Student Life

Hello and welcome to the Institute of Parasitology!

Just as the eyes are the windows of the soul, so are we your point of contact for all that is student life. If you have any questions regarding housing, classes, life in Montreal, or merely want to complain about grad life, we’ve got you covered.  As graduate students of Macdonald campus, we are members of both PGSS and MCGSS entailing you to the social support structures of both campuses. Graduate studies in Parasitology is more than just a degree. We are a uniquely interdisciplinary and collaborative community with a diverse background of scientific and life experiences. Our goal is to provide an intellectually stimulating experience where you are provided the tools to grow as a thinker in an environment conducive to your physical and mental wellbeing.

Meet your student Reps


As a Maritimer in the big city, I moved to Montreal following my undergrad at the University of New Brunswick to do my Master's at McGill in Epidemiology. After working for a year, I've come back to the student life and am now pursuing my PhD in Dr. Xia's lab. I'm focusing on using big data (metagenomics and metabolomics) to manipulate the gut microbiome to improve host health.

Contact: jasmine.chong [at]


Having also completed my under-graduate studies here, I have been at McGill since 2010 and have been working on my doctorate since 2014. I’m interested in studying the host-parasite interaction during infection with Schistosoma mansoni. My research focuses on mechanisms employed by the parasite in order to modulate the host immune system and establish a permissive environment for parasite perpetuation. A better understanding of these strategies utilized by the parasite could lead to the identification of novel targets for the potential prevention and therapeutic intervention of schistosomiasis.

Contact: maude.dagenais [at]


During my undergrad in Microbiology and Immunology, I discovered my passion for infectious diseases and developed a particular interest for parasites and their host interactions. I wasn’t ready to leave McGill just yet, so I decided to join Dr. Rohrbach’s lab in 2016 to study Plasmodium falciparum as part of my Masters degree. My work focuses on understanding the role played by extracellular vesicles released from the infected red blood cells in modulating parasite-to-parasite communication. By better understanding the mechanisms used by the parasite to modulate gametocytogenesis, we can target new pathways to prevent transmission of the parasite between hosts.

Contact: stephanie.kucykowicz [at]


Born and bred in Montreal, I feel right at home at the Institute. Having completed an undergrad in Neuroscience at McGill, followed by a Masters in Biotechnology at the Institute, I have recently jumped on the ‘PhD train’ and am now completing my PhD in the Dr. Beech lab. I’m interested in understanding the diversity and compatibility of ion channels in the helminth neuromuscular system. I use a novel approach of combining bioinformatics followed by wet-lab techniques to identify the amino acid sites that determine subunit compatibility and evolutionary functional change. Everyone loves ion channels!

Contact: jennifer.noonan [at]


  • Maude Dagenais (2015-present)
  • Marcus Kaji (2016-2017)
  • Georgia Limniatis (2014-2015; 2016-2017)
  • Hilary Byrne (2015-2016)   
  • Maeghan O'Neil (2014-2015)
  • Philip Zanet (2013-2014)



  • Orientation BBQ: We host a yearly barbecue to welcome new students to the Institute and bond over deliciously flame-cooked meat and veggies
  • Halloween Party
  • Winter Holiday Party
  • Parasitology Board Game Nights
Back to top