Your Council Members 2017-2018


Amr Omer
Born in Toronto, raised in Kingston, Ontario, I completed my undergraduate degree here at McGill and am now doing my PhD in Dr. Imed Gallouzi’s lab. My work focuses on understanding the interplay between stress and it’s impacts on aging and senescence. I hope to find the fountain of youth one day. Outside of the lab I focus on making music, playing plenty of guitar, and attending as many trivia nights as I can find.

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!

VP Communications

Adda-Lee Graham-Paquin
Raised in Montreal, I grew up loving being outdoors, swimming and walking and being able to recreate the world around me in my artwork (illustrations, paintings, sculptures). Among these passions grew my passion for biology and lead to my desire for acquiring a deeper knowledge on the living world around me. This is why I decided to study health sciences in CEGEP and complete a B.Sc. in Biochemistry here at McGill. I am now pursuing a Master’s degree in Biochemistry in the laboratory of Dr. Maxime Bouchard. My research project involves determining the regulation of apoptosis in the common nephric duct during the development of the urogenital system.
Jason Sadek
Born in Montreal and raised just outside of Philadelphia, I completed my B.Sc. degree in Biochemistry at McGill. I currently am pursuing a M.Sc. in the laboratory of Dr. Imed Gallouzi. My research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in regulating the alternative polyadenylation of mRNA. Outside of the lab I enjoy spending time with family and friends, watching a good movie, and playing hockey.

VP Finance

Owen Chen
Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, I came all the way to the other side of Canada to complete my BSc. in Biochemistry at McGill. I am now a Master’s student under the supervision of Dr. Jose Teodoro. I am currently studying CDC20, a critical protein in the cell cycle, and how mutations of which found in cancer patients can deregulate mitotic progression. Outside of the lab, I am an avid swimmer. I also enjoy reading and hiking with friends.
Sophie Viala
Before coming to Canada, I lived in France and in Belgium. I got my BSc in Bioengineering at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, in Belgium. I moved to Montreal to do my MScA in Biotechnology at McGill, and after doing an internship in Dr. Bouchards lab, I decided to stay here and pursue a PhD. My project is centered around the role of oriented cell division in prostate development, regeneration and cancer initiation.  In my spare time, I sing in the McGill choir and I’m also part of dragon boat community team.

Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) representatives

Ipshita Nandi
Originally from Singapore, I moved to Montreal after high school to complete my B.Sc. in Biochemistry at McGill. While doing my honours project in Dr. William Muller’s lab I fell in love with my project and decided to pursue my M.Sc. My research is focused on determining how the proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase c-Src regulates mitochondrial function and morphology in breast cancer progression. When I’m not at home, aka the lab, I’m either watching Netflix or hanging out with my friends.
Brenda Sanchezz
Brenda Janice
Originally from Mexico, I completed my M.Sc. degree at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) after which I moved to Montreal to pursue a Ph.D. in the laboratory of Dr. Imed Gallouzi. My research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of mRNA half-life and how they affect the process of muscle fiber formation (Myogenesis). Outside of the lab I enjoy all kind of activities but the combination of a picnic and a good book is one of my favorites.

Social Media Representatives


Social Life Representatives

Emily Ayoub
Born and raised in Lebanon where I completed my B.Sc. in Biology. I came to Canada to pursue my M.Sc. in Biochemistry at the University of Montreal as part of a francophone collaborative studentship program between the Lebanese and Canadian governments. I’ve called Montreal home since 2008. I am currently completing my Ph.D. degree in the Lab of Dr. Michel Tremblay at the GCRC. My research project focuses on defining the role of a tyrosine phosphatase in pancreatic cancer progression using proteomic approaches, cell-based assays and various mouse models. To unwind, I enjoy good music, singing, dancing, a good book and cooking.
Erin 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.
Kamilia Daldoul


Born in France and raised in Tunisia, I moved overseas to come to McGill to do my B.Sc. in Biochemistry. I am now doing my Masters in Dr. Muller’s lab. My research is focused on understanding the metabolic changes undergone by cancer cells that have become resistant to anti-cancer therapies and to investigate whether epigenetic modifiers are involved in this process. When I’m not in the lab, I like to go out with friends in Montreal’s many bars, I try to take advantage of Montreal’s vibrant cultural life, but I also enjoy staying at home and relax with a good movie.
Ariel Donayo
Ariel Donato
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I immigrated to Montreal with my family right after completing high school. I finished my undergraduate degree across-town at Concordia University where I obtained an Honours in Cell and Molecular Biology. For the last few years I have been working on my PhD in the lab of Dr. Thomas Duchaine. My main research goal is to understand how polycistronic microRNAs are processed into individual miRNAs, how is the process regulated, and how it could be altered in lymphomas and leukemias. When not in the lab, I enjoy outdoor activities such as running (particularly if followed by beer), hiking swimming, canoeing, and skiing.
Laura Jones
Laura Jones 2016
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.

Emily Tang



Cristiana Spinelli
Cristiana Spinelli
Born and raised in a small town in Italy, I completed my M.Sc degree at the University of Milan. I came to Montreal to pursue a PhD in the lab of Dr. Janusz Rak, where the main subject is focused on extracellular vesicles. I’m aiming to understand the role of exosomes in the equilibrium between glioblastoma stem and non stem cell populations. When I’m not in the lab I spend my time hanging out with friends, playing soccer, trying different restaurants, and dancing (even though I have no idea how to do it, but why not!)
Yevgen Zoltarov


Having been born in Soviet Union prepared me for a life of praising Karl Marx, trained me to be patient while waiting in lines to buy food and primed me for drinking vodka. Unfortunately, after moving to Canada, I found out that my skills wouldn’t be very helpful. It took me a while to realize that if I dedicate my life to biological research, I can still praise an old man with a long beard – Charles Darwin, I can still use my patience while I wait for cell cultures to grow and I can still use a lot of ethanol, only externally.
I have worked with fungi, bacteria and plants during my undergrad and master’s and now I have joined Michel Tremblay’s lab to work in cancer research. My project focuses on phosphatases of regenerating liver (PRLs) and their effect on prostate cancer progression. In addition to bench work, I studied bioinformatics and I love the freedom of being able to develop hypotheses based on bioinformatics analyses and then testing them in a wet lab.