Symposium Schedule June 14, 2018


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Click HERE to download the Symposium Progamme



 Daniel Durocher















Dr. Daniel Durocher


Daniel Durocher is a Senior Investigator and a Biomedical Program Director at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. He is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, the Thomas Kierans Chair in Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Development and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Molecular Genetics of the DNA Damage Response.


Dr. Durocher obtained a B.Sc. degree in Biochemistry at Université de Montréal before graduating with a Ph.D. degree in Experimental Medicine from McGill University. Dr. Durocher did his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Steve Jackson at the University of Cambridge and was recruited back to Canada in 2001 to establish his group at the Lunenfeld, where he has been ever since. Dr. Durocher’s overarching interest lies in understanding how cells maintain genome integrity, with an emphasis on the detection, signaling and repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Dr. Durocher is widely recognized for having established ubiquitin as a central organizing molecule in DNA damage repair and Dr. Durocher’s work has recently expanded to address how the cell cycle regulates DNA double-strand break repair, and as part of these studies, his group is now keenly interested in developing means to manipulate DNA repair to improve genome editing outcomes.


Among the prizes, awards and honors received by Dr. Durocher in recent years, particularly notable is the 2016 Paul Marks Prize for cancer research awarded by Memorial Sloan Kettering. He was also named one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 by Caldwell Partners, a distinction that highlights exceptional contributions to Canadian society by individuals under 40 years of age in the arts, science and business spheres. He also delivered the 2015 SCILLS lecture at the University of Dundee in honour of his work on the role of ubiquitin in the DNA damage response.



“Charting DNA Damage

Response Pathways”


The orchestration of DNA repair is of fundamental importance to the maintenance of genomic integrity and tumor suppression. DNA damage must be detected in the context of the varied chromatin landscape, its presence must be communicated throughout the cell to alter many ongoing processes, and the machinery that will mend the lesion must be recruited to the damage site. In my presentation, I will discuss our recent efforts in mapping genome maintenance pathways using genome-scale CRISPR/Cas9 screens in human cells. I will highlight how these screens can be used to identify new genome stability factors, characterize drug responses and provide new insights into the genetic architecture of the genome stability network.


Click HERE to view the video of Dr. Durocher's presentation


 Victor Ling





Dr. Victor Ling


Victor Ling OC, OBC, FRSC, PhD, is the founding President and Scientific Director of the Canada-wide Terry Fox Research Institute (  He is a Distinguished Scientist at the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA), Professor of Pathology, and Professor of Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He received his PhD at UBC, undertook post-doctoral training with Dr Fred Sanger in Cambridge UK, and returned to Toronto to work at the Princess Margaret Hospital in the early 1970s. He is best known for his discovery of P-glycoprotein associated with multiple drug resistance (MDR) in cancer, for BSEP, the bile acid transporter in liver and for the superfamily of ABC transporters. In 1995 he moved to Vancouver to serve as the inaugural VP of Research at the BCCA and Assistant Dean of Cancer Research at UBC. He was instrumental in launching the Genome Sciences Centre in Vancouver in 1998 with Dr Michael Smith as the Scientific Director.  Dr. Ling has been honored by the General Motors Kettering Prize, the Dr Josef Steiner Cancer Research Award, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Terry Fox Gold Medal, and many others.


“Making Discoveries When Your Experiments Don’t Work”


I will share examples from my research career when “failed” experiments have led to fundamental discoveries. In particular, the discovery of the P-glycoprotein and the ABC transporters super-family.


Click HERE to view the video of Dr. Ling's presentation


 Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg




Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg


Dr. Cheryl Rockman- Greenberg obtained her medical degree from McGill University in Montreal in 1974. At McGill, her mentors introduced her to the emerging fields of Medical and Biochemical Genetics. She knew then that, if provided with the opportunity, she would pursue an academic medical career, working to identify the cause of rare and ultra-rare genetic disorders. She subsequent trained in Paediatrics and Medical Genetics and she became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Paediatrics in 1979 and in Medical Genetics in 1992 and a Fellow of the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists in 1982. Her academic career as a clinical and metabolic geneticist began at Winnipeg Children’s Hospital and the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba in 1979 where she has worked ever since.  Over her career, Dr. Rockman- Greenberg served as Director of the Metabolic Service in the Program of Genetics and Metabolism, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) and from 2004 to 2014 she was Medical Director of the Child Health program, WRHA and Head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba. She currently is a clinician scientist in the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. Her research has focused on the identification of the molecular basis for genetic disorders that are over-represented in Manitoba’s unique populations. Subsequently, in direct collaboration with community leaders, she and her colleagues have translated research discoveries into relevant patient care programs including the development of new diagnostic tests, expanded newborn screening programs and carrier testing initiatives. Most recently she has been the principal investigator for Canada of an industry- sponsored clinical trial of a new enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) drug for the treatment of the rare metabolic bone disorder called hypophosphatasia (HPP). Over the course of her esteemed career, Dr. Rockman-Greenberg has received numerous awards including being named to the 2012 list of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100, in the Trailblazers and Trendsetters category, being inducted into Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2014, receiving the Health Research Foundation Innovations Medicine Canada Medal of Honour in 2016 and most recently, on April 12, 2018 she was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. She is the currently a clinical geneticist in the Program of Genetics and Metabolism, WRHA, a clinician scientist in the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Paediatrics and Child Health and Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, University of Manitoba.


Click HERE to view the video of Dr. Rockman-Greenberg's presentation


 Janet Rossant


Dr. Janet Rossant


Janet Rossant, CC, PhD, FRS, FRSC, is President & Scientific Director of the Gairdner Foundation, SickKids Chief of Research Emeritus and a world-renowned expert in developmental biology.


Widely known for her studies of the genes that control embryonic development in the mouse, Dr. Rossant has pioneered techniques for following cell fate and altering genes in embryos. Her current research focuses on stem cell development and cell differentiation in the developing embryo, important areas for the study of birth defects as well as regenerative medicine.


Dr. Rossant trained at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, UK and has been in Canada since 1977, at Brock University and then the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto. She joined SickKids in 2005 and established it as a global forerunner in genetic research.  Dr. Rossant has been recognized for her contributions to science with many awards, including the ISDB Ross G. Harrison Medal, Killam Prize for Health Sciences, March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, SDB Conklin Medal, and CIHR Michael Smith Prize in Health Research. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Societies of London and Canada, and is a foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Science.


“Embryos, Stem Cells and

Ethical Concerns”


Developmental biology continues to inform the differentiation of stem cells into cell types capable of modeling human disease and providing novel replacement cell therapies. The first clinical trials with hES-derived products are now underway. However, hES cells were ethically controversial, because of their derivation from human early embryos.  Concerns continue to be raised about creating and destroying embryos for research purposes, extended culture of embryos with visions of  ‘test-tube babies’, cloning humans, making animal-human chimeras, and genetically altering the human embryo. Recent scientific advances have reignited many of these ethical debates. It may be time to re-open public discussion in Canada on the regulatory environment related to human embryo and stem cell research and the limits of gene editing.


Click HERE to view the video of Dr. Rossant's presentation


 Jeffrey Weitz


Dr. Jeffrey Weitz


Dr. Weitz MD, FRSC, FRCPC, FACP, FCAHS, FAHA, FCCS, FACC, FESC, FCCP is Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University and Executive Director of the Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute. HE holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier I) in Thrombosis and the Heart and Stroke Foundation J. Fraser Mustard Chair in Cardiovascular Research. Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Dr. Weitz focuses his clinical practice on patients with thrombotic disorders. His research spans the spectrum from basic studies in the biochemistry of the blood coagulation and fibrinolysis to animal models of thrombosis and on to clinical trials of antithrombotic therapy. The breadth of his work is highlighted by his over 500 publications in journals as diverse as the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Biochemistry, Circulation, Blood, Annals of Internal Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet, and 65 book chapters. The recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Weitz is a Fellow of the American Heart Association, the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.



“Factor XI as a Target for New Anticoagulants”


The goal of anticoagulant therapy is to attenuate clotting without increasing the risk of bleeding. Although direct oral anticoagulants such as rivaroxaban, apixaban or dabigatran are safer than warfarin, bleeding remains a problem. Consequently, there is an interest in development of safer anticoagulants. Emerging data suggest that factor XI is critical for clot stabilization and growth yet patients with congenital factor XI deficiency rarely have spontaneous bleeding. Therefore, inhibitors of factor XI may prove to be safer anticoagulants. I will discuss the role of factor XI in clotting and review the current status of factor XI inhibitors.


Click HERE to view the video of Dr. Weitz's presentation



 Click HERE to view the video of the round table discussion

For more inquiries please email: SRFORUM@UMANITOBA.CA








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