Meet Some Of Our Current Students

I am Farah Abdalbari. I completed my undergraduate degree in Microbiology and Immunology at Dalhousie University. I am excited to join the Pathology department at McGill as an MSc student under the supervision of Dr. Carlos Telleria this Fall, in which I will be focusing on preclinical therapy of ovarian cancer. During my undergraduate studies, I became interested in different areas of research such as immunology, cell biology, and cancer which encouraged me to explore graduate studies at McGill. My primary interests include developing novel therapies against cancer and autoimmune diseases, and I would like to be involved in clinical trials and translational research in the future. I strongly believe that the broad range of basic and translational research techniques that the Pathology program at McGill has to offer would allow me to expand my knowledge in scientific research. I am extremely grateful to become a member of the Pathology Department at McGill and I am looking forward to live in Montreal.I am Farah Abdalbari. I completed my undergraduate degree in Microbiology and Immunology at Dalhousie University. I am excited to join the Pathology department at McGill as an MSc student under the supervision of Dr. Carlos Telleria this Fall, in which I will be focusing on preclinical therapy of ovarian cancer. During my undergraduate studies, I became interested in different areas of research such as immunology, cell biology, and cancer which encouraged me to explore graduate studies at McGill. My primary interests include developing novel therapies against cancer and autoimmune diseases, and I would like to be involved in clinical trials and translational research in the future. I strongly believe that the broad range of basic and translational research techniques that the Pathology program at McGill has to offer would allow me to expand my knowledge in scientific research. I am extremely grateful to become a member of the Pathology Department at McGill and I am looking forward to live in Montreal.

I am Aeshah Alluli, a Master’s student in the Department of Pathology and supervised by Dr. Carolyn Baglole. I obtained my undergraduate degree in Medical Laboratory Technology from Jazan University back home in Saudi Arabia. Following my bachelor’s degree, I got a scholarship from the Ministry of Education to study abroad and complete my graduate degree. I came to Canada in 2016 to first study English courses that would assist me in my adventure in graduate studies. I am superMom for a lovely son (Rakan) who is 6 years old and has accompanied me during my adventure in Canada. I am so glad to be a member of McGill University especially in the Pathology Department. My goal is to learn more about the most recent area of research in the field of Pathology that is related to Toxicology, since this will help me a lot in my future career.

  Hi, my name is Emma Rose Cheetham and I recently obtained my undergraduate degree at Concordia University in Biology. Throughout my life I have always been fascinated about physiology and anatomy and understanding how everything functions within our bodies.  As I continued my studies in biology and performed research in a Clinical Immunology and Molecular Biomarkers Laboratory I became increasingly more interested in disease related topics and the causes and impacts of disease on individuals. This led me to apply to the Pathology department here at McGill and I look forward to beginning my masters degree here this fall. I believe this is the perfect place to continue learning more about a topic that I am passionate about, surrounded by others who share my passion. I will be working under the supervision of Dr.Sonia Cellot ​at the Research Centre of the Sainte-Justine University Hospital and will be performing research relating to the genetic characterization of pediatricleukemia.  Iamexcited to be joining the McGill community and can't wait to see what the future will hold and what adventures await.

Hi I'm Lingxiao Chen, a newly admitted master student in Dr. Gao's lab. I completed my undergrad at department of pharmacology at McGill, and the experience from my undergrad research project related to epilepsy has raised my interest to further devote in pathophysiological research. My master thesis will aim to work on the topic of peroxisome dysfunction and its adverse effect on mouse model of Zellweger syndrome. It is my honor to work with both supervisors, Dr.Gao and Dr. Braverman, on their fascinating collaborating project. I'm really excited by this new challenge and can't wait to see you in our beautiful campus!

My name is Tadhg Ferrier, and I am a new master’s student in Dr. Julia Burnier’s laboratory at the MUHC-RI. I obtained my undergraduate degree in Pharmacology at McGill, where I also had the chance to start doing research in the Henry C. Witelson Ocular Pathology Laboratory, doing work looking at metastasis markers in Uveal Melanoma, especially relating to the importance of BAP1 protein expression on the prognosis of patients. From there, I had the chance to start doing work in Dr. Julia Burnier’s Laboratory, looking at Methylation Signatures in Uveal Melanoma using the TCGA database. These first opportunities in research reinforced my desire to continue doing cancer research in a translational environment, where it is possible to immediately see the potential impact of your work on the lives of patients. I am very excited to have the opportunity to pursue my M.Sc. in the department of Pathology at McGill, and to be able to work with such talented and driven people. Currently, I am working on research in methylation analysis and liquid biopsy techniques for cancer detection and prognostication.

Hi, my name is Paulina Garcia de Alba Graue and I am a medical doctor from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Since the beginning of my undergraduate studies I had the opportunity to collaborate in a laboratory studying the steroid metabolism of ovarian cancer and was fascinated by the mirage of possibilities that can be unleashed researching basic and translational sciences. Last year I was given the opportunity to do an observership under the supervision of Dr. Miguel Burnier at the Henry C. Witelson Ocular Pathology Laboratory where I studied the transcription factor SREBP-1 as a novel marker for sebaceous gland carcinoma of the eyelid. This experience was a key component in my decision to pursue a master’s degree, not only did I work with brilliant scientists and the latest equipment of a top research institute, but found myself surrounded by an incredibly supportive lab family. On September I will begin my master’s degree in the laboratory of Dr. Miguel Burnier at the MUHC-Research Institute. I am truly honored and grateful to become a new member of the academic community in the Pathology Department at the prestigious McGill University.

Majd Haddad: I have moved to Canada coming from Syria in 2016. I was then able to transfer to uottawa and complete my undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences. Studying at McGill was my initial intention before coming to Canada, but it was too late to apply. However, here i am getting back to McGill department of pathology to Dr. Alexander Gregorieff lab. We will be studying the role of Hippo signaling pathway in stromal cells during gut homeostasis and tumorigenesis. Looking forward a great experience at McGill!

I am Julia Messina-Pacheco and I am extremely proud to be a newly admitted member of the pathology graduate program at McGill University. I have recently completed the BSc Program in the multidisciplinary field of Life Sciences (Honours) at McGill. It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to study at such a renowned university in Montreal, a city that I am proud to call ‘home’ – it is beautifully vibrant, dynamic and multicultural. From a very young age, I have had a deep-rooted interest in the human body, how its parts function cohesively, and above all, what causes it to function abnormally. My innate curiosity for all concepts pertaining to the pathophysiology and progression of disease has led me to join Dr. Zu-hua Gao's lab at the McGill Research Institute of the MUHC to complete my Master’s degree in Pathology. Our project is directed toward improving the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, which is currently nearly always fatal, since it is usually detected at a late stage when it is already impossible to cure. This is a childhood dream come true and I look forward to having research results be translated to the scientific community where they can potentially be of great benefit.

My name is Myriam MacDonald and I am a plastic surgeon from Brazil. Being a newly admitted member of the pathology graduate program at the McGill University makes me truly proud. It is such an honor to be a student in one of the best universities in the world and be a part of this multicultural and world-class environment. During my Masters program I will be working under the supervision of Dr. Miguel Burnier and we will study the skin healing using new technologies. I feel so welcome by everyone I have met already and I am looking forward to doing my best. Besides, Montreal is a delightful place and one of the best cities in the world to live in, I am absolutely in love.

My name is Matthew Preteroti. I recently graduated with a BScH from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario with a major in Life Sciences. During my time as an undergrad I constantly sought out courses with a focus in disease-related topics and novel therapies. Ultimately, it was this desire that led to my registration in the first, of several pathology-oriented courses of my student career. Having only scratched the surface of this area of study, I wished to further explore the topics of pathology at the graduate level. I’m very pleased to say that I will be joining the department of pathology at McGill University in the fall as a member of Dr. Baglole’s laboratory focusing on the pulmonary effects of cannabis use. Being from Ottawa, I am very excited to become a part of the graduate community at McGill and to explore the various opportunities the program and city have to offer. I’m very much looking forward to meeting everyone in the fall!

My name is Fatemeh Jamali, a proud newly admitted PhD student in the department of pathology under the supervision of Dr. Sabri. I will start as PhD student in September 2020 and will be conducting my research in Dr. Sabri and Dr, Abdulkarim’s lab, investigating new molecular mechanisms involved in glioblastoma resistance to current standard therapy and efficacy of a repurposed drug in human glioblastoma cell lines and patient-derived glioblastoma stem cells. My academic interests have evolved from my university studies and my intrinsic observations of the global society in which I live in. My research work in the field of microbiology has inspired me to look closer at the societal needs in biomedicine evolution, that’s why I successfully finished both bachelor and master programs in Microbiology. I have always been fascinated by cancer research and have decided to continue my research in that field. This has driven me to achieve another master’s degree in Biotechnology at McGill university, to help me develop specific skills that can be applied in cancer research, exercising various techniques and detecting new ones.

I am Leonardo F. Jurado, a Colombian medical doctor graduated from the National University of Colombia. During my undergraduate studies I had the opportunity to study virulence, pathogenesis and the clinical presentation of Tuberculosis (TB) and Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterial infections, and as part of an internship at Harvard Medical School, I worked on mycobacterial interspecies interactions.

TB is the most lethal infectious disease in the world. Undoubtedly, an effective vaccine is needed to overcome the burden of this disease. Considering most of my research work has been focused on infectious diseases, particularly TB, I decided to continue studying this disease, which represents one of the biggest historical challenges for medical science.

Recent approaches of Dr. Divangahi´s team deciphering disease tolerance and trained immunity in TB may led to unexplored ways to face infection and disease progression. Through my PhD studies, my project will focus on the potential combination of BCG vaccine and recent available adjuvants for inducing innate memory response and vaccine against TB. I plan to exploit the cellular and molecular mechanisms of protective signatures in innate memory compartments (termed trained immunity) for vaccine development against TB.

My name is Rita Proença,  before joining the department of Pathology I completed my Medical Degree in the University of Coimbra and was working as an Ophthalmologist in Lisbon, Portugal. During residency I had the opportunity of doing an Observership at the Henry C. Witelson Ocular Pathology Laboratory. The experience was inspiring and fulfilling. The laboratory is a well-known worldwide center in Ocular Pathology, especially in the field of Uveal Melanoma and the research team is beyond any expectations. Coming to study at McGill is the ideal opportunity to combine my desire to continue my studies, embrace research and teamwork and bring them together with solid foundations of guidance and methods, which are necessary to develop good research projects. I am beyond proud to be able to study at the Pathology program at McGill University and looking forward to live in Montreal.

I am Sabrina Ritch.  I completed my BSc in Anatomy and Cell Biology at McGill University. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I was exposed to various fields of study and came to the realization that I was extremely interested in learning about cancer. For this reason, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to work in a laboratory that focused on cancer research.I started my Master’s degree under the supervision of Dr. Telleria and had such a positive and enriching experience that I quickly decided to pursue my PhD. The goal of my project is tocharacterize the metastatic properties of high grade serous ovarian cancer cells along disease progression and to determine whether these properties can be altered by the drug Mifepristone in a therapeutic-beneficial manner. Born and raised in Montreal, the city has never ceased to amaze me with its culture and diversity and, to this day, I still find myself discovering new areas around the city. There is no place I would rather live and study.

My name is Fangyi Shi. I obtained my BSc in Biology from University of Western Ontario in 2018. I started my undergraduate study at Acadia University majoring in biology and transferred to University of Western Ontario after my second year. I have a strong interest in biology and medicine since childhood. In university, I took a lot of courses in medical science and found that I enjoyed pathology very much. I am very proud to be a newly admitted member of the pathology graduate program at McGill University. McGill has been my dream university for years because of its high prestige around the world. I will begin my Master’s degree this September under the supervision of Dr. Carolyn Baglole who specializes in the study of pulmonary diseases. I am excited to join this research group and look forward to studying in McGill.
 

 

 

 

 

My name is Noof Aloufi. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Technology from Taibah University in Saudi Arabia. Following graduation, I was hired as a teaching assistant in the Histopathology division in my college where I worked in the university’s teaching laboratory. In addition to my role as a full time teacher, I also worked in the diagnostic medical laboratory at the Maternity and Children's Hospital in Medina. Then, I got my master’s degree in 2017 from the Pathology department, McGill University, under the supervision of Dr. Carolyn Baglole at the Meakins-Christie, RI-MUHC. Currently, I’m doing my PhD in the same lab and my project is about the role of the Human Antigen R (HuR), mRNA binding protein, in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). My target in life is to teach future generations and participate in academic research. Being a PhD student at McGill has equipped me with the required qualifications to achieve my goals. I consider myself fortunate to be given the opportunity to pursue my higher education at the Pathology Department in McGill University which is ranked as one of the best universities around the world. I am also very lucky to have the chance to study in Montreal which is a lively city with kind people and great food.

My name is Luc Boulianne, and before joining the department of pathology, I completed a B.Sc. in biomedical sciences at the University of Montreal. I have developed a keen interest in pathology with an emphasis on cancer since the first course about it. Indeed, driven by a desire to make a difference in the life of people suffering from this terrible disease, pathology is an obvious choice for me because of its multidisciplinary approach allowing to study the disease from different perspectives. This led me to Dr. Cellot’s laboratory at the Research Centre of the Sainte-Justine University Hospital that conducts research on leukemia in the hope of finding new therapies. During my graduate studies, my experiments will focus on the molecular basis of acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (AMKL), which is a subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), in order to have a better understanding of the disease. I am thrilled and pleased to be part of the McGill community that is well renowned for its high-quality research.

I am Prisca Bustamante. I was born and raised in Acapulco, Mexico. I am an experimental biologist, and my research interest is ocular diseases. Ultimately, my goal is to help patients through the scientific work accomplished in the lab. I obtained my Master’s degree in Mexico city, studying retinal stem cells. Afterward, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry. I did an observership in the ocular pathology & translational research laboratory directed by Dr. Miguel Burnier, which reaffirmed my interest to do a Ph.D. in the Department of Pathology. I am truly delighted to work under Dr. Julia V. Burnier’s supervision. We are investigating the genomic alterations that occur in uveal melanoma and, identifying tumor markers to study and monitor diseases using non-invasive approaches. I am honored to be a student in the Pathology department at McGill, where I know I will expand my professional horizons and be able to develop valuable practical and theoretical skills required to continue my research career. I have lived in Montreal for 2 years and I am in love with its charming atmosphere and all its four seasons within the year.

My name is Yunxi Chen. I obtained my B.Sc. in the Honours program of Computer Science and Biology at McGill University. When I started my undergrad, I wasn’t sure what to pursue in my future career until I learned the development of cancer in my Biology courses and found I am deeply interested in learning more. In the winter of 2019, I had the great fortune of starting volunteering in Dr. Julia Burnier’s laboratory at the MUHC-RI, studying the role of cancer-stem cells and the proteomics of the extracellular vesicles of uveal melanoma. From the research experience, I affirmed my interest in cancer research and set it as my career goal to help patients through scientific work. I am truly delighted to pursue my M.Sc. in the department of Pathology under the supervision of Dr. Julia Burnier with all the kind and talented people. I am looking forward to opening a new chapter as part of the warm community in the beautiful city, Montreal.

Jeffrey Downey is a native of Calgary, Alberta and moved to Montreal in September, 2009. Upon completion of his BSc in Physiology from McGill University in 2013, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Maziar Divangahi as a PhD student to investigate immunity to infectious pulmonary diseases. Jeffrey’s research focuses on understanding the role of macrophages in mediating immunity to Influenza A virus infection. His work has culminated in publications in PNAS and JCI and in his initial first-author study currently under review. The vibrant and rich culture of Montreal was a principal component in his decision to remain at McGill for his graduate studies, as the city offers something for everyone and welcoming feel that makes it hard to leave. Following graduation, Jeffrey plans to continue his work as a post-doctoral fellow at a foreign institution and expand his research on macrophages to other infectious diseases, before hopefully returning to Canada to run his own laboratory.

My name is Cristina Fonseca and I am a Portuguese Ophthalmologist. During my Residency Program I did an observership in Ocular Pathology at Henry C. Witelson Ocular Pathology Laboratory, under the supervision of Dr. Miguel Burnier. After completing residency I have been working at the Portuguese National Reference Center for Uveal Melanoma, in Coimbra. In order to give my contribution to clinical research and, ultimately, my patients I consider knowledge in Pathology fundamental and complementary to any ophthalmologist who focuses in Ocular Oncology and Inflammation. Therefore, I decided to apply to the Pathology Graduate Program at the McGill University and I was really proud to have been admitted at it. It is such a privilege to have the opportunity to study at a renowned University and to learn from preeminent opinion leaders. I am looking forward to start this new adventure and to become a member of McGill’s multicultural scientific community.

My name is Zhaoping Ju, and I am a newly admitted master’s student in Dr. Alex Gregorieff’s laboratory. Before joining the Department of Pathology, I completed my bachelor’s degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology at McGill University. Throughout my undergraduate study, understanding diseases and their cellular underpinnings have always been my primary interest. It is a great honor and opportunity for me to continue exploring the field of pathology under the supervision of Dr. Alex Gregorieff. During my master’s study, I will be studying the Hippo signalling pathway underlying intestinal stem cell behavior and tumorigenesis. I’m truly excited to continue my study at McGill, one of the most prestigious university in the world, and staying in the beautiful city of Montreal

Hi, I am Vincent Lacasse, PhD student under the watchful eyes of Dr. Alan Spatz and Dr. Christoph Borchers. I complete my bachelor’s degree in pharmacology at University of Sherbrooke, where I discovered the wonders and the failures of the human body. I soon noticed a great variability in the effectiveness of treatments, which was often related to the lack of characterization of disease prior to treatment. Searching for tools to solve this problem, I stumbled upon mass spectrometry-based proteomics to which I was introduced during my internships. This leads to the completion of my master’s degree working on antibody-drug conjugate resistance mechanisms and technologies to avoid and/or overcome resistance using proteomics as a tool to gain insight into cancer biology. Although I said for a very long time that I would never do a PhD, my mind changed when I found out Dr. Borchers and Dr. Spatz work on bringing together proteomics research and clinical pathology. Being able to advance science and medicine in one of the best universities in Canada and in one of the best student cities in the world was apparently a dream I didn’t even know I had.

Christina Mastromonaco: When I first started undergrad at McGill I wasn’t sure what direction to go forth, until in my last year, I realized that I wanted to do translation sciences and visualize how research can impact the lives of patients. This drive allowed me to finish my master’s degree in the pathology, and now have continued to pursue my PhD in the MUHC-McGill Ocular Pathology Laboratory. My goal is to expand scientific knowledge in the field of ocular pathology with the knowledge I obtain from my thesis, which studies the impact of intraocular lens (IOL), implanted during cataract surgery, on secondary cataract formation. I am proud to say I am a McGillian, as McGill makes you feels like you are part of a unified community where everyone around you is there to help you succeed. McGill has a beautiful campus near downtown Montreal, moreover, McGill is not the only thing Montreal can offer. I grew up all my life in Montreal, and it is truly an exciting, full of life, multicultural city.

I am Elvis Martínez Jaramillo, a medical doctor graduated from the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon, Monterrey, Mexico. After I finished my undergraduate studies, I was interested in basic science. This drove me to complete my master in Morphology/Histology. I worked in the laboratory creating adenoviral vaccines against HPV-16 virus to be tested in prophylactic and antitumor assays. During my exchange in the University of Louisville, KY, USA, I studied replication of oncolytic adenoviruses in mice cells.  I am fascinated by cancer research and I will start in January as a Ph.D student in Dr. Sabri´s  lab. Being part of this group of researchers and as McGill University member makes me feel very proud and a full of honor since high qualified and prestigious research is well known world wide. The project I will be working involves the study of Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a type of brain cancer, focusing in the local immunosuppressive microenvironment and molecular subtypes of primary and recurrent GBM tumors.

On the other hand, many friends and patients who come from Montreal and assisted them while they were in Mexico, have told me how wonderful is the city to study and live in. Therefore, I am really excited to be enrolled as one of your future students.

I’m Shaida Ouladan, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Gregorieff’s lab. One of my major interests is working on intestinal stem cells and their role in GI carcinogenesis. I was graduated from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences with a doctoral degree in medicine. Being involved in some research projects at medical school made me enthusiastic about basic science and encouraged me to develop my career as a medical researcher. I moved to Germany work as a research scientist at the Institute of Pathology at University Hospital of Cologne. I got my master degree in cancer biology at the University of Kent, England. I believe that Ph.D. program in Department of Pathology can boost my knowledge in cancer research and assists me to conduct interdisciplinary research projects in the future. Joining this enable to benefit from the amazing academic atmosphere of McGill University. In addition, outstanding seminars, workshops and library facilities keep me updated with current topics in the field of cancer research. Working at MUHC- Research Institute puts me in contact with other researchers and eases learning and sharing new ideas. Besides all academic privileges of being a member of McGill community, living in Montreal is fascinating to me. I really enjoy the cultural diversity of this city and having friends from all around the world.

I am Kim Ai-my Tran.  I obtained my BSc in Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University and will now be starting my MSc under the supervision of Dr. Divangahi’s. Our research will be focused on the iron metabolism of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, particularly the iron-dependent programmed cell death termed ferroptosis. Examining the interplay between the immune system and the pathogenesis of bacteria and viruses is key to applying academic research towards novel infectious disease therapies that have the potential to help millions around the world. I look forward to contributing to this purpose while following a career path I am passionate about. This university is where I developed a deep interest for scientific research during my time in the Honours program of Microbiology and Immunology. I am truly excited to be continuing my academic career at McGill and starting this new chapter as part of the Department of Pathology. Pursuing research in such an institution is an incredible opportunity to enter academia and the scientific community alongside such distinguished scientists."

Mahbuba Rahman Subeha: I am a PhD student in Dr. Carlos Telleria’s lab in the Department of Pathology. The focus of my research is preclinical therapy of ovarian cancer. At present, I am developing a project on testing the therapeutic efficacy of HIV protease inhibitor drug Nelfinavir against high grade serous ovarian cancer cells. I obtained Bachelor of Medicine (MBBS) from Dhaka Medical College, Bangladesh and completed MSc in Basic Biomedical Sciences from University of South Dakota, USA. In future, I intend to contribute in the field of translational research bridging the gap between patient care and laboratory researches. The world class research facilities and academia of McGill University is the perfect platform to achieve my goal. Finally, as an art enthusiast myself, I cannot think of a better place than the multicultural city of Montreal to continue my journey.

Hello, my name is Peter Younan and science has always been the major area of interest in my studies. Pursuing and completing my B.Sc. in Biology at Notre Dame University, in Lebanon, provided the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the field of science that interested me the most, as I learned about the human body and its intricate mode of functioning, from cells working together on a molecular level to form tissues, to the various pathologies that may harm the human body and its state of homeostasis.

Shortly after graduating, I was presented with the opportunity to start an internship at the Meakins-Christie laboratories, under the supervision of Dr. Qutayba, a professor in Medicine at McGill, and the Strauss Chair of Respiratory Medicine at the McGill University Health Centre. This was an incredible opportunity that further solidified my keen interest in research and allowed me to get a real understanding of what it entailed. Since then, I've kept abreast of developments in the field of Stem Cell therapy and re-engineering, as the future of the medical field seems to lie within stem cell-based research.

I am truly delighted to be able to pursue my M.Sc. in Pathology, at McGill, one of the world's most prestigious research-intensive educational institutions, and I'm looking forward to expanding my knowledge and working under the supervision of Dr. Alex Gregorieff, who specializes in the study of stem cells in the epithelium lining of our intestinal tract, and their role in epithelial regeneration and tumorigenesis

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