratory Teaching in Life Sciences Award. The award recognizes Dr. Brill's sustained excellence in teaching, coordination and development of laboratory based instruction in life sciences laboratory courses.

Dr. William Navarre is the 2017 recipient of Excellence in Linking Undergraduate Teaching to Research in Life Sciences Award. The award recognizes Dr. Navarre's sustained excellence, mentorship and innovative methods that link undergraduate teaching to experiential research opportunities in Arts and Science offered by the Basic Sciences Departments in the Faculty of Medicine. 

3rd Annual Career Development Symposium

3rd Annual Career Development Symposium

Our third annual Career Development Symposium will take place June 9, 2017!

Join us for:

  • Round table career discussions with alumni
  • A panel on career trajectories with alumni
  • A Q & A with our alumni
  • Wine and cheese networking session

Current Molecular Genetics students, trainees, alumni, staff and faculty can register here.

Deadline to register extended to May 24.

Faculty Position Available

Faculty Position Available

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream
Department of Molecular Genetics
, University of Toronto

Medical Genomics

The Department of Molecular Genetics in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto invites applications for a teaching-stream appointment in the area of Medical Genomics. The successful candidate will serve as the inaugural Director of our Professional Master’s in Medical Genomics, and will have a key role in genetics and genomics education in the Department. The appointment will be at the rank of Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, and will commence on July 1, 2017.

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent in Human Genetics, Genomic Medicine, Molecular Genetics, Genetics, or a closely related field by the time of appointment. An established record of excellence in research is required, as demonstrated by publications in leading journals, presentations at significant conferences, awards and accolades, and strong endorsement by referees of high international standing. The successful candidate must have expertise with genomics methodologies, human genetics, statistics, and communication of genetic information. Candidates must also have a deep understanding of the impact of genomics on medical practice. Postdoctoral experience would be an asset, as would experience in the private sector and experience with project management and building partnerships. The successful candidate must have experience with course and curriculum development, and must demonstrate teaching excellence at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as experience and demonstrated commitment to excellent pedagogical practices. This evidence can include performance as a course instructor or teaching assistant, experience leading successful workshops or seminars, student mentorship, or excellent conference presentations or posters, as well as the teaching dossier submitted as part of the application.

The Department of Molecular Genetics (http://www.moleculargenetics.utoronto.ca/#our-research-focus) holds a leadership position in Canada and internationally as a premier venue for biomedical and genomics research and education. We are an engaged and collaborative community with over 100 faculty members that fosters exceptional innovation and discovery. Our faculty, fellows, and students are highly acclaimed for pioneering phenomenal advances in some of the most exciting areas of modern science with a profound impact on human health. The University of Toronto has one of the most concentrated biomedical research communities in the world, including 10 academic hospitals/research institutes that are all fully affiliated with the University. This community attracts greater than $800M in annual research investment.

The successful candidate will be expected to have a key role in genetics and genomics education in Molecular Genetics, and to serve as Director of our new MHSc in Medical Genomics. This new program will provide medical trainees, research scientists, and laboratory professionals with the theory and practical knowledge necessary to incorporate genomics data into medical practice. This new program will consist of a core set of lecture, discussion, and project-based courses across a two-year program duration. In addition to lecture-based learning, students will participate in a capstone practicum during the final academic term of the program with a focus on patient interaction and laboratory data generation. The candidate will have a leadership role in student recruitment and admissions, teaching courses and recruitment of other faculty to participate in teaching, development of online course modules, applying for educational grants, networking to establish research positions in the final term, and finding routes to employment for graduates.

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Applicants should submit a single PDF that includes (in order): 1) a one-page summary that includes education/training history, citations of the applicant’s most important publications (up to five), and a 350-word abstract of their teaching philosophy; 2) a cover letter; 3) a curriculum vitae; 4) a teaching dossier comprised of a teaching philosophy statement, sample course materials, course evaluations, and other evidence of teaching excellence. Submission guidelines can be found at http://uoft.me/how-to-apply . Applicants should also arrange to have three letters of reference sent directly by the referee (on letterhead, signed and scanned) to Dr. Leah Cowen at mogen.chair@utoronto.ca . Inquiries should be sent to mogen.chair@utoronto.ca.

Deadline for applications (including reference letters): April 18th, 2017.

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

As part of your application, you will be asked to complete a brief Diversity Survey. This survey is voluntary. Any information directly related to you is confidential and cannot be accessed by search committees or human resources staff. Results will be aggregated for institutional planning purposes. For more information, please see http://uoft.me/UP.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, priority will be given to Canadians and permanent residents.

For further details and to apply online, please visit: https://utoronto.taleo.net/careersection/10050/jobdetail.ftl?job=1700340