Biochemistry & Medical Genetics News


May 15, 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Sanzida Jahan

on being awarded the Best Poster at the 5th Annual University of North Dakota Epigenetics and Epigenomics Symposium

April 25, 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Brent Guppy and Stephen Cheng

on being awarded the William Donald Nash Brain Tumour Research Fellowship, for his project Enhancing selumetinib-mediated killing of SHH medulloblastoma. The award spans from July 2018 to June 2020.

Also from Dr. Tamra Werbowestki-Ogilvie's lab, is high school student Stephen Cheng, who won a gold medal in the Health and Biotechnology category Senior level at this year's Manitoba Schools Science Symposium. He also won the Best Individual in Health and Biotechnology for Senior level.

Stephen was also awarded 2nd place at Sanofi Biogenius provincial science competition for his project "A novel drug therapy used to reduce cell motility in pediatric Sonic Hedgehog medulloblastoma tumours".

April 2, 2018

Congratulations to the CIHR Graduate Scholarship Winners at the Masters Level

which BMG captured 5 out of 9 scholarships

Marjorie Buist with Dr. Mojgan Rastegar
Rachelle Dinchong with Dr. Patrick Frosk
Angela Krutish with Jessica Hartley
Ashleigh Hansen with Dr. Francis Amara
Chloe Lepage with Drs. Kirk McManus & Mark Nachtigal


February 27, 2018

Congratulations to Sandhini Lockman, Ashleigh Hansen, and Nivedita Seshadri

who were among the 3MT® 2018 Challengers

Nivedita did her MSc in our department and is pursuing her PhD in Physiology & Pathophysiology.

They competed in Heat 2 on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at the Frederic Gaspard Theatre (previously Theatre A).
Details on the 3MT can be found at  

December 19, 2017

Congratulations to Vichithra Rasangi Batuwita Liyanage

Successful Doctor of Philosphy Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Mojgan Rastegar)

Titled: “Regulation of the Master Regulator of the Brain' - Intrinsic and Extrinsic Regulation of MeCP2 in Brain Cell Types and Their Implications in MeCP2-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders”

December 11, 2017

Congratulations Dr. Kiran Sharma

recipient of a travel award. Dr. Sharma was presented the award at the 4th Canadian Conference of Epigenetics: Mechanisms of Disease in Whistler, British Columbia from November 26-29, 2017. 

Titled: “EGF induced nucleosomal response pathway and transcriptional programming in cancer".

Congratulations Kiran!

November 17, 2017

Congratulations to Naimul Hasan

Successful Master of Science Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Barbara Triggs-Raine)

Titled: “Characterization of Mutations and Phenotypes Associated with HYAL2 Deficiency”

November 7, 2017

Congratulations to Sanzida Jahan

Successful Doctor of Philosphy Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. James Davie)

Titled: “Characterization of transcriptionally active chicken erythrocyte chromatin”

November 7, 2017

Genetic Counselling Program Open House

We look forward to meeting with prospective Genetic Counselling Program applicants on November 7th!

November 1, 2017

Congratulations to Undergraduate Poster Competition winners

Michaela Palmer - 1st place overall in the category of Health Sciences
Co-op student supervised by Dr. Kirk McManus and Dr. Mark Nachtigal

Meriam Salih - 2nd place overall in the category of Health Sciences
Summer Student supervised by Dr. Mark Nachtigal and Dr. Gilbert Arthur

October 13, 2017

Congratulations to Berardino Petrelli


Successful Master of Science Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Geoff Hicks)

Titled: “Retinoic Acid Deficiency during Gastrulation Induces Craniofacial Malformations in mouse resembling Fetal Alcohol Syndrome”

October 3, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Cheryl Greenberg

on being inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in the category of Leadership in Health Promotion, Illness Prevention and Care.
The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame recognizes and celebrates Canadian heroes whose work has advanced health, here and around the world.

the full UM Today article can be found at:
Congratulatory Announcement from Dr. Terry Klassen

The video tribute as part of Dr. Rockman-Greenberg's induction can be found at:

October 2, 2017

Congratulations Jessica Hartley


on her Professional Practice Advocacy and Innovation Leadership Award presented by the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors!

August 30, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Barb Triggs-Raine and Dr. Cheryl Greenberg

on their recent article in the Winnipeg Free Press related to patients living with rare genetic diseases.

The full article can be found at:

September 14, 2017

The BMG Student Council has been selected for this year:

President: Lucile Jeusset
Vice President: Nicole Wilkinson
Mentorship Program Assistant: Sandhini Lockman
HSGSA Student Representative: Chloe Lepage
Social Committee: Sasha Blant and Manisha Bungsy

Congratulations to all the BMG Student Council representatives!

September 14, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Patrick Frosk

on his recent article in the Winnipeg Free Press and making the first diagnosis of the rare condition "NGLY1" in Manitoba.

The full article can be found at:

August 30, 2017

Farewell and congratulations to Dr. Biswajit Chowdhury

on his new position as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, ON.
Dr. Chowdhury has been in Dr. Triggs-Raine's lab since 2008.

Congratulations Jit!

August 24, 2017

Benefits of Sabbaticals

Dr. Wrogemann has often emphasized the importance and benefits of taking Research Study Leaves (sabbaticals) at top institutions to make quantum leaps in competency of one’s own research field. An example is his most recent sabbatical he spent at the Max Planck Institute for Human Molecular Genetics in Berlin. Two papers using exome sequencing for the identification of intellectual disability genes have been singled out by WEB of Science as “highly cited” or “hot papers” respectively. An article in Nature was cited often enough to place it in the top 1% of the papers in the field of Molecular Biology and Genetics (Nature 478: 57-63 (2011)). An article published in Molecular Psychiatry was labelled a “hot paper” as it received enough citations to place it in the top 0.1% of papers in the field of Neuroscience and Behavior (Molecular Psychiatry 21: 133-148 (2016)).

August 21, 2017

The Total Solar Eclipse


of August 21, 2017 was a total eclipse which was briefly visible through the clouds outside of the Basic Medical Sciences building. Thanks to Dr. Geoff Hicks for providing this picture!

August 14, 2017

Congratulations to Anna Blankstein

Successful Master of Science Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Spencer Gibson)

Titled: “Siramesine and lapatinib induce synergic cell death via a ferroptotic mechanism in lung adenocarcinoma and glioblastoma cells"

August 8, 2017

Congratulations to Miriam Derksen

Successful Master of Science Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Spencer Gibson)

Titled: “Investigating the Effects of Acute Oxidative Stress on the Expression, Localization and Activity of Cell Death Regulatory Protein BNIP3”

August 5, 2017

Congratulations to Dilshad and Zinnatun Khan


on welcoming their new baby boy, Zanid Nabi on Saturday, August 5th at 9:21pm. Zanid Nabi is doing well and settling in at home.

July 27, 2017

Congratulations to Veronica Lau


Successful Master of Science Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Jim Davie)

Titled: “The role of transcription and splicing on histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation dynamics ”

July 25, 2017

Congratulations to Margaret Stromecki

Successful Master of Science Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Tamra Ogilvie)

Titled: “Characterization of a novel OTX2-driven stem cells program in Group 3 and Group 4 medulloblastoma”

July 18, 2017

Congratulations to Angela Krutish

on receiving the University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship.

Congratulations Angela!

July 17, 2017

Congratulations to Ifeoluwa Adewumi


Successful Master of Science Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Jim Davie)

Titled: “TNF-alpha gene signature in triple-negative breast cancer cells”

July 12, 2017

Congratulations to Sasha Blant

 on receiving the President's Graduate Scholarship in Human Genetics. The scholarship is presented to a Graduate student writing a thesis in any area of human genetics.

Congratulations Sasha!

June 19, 2017

Congratulations to the 2017 Research Manitoba Award Winners


Fadumo Osman, MSc student with Dr. Jim Davie
Amandeep Singh, MSc student with Dr. Spencer Gibson
Jamie Zagozewski, PhD student with Dr. Tamra Ogilvie

June 16, 2017

Congratulations to Selina (Chen) Chi

Successful Master of Science Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Pingzhao Hu)

Titled: “Recurrent Copy Number Alteration Analysis Identifies Risk Genes in Young Women with Breast Cancer”

June 15, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Jim Davie

for being among the top 10 cited papers in Molecular Biology in 2006 as stated by Google Scholar.
The paper titled "Histone H4-K16 acetylation controls chromatin structure and protein interactions" has been cited over 1400 times.

for being among the top 10 cited papers in Molecular Biology in 2006 as stated by Google Scholar. The paper titled "" has been cited over 1400 times.

June 7, 2017

Congratulations to Lisa Liang


on receiving the Sheu L. Lee Family Scholarship in Oncology award. This University of Manitoba award is presented to a Graduate student in the area of Oncology research representing the laboratory/clinical sciences.

Congratulations Lisa!

May 28, 2017

Thank you volunteers


which included faculty, staff, and students of the Biochemistry and Medical Genetics department who volunteered their time to the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba's 31st Teddy Bears' Picnic Sunday, May 28th, 2017 at Assiniboine Park.
Volunteers greeted and assisted children throughout the day in the Dr. Goodbear tent within the Teddy's Family Tree station.

Thank you volunteers and to the Program of Genetics and Metabolism for helping organize!

May 12, 2017

Congratulations Dr. Tamra Werbowetski-Ogilvie


on the renewal of her Tier II, 2017 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Neuro-oncology and human stem cells.
 This research will lead to the development of new biomarkers and treatment targets for malignant brain tumours, with the goal of halting the spread of these devastating diseases.

May 11, 2017

Congratulations Dr. Svetlana Frenkel


on winning the “Poster of Distinction” award at American Gastroenterological Association’s (AGA) Digestive Disease Week in Chicago on the weekend of May 6th.
The award was for her research titled "Rare copy number variations associated with inflammatory bowel disease".

May 9, 2017

Congratulations to the CCMB 19th Annual Research Day Award Winners 


Basic Science Oral Presentation:
1st Place: Lisa Liang, PhD student with Dr. Tamra Ogilvie
2nd Place: Lucile Jeusset, PhD student with Dr. Kirk McManus
3rd Place: Lexi Ciapala, MSc student with Dr. Spencer Gibson

Basic Science Poster:
3rd Place: Laura Thompson, PhD student with Dr. Kirk McManus

Best Cell Biology Oral Presentation
Lucile Jeusset, PhD student with Dr. Kirk McManus

Arnold Portigal Award
Laura Thompson, PhD student with Dr. Kirk McManus

Prizes are awarded to the top 3 trainee presentations in both oral and poster presentations for those studying basic sciences.

May 5, 2017

Congratulations Dr. Tamra Werbowetski-Ogilvie


The YMCA/YWCA Women of Distinction Awards Gala was held May 3rd, 2017; Dr. Tamra Werbowetski-Ogilvie was nominated in the category of Science, Technology & Research.
The competition was impressive and the award went to our esteemed colleague, Dr. Joanne Embree, past Head of the Department of Medical Microbiology.

Congratulations to Dr. Embree and all the nominees!

April 7, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Jim Davie


who has been identified as the Canadians for Health Research (CHR) Researcher of the Month in their April Issue.
More information can be found on the CHR website:

Congratulations Jim, much deserved!

April 7, 2017

Congratulations Dr. Tamra Werbowetski-Ogilvie


on her recent nomination for the 2017 YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Awards in the category of Science, Technology and Research.
Stay tuned, the award winners will be announced May 3, 2017!

March 20, 2017

Congratulations to Lisa Liang


on receiving the 2016-17 Nancie J. Mauro Graduate Scholarship in Oncology Research. This award is for the most outstanding University of Manitoba Graduate students in the area of Oncology research.

Congratulations Lisa!

March 9, 2017

Congratulations to the Miriam Derksen and Alexandra Ciapala


and the 10 other finalists that made it to the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition Final held March 8, 2017.

BMG was represented by two finalists. Miriam Derksen was first to present and she set the bar extremely high; congratulations Miriam!
The judges deliberated and the People’s Choice and the Dr. Archie McNicol Prize for First Place went to Rachel Nickel (MSc, Physics and Astronomy), Second Prize went to Alexandra Ciapala (MSc, Biochemistry and Medical Genetics), and Third Prize went to Colin Graydon (PhD, Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases).

Congratulations Alexandra on your win, job well done!

For the full UManitoba news article, visit

February 15, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg


on being awarded the 2017 Founders Award presented by Clinical Genetics and Metabolic Disorders. The award in recognition of outstanding contributions to Canadian medical genetics and an outstanding career in medical genetics in Canada or abroad.

February 2, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Francis Amara


on his nomination for a 2015-16 Manitoba Medical Students' Association (MMSA) Teaching Award. The distinction recognizes Dr. Amara as an educational leader and trailblazer. The 7th Annual Teacher Recognition and MMSA Awards Dinner will be held on Tuesday, March 7 at 5:30pm in the Brodie Centre Atrium.

January 24, 2017

Congratulations to Yasamin Asbaghi


Successful Master of Science Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Kirk McManus)

Titled: “KIF11 Silencing and Inhibition Induces Chromosome Instability in Human Cells”

January 16, 2017

Congratulations to members of the Dr. Triggs-Raine lab on their recent publication


PLoS Genet. 2017 Jan 12;13(1):e1006470. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006470. eCollection 2017.
Mutations in HYAL2, Encoding Hyaluronidase 2, Cause a Syndrome of Orofacial Clefting and Cor Triatriatum Sinister in Humans and Mice.
Muggenthaler MM1, Chowdhury B2, Hasan SN2, Cross HE3, Mark B4, Harlalka GV1, Patton MA1,5, Ishida M6, Behr ER7, Sharma S7, Zahka K8, Faqeih E9, Blakley B10, Jackson M11, Lees M12, Dolinsky V13,14, Cross L15, Stanier P6, Salter C16, Baple EL1, Alkuraya FS17,18, Crosby AH1, Triggs-Raine B2,14,19, Chioza BA1.

Orofacial clefting is amongst the most common of birth defects, with both genetic and environmental components. Although numerous studies have been undertaken to investigate the complexities of the genetic etiology of this heterogeneous condition, this factor remains incompletely understood. Here, we describe mutations in the HYAL2 gene as a cause of syndromic orofacial clefting. HYAL2, encoding hyaluronidase 2, degrades extracellular hyaluronan, a critical component of the developing heart and palatal shelf matrix. Transfection assays demonstrated that the gene mutations destabilize the molecule, dramatically reducing HYAL2 protein levels. Consistent with the clinical presentation in affected individuals, investigations of Hyal2-/- mice revealed craniofacial abnormalities, including submucosal cleft palate. In addition, cor triatriatum sinister and hearing loss, identified in a proportion of Hyal2-/- mice, were also found as incompletely penetrant features in affected humans. Taken together our findings identify a new genetic cause of orofacial clefting in humans and mice, and define the first molecular cause of human cor triatriatum sinister, illustrating the fundamental importance of HYAL2 and hyaluronan turnover for normal human and mouse development.

December 16, 2016

Thank you BMG/RIOH Christmas Party Organizers

for hosting a successful Christmas party for BMG/RIOH faculty, staff, and students.
Activities included a potluck, music, and other surprises!

BMG/RIOH donated food items and over $100 to Winnipeg Harvest!
Thank you to all faculty, staff, and students involved.

The party was held on Friday, December 16, 2016 at the Community Services Building, Annie Bond Room.

December 16, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Robby Zachariah

Successful Doctor of Philosophy Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Mojgan Rastegar)

Titled: “Investigating MeCP2 Isoform-Specific Expression and Function”

December 15, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Mark Nachtigal

for being appointed as the Director of the Interdisciplinary Health Program (IHP) in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.

The IHP is a joint program between the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and the faculties of Arts and Science offering two undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Health Sciences and the Bachelor of Health Studies. These degree programs offer unique approaches to planning, administration and delivery of health services by integrating biological science and social science in understanding the health of people. Students gain experience about health issues at the individual, family, community, and institutional levels, as well as across the lifespan. The two degrees can serve as the foundation for careers on health care teams and community health management, and can be used to build the knowledge and prerequisites for entry into graduate and professional programs in the health and social science fields.  

November 23, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg

© University of Manitoba Home/Communications

for being awarded the Medal of Honour by the Rx&D Health Research Foundation (HRF). Dr. Rockman-Greenberg is the first female recipient of this award since its inception in 1945. She has made significant progress as a Pediatric Geneticist, Basic Researcher, and Clinician Scientist.

For the full UManitoba news article, visit

November 21, 2016

Genetic Counselling Awareness Week

Collectively genetic conditions may not be as rare as you may think!  About 1 in 12 Canadians has a diagnosis of a rare disease, many of which are genetic. Genetic counsellors are trained to help families understand genetic disorders and to provide information and support to those families. 

Join us on November 23rd at 6pm in Room 264 of the Apotex Centre as part of Genetic Counselling Awareness Week as we screen “Twitch,” which follows 18-year-old Kristen Powers as she undergoes genetic testing for Huntington disease. The film will chronicle the emotional, social and medical journey through this important test, as well as the impact it has on an individual’s future. 
Details on the film can be found at

November 16, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Yi Yan


Successful Doctor of Philosophy Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Etienne Leygue)

Titled: “Investigating the Expression and Function of the Steroid Receptor RNA Activator Protein (SRAP) in Breast Cancer”

October 27, 2016

BMG GSA Halloween Party

for BMG Graduate Students was held Thursday, October 27th at 11:30am in 341 BMSB. 
The party included free pizza and pumpkin carving!

October 7, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Ravinder Kaur


Successful Doctor of Philosophy Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Tamra Werbowetski-Ogilvie)

Titled: “Neural derivatives from human embryonic stem cells: a cellular and molecular model for studying the role of Orthodenticle homeobox2 in medulloblastoma progression”

September 30, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Kirk McManus


recipient of the 2016 Graduate Students' Association Teaching Award. Dr. McManus was presented the award at the GSA Awards Luncheon on Friday, September 30, 2016 at the Marshall McLuhan Hall.

September 15, 2016

Congratulations to Julia Mayba

on her Dr. Phillip F. Hall Women's Health Research Award for the Best Project in Women's Health!

September 2, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Samantha Pauls

Successful Doctor of Philosophy Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Aaron Marshall)

Titled: “Molecular mechanisms controlling SH2 domain-containing inositol 5’ phosphatase (SHIP) function in B cells”

August 19, 2016

Congratulations to Lisa Liang and Margaret Stromecki

on their abstracts have been accepted for oral presentations in Arizona at the International Society for Neurooncology meeting this coming November!

August 12, 2016

Congratulations to Angela Krutish

Successful Master of Science Defense
(Supervisors: Drs. Michelle Liu and Louise Simard)

Titled: “Untangling the Relationships Between Autism Spectrum Disorder and Non-Genetic Risk Factors” 

August 5, 2016

Congratulations to Kate Zhao

Successful Master of Science Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Pingzhao Hu)

Titled: “Gene-pair based statistical methods for testing gene set enrichment in microarray gene expression studies”

July 28, 2016

Congratulations to Amani Moraya

Successful Master of Science Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Mark Nachtigal)

Titled: “Exploiting Novel Drug Treatments for Chemotherapy Resistance in Human Epithelial Ovarian Cancer (EOC)”

July 19, 2016

Congratulations to Erin McAndrew

Successful Master of Science Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Kirk McManus)

Titled: “Exploiting RAD54B-deficiency in Colorectal Cancer Cells Through Synthetic Lethal Targeting of PARP1”

July 12, 2016

Congratulations to Eric Bouchard

Successful Master of Science Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Versha Banerji)

Titled: “Targeting Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Metabolism for the Treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia”

June 30, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Tamra Werbowetski-Ogilvie

on her new 1-year Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM), Kenzie's Kauze grant in the amount of $50,000. 
The project is entitled: "Delineating the OTX2 regulatory network: Targeting the "grow and go" arms of the most aggressive medulloblastomas".

June 27, 2016

Congratulations to the MHRC Studentship Award Winners

PhD Students: Lisa Liang (Dr. Tamra Werbowetski-Ogilvie), Laura Thompson (Dr. Kirk McManus)
MSc Students: Ifeoluwa Adewumi (Dr. Jim Davie), Shayan Amiri (Dr. Mojgan Rastegar), Anna Blankstein (Dr. Spencer Gibson), Lucile Jeusset (Dr. Kirk McManus), Nicole Wilkinson (Drs. Mike Mowat and Kirk McManus)

June 8, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Brent Guppy

Successful Doctor of Philosophy Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Kirk McManus)

Titled: “Characterizing and Selectively Targeting RNF20 Defects Within Colorectal Cancer Cells”

June 2, 2016

Thank you to the Regenerative Medicine Program and Liberal Innovation members

from left to right: Dr. Geoff Hicks, Mr. Lloyd Longfield, Ms. Margaret Stromecki, Mr. Paul Lefebvre

Margaret Stromecki, BMG MSc trainee with Dr. Tamra Ogilvie, presented her research to Lloyd Longfield, former U of M alumnus and MP, Guelph, and Paul Lefebvre, MP, Sudbury. The Liberal Innovation and Post-Secondary Education Caucus was in Winnipeg for the Liberal National Convention, May 26-29, 2016, and toured the Regenerative Medicine Labs alongside Dr. Geoff Hicks, Director of the Regenerative Medicine Program. 

June 1, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Iman Abumansour


on her certification and successfully completing the Medical Genetics specialty from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. 

May 31, 2016

Sighting from Africa


As many of you are aware, Dr. Trevor Pemberton and PhD candidate Sasha Blant are currently doing field work in Africa. They have just completed the first half of their mission in Yaoundé and have left to meet with the locals and gather data from their second site. They are both well and we look forward to hearing the many stories they will have to recount their experiences.

May 24, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Louise Simard

Dr. Brian Postl, Dean, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and Vice-Provost (Health Sciences), is pleased to announce the extension of Dr. Louise Simard’s appointment as Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Max Rady College of Medicine from October 1, 2016 - September 30, 2018.

Dr. Simard will continue to be responsible for facilitating the creation of solid and competitive multi-disciplinary teams within the department that will be involved in fundamental and translational research directed at targeted areas of basic research.

As Professor and Department Head, she has taken advantage of new opportunities to recruit new faculty members through the Regenerative Medicine and Neuroscience Programs, a collaborative effort between the Department Heads in Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Human Anatomy and Cell Sciences, and Physiology and Pathophysiology that resulted in the development of the Regenerative Medicine Program (RMP) which has already revitalized basic research in the Max Rady College of Medicine.

Dr. Simard has also worked diligently to bridge ties with our clinical/professional colleagues in the Genetics and Metabolism Program (Department of Pediatrics) and with a Genetic Epidemiologist to the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences.

Among her research activities, Dr. Simard has driven an independent research program aimed at identifying and characterizing the primary defect responsible for childhood-onset, proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the most frequent monogenic cause of early infant death. Since 1992, she has contributed to the SMA field at a competitive level and has published 32 papers dealing with various aspects of SMA in reputable journals.

In 1988 she established and ran a Province-wide carrier detection and prenatal diagnosis program for Duchenne (DMD) and Becker (BMD) muscular dystrophies at Sainte-Justine’s Hospital in Montreal, a role she fulfilled for three years with funding from the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Manitoba. Between 1997 and 2006, Dr. Simard subsequently served as consultant for the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory of Sainte-Justine Hospital (1997-2006) before relocating to the University of Manitoba in 2006.

© Max Rady College of Medicine/MEDLines

May 17, 2016

Congratulations to Yasamin Asbaghi, Selina Chi, and
Shayan Amiri

Yasamin Asbaghi
M.Sc. student with Dr. Mojgan Rastegar
President's Graduate Scholarship in Human Genetics

Selina (Chen) Chi
M.Sc. student with Dr. Pingzhao Hu
Mindel and Tom Olenick Research Studentships in Medicine

Shayan Amiri
M.Sc. student with Dr. Mojgan Rastegar
International Graduate Student Entrance Scholarship

May 16, 2016

Congratulations to Drs. Barbara Triggs-Raine and Elizabeth Spriggs


for the new publication in Molecular Genetics & Genomic Medicine (2016:4(3):312-321) 
entitled “Development of a diagnostic DNA chip to screen for 30 autosomal recessive disorders in the Hutterite population”

Excellent example of translational medicine!


May 16, 2016


Dr. Mojgan Rastegar

Dr. Rastegar received one of two
National Ontario Rett Syndrome Association (ORSA) Awards

"MeCP2 mutation and Rett Syndrome:
Investigating the brain-specific molecular signature of
murine and human RTT brain"

Official Announcement


May 10, 2016

Congratulations to Erin McAndrew, Nicole Wilkinson, and Eric Bouchard

on their RIOH Research Day Awards.
Erin, who placed 2nd in the Oral Basic presentations, is a student with Dr. Kirk McManus.
Nicole, who placed 2nd in the Poster Basic presentations and won the Arnol Portigal Award, is a MSc student with Dr. Michael Mowat and Dr. Kirk McManus.
Eric, who placed 3rd in the Poster Basic presentations, is a MSc student with Dr. Versha Banerji.

Prizes are awarded to the top 3 trainee presentations in both oral and poster presentations for those studying basic sciences.

Congratulations to all three!

May 5, 2016

Congratulations to the Dr. Davie Lab

on their upcoming journal publication:

Sanzida Jahan; Wayne Xu; Shihua He; Carolina Gonzalez; Geneviève P Delcuve; James R Davie
The chicken erythrocyte epigenome. Epigenetics & Chromatin.

Epigenetics & Chromatin is the top-ranking epigenetics journal, and within the top quartile of genetics and heredity titles, according to the Journal Citation Reports. This is the first epigenomic scale paper coming from the Davie Lab which involved ChIP-Sequencing, RNA-Sequencing and novel chromatin fraction genomic sequencing.

In this study, the Davie laboratory mapped all the transcriptionally active chromosomal domains in the chicken polychromatic erythrocyte genome by combining a powerful chromatin fractionation method with next generation DNA and RNA sequencing. Because, after 310 million years of separate evolution, conserved non-coding sequences are likely to highlight functional elements in both chicken and human genomes, this study supplies valuable information on the structural and functional organization of the chicken polychromatic erythrocyte epigenome and may also provide insights into the human erythrocyte genome organization.

April 6, 2016

Congratulations to Anna Blankstein


on receiving a CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship - Master's Award
Anna is an MSc student with Dr. Spencer Gibson.

Congratulations Anna!

April 5, 2016

Congratulations to Lisa Liang


on being listed as one of CBC Manitoba's Future 40 under 40. The competition highlights the province's leaders under the age of 40.

The Vice President's Office (Research and International) contacted Dr. Ogilvie following Lisa's excellent performance at the 3MT finals and thought she would be a good candidate for CBC Manitoba's Future 40 under 40 compeitition. Dr. Ogilvie has nominated her, and we are pleased to report that out of 137 nominations, Lisa was name as one of the 40 today.

Here is the U of M link:
The CBC link can be found on that page as well.
Congratulations Lisa!

April 4, 2016

Congratulations to Sasha Blant and Laura Thompson


on their NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships-Doctoral awards.
Sasha is a PhD student with Dr. Trevor Pemberton. Laura is a PhD student with Dr. Kirk McManus.

Congratulations to both!

February 25, 2016

Best of luck to Lisa Liang tonight at the 3-Minute Thesis Competition!

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition is designed to test graduate students on exactly that.

The public and the University of Manitoba community are invited to cheer on our innovative graduate students as they compete for the First Place ($5,000), Second Place ($2,000) and People’s Choice ($1,000) awards. Each competitor will have three minutes, using only a single slide
as an illustration, to clearly explain the nature, goals and significance of his or her research.

This competition is not a walk in the park. It takes years for a thesis to be researched and finalized, so boiling it down to just three minutes
and making it understandable to a lay audience is quite a feat in itself.

February 25, 2016

Congratulations to Laura Thompson and Erin McAndrew

Laura Thompson
Nancie J. Mauro Scholarship in Oncology Research
Sheu L. Lee Family Scholarship in Oncology Research (PhD)

Was recognized at the Life Science Association of Manitoba (LSAM) 2016 Gala on February 18 as the Most Promising Life Sciences Student.
Was awarded as Emerging Leader at the University of Manitoba and will be attending the Emerging Leaders Dinner on March 9th.

Erin McAndrew
Sheu L. Lee Family Scholarship in Oncology Research (MSc)

February 16, 2016

Congratulations to the Dr. Triggs-Raine Lab

on their recent journal publications:

Chowdhury et al. Hyaluronidase 2 (HYAL2) is expressed in endothelial cells, as well as some specialized epithelial cells, and is required for normal hyaluronan catabolismHistochemistry Cell Biol. Jan 2016.

Chowdhury et al. Hyaluronidase 2 deficiency is a molecular cause of cor triatriatum sinister in mice. International Journal of Cardiology. Feb 2016.

February 11, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Biswajit Chowdhury

Successful Doctor of Philosophy Defense
(Supervisor: Dr. Barbara Triggs-Raine)

Congratulations Dr. Biswajit Chowdhury!

February 9, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Mojgan Rastegar

on her new 2-year International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF) grant in the amount of $100,000 USD. 
The project is entitled: "Investigating the Molecular Mechanisms of MeCP2 Isoform-Specific Regulation in Brain Cells" for Rett Syndrome and is one of the four internationally awarded grants in the Basic Research category.

February 2, 2016

Congratulations to Ravinder Kaur and Lisa Liang 

for making it to the Challengers Round for the 2016 3-Minute Thesis Competition!

                              Heat 1

                 Speaker: Ravinder Kaur
Ph.D. student with Dr. Tamra Ogilvie
Date:   Monday, February 8, 2016   
Time:  2:00pm to 4:00pm
Place:  Theatre A BMSB (Bannatyne Campus)  

                             Heat 3
                  Speaker: Lisa Liang
Ph.D. student with Dr. Tamra Ogilvie  
Date:   Wednesday, February 10, 2016 
Time:  12:00pm to 2:00pm
Place:  172 Architecture (Fort Garry Campus)

Best of luck to both!