2011 Undergraduate Research Conference

Poster for URC 2011On Thursday, October 13, 2011, students from across the Faculty of Science presented their research projects at the seventh annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC).

This year, forty-eight students from across the Faculty of Science participated. They showed their results to fellow students, alumni, and members of the public. Once again this year, the spectrum of students' research projects was very broad, including topics such as:

  • Pay attention to faces! Looking at faces guides social perception
  • DNA methylation dynamics in Hibernating Ground Squirrel
  • Developing an approach to track adaptation readiness to the effects of climate change in the Canadian North
  • Building a curious robot
  • Neural Network Prediction of Lung Function in SSc Patients

McGill judges had the arduous task of choosing the victors (see below). The prize ceremony took place in McGill's elegant Moyse Hall, and was followed by a very special keynote address (see also below). The day culminated with a reception for students and alumni, where everyone celebrated the accomplishments of McGill Science students.

Keynote address

Prizewinning McGill Professors Patrick Hayden (Computer Science), Andrew Hendry (Redpath Museum & Biology), Guy Moore (Physics), Karim Nader (Psychology), and Nancy Ross  (Geography) spoke on Research Revelations and shared insights from the world of research and graduate studies.

Prizewinners, guest speakers, Dean of Science. 2011 Undergrad. Research Conf.Prizewinners, guest speakers, and Dean of Science. 2011 Undergraduate Research Conference


Biological Sciences

  • Kristiana Salmon, 1st prize: RT-qPCR Analysis of Two-Component System Gene Expression in Citrobacter rodentium
    Supervisors: Prof. Samantha Gruenheid & Prof. Hervé Le Moual
    Nominated by: Department of Microbiology and Immunology
  • Emily Parkinson, 2nd prize: Attentional Set Shifting in Early and Late Lactating Rats
    Supervisor: Dr. Claire-Dominique Walker
    Nominated by: Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology

Earth and Health Sciences

  • Sophie Splawinski, 1st prize: Anticyclones: their role in cold air replenishment and impacts on the duration of severe freezing rain events in Quebec City
    Supervisors: Prof. John R. Gyakum, Dr. Eyad H. Atallah
    Nominated by: Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
  • Léa Braschi, 2nd prize: The role of water table fluctuations in soil moisture content at the Mer Bleue Bog
    Supervisor: Prof. Nigel Roulet
    Nominated by: Department of Geography

Mathematical and Computational Sciences

  • Yixia (Miles) Shang, 1st prize: A Probabilistic Method for Topological Control in Cloth Simulations
    Supervisor: Prof. Jean-Christophe Nave
    Nominated by: Department of Mathematics & Statistics
  • Jean-Philippe Fortin, 2nd prize: Eigenvalue distribution of random lifts
    Supervisors: Prof. Louigi Addario-Berry and Prof. Dmitry Jakobson
    Nominated by: Department of Mathematics & Statistics

Medical Sciences

  • Michal Juhas, 1st prize: Gold Nanoparticles and Lithocholic Acid as Potential Adjuvants to Letrozole in Breast Cancer Therapy
    Supervisor: Dr. Dusica Maysinger
    Nominated by: Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Raphaël Brisset Di Roberto, 2nd prize: Intranasal administration of engineered Lactococcus lactis as a live vaccine against Leishmania major infections
    Supervisor: Prof. Benoit Cousineau
    Nominated by: Department of Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Physical Sciences

  • Chen He, 1st prize: Searching for Neutron Stars with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory
    Supervisor: Prof. Victoria Kaspi
    Nominated by: Department of Physics
  • Jean-Benoît Lalanne, 2nd prize: Preparation of C60/Au(111) Samples for Molecular Contacts Experiments
    Supervisor: Prof. Peter Grütter
    Nominated by: Department of Physics


Download the following slides to announce the Undergraduate Research Conference in your class or elsewhere:


victor.chisholm [at] mcgill.ca (Victor Chisholm)
Undergraduate Research Officer