Keynote Speaker - IUBMB Plenary Speaker

  • Dr. Markus Ralser

    Dr. Markus Ralser

    Charitè University Medicine (Germany)

    Dr. Ralser is an expert in systems biology of metabolism. His research team uses yeast and other model systems to understand how individual metabolic pathways change and adapt as a collective in response to stress. His group uses a combination of techniques including mass spectrometry to investigate rapid perturbations to cell homeostasis. His work has implications for diverse diseases including cancer, diabetes, and neurological disorders. In 2016, Dr. Ralser was awarded the Biochemical Society's Colworth Medal for his work in the area of cellular metabolism.

    Keywords: Systems biology, metabolism, model systems, mass spectrometry

Bacterial and Viral Signalling

Chaired by Dr. Timo Islam (INRS)

  • Dr. Yves Brun

    Dr. Yves Brun

    Université de Montréal

    Dr. Brun is a recent recruit from Indiana University at Bloomington under the Canada 150 Chairs Program. His lab studies diverse questions related to the life and times of bacteria with a focus on Caulobacter as a model system. His research program in Montreal continues his award-winning NIH-funded work begun at Indiana University.

    Keywords: Caulobacter, peptidoglycan, morphogenesis, biofilms, bacterial ageing

Proteomics & PTMs

Chaired by Dr. Mike Downey (University of Ottawa)

  • Dr. Claire Eyers

    Dr. Claire Eyers

    University of Liverpool

    Dr. Claire Eyers is a full professor at the University of Liverpool, UK. Her group focuses on the development of new mass spectrometry approaches to study non-canonical signalling pathways and protein-protein interactions. Some of her recent work defines a wide scope for non-canonical phosphorylation on amino acids such as lysine and arginine in eukaryotic cells.

    Keywords: Analytical chemistry, phosphorylation, cell signalling, cool PTMs

Mitochondrial Biology - Form and function

Chaired by Dr. Mary-Ellen Harper (University ofOttawa)

  • Dr. Rita Horvath

    Dr. Rita Horvath

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

    Dr. Horvath is a clinician-scientist dedicated to improving the understanding of genetic neurological conditions, with a strong focus on mitochondrial diseases and inherited neuropathies. Her laboratory explores specific mitochondrial translation deficiencies and works to develop treatments for patients with conditions such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. She uses several complementary approaches and methodologies, including RNA seq, whole-exome sequencing studies, and proteomics.

    Keywords: mitochondrial disease, genetics, metabolite transport, metabolomics, mitochondrial respiratory chain

Rare Diseases: From mechanisms to clinical outcomes

Chaired by Dr. Barbara Karten (Dalhousie University)

  • Dr. Tobias Karakach

    Dr. Tobias Karakach

    Dalhousie University

    Dr. Tobias Karakach is Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Dalhousie University. His research program combines computational approaches and molecular biology to 1) interrogate transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolic networks, 2) to identify biomarkers, and 3) to better understand the connection between genomic instabilities and downstream phenotypes including drug responses.

    Keywords: biomarkers, time-resolved network analysis, big data, pharmacogenomics, childhood cancers


Chaired by Dr. Erin Mulvihill (University of Ottawa)

  • Dr. Jonathan Schertzer

    Dr. Jonathan Schertzer

    McMaster University

    Dr. Jonathan Schertzer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University. His research program focuses on links between metabolism, inflammation, and immunity. Recent work includes a study that describes a role for the human gut microbiome in regulating glucose absorption after bariatric surgery. Dr. Schertzer is a Canada Research Chair in Metabolic Inflammation. He is the winner of the 2019 CSMB New Investigator Award.

    Keywords: metabolic disease, obesity, microbiome, inflammation, immunity

Synthetic Biology & Metabolic Engineering

Chaired by Dr. Vincent Martin (Concordia University)

  • Dr. Steven Hallam

    Dr. Steven Hallam

    University of British Columbia

    Dr. Steven Hallam is a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on understanding microbial ecology, aka the “microcosmos”, using biological engineering and bioinformatics analyses. In 2015, Dr. Hallam was elected as a Fellow of the Leopold Leadership Program, which strives to bring together experts to solve complex issues related to environmental sustainability.

    Keywords: bioengineering, bioinformatics, microbial communities, metabolic pathways

Kidney Signalling

Chaired by Dr. Morgan Fullerton (University of Ottawa)

  • Dr. Nina Jones

    Dr. Nina Jones

    University of Guelph

    Dr. Nina Jones is Professor at the University of Guelph in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Her research program focuses on signalling in the kidney, as well as during development and in cancer. In 2008 she received the CIHR/Kidney Foundation (KRESCENT) New Investigator Award. In 2016 she was elected as a Member of Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

    Keywords: Podocyte signalling, tyrosine kinase signaling, Nck1/2, Nephrin

Lipids - Metabolism, Storage, and Signalling

Chaired by Dr. Vanina Zaremberg (University of Calgary)

  • Dr. Lois Weisman

    Dr. Lois Weisman

    University of Michigan

    Dr. Lois Weisman is the Sarah Winans Newman Collegiate Professor in the Life Sciences at the University of Michigan. Her lab uses model systems such as yeast in additional to cell culture to study PI3,5P2 lipid signalling and organelle positioning. Read more about Dr. Weisman's innovative work here.

    Keywords: Lipids, model systems, neurodegeneration, Rab GTPases, Myosin V


Chaired by Dr. Julie St. Pierre (University of Ottawa)

  • Dr. Dajana Vuckovic

    Dr. Dajana Vuckovic

    Concordia University

    Dr. Dajana Vuckovic is Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Concordia University. She is also the Director for the Centre for Biological Applications of Mass Spectrometry. Her research uses mass spectrometry to study metabolites and lipids with the goal of better understanding disease and to identify biomarkers. Dr. Vuckovic has been awarded the University Research Chair in Clinical Metabolomics and Biomarkers.

    Keywords: metabolomics, lipidomics, biomarkers, mass spectrometry, mycotoxins

Cardiac metabolism

Chaired by Dr. Han Kim (University of Ottawa)

  • Dr. Sarah Dick

    Dr. Sarah Dick

    Queen's University

    Dr. Sarah Dick is a new Assistant Professor at Queen’s University, in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences. Her most recent work includes a study that identifies common regulatory networks for resident macrophages across different types of tissues. This work is published in Science Immunology.

    Keywords: stem cells, macrophages, cardiovascular disease

Analysis of metabolic networks

Chaired by Dr. Mathieu Lavallée-Adam (University of Ottawa)

  • Dr. Jianguo (Jeff) Xia

    Dr. Jianguo (Jeff) Xia

    McGill University

    Dr. Xia is an Associate Professor at McGill University since 2015. His research explores theoretical and practical ways to address challenges in big data analytics. He aims to develop new approaches for metabolomics, transcriptomics, and microbiomics integration. Dr. Xia has won several prestigious awards including a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) and the McGill 2019 Principal’s Prize for Outstanding Emerging Researchers.

    Keywords: Big Data, Bioinformatics, Metabolomics, Microbiomics, C. elegans

Cancer metabolism

Chaired by Dr. Anastasia Tikhonova (OICR)

  • Dr. Gregory Schwartz

    Dr. Gregory Schwartz

    University of Toronto

    Dr. Gregory Schwartz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. His research uses a cross-cutting suite of bioinformatics and systems biology approaches to interrogate the phenomenon of cancer heterogeneity.

    Keywords: precision medicine, omics, bioinformatics, spatial transcriptomics

Cell signalling in diabetes

Chaired by Dr. Jennifer Estall (IRCM)

  • Dr. Tim Kieffer

    Dr. Tim Kieffer

    University of British Columbia

    The Kieffer lab studies how hormones regulate glucose levels in the body. They aim to develop new therapies designed to re-establish release of insulin in diabetic patients. Their approaches are diverse, employing model cell lines, stem cells, zebrafish and genetically engineered rodents. Dr. Kieffer is also working to translate his findings via a number of industry collaborations.

    Keywords: stem cells, islets, beta cell regeneration, insulin, hormones, glycemia, encapsulation

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