McGill Dentistry Graduate Student Society (MDGSS)

McGill Dentistry Graduate Student Society Committee, 2023-2024

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President, Zaneta D’Souza

I am Zaneta D’Souza, a first year MSc Dental Sciences student enrolled under the supervision of Dr. Sreenath Madathil and I am your MDGSS President (2023-2024). I am currently working on a thesis project that explores the application of AI in oral cancer diagnosis.

An oral pathologist from India, my interest lies in clinical dentistry and diagnostics. Throughout my post-graduate studies, I led multiple efforts to improve the academic journey of our department and its student cohort. I believe that learning environments should be enjoyable, inclusive and innovative , this belief further formed the foundation of my role as an assistant professor (a contract position) at Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai. Interacting and engaging with students gave me insights into the dynamics of the student-teacher relationship. Following the conclusion of my contract, I was fortunate to be offered a an opportunity as a medical science liaison for a top global pharmaceutical company in India. My perspective on the practical aspects of research deepened in this role, and I acquired valuable skills in teamwork, creativity, and leadership.

During my leisure time, you might find me playing the piano, singing, playing badminton, or engaging in indoor running. I'm always excited to connect with those who share similar interests.

As your new president, I earnestly want to focus on our faculty’s academic as well as career prospects. I believe that as a student body, we can bring about a change that can transform and reform our learning journey in constructive ways. Feel free to connect with me at, zaneta.dsouza [at]">zaneta.dsouza [at] I am looking forward to collaborating with each one of you and working towards creating a vibrant and supportive community within the faculty!

VP Academics, Frank Chen

Bonjour/Hello/Namaste/Marhaba/Chetori/Nihao My name is Frank, a neuroscientist and an open-minded adventurer who loves to befriend people of different cultures and nationalities. Stemming from the beautiful agricultural province of Saskatchewan, I possess a spontaneous interest in people and objects around me. I joined the McGill dentistry department as a master’s student, striving to unveil the mystery behind the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease through a periodontal lens. In my moments of respite, I like to improvise with my guitar and venture into the wilderness with friends for the most breath-taking scenery. Having worked in the field of neurological research for a long time at The Neuro and the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, I have participated in diverse academic events both as a student and as an organizer, during which I became familiar with the academic resources on campus and built an intellectual network. During my undergraduate career at McGill, I have served as course assistants for ANAT 214, NUR1 236, NUR1 339, and NUR2 535, which has provided me with valuable insights into needs and challenges faced by students on a day to day basis. Besides, as a person who believes in altruistic service, I have worked in various non-profit organizations to make the community a better place for everyone, such as the Regina Food Bank, Scouts Canada, and Montreal Chinese Hospital. I am grateful for your faith in me as I take on the role of VP Academics. I believe that knowledge goes beyond textbooks and I want to facilitate both intellectual and cultural exchange between students from different regions of the world. Here at McGill, we are a diverse family, and I am committed to ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard. Feel free to contact me with suggestions at yupeng.chen [at]!

VP Social, Krithika Priyadarshini Arunagiri

Hi, I'm Krithika Priyadharshini Arunagiri, doing my 1st year master's degree under the supervision of Dr. Pascaline Talla and Dr. Paul Allison. I did my Bachelor of Dental Surgery in India, to be more specific, Chennai. As a student of McGill, a land of opportunities, I can relate to how overwhelming it can be. But why do it the hard way?

My goal is to make the study years more enjoyable and create memories that we can look back on and cherish. I would love to plan group outings to explore the beauty of this city, heritage and try new food outlets (Yass!! food!!)

I will explore the possibility of organizing additional social events, such as soup kitchens and various community events that not only bring us together but also allow us to contribute to the well-being of our broader community.

I am committed to making our social events and activities as inclusive as possible, and to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued.

So, let's all work together to achieve the perfect work-life balance and make the following days memorable. I look forward to connecting with you all.

VP Finance, Grusha Akade

Bonjour tout le monde!

Grusha here!

I'm a Dentist with a strong passion for both hands-on clinical work and research in public health. Currently, I'm a second-year master's thesis student in the Oral and Population health cluster, working under the supervision of Dr. Pascaline Talla.

My research focuses on bridging the gap between research findings and practical applications and promoting equitable access to healthcare with research-based solutions. I am working on understanding the oral health care needs and demands for home-based oral care services for the Geriatric population of Montreal.

Besides studying I love watching comedy movies, exploring new places, cooking and baking and singing.
I am grateful to be a part of the MDGSS.

As a VP-Finance, my first role is managing the annual budget, identify cost saving opportunities, planning and executing financial operations of MDGSS events. My main aim is to maintain the financial wellbeing of the society thus enabling us to conduct exciting events and ensure that we make memorable memories for everyone here in McGill.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at grusha.akade [at]

VP Communications, Praveen Kumar Elango

Bonjour/ Hello!

This is Praveen Kumar Elango, a second-year master's student at the faculty of dentistry under the supervision of Dr Belinda Nicolau. I am an internationally trained dentist from India and currently pursuing research in cancer epidemiology. My research interests are Bio-materials, Oral Health, and Oncological research. I am an easy-going, extroverted person who loves sports and outdoor activities.

I am very passionate about a career in healthcare, exploring the world, and gathering experiences. I love animals and enjoy visiting national parks. My past experiences having served as Academic secretary and sports captain in school and university have instilled in me various traits such as leadership, adaptability, and communication skills. These experiences have also made me realise the importance of teamwork, diversity, and inclusion.

The McGill Dentistry Graduate Student Society aims to help enhance the experience for students of the faculty of dentistry and get incorporated with the faculty and McGill University as a whole. Graduate life can be hard, but you don’t have to do it all by yourself, I am happy to help in any way I can and share my experiences.

Thank you so much for electing me as VP communications of the MDGSS and I assure you I will be fully committed to my role. Communication is a two-way road, so I would love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out to me anytime at praveen.elango [at]! Looking forward to my role in enriching your McGill experience.

Remember, "Your most important message is the one you give yourself."- Tony Robbins

VP Career, Chetan Shirvankar

I am honored to be the inaugural Vice President of Careers for the McGill Dentistry Graduate Student Society. In recognizing the need for dedicated career support within our faculty, this role was conceived to ensure that you are equipped with the tools, knowledge, and opportunities to thrive professionally upon completing your studies.

As a Ph.D. student, I am engaged in research that bridges the gap between AI technologies and practical healthcare applications while combining my expertise as a medical doctor and an engineer. My research is at the intersection of cutting-edge AI and practical healthcare, focusing on creating AI solutions to enhance medical diagnostics and patient care and streamline healthcare operations. I am strongly committed to innovation, patient-centred care, and the ethical use of AI in medicine.

In the capacity of VP careers, my commitment is to bridge the gap between academia and industry, facilitating a robust network of resources that cater to the unique career aspirations of our diverse student body. I will endeavour to bring to our society the most up-to-date practices, invaluable insights, and a rich tapestry of professional connections that will serve as a springboard for your imminent success.

I aim to support and enhance your professional development and career readiness. Together, we will work towards ensuring you all have the tools and connections needed for a successful transition into your professional careers. I am here to empower you as you forge the path to a rewarding career in dental medicine and oral health sciences.

Looking forward to an inspiring year ahead.

You can contact me if you have any questions regarding any of the above responsibilities: chetan.shirvankar [at]

VP Career Coordinator, Ramshaa Mahalingam

Hello everyone! My name is Ramshaa Mahalingam, currently in the first year of my thesis based master’s program in Dental Sciences working under the supervision of Dr. Dieter Peter Reinhardt. With a Bachelor of Science from McGill University in Anatomy and Cell Biology, my academic path has been deeply enriched by the fascinating intricacies of human biology and cellular dynamics. My experiences extend beyond academia, having contributed significantly to the National Institut of Public Heath of the Province of Québec (INSPQ), where I embraced the importance of public health initiatives.

Driven by a sincere desire to influence and enhance the career pathways of our student community, I am now eager to step into my new role of Career Advisor (Career Coordinator) for the McGill Dentistry Graduate Student Society (MDGSS). My background equips me with a unique blend of scientific knowledge and practical insights, positioning me to bridge the gap between academic pursuits and real-world career opportunities. I am committed to leveraging my connections and experiences to guide fellow students, helping them make informed career choices and develop industry-relevant skills.

Creativity is at the heart of my vision for this role. I believe in the power of innovative thinking and open dialogue with faculties, alumni, and students to foster a transformative career development environment. Whether it’s through unique workshop formats, networking events, or mentorship programs, I am ready to bring a fresh perspective and meaningful change to our student community. I am excited about the opportunity to make a substantial impact, guaranteeing that our peers receive the necessary support and resources to successfully steer their career paths. Please feel free to contact me in case of any questions at ramshaa.mahalingam [at]


VP Intradepartmental Affairs, Jan Kwan 

Bonjour and hello!

My name is Jan Kwan, and I am a first-year PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Simon Tran and Dr. Thomas Nguyen. I completed my undergraduate degree in Life Sciences at Queen’s University, followed by a Master of Engineering Science in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Western Ontario, with a collaborative specialization in Musculoskeletal Health Research.

I am currently working on research projects in the field of stem cell tissue engineering and implant dentistry. My research interests are smart biomaterials (hydrogels/polymers) and dental implant biomechanics. When I am not in the lab you can find me either at the gym or downtown exploring the best food spots Montreal has to offer. I am big into intramural hockey, soccer, and ultimate to fuel the competitive side of me.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to conduct research within the field of implant dentistry. Through my experiences, I have come to understand the necessity of a strong collaborative relationship in both clinical and basic research.

Since starting in September of 2023, I have observed a close, yet indirect, relationship among DMD, MSc, and PhD students within our Faculty of Oral Health Sciences and Dental Medicine. As your elected VP of Intradepartmental Affairs, my goal is to foster a single community that promotes collaboration, communication, discussion, and long-lasting relationships. I aim to create more opportunities for dentists and researchers in training to be informed and educated about opportunities within the field of dentistry.

I am always open for a chat and please don’t hesitate to reach out – jan.kwan [at]

Non-Thesis Representative, Shashank Kannan

Hello all, I am Shashank Kannan, doing my second year Masters in Dental Sciences (non-thesis stream). I am an internationally trained dentist from India.

Having engaged myself in the non-thesis track for over a year, I understand the journey's shades and challenges. My dedication to the non-thesis stream stems from a genuine desire to support my fellow students in navigating its track.
We non-thesis students constitute a smaller community, and by recognizing the importance of tailored education, I will support curriculum adaptations that better align with the needs of students. I will be committed to making our journey as inclusive as possible, considering diverse perspectives, and striving to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued.

As a person, I love gaming and binge-watching anime.

So, let us all work together to make our grad journey a prosperous one at McGill.
I look forward to connecting with you all.

Contact me at shashank.kannan [at]

PGSS Representative, Mai Atique

Hello Everyone/ Bonjour à tous !

This is Mai Atique. 2nd year Master’s thesis student at McGill under the supervision of Dr. Belinda Nicolau and Dr. Sabrina Wurzba working at the Jewish General Hospital. I am originally a dentist from Egypt, graduated with Bachelor of Oral & Dental Surgery (BDS) (Hons). My unwavering passion for dentistry always driving me to seamlessly blend the extensive research expertise with the solid clinical background, to offer patients a comprehensive and evidence-based approach to oral healthcare.

Throughout my academic journey, I have actively engaged with various student organizations and have gained valuable experience in collaboration, event coordination, and taking actions on behalf of my peers.

Aside from academics, I really enjoy spending time with my family, friends and exploring new places! I am a tennis player who boasted a long and impressive tenure in the sport. If you’re a player too, keep finger crossed to compete for the next match! Amidst the serene beauty of the nature, I like to savor every moment of communion with nature whether the beautiful shades of sunsets or glamorous white snowy landscape in winter!

As your PGSS representative, I am committed to fostering a collaborative and inclusive environment that addresses the unique needs and concerns of our diverse student body. Besides, committed to working collaboratively with students, faculty, and staff to address issues, organize meaningful events, and create a vibrant post-graduate community that benefits us all.

Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach me out at

Mai.atique [at]

PGSS Representative, Hassan Muadi

Salam/Hello/Bonjour/Namaste/Nín hǎo!

I'm Hasan Muaddi from Saudi Arabia. I started my academic journey at King Saud University, Riyadh, earning a bachelor of dental surgery degree. Since 2018, I've been a Teaching Assistant at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) at the College of Dentistry, King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia. Alongside mentoring dental students, I serve as an academic advisor in the OMFS department. Beyond academics, I'm passionate about painting, photography, and soccer. Currently, I'm a first-year master's student at McGill University, focusing on Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering for regenerative medicine in the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences. My research, under the supervision of Prof. Simon Tran, aims to pioneer novel approaches for reconstructing oral and maxillofacial defects.

As an international student, I deeply understand the diverse challenges we face in academics, from cultural adjustments to language differences. If chosen as your MDGSS Representative, I am committed to addressing these challenges, ensuring an inclusive environment where every concern is actively attended to. I believe in amplifying your voices to enhance the overall experience for all McGill graduate dental students. My dedication goes beyond representation, aiming to implement initiatives that improve our academic, social, and cultural aspects. I aspire to collaborate with students, faculty, and administration to make meaningful changes that reflect the unique needs of our diverse student body, forging a collective identity centered around academic excellence and personal growth.

Let us work together to shape a future that is not only academically rewarding but also culturally enriching for every member of our graduate dental student community. Feel free to share your thoughts and concerns with me at: hasan.muaddi [at]

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