The McGill Pathology Department congratulates Professor Alan Spatz, who, with co-PI Dr. Christopher Borchers, received a GAPP-Genome Canada grant for $1.5 Million to Develop the next generation PD-L1 assays using precision mass spectroscopy. Dr. Spatz also received a grant for 120K from the Cancer Research Society to study the regulation of mRNA translation by PR70-PP2A in melanoma. Congratulations!
Dr. Gao's <Pathology Review and Practice Guide> won “The Learning Book of the Year "
On Sept. 14 2018, at the Alberta Book Publishing Awards gala <Pathology Review and Practice Guide> authored by Dr. Zu-hua Gao, the chair of Department of Pathology at McGill University won “The Learning Book of the Year award”. The award recognizes the overall effort that went into publishing the book, from the content, editorial work, design, and marketing.
About the book, the presenter at the awards ceremony stated: “despite the volume of illustrations and the astonishing number of photos, the readability and accessibility of this title remains very clear” He described the book as “The most comprehensive review guide available hitting all the possible markets, and good for its intended use and audience.” This award is a real testament to Dr. Gao’s hard work in making his book such a great resource.
Congratulations Dr. Gao!
Greetings from the Pathology Department!
Hello and welcome to our 2018-19 academic year.
With the start of the Fall semester, our Society of Pathology Graduate Students held the traditional party to get together, catch up on summer activities, and welcome our new arrivals. Ten of our 12 newly admitted graduate students are settling into their laboratories and graduate courses, and we are hopeful that two more will soon join us - they are presently unable to enter Canada due to a diplomatic situation with their home country. Graduate Program Director Dr. Edith Zorychta greeted everyone and presented a brief history of our department and our graduate study program along with a detailed orientation to McGill, and a summary of all of the many resources that are available, for research, financial assistance, personal help, career guidance, and many other areas. She ended by encouraging everyone to also take time to make new friends and enjoy our multicultural university and city, with its vibrant international cuisine and wonderful music.
It was great to see Chair Gao, some of our faculty, and so many continuing students at the downtown campus during the subsequent departmental reception to meet and welcome our newcomers. Here are a few happy moments from this event.
Introducing Our New graduate Students
Luc Boulianne - before joining the department of pathology, “I completed a B.Sc. in biomedical sciences at the University of Montreal. I have developed a keen interest in pathology with an emphasis on cancer since the first course about it. Indeed, driven by a desire to make a difference in the life of people suffering from this terrible disease, pathology is an obvious choice for me because of its multidisciplinary approach allowing to study the disease from different perspectives. This led me to Dr. Cellot’s laboratory at the Research Centre of the Sainte-Justine University Hospital that conducts research on leukemia in the hope of finding new therapies. During my graduate studies, my experiments will focus on the molecular basis of acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (AMKL), which is a subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), in order to have a better understanding of the disease. I am thrilled and pleased to be part of the McGill community that is well renowned for its high-quality research.”
Majd Haddad: I moved to Canada coming from Syria in 2016. I was then able to transfer to the University of Ottawa and complete my undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences. Studying at McGill was my initial intention before coming to Canada, but during the move it was too late to apply. However, I have now been able to join the McGill Department of Pathology and will do my thesis research in Dr. Alexander Gregorieff’s lab. We will be studying the role of Hippo signaling pathway in stromal cells during gut homeostasis and tumorigenesis. Looking forward a great experience at McGill!
Prisca Bustamante was born and raised in Acapulco, Mexico. “I am an experimental biologist, and my research interest is ocular diseases. Ultimately, my goal is to help patients through the scientific work accomplished in the lab. I obtained my Master’s degree in Mexico city, studying retinal stem cells. Afterward, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry. I did an observership in the ocular pathology & translational research laboratory directed by Dr. Miguel Burnier, which reaffirmed my interest to do a Ph.D. in the Department of Pathology. I am truly delighted to work under Dr. Julia V. Burnier’s supervision. We are investigating the genomic alterations that occur in uveal melanoma and, identifying tumor markers to study and monitor diseases using non-invasive approaches. I am honored to be a student in the Pathology department at McGill, where I know I will expand my professional horizons and be able to develop valuable practical and theoretical skills required to continue my research career. I have lived in Montreal for 2 years and I am in love with its charming atmosphere and all its four seasons within the year.”
I am Julia Messina-Pacheco and I am extremely proud to be a newly admitted member of the Pathology graduate program at McGill University. I have recently completed the BSc Program in the multidisciplinary field of Life Sciences (Honours) at McGill. It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to study at such a renowned university in Montreal, a city that I am proud to call ‘home’ – it is beautifully vibrant, dynamic and multicultural. From a very young age, I have had a deep-rooted interest in the human body, how its parts function cohesively, and above all, what causes it to function abnormally. My innate curiosity for all concepts pertaining to the pathophysiology and progression of disease has led me to join Dr. Zu-hua Gao's lab at the McGill Research Institute of the MUHC to conduct the research component of my Master’s degree in Pathology. Our project is directed toward improving the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, which is currently nearly always fatal, since it is usually detected at a late stage when it is already impossible to cure. This is a childhood dream come true and I look forward to having research results be translated to the scientific community where they can potentially be of great benefit.
Lingxiao Chen, a newly admitted MSc student in Dr. Gao's lab. “I completed my undergraduate degree in the department of Pharmacology at McGill, and the experience from my undergrad research project on epilepsy has raised my interest to further devote my studies to pathophysiological research. My Master’s thesis will work on the topic of peroxisome dysfunction and its adverse effects on a mouse model of Zellweger syndrome. It is my honor to work with both supervisors, Dr.Gao and Dr. Braverman, on their fascinating collaborative project. I'm really excited by this new challenge and can't wait to see you in our beautiful campus!”
My name is Fangyi Shi. I obtained my BSc in Biology from the University of Western Ontario in 2018. I started my undergraduate study at Acadia University majoring in biology and transferred to the University of Western Ontario after my second year. I have had a strong interest in biology and medicine since childhood. In university, I took a lot of courses in medical science and found that I enjoyed pathology very much. I am very proud to be a newly admitted member of the Pathology graduate program at McGill University. McGill has been my dream university for years because of its high prestige around the world. I will begin my Master’s degree this September under the supervision of Dr. Carolyn Baglole who specializes in the study of pulmonary diseases. I am excited to join this research group and look forward to studying in McGill.
Paulina Garcia de Alba Graue, a medical doctor from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.”Since the beginning of my undergraduate studies I had the opportunity to collaborate in a laboratory studying the steroid metabolism of ovarian cancer and was fascinated by the mirage of possibilities that can be unleashed researching basic and translational sciences. Last year I was given the opportunity to do an observership under the supervision of Dr. Miguel Burnier at the Henry C. Witelson Ocular Pathology Laboratory where I studied the transcription factor SREBP-1 as a novel marker for sebaceous gland carcinoma of the eyelid. This experience was a key component in my decision to pursue a Master’s degree, not only did I work with brilliant scientists and the latest equipment in a top research institute, but found myself surrounded by an incredibly supportive lab family, so I am now beginning my Master’s research in this laboratory. I am truly honored and grateful to become a new member of the academic community in the Pathology Department at the prestigious McGill University.”
I am Kim Ai-my Tran. I obtained my BSc in Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University and will now be starting my MSc under the supervision of Dr. Divangahi. Our research will be focused on the iron metabolism of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, particularly the iron-dependent programmed cell death termed ferroptosis. Examining the interplay between the immune system and the pathogenesis of bacteria and viruses is key to applying academic research towards novel infectious disease therapies that have the potential to help millions around the world. I look forward to contributing to this purpose while following a career path I am passionate about. This university is where I developed a deep interest for scientific research during my time in the Honours program of Microbiology and Immunology. I am truly excited to be continuing my academic career at McGill and starting this new chapter as part of the Department of Pathology. Pursuing research in such an institution is an incredible opportunity to enter academia and the scientific community alongside such distinguished scientists."
Eva Jin: I obtained my undergraduate degree here at McGill, with a major in Anatomy and Cell Biology. I have always been drawn towards the medical field, and my undergraduate education has exposed me to a wide variety of medical topics. I would like to learn more about disease processes and development in particular, hence I have chosen the department of Pathology to continue my education. Montreal has been my home for the past four years and it’s a city I have come to love. I am thrilled to become a future member of Dr. Julia Burnier’s lab and participate in uveal melanoma research. I look forward to my journey pursuing the MSc degree, which would be both a continuation and a new chapter of my experience at McGill. "
Hello, my name is Peter Younan and science has always been the major area of interest in my studies. Pursuing and completing my B.Sc. in Biology at Notre Dame University, in Lebanon, provided the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the field of science that interested me the most, as I learned about the human body and its intricate mode of functioning, from cells working together on a molecular level to form tissues, to the various pathologies that may harm the human body and its state of homeostasis. Shortly after graduating, I was presented with the opportunity to start an internship at the Meakins-Christie laboratories, under the supervision of Dr. Qutayba Hamid, a professor in Pathology and Medicine at McGill, and the Strauss Chair of Respiratory Medicine at the McGill University Health Centre. This was an incredible opportunity that further solidified my keen interest in research and allowed me to get a real understanding of what it entailed. Since then, I've kept abreast of developments in the field of Stem Cell therapy and re-engineering, as the future of the medical field seems to lie within stem cell-based research. I am truly delighted to be able to pursue my M.Sc. in Pathology, at McGill, one of the world's most prestigious research-intensive educational institutions, and I'm looking forward to expanding my knowledge and working under the supervision of Dr. Alex Gregorieff, who specializes in the study of stem cells in the epithelium lining of our intestinal tract, and their role in epithelial regeneration and tumorigenesis.
Congratulations to Dr. Alex Gregorieff who received $650,250 in financial support in the most recent CIHR Project Grant competition for his project “Role of Hippo signaling in myofibroblasts during gut regeneration and tumorigenesis.” Project grants are designed to support researchers at any career stage to build and conduct health-related research and knowledge translation projects across CIHR's mandate. Dr Gregorieff’s project is aimed to understand the role of myofibroblasts in colorectal cancer. To learn more
Dr. Gregorieff joined the Department of Pathology as an Assistant Professor in 2016.
Dr. Fadi Brimo and other department members have recently published an article in the "Cancer Cytopathology"
First authored by Yujing Wang, the authors evaluated the impact of implementing The Paris System for Reporting Urinary Cytology (PSRUC) on the prevalence of various cytological categories and their association with a subsequent diagnosis of high-grade urothelial carcinoma (HGUC). They discovered that "Implementing The Paris System for Reporting Urinary Cytology" resulted in a decrease in the rate of the “atypical” category and an increase in its prediction of subsequent high-grade urothelial carcinoma" Read more
The Arrival of Two New Graduate Students and an International Scholar
With pleasure, we are welcoming two new graduate students and an international scholar who joined us at the beginning of the winter term: Elvis Martínez Jaramillo, a medical doctor who graduated from the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Federica Ghersa, a doctoral student from the Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Argentina, and Joshua Trivlidis, a McGill graduate from the Department of Pharmacology.
Elvis holds a CONACYT award from the National Council for Science and Technology of Mexico, to pursue graduate studies at Canada’s leading research-intensive university. He joined the team of Dr. Siham Sabri for his Ph.D research
Joshua recently completed his biomedical science degree here at McGill and has joined Dr. Carolyn Baglole’s lab to pursue his Masters degree. He has been awarded a Meakins-Christie studentship, and will study cytoplasmic Hu antigen R (HuR) in fibrotic areas in the lungs of people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Federica received the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) scholarship from the Government of Canada. This exchange opportunity will allow her to not only conduct a part of her Ph.D. thesis at McGill University but also build an academic record in the McGill University graduate study database She will be doing her research with the team directed by Dr. Telleria.
To learn more about our new comers, please visit https://mcgill.ca/pathology/programs/meet-some-our-current-students and https://mcgill.ca/pathology/programs/programs/graduate-research-trainee/...
Congratulations to Dr.Zari Dastani, our anatomical pathology resident
Her article entitled "Novel Loci for Adiponectin Levels and Their Influence on Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Traits: A Multi-Ethnic Meta-Analysis of 45,891 Individuals" was among the top 25% most cited PLOS Genetics articles as of August 2017.
PATHOLOGY GRADUATE STUDENT A VARSITY ATHLETE
Congratulations to Constanza Martinez-Ramirez, our PhD student, who scored the game-winning goal as the McGill University women's field hockey team rallied for a stunning 4-3 victory to earn their first ever conquest over the Toronto Varsity Blues, on Sunday at the University of Toronto’s Back Campus field. She broke a 3-3 deadlock by scoring off a corner in the 68th minute of play. The victory ended a prior winless streak against Toronto – see the article by McGill Athletics for the exciting details: http://mcgillathletics.ca/news/2017/10/2/field-hockey-squad-snaps-73-gam...
Welcome our new graduate students Myriam, Shaida, and Robert
We are delighted to welcome some wonderful new members to our Graduate Studies Community in Pathology this year - some arrived in September, and some will begin in January. This fall, three new graduate students from Brazil, Iran, and Quebec joined our department. Here is an introduction they have shared with us:
Robert Dube: I obtained my undergraduate degree from McGill University, majoring in pharmacology. I’ve always had an interest in the biomedical sciences. However, as I progressed through my undergraduate education, I became more and more interested in understanding the pathophysiology behind various diseases, and using my knowledge to develop novel methods of treatment. As such, it is no surprise that I jumped at the opportunity to become a member of the department of pathology at the university that I have come to know and love. I am currently completing my MSc as a member of the laboratory of Dr. Telleria and I am working on project involving the development of new strategies in the treatment of ovarian cancer. While Montreal has always been my home, over the past four years, McGill has truly become my second family. I am excited to remain an active member of the McGill community and look forward to contributing to the large body of research put forward by the university’s many talented researchers every year.
My name is Myriam MacDonald and I am a plastic surgeon from Brazil. Being a newly admitted member of the pathology graduate program at the McGill University makes me truly proud. It is such an honor to be a student in one of the best universities in the world and be a part of this multicultural and world-class environment. During my Masters program I will be working under the supervision of Dr. Miguel Burnier and we will study the skin healing using new technologies. I feel so welcome by everyone I have met already and I am looking forward to doing my best. Besides, Montreal is a delightful place and one of the best cities in the world to live in, I am absolutely in love.
I’m Shaida Ouladan, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Gregorieff’s lab. One of my major interests is working on intestinal stem cells and their role in GI carcinogenesis. I was graduated from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences with a doctoral degree in medicine. Being involved in some research projects at medical school made me enthusiastic about basic science and encouraged me to develop my career as a medical researcher. I moved to Germany work as a research scientist at the Institute of Pathology at University Hospital of Cologne. I got my master degree in cancer biology at the University of Kent, England. I believe that Ph.D. program in Department of Pathology can boost my knowledge in cancer research and assists me to conduct interdisciplinary research projects in the future. Joining this enable to benefit from the amazing academic atmosphere of McGill University. In addition, outstanding seminars, workshops and library facilities keep me updated with current topics in the field of cancer research. Working at MUHC- Research Institute puts me in contact with other researchers and eases learning and sharing new ideas. Besides all academic privileges of being a member of McGill community, living in Montreal is fascinating to me. I really enjoy the cultural diversity of this city and having friends from all around the world.
Congratulations to Dr. Burnier and Dr. Park
Dr. Miguel Noel Burnier Jr, a professor in the Department of Pathology and Dr. Morag Park, an associate member of the Department, were recognized along with six other McGill representatives as leaders in the health sciences through their 2017 election to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) Fellows, one of the highest honours for individuals in the Canadian health sciences community.
Dr. Gao has recently published a Pathology Review and Practice Guide
Our PhD student Necola Guerrina won second prize in the university-wide 3 minute thesis competition
The research team of Dr. Spatz published their work in high impact Journal
Dr. Gao's Laboratory Made a New Discovery
Dr. Rene Michel published his new book