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GCI Research Day 2023, Hosted by the GCSS: Bridging Minds and Fostering Collaboration

The Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute (GCI) geared up for its much-anticipated annual Research Day. Coordinated by a dynamic team of trainees from the Goodman Cancer Student Society (GCSS), Alice Nam, Adéline Massé, and Ana Maria Hincapie lead this year's captivating event that showcased the scientific engagement at the GCI.

Every year, the GCSS hosts Research Day at the GCI where trainees, researchers, and Principal Investigators gather for a day-long event with the opportunity to engage with other members at the GCI for fruitful scientific exchange. This event promotes a connected community and presents as a platform to foster interdisciplinary collaboration within the GCI and with cancer researchers at McGill University and in Montreal.

"We are so excited to be organizing this year's Research Day at the GCI. We can always count on being inspired and motivated by fellow trainees' presentations at this event, and thus feel honored to be actively involved in bringing it to you all in 2023. We have each dedicated the past several weeks to making this event a success, and we hope you all have a great time," shares this year’s organizing committee.

Event Highlights:

This year, more than 100 attendees, including trainees, PIs, and researchers, participated in Research Day. Prof. Thomas Duchaine gave the opening remarks, followed by eight 3-Minute Thesis Presentations. Two poster sessions and vendor exhibitions took place until early afternoon prior to four Trainee Lightning Talks. We had the pleasure of welcoming trainees and PIs from the Lady Davis Institute, Research Institute-McGill University Health Centre, and Université de Montréal to share their work. This year’s keynote lecture was given by Prof. Tannistha Reya, titled “Tracing the Origins of Cancer: A Stem Cell Perspective”. She is currently a professor in Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University and Associate Director for Translational Research and Director of the Irving Drug Discovery program. Prof. Reya's work focuses on understanding the mechanisms that drive cancer initiation, progression, and therapy resistance. The event wrapped with Prof. Morag Park’s inspiring closing remarks and the award ceremony.

FRQS Recognition:

As a Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS)-funded Institute, two outstanding Lightning Talk trainees were recognized for their outstanding work and awarded with the FRQS Institut de Recherche Prix d'Excellence during this year’s GCI Research Day. The panel of judges comprised of GCI faculty, research associates and faculty from Université de Montréal who evaluated the presentations and posters based on scientific content, presentation clarity, engagement, and the ability to articulate the significance of the work. This ensured a fair and comprehensive assessment of the outstanding contributions presented during Research Day.

We congratulate this year’s Research Day winners:

Junior posters:

(1) Ellie Massey, (2) Jamie Magrill, (3) Wanting Zhu

Senior posters:

(1) Stephanie Valbon, (2) Simon Milette, (3) Mohammed Faiz Hussain

First place (tie) for Lightning Talks:

Sarah Maritan and Wajih Jawhar

First place (tie) for 3 Minute Thesis:

Yu Gu and Caitlyn Mourcos

Acknowledgments:

The success of Research Day is made possible by the generous support of sponsors, some of whom were present at the event: Illumina, Qiagen, Avantor Sciences, Olink, D-Mark, Brady, New England Biolabs, and BZI. GCI Scientific Platforms were also present, joining our sponsors. GCI Research Day was also funded by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at McGill. Special thanks to the GCI admin team, including Trina Johnson, Daniel Caron, Diana Lee, and Kristen Stecher, as well as Katrina Deane-Riggio, the GCI's previous Student Affairs Officer, for extending their generous help throughout the planning process. The entirely of this event would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of GCSS Organizers Alice Nam (Muller lab, PhD2), Adéline Massé (Muller lab, PhD2), and Ana Maria Hincapie (Tremblay lab, PhD3).

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