Lab Photos

Lab picnic (Summer 2021). (Malvin, Vincent, Huashan, Xin, Ying, Nuwan. Bottom: Shaima, Lilit, Anjie)

Lab Winter celebration (2020)

Lab restart after COVID lockdowns (2020)

Ernst Lab 2017 (L to R): Huashan Peng, Hanrong Wu, Scott Bell, Jessie Poquerusse, Nuwan Hettige, Carl Ernst, Malvin Jefri, JF Theroux (Missing: Karla Manzano Vargas, Heika Silveira, Pen Hu, Ying Zhang)


Principle investigator

Carl Ernst, PhD, is an Associate Professor and the Canada Research Chair in Psychiatric Genetics at McGill University in the Departments of Psychiatry, Human Genetics, and the Integrated Program in Neuroscience.  He is the winner of the 2017 Teaching award for graduate supervision in Human Genetics, underlining his commitment to students and training. Outside of neuroscience and genetics, he is a singer-songwriter of original children's songs and enjoys being outdoors with his family.



(PhD Student - Human Genetics) Anjie Ni, BSc, is studying the development of dopaminergic neurons


( PhD Student - IPN)  Shaima Alsuwaidi, BSc, is studying the genetics of rare neurodevelopmental disorders


(PhD student- IPN) Malvin Jefri, MSc, is studying histone modifiers in neurodevelopmental disorders


(PhD student - Human Genetics) Nuwan Hettige, MSc, is developing assays for therapeutic treatment of NDDs and mapping epigenetic marks


(PhD student) Lilit Antonyan, MSc, Therapeutics for ASD/ID


Research associates/Lab Staff

Huashan Peng, MD (Stem cells/Gene editing)

Ying Zhang, MD (Stem Cells/gene editing)

Xin Zhang, PhD (Stem Cells/gene editing)


Lab Alumni

Scott Bell, (PhD - Neuroscience) U Calgary Medicine

Hanrong Wu, MSc (Stem cells/gene editing) Now: U Toronto

Pen Hu, MD (Visting Scholar) Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery,The second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University,

Changsha, Hunan, China

Heika Silveira, PhD (Elctrophysiology/Stem cells)

Karla Manzano Vargas, BSc, is developing therapeutic approaches for NDDs caused by reduced gene dosage (MSc student - Human Genetics)

Jessie Poquérusse, BSc (MSc - Neuroscience) used bioinformatics to search for and prioritize pathogenic mutations from whole genome sequences

(Post-doctoral fellow) Gilles Maussion, PhD, worked on models of NDDs in human stem cells.  Now: Research associate at the Montreal Neurological Institute

(Post-doctoral fellow) Betty Chen, PhD, worked on understanding how genotype relates to phenotype in neurodevelopmental disorders. Now: Assistant professor at Universidade Federal de São Paulo

(Post-doctoral fellow) Carolina Gigek, PhD, investivated how epigenetic factors influence gene transcription in neurodevelopment.  She used stem cells to model neuro-development, particularly in relation to psychiatric disease.  Now: post-doctoral fellow at Universidade Federal de São Paulo

(Visiting graduate student) Vanessa Ota, BSc, studied epignetic factors in neurodevelopment. Now: completing PhD in Genetics at Universidade Federal de São Paulo

(Research Associate) Alpha Diallo, PhD, corrdinated computational analyses for all Next-Generation Sequencing projects. Now: Staff at DNANexus

(Bioinformatics specialist) Raphaël Poujol, MSc, worked in the Bioinformatics group, building microRNA processing and DNA methylation analysis pipelines.  Now: World traveller

(Research Associate) Cristina Vasuta, PhD, coordinated the stem cell electrophysiology experiments in the lab.  Now: staff scientist at IRCM

(PhD student) Liam Crapper, BSc, is established an iPSC model of Lesch-Nyhan syndrome

Undergraduate students:

Marcy Maracle (Summer 2012) - LincRNAs in human brain

Camille Boudreau-Pinsonneault (NSCI420; 2012-2013 academic year) - Morphological assessment of stem cells.  Now: PhD Student in neuroscience at McGill

Kelsey Adams (Summer 2013) - Investigation of reduced gene expression.  Now: PhD student in neuroscience at Harvard

Cassandra Rogers (BIOL466; Winter 2014) - Quality control for RNAseq data.  Now:  Medical student at Tufts University

Jolene Drake (NSCI420; 2014) - Protein confirmation of RNAseq data in human neural stem cells.  Now: Medical student at U Manitoba

Ilaria Kolobova (NSCI420; 2015-2016) - Analysis of functional mutations in neurodevelopmental disorder cases

Hannah Burr (HGEN396): Analysis of ExomeSeq data in co-sanguinous families

Back to top