Research

Research summary

Dr. Mojgan Rastegar's research focuses on the genetic networks and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms controlling brain development and function, particularly DNA methylation and the DNA methyl binding protein MeCP2. Her lab uses molecular and stem cell biology techniques, along with gene therapy strategies, to study epigenetic control of brain development, and molecular mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders such as Rett syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Her research aims to develop novel therapeutic strategies for these currently incurable diseases. Dr. Rastegar's work is currently supported by CIHR (project grant) and NSERC (discovery grant), and has been continuously funded by local, national, and international funding agencies since she joined the University of Manitoba in 2009.

Research interests

  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Gene regulation
  • MeCP2 isoforms
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Rett syndrome
  • Stem cell differentiation
  • Stem cells
  • Transcriptional control

Research affiliations

  • Board of directors, Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences
  • Co-director, Manitoba Epigenetic Network
  • Research scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM)

Editorial roles

  • Editorial board, Scientific Reports
  • Associate editor, Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Associate editor, Frontiers in Genetics
  • Member, editorial board, Diseases
  • Editorial board, Neural Plasticity
  • Editorial board, Neuroglia
  • Advisory editorial board, Cancers

Professional memberships

Chair

  • Membership and diversity committee, Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences
  • The 67th CSMB Annual Meeting, Winnipeg

Committee member

  • Nomination committee, Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN)
  • CIHR college of reviewers
  • CIHR stem cell oversight committee

Member

  • Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN)
  • International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR)
  • Manitoba Rett Syndrome Association (MRSA)
  • Ontario Rett Syndrome Association (ORSA)
  • Society for Neuroscience (SFN)

Committee roles

Member

  • Conference committee, Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences
  • Membership and diversity committee, Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences
  • Nomination committee, Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences

Biography

Brief bio

Dr. Mojgan Rastegar is a professor of biochemistry and medical genetics at the Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba. She specializes in epigenetic regulation in brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders, with a particular focus on DNA methylation and MeCP2. Dr. Rastegar has published over 65 peer-reviewed papers and 120 abstracts. She has mentored more than 90 trainees and students at various levels, many of whom have received significant scholarships and awards. Dr. Rastegar serves on peer-review panels for several funding agencies and on the editorial boards of multiple scientific journals.

Cross-appointments

Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba

Education

Postdoctoral fellowships

  • Developmental and stem cell biology, Hospital for Sick Children – University of Toronto (2005-2008)
  • Epigenetics and chromatin remodeling, McGill University (2001-2005)
  • Pharmacology and cancer biology, Indiana University Cancer Center, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (2000-2001)

Doctoral degree

  • PhD in biomedical sciences, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium (2000)

Master's degree

  • Diplôme d’études approfondies in biochemistry and human cellular biology, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium (1998)

Awards

2023

  • Merit Award in Life Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Engineering Combination of Teaching, Service, and Research, Scholarly work and other Creative Category, University of Manitoba

2021

  • Outstanding Associate Editor Award – Frontier in Genetics; Epigenomics and Epigenetics

2020

  • Manitoba Medical Student’s Association (MMSA) Teaching Award (nomination)

2016, 2018, 2019

  • Ontario Rett Syndrome Association (ORSA) Research Award

2016

  • International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF) Award

2012

  • NSERC-Early Career Researcher Supplement Award
  • Manitoba Medical Service Foundation (MMSF) Award

2010

  • Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation of Canada Award

2008

  • Stem Cell Network Canadian Alumni Award, Stem Cell Network

2005

  • Miriam and Saul Goldberg Innovative Research Award, McGill University

2004

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research Cancer Consortium Training Grant Fellowship Award

2003

  • Conrad F. Harrington Fellowship Award, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University

2002

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research Cancer Consortium Training Grant Fellowship Award
  • Dr. David T. W. Lin Fellowship Award, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University

2001

  • Canderel Fellowship Award, McGill University
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Indiana University Cancer Center, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis

2000

  • Subside Scientifique Complémentaire, Patrimoine Facultaire, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium

1998-2000

  • Doctoral Fellowship, Patrimoine Facultaire, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium

1996-1998

  • Doctoral Fellowship, Fonds de Développement Scientifique, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Dr. Mojgan Rastegar In the news

Contact us

Biochemistry and Medical Genetics
Room 336 Basic Medical Sciences Building
745 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9 Canada