Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences

Promoting and advancing molecular understanding of biology

Doing the Double-Double by 2019.
Petition to double open operating grants.

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2017 CSMB New Investigator Award

Martin Schmeing , McGill University, Montreal, QC

Dr. Martin Schmeing received his B.Sc. from McGill University (1998), before obtaining his M.Sc. and Ph.D. with Dr. Thomas Steitz at Yale University (2002, 2004). He then carried out postdoctoral research with Dr. V. Ramakrishnan at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK (2006-2010). He was appointed Assistant Professor at the Department of Biochemistry, McGill University in 2010, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2016.

As a leader in the field of protein structure of large and dynamic enzymes, Dr. Schmeing was awarded a Canadian Research Chair in Macromolecular Machines and a Human Frontier Science Program Career Development Award. He also serves as the Associate Director of the Centre for Structural Biology at the University of McGill.

Since establishing his research program at McGill, his team has published seminal research on elucidating the structures and functions of nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) in leading journals such as Nature and PNAS. NRPSs are large microbial enzymes that synthesize their products through amide bond formation between building block monomers (most commonly amino acids). The chemical and biological properties of these compounds often make them useful to society as therapeutics (antibiotics, antivirals, anti-tumours, and immunosuppressants) and as natural green chemicals (emulsifiers, siderophores, and research tools). Two aspects of particular focus in Dr. Schmeing’s research are the catalytic event which links substrate building blocks, and the manner in which NRPS domains and modules work together in a complicated and productive catalytic cycle.


2017 Canadian Science Publishing Senior Investigator Award

Sergio Grinstein, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.

Dr. Sergio Grinstein is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He completed his Ph.D. in 1976 at the Centro de Investigacion y Estudios Avanzados, in Mexico City. He then spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the Hospital for Sick Children, followed by a year in the Department of Biochemistry at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Following his post-doctoral fellowships he began his independent research career at the Hospital for Sick Children in 1979.

Over the past 40 years, Dr. Grinstein has been an outstanding scientist and mentor. As one of Canada’s most productive scientists, Dr. Grinstein has trained over 90 post-doctoral fellows and graduate students and has published >500 research articles and reviews. Former trainees populate several universities within Canada and globally including Western, Guelph, Toronto, Ryerson, McMaster, Laval, McGill and Alberta.

Dr. Grinstein is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, in 2002 he received the McLaughlin Medal from the Society. He was twice named an International Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and was the CIHR’s inaugural recipient of the Michael Smith Prize in Health Research. Recently, he received the Hugh Davson Distinguished Lecturer Career Award from the American Physiological Society. Finally, and perhaps fittingly in 1987 Dr Grinstein received the Ayerst Award (New Investigator Award) from the Canadian Biochemical Society, a predecessor of the CSMB.

Dr. Grinstein has contributed many seminal findings to the fields of cell biology, physiology and immunity. His contribution included studies on the V-ATPase and NADPH oxidase in neutrophils, the regulation of cytosolic and organellar pH, membrane dynamics and signaling required for phagocytosis, the spatial organization and signaling of scavenger receptors.

2017 Jeanne Manery Fisher Memorial Lectureship

Brenda Andrews, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Dr. Brenda Andrews is the Charles H. Best Chair of Medical Research, Director of the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research and Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. Dr. Andrews completed her PhD in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto, and postdoctoral training in genetics at the University of California San Francisco. In 1991. Dr. Andrews was recruited to the Department of Medical Genetics (now Molecular Genetics) at the University of Toronto. She became Chair of the Department in 1999, a position she held for 5 years before assuming a position as Chair of the Banting & Best Department of Medical Research and as the inaugural Director of the Donnelly Centre.

Dr. Andrews has been on the forefront of establishing the field of systems biology. Her research is consistently published in top-tier journals such as Science, Cell and Nature. She has trained over 70 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and was recognized for her mentorship by being awarded the inaugural JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award from the University of Toronto, School of Graduate Studies in 2013. Importantly, as she has encouraged many generations of women to pursue careers in academia, in 2007 she was awarded the Women in Science and Engineering University of Toronto Chapter “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” Award.

As a global leader the field of systems biology, Dr. Andrews sits on many review panels, 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. Dr. Andrews is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2005), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2011) and the American Academy of Microbiology (2012). She was the inaugural Director of the Genetic Networks Program of the CIFAR, and remains a Senior Fellow. In 2016 Dr. Andrews was named a Companion of the Order of Canada for her “globally significant research in systems biology and for developing and nurturing prominent scientific communities in molecular genetics”.

Dr. Andrews’ research has made pivotal insights into the molecular mechanism regulating cell cycle progression and the development of yeast functional genomics approaches. Her current research interests include analysis of genetic interaction networks in budding yeast and mammalian cells, using high through-put genetics platforms that include high content microscopy for systematic analysis of cell biological phenotypes.

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