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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KEYNOTE SPEAKER:


Dr. Brenda Andrews, University of Toronto & The Donnelly Centre
Dr. Brenda Andrews is full Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto and the Charles H. Best Chair of Medical Research at the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research. Her ground-breaking work focuses on using large-scale ‘systems-level’ approaches to interrogate pathways critical for cell cycle control in the yeast model system. Dr. Andrews is a pioneer of high-throughput genetics and microscopy tools that have re-defined our understanding of conserved cellular circuitry. She is also editor in chief of G3: Genes, Genomes and Genetics, which promotes the publication of high-quality research across a wide-variety of disciplines. Dr. Andrews is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and has received numerous high-profile awards for her work, including the Premier’s Research Excellence Award and the 2010 Ira Herskowitz Award. In 2015, she was recognized as a Companion of the Order of Canada for her work in systems biology
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Session Title, Chairs and Invited Speakers by Date:


Wednesday May 17th, 2017

SYSTEMS BIOLOGY OF NEUROBIOLOGY
Chair: Dr. Steffany Bennett, University of Ottawa


Invited Speaker: Dr. Cheryl Wellington, University of British Columbia
Dr. Cheryl Wellington is full Professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Her research program focuses on lipid and lipoprotein metabolism and the relationship of these processes to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease as well as traumatic brain injury. Dr. Wellington’s lab also focuses on the development of new rodent models to study head injuries. These models have important implications for our understanding of these conditions in human patients.

Invited Speaker: Dr. Sandra Black, Sunnybrook Health Sciences
Dr. Sandra Black is a Senior Scientist at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She is internationally recognized for her work in neurobiology, focusing on stroke and stroke recovery as well as using advanced imaging techniques to understand dementia. Dr. Black was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2012 and appointed as an Officer to the order of Canada in 2015.
 
ORGANELLE CONTACTS
Chair: Dr. Christopher Loewen, University of British Columbia 

Invited Speaker: Dr. Will Prinz, NIH  
Dr. Will Prinz is section chief of the Lipid Trafficking and Organelle Biogenesis section at the National Institutes of Health. His lab uses S. cerevisiae as a model system to understand lipid trafficking, ER-shaping proteins and formation of organelle contact sites. Recent work includes the identification of a new conserved family of proteins (called “FIT” proteins), which regulate lipid droplet budding from the ER.


SYSTEMS BIOLOGY OF REGENERATIVE MEDICINE

Chair: Dr. William Stanford, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute


Invited Speaker: Dr. Kristin Hope, McMaster University
Dr. Kristin Hope is Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster. Her work focuses on molecular regulation of haematopoietic stem cell self-renewal. Her aim is to understand how these processes are linked to leukemic transformation. In 2010, Dr. Hope was the recipient of OICR New Investigator Award.
 
MEMBRANE TRAFFICKING AND CANCER
Chair: Dr. Morag Park, McGill University

Invited Speaker: Dr. Arnim Pause, McGill University
Dr. Arnim Pause is Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at McGill University. His innovative work focuses on cell signaling pathways involved in tumour suppression and metastasis including the FLCN-AMPK regulator axis and the ESCRT endosomal sorting complex. Dr. Pause is a previous recipient of The GE & Science Prize for Young Life Scientists.

MODELS OF RARE DISEASES
Chair: Dr. Kym Boycott, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario 

Invited Speaker: Dr. Mikko Taipale, University of Toronto
Dr. Mikko Taipale is a former Whitehead Institute post-doctoral fellow and is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. His work focuses on mechanisms of protein homeostasis and their relationship to rare diseases. In 2016, Dr. Taipale was awarded the inaugural CIFAR-Azrieli Fellowship for early career investigators.
 

MEMBRANE TRAFFICKING & DEVELOPMENT
Chair: Dr. Julie Brill, Hospital for Sick Children


Invited Speaker: Dr. Christian Rocheleau, McGill University
Dr. Rocheleau is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at McGill University. His innovative research program uses the C. elegansmodel system to understand how cell signaling (RTK/Ras/MAPK) and vesicular trafficking converge to regulate critical cellular functions. Dr. Rocheleau is the Canada Research Chair in Signaling and Development. 


JOINT SESSION - CANCER BIOLOGY
Chair: Dr. Costin Antonescu, Ryerson University


Invited Speaker: Dr. Morag Park, McGill University
Dr. Morag Park is Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at McGill University and Director of the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Centre. Her research program aims to understand how the disruption of cell signaling pathways (such as the Met receptor tyrosine kinase pathway) impact cellular events that are important for cancer progression. Dr. Park is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2015 was presented with an award for ‘Exceptional Leadership in Cancer Research’ by theCanadian Cancer Research Alliance.

 

Thursday May 18, 2017

SYNTHETIC NETWORK ANALYSIS
Chair: Dr. Mathieu Lavallee-Adam, University of Ottawa


Invited Speaker: Dr. Anne-Claude Gingras, University of Toronto
Dr. Anne-Claude Gingras is full Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto and senior investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Institute. Her work uses mass spectrometry-based approaches to build protein-protein interaction networks that guide our understanding of cell function. Dr. Gingras was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2011 and was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2015. Dr. Gingras is co-author of over 80 publications since 2012 alone.

 

ORGANELLE IDENTITY AND BIOGENESIS
Chair: Chris Brett, Concordia University


Invited Speaker: Dr. Michael Sacher, Concordia University  
Dr. Michael Sacher is Associate professor in the Department of Biology at Concordia University. His group studies how vesicles are properly sorted in eukaryotic cells. Recent work includes investigation of the TRAPP complex in regulating sorting events in both model systems and patient derived cell lines. Dr. Sacher is the recipient of the CIHR New Investigator Award (2007-2012) and the Maud Menten New Principal Investigator Prize (2007).

NEW FRONTIERS IN METABOLOMICS AND METABOLIC DISEASE
Chair: Dr. Mary-Ellen Harper, University of Ottawa


Invited Speaker: Dr. Amy Caudy, University of Toronto and Donnelly
Dr. Amy Caudy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto and Canada Research Chair in Metabolomics for Functional Enzyme Discovery. She is redefining the world of metabolism research with innovative ‘metabolomics’ research. Specifically, her research group uses mass spectrometry-based methods to identify and characterize enzymes required for critical cellular processes. Recent work from Dr. Caudy includes the discovery of riboneogenesis - a novel pathway for the production of ribose, an essential building block for nucleic acids.

 

MEMBRANE TARGETING AND SORTING

Chair: Liz Conibear, University of British Columbia 

Invited Speaker: To be confirmed.

THE MICROBIOME
Chair: Alain Stintzi, University of Ottawa


Invited Speaker: Christian Jobin, University of Florida
Christian Jobin received his PhD from Laval University and now holds a dual appointment as a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at the University of Florida College of Medicine and in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. His research using mice and zebrafish along with microbiome techniques such as next-generation sequencing allows him probe the bacteria/host interactions in both the health and disease state. His work has contributed to the understanding of the cellular molecular mechanisms regulating the innate host response to bacterial colonization and how dysregulation of this intestinal homeostasis contributes to the development of inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancers.


STRESS, METABOLISM & TRAFFICKING 
Chair: Dr. Heidi McBride McGill University


Invited Speaker: Dr. Thomas Simmen, University of Alberta
Thomas Simmen is a former Terry Fox New Investigator award-winner and an Associate Professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Alberta. His research team studies the intersection of redox signaling with mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum function. His work has important implications for our understanding of how alterations in metabolism can drive cancer progression.


JOINT SESSION - SPATIAL ORGANIZATION OF REGULATORY NETWORKS
Chair: Dr. Rob Botelho Ryerson University


Invited Speaker: Dr. Rosa Puertollano, National Institutes of Health
Dr. Rosa Puertollano is a Senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health (NIH, Bethesda, Maryland). Dr. Puertollano’s research program aims to uncover how defects in endosomal and lysosomal trafficking contribute to diverse human diseases. Dr. Puertollano and her colleagues have authored over 60 publications. Recent high-profile work includes the important discovery that transcription factors TFEB and TFE3 are broad regulators of cell stress and innate immunity.


Friday May 19th, 2017


EMERGING TRENDS IN CELL SIGNALING
Chair: Dr. Mike DowneyUniversity of Ottawa


Invited Speaker: Dr. Brian Raught, University of Toronto & Ontario Cancer Institute
Dr. Brain Raught is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. He is also Canada Research Chair in Proteomics and Molecular Medicine at the Ontario Cancer Institute McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine. His work uses massspectrometry based approaches to interrogate the role of ubiquitin and small-ubiquitin-like-modifier (SUMO) in the regulation of signaling pathways that underlie human health and disease. His use of innovative approaches to study post-translational modifications is redefining our understanding of cell function while uncovering new opportunities for therapeutic intervention.

 
TRAFFICKING AND LIPID SIGNALS

Chair: Dr. Neale Ridgway, Dalhousie University

Invited Speaker: Dr. Karin Reinisch, Yale University
Dr. Karin Reinisch is Professor of Cell Biology and of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University. Her innovative work uses structural biology to understand lipid homeostasis, mechanisms for activating RabGTPases, and the regulation of membrane fusion. Recent high impact work from Dr. Karin, published in Nature Cell Biology, describes the leukodystrophy protein FAM126A as a novel regulator of PtdIns(4)P synthesis at the plasma membrane.


EPIGENETIC SIGNALING
Chair: Dr. jean-Francois CoutureUniversity of Ottawa


Invited Speaker: Dr. Marjorie Brand, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Dr. Marjorie Brand is full Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and Senior Investigator at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Dr. Brand’s lab uses “omics”- based approaches to understand how hematopoietic stems cells are regulated at the level of chromatin structure and function. In 2014, Dr. Brand was elected to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.


PATHOGEN MANIPULATION OF HOST CELL FUNCTION
Chair: Dr. John Brumell Hospital for Sick Children


Invited Speaker: Dr. Ralph Isberg, Tufts University
Dr. Ralph Isberg is Professor of Molecular Biology & Microbiologyat Tufts University (Boston, MA). Dr. Isberg’s work uses genetic and biochemical assays in the Legionella pneumophila and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis models to interrogate bacterial-host cell interactions that are emerging as critical regulators of infection. Dr. Isberg’s work is funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has received numerous awards for his innovative work including the Eli Lilly and Company-Elanco Research Award and the Zucker Family Prize for Outstanding Research.


Saturday May 20th, 2017


JOINT SESSION - NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Chair: Dr. Greg Fairn Ryerson University


Invited Speaker: Dr. Dev. Sidhu, University of Toronto and Donnelly Centre
Dr. Sidhu is full Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto and a world-leader in the development of high-throughput tools for protein engineering. Dr. Sidhu’s group aims to use these tools to design antibodies and other proteins to disrupt protein-protein interactions that modulate human health and disease. In 2015, Dr. Sidhu was recognized by the Protein Society with the Christin B. Anfinsen Award. This prize is awarded to scientists who make high-impact advances in the field of protein science.

JOINT SESSION - SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY & BEYOND
Chair: Dr. Kristin Baetz University of Ottawa


Invited Speaker: Dr. Jeff Boeke, New York University (NYU)
Dr. Jeff Boeke is founding director of The Institute for Systems Genetics, located at the NYU Langone Medical Center. Dr. Boeke is a world-leader in systems and synthetic biology and, with over 300 publications, has made many seminal contributions to our understanding of fundamental aspects of cell biology. Dr. Boeke is currently leading an international team of scientists dedicated to building “Sc2.0” – a yeast carrying a redesigned and entirely synthetic genome.

 

 
 
 
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