HGSS Exec Team 2017-2018


johnmorris2.jpgJohn Moris   john.morris4@mail.mcgill.ca 

Hello everyone! I am a fourth-year PhD student in Dr. Brent Richards’ lab at the Lady Davis Institute. My research is focused on identifying novel genetic determinants of osteoporosis through genome-wide association studies, statistical fine-mapping, and integrative epigenomic analyses. When not using buzzwords to describe my work, I like to spend my time at heavy metal concerts, playing video games, or gushing over Auston Matthews and my Maple Leafs.

As your HGSS President, I will be working alongside the VPs to make this a fantastic year filled with exciting social and academic events, informative workshops, and plenty of opportunities to get involved! I am here to provide support to all members of the Society, so do not hesitate to approach or contact me with questions. Whether you are a new student, are looking to get more involved, or have suggestions for the Society, let’s have a chat and see what we can do! I’m all ears.

Vice-President Financial Affairs

Mona Wu   mona.wu2@mail.mcgill.ca

I am a Ph.D. student at the Lady Davis Institute where I am trying to understand how DICER1 syndrome works under the joint supervision of Drs. William Foulkes and Marc Fabian.  As VP Finance, I am here to ensure that we have money to pay for all of the HGSS-sponsored events and activities.  Together with Claudia, I also represent HGEN at the PGSS council meetings.

If you have ideas about fundraising/sponsorship or concerns you want raised at PGSS, let me know! Outside of the lab (which, let’s be honest is not often), I can be found: in a library, window shopping, looking for inexpensive yet delicious eateries, or trying to do sports.

Vice-President Academic Affairs

Genelle Harrison   genelle.harrison@mail.mcgill.ca

I am a PhD student at the McGill University Health Center and a member of the Infectious Disease and Immunity in Global Health Program. My research looks at the evolution of immune response to pathogens in different human populations. Analytically I do a lot of coding, cussing, and stats.


In my free time I like horseback riding when I can, fishing, diving, bluegrass, and wandering into the trees as far from the city as possible. My role as VP academic is to represent your best interests/concerns at the department and faculty level.

Vice-President Internal Affairs

Kellie MacDonald   kellie.macdonald@mail.mcgill.ca

I am an MSc student studying psychiatric genetics. As my research is patient-oriented, I’m always on the move, so you’ll find me all over the city from the Douglas, to the Glen, to my office in the Ludmer building. When I’m not working, you can usually find me enjoying food from one of the many delicious places here, shrieking at cute dogs I see or realistically, some combination of the two.

As one of the VPs of Internal Affairs, my job is to ensure that you have plenty of events and opportunities to socialize with fellow HGSS pals. My goal this year is to make sure that we try some new and exciting activities, so feel free to reach out to me if you have any ideas! I’d love to hear from you!

Guoyue Xu                                  guoyue.xu@mail.mcgill.ca

Hey everyone, I am a MSc student in the lab of Dr. Philippe Gros located at Bellini Life Science Complex. As one of the numerous labs apart of McGill’s Complex Traits group, my research primarily focuses on the involvement of Bisphosphoglycerate mutase (BPGM) in the pathogenesis of severe Malaria and its potential therapeutic value.

Besides being an avid lover of music, coffee, wine and Netflix, I love taking random excursions around Montreal and discovering more of the city. As this is my first year being apart of Human Genetics, I am very excited to be your VP Internal Affairs and help make your year as fun and exciting as possible.  If you have any suggestions about an event for this year please don’t hesitate to contact Kellie or me!

Vice-President External Affairs

Claudia Dominici    claudia.dominici@mail.mcgill.ca

After completing a MSc with Dr. Vahab Soleimani where I studied the role of protein Ubiquitination in muscle stem cells, I am now moving on to Dr. Stephane Richard’s lab to study arginine methylation in the context of muscle stem cell function. When I’m not geeking out about science, I spend my spare time watching/playing hockey (Go Pens Go!), camping, planning my next trip, binge-playing Zelda, or hanging with my fur baby Cooper.

This year I will be your VP of external affairs – which means I can connect you to all the cool things the Post Graduate Student Society (PGSS) has to offer year round! The PGSS also votes on many important issues that affect graduate life at McGill across all the departments, so I will be your voice if you have something you want the PGSS to hear.  If you have any questions, don’t be shy!

Vice-President Communications

Patricia Goerner-Potvin                  patricia.goerner-potvin@mail.mcgill.ca

Well hi there! I’m a PhD student in the team of Dr. Guillaume Bourque at the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre. Being one of those “biologists posing as a bioinformatician”, my research consists of improving the detection of non-LTR retrotransposons in NGS data, and understanding the impact of polymorphic insertions.

A few of my favourite things: seeing animals in the forest, smart puns, cats, winning at board games, baking, awesome instagram photos of Scotland … As your VP Communications, I’ll be keeping you informed of our various events, seminars and important news, and taking pictures of hopefully most of you guys at our various events!  Until then – Pat.

Vice-President Postdoctoral Affairs

Gurbet Karahan    gurbet.karahan@mail.mcgill.ca

I am a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Jacquetta Trasler’s lab located in Mcgill University Health Centre (MUHC). I am particularly interested in the interaction of male factors and assisted reproductive technologies, their effects on offspring and epigenetic outcomes. Besides research, I love gardening during summer, but during winter I prefer crocheting. I am into all sports my but favorite is basketball.

As the VP Postdoctoral Affairs, my role in HGSS is to increase the participation of postdocs to events and workshops in general and also organize career events for all HGSS to profit. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any problem concerning postdocs or any suggestions about career events.

There is also a representative in each site. HGSS Site Reps 2017-2018