Your council members 2014-2015


Shawn McGuirk
Shawn McGuirk

I completed my B.Sc. (Honours) in Biochemistry at McGill, and I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. (via fast-track) in the laboratory of Dr. Julie St-Pierre. My research is focused on determining the importance of metabolism in tumor growth and progression, and in collaboration with the Metabolomics Core Facility of the Goodman Cancer Research Centre I am developing software tools to facilitate analysis of big data. I joined a newly formed BGSS as VP Finance in 2013, and then as Co-President in 2014 and 2015. Outside of the lab I spend most of my time working on my startup or organizing events – although I am easily tempted to procrastinate by friends, hockey games, new recipes, whiskey, and beer.

Katie Stewart
Katherine Stewart

I completed my B.Sc.(Honours) at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON. From there I moved to McGill University for my PhD, which I am currently finishing under the supervision of Dr. Maxime Bouchard. My research interests have ranged from regulation of BMP and Wnt pathway activity in jaw morphogenesis, to regulation of apoptosis initiation during urogenital system development, with a brief stop on the regulation of ciliogenesis during kidney function. When not balancing my diverse research projects, I can be found reading, cooking or hanging out with friends.

Lauren Van Der Kraak
Lauren Van Der Kraak
Raised in Guelph Ontario I completed my BSc in Biochemistry Co-op at the University of Guelph. I am currently finishing up my PhD in the labs of Drs. Nicole Beauchemin and Philippe Gros. My research focuses on the identification of genes/loci that regulate susceptibility to colorectal cancer in mice. When not in the lab you can usually find me running with the Montreal Beer Runners, playing a board/card game or catching up on my favorite TV shows.

VP Finance

Juliana Munoz Escobar
Juliana Munoz Escobar
Proudly born in Medellin, Colombia, I finished my undergraduate studies at Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Biological Engineering. During that time, I became more interested in understanding how biological processes work, specifically enzymes, and I decided to start my PhD in Biochemistry under Dr. Kalle Gehring’s supervision. I use structural biology to understand the functions and mechanisms of a family of ubiquitin ligases called UBRs, most of them implicated in cancer development.
Laura Jones
Laura Jones

Raised in Oshawa, ON, I completed my BSc with Specialization in Biochemistry and a Minor in FLS (Co-op) at the University of Ottawa. From there I re-located to McGill to pursue a PhD in the lab of Dr. William Muller. My research focuses on the Jak/Stat pathway and its involvement in breast cancer, metastasis and immune surveillance using novel mouse models. Outside the lab, I spend my time volunteering as a Girl Guide leader or with my nose in a book.

VPs Communication

Valerie Vinette
Raised in the Montreal area, I completed my B.Sc. in Microbiology and Immunology at McGill and then moved to Sherbrooke to do my M.Sc. Missing my family and friends as well as the vibrant city life, I came back to Montreal to do my Ph.D at McGill in the lab of Dr. Michel Tremblay. My research investigates the role of protein tyrosine phosphatases in regulating colorectal and lung cancer bioenergetics. When not in the lab, I’ll likely be baking or playing squash!
Christian Gualtieri

Born and raised in London Ontario, I decided to leave home for university. I completed my undergrad in Biochemistry from McGill University. Upon graduation, I decided to stay in Montreal to pursue my graduate studies. I am in my first year of my masters. The thrust of my research entails using a forward genetics approach to understanding the pathways of host resistance to infectious diseases, specifically blood-stage and cerebral malaria.

Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) representatives

Jaclyn Hearnden
Originally from a small Ontario town with a big apple, I received my B.Sc. Biochemistry from McGill in 2013. I am currently completing my Master’s degree in Dr. Nahum Sonenberg’s Lab, studying mTORC1 signalling and RNA binding proteins in translational regulation.
Erin Coyne
Erin Shier Coyne

Originally from small town Ontario, I completed my BSc. with a specialization in Biochemistry at the University of Ottawa in 2012. Currently, I am working on my PhD under the supervision of Dr. Simon Wing at the RI-MUHC. Our research focuses on understanding the role of the ubiquitin proteasome system in metabolic disorders. My project focuses on the role of the deubiquitinating enzyme USP19 in fat development and diabetes. When I’m not in the lab you can find me running along the canal, baking delicious treats or volunteering with at-risk groups.

Social Life Representatives

Maxwell Schafer
Maxwell Schafer
My name is Maxwell E.R. Shafer (MERS), I’m a developmental and cell biologist currently undertaking a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I’m interested in the morphogenesis of epithelial tissues, the developmental origin of cancer and molecular developmental evolution.I received both my M.Sc. and H.B.Sc. in Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, where I worked with Dr. Sashko Damjanovski as a Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholar. My current work is in the laboratory of Dr. Maxime Bouchard at the Goodman Cancer Research Centre where I study the developmental morphogenesis of prostate epithelia and the origins of prostate cancer. Follow me on Twitter
Colin Ratcliffe
Colin Ratcliffe
My name is Colin and I am pursuing my PhD in Morag Park’s lab in the Goodman Cancer Research Centre. I was born in Montreal and received my B.Sc.(Honours) from McGill. Currently, I’m interested in the impact of endosomal trafficking on receptor function and combine cutting-edge microscopy and biochemistry to study this.
Mathieu Flamand
Being a native from the Montreal region, (Francophone !) I graduated with a B.Sc. honors from Université de Montréal in Biochemistry before coming to the sunny side of the mountain (McGill) for graduate studies. I now study the mysteries of gene silencing by miRNAs in C. elegans in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Duchaine at the Goodman Cancer Research Centre.
Shane Caldwell
Shane Caldwell
Originally from outside Barrie, ON, I’ve come to McGill via the University of Guelph. I use structural biology to study the mechanism of antibiotic resistance enzymes. This may help us inhibit the enzyme and revitalize old drugs, or to design new, more effective antibiotics. Past work experiences have involved PCR, chemical titration instrumentation, and rescuing lost families out of corn mazes.
Richa Sharma

I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at McGill University. My research is focused on understanding the induction and regulation of lineage specification during embryonic kidney development. Originally from Mumbai, India, I moved to Montreal after receiving a B.Tech in Biotechnology from Dr. DY Patil University to pursue a Masters in Biotechnology at McGill. Having a diverse background, I am specifically interested in the intersection of science, commercialization and business strategies in developing countries. Besides research, I spend my time biking around the city, running along the canal and honing my culinary skills.

Jennifer Ma
Jennifer Ma

I completed my B.Sc. in Honours Biochemistry Co-op at University of Waterloo. Afterwards, I moved to McGill University for graduate studies under the supervision of Dr. Gallouzi. I am studying how inflammation drives muscle wasting during late-stages of cancer as well as ageing (sarcopenia). Outside of the lab, you can find me baking some tasty treats and hanging out with friends.

Deepak Jain

Born in one of the most diverse countries in the world known as India, did my undergrad as an engineer (B.Tech) at IIT Guwahati. Currently doing my Master’s in Dr. Jacques Drouin’s lab and trying to unravel the mysteries of limb development.