HGSS Exec Team 2020-2021


Caitlin Anderson | caitlin.anderson@mail.mcgill.ca

I am a Fourth year PhD candidate in Dr. René St-Arnaud’s lab at the Shriners Hospital for Children. The main focuses of my project are identifying and characterizing compounds that can aid in bone development and regeneration. When I am not in the lab I am out hiking, skiing or trying new restaurants across the city! My favourite place in Montreal has to be my balcony which was my main hangout area this summer with a good book and a cocktail!

As your President this year I hope to increase communication between the department and the students allowing us to be more engaged in decisions that affect us. One of my main goals this year is to foster a greater sense of community in our department at both a student and faculty level. This year as execs we would like to offer more workshops and are always looking for student feedback for which topics are in demand! If you have a workshop you’d like offered, an idea on how to enhance community engagement, or just want to chat, send me an email!

VP Financial Affairs

Sydney Sue | sydney.sue@mail.mcgill.ca

My name is Sydney and I’m an MSc2 student at the Douglas Hospital, in the Turecki Lab. I’m studying the epigenetic mechanisms/patterns of depression using machine learning techniques.

In my free time, I like to exercise/ play sports and hang out with friends. 3 fun facts about myself: 1) My wrists are really flexible (on a table, I can turn my hands 360 degrees), 2) my favourite animal is a dolphin, and 3) I’m currently obsessed with watching Prison Break. I’m from Richmond Hill (in the GTA) and my favourite place in Toronto is the Harbourfront. In Montreal, I love biking around the city and my favourite spot is the Old Port.

As an exec, my goals are to plan many meaningful events and to meet as many people as possible!

VP Communications

Anjie Ni | anjie.ni@mail.mcgill.ca

Hi everyone! I’m a first-year Master’s student in Dr. Carl Ernst’s lab, at the Douglas. I’ll be studying rare neurodevelopmental disorders using stem cell modelling techniques (I’m really excited!).

My favourite place in the city has always been Old Montreal as I’m a Neoclassical architecture enthusiast. Other fun facts about me: I love being in water, I’m a certified scuba diver and I’m currently learning Mandarin (I keep telling myself it’s never too late!).

As your VP Comms this year, my main goals are to 1) foster a stronger sense of community by creating space for student interaction on social media platforms and 2) promote discussions about inclusion & diversity on social media and online workspaces.

P-S. Follow us on Instagram (@hgss_mcgill) and Twitter (@hgssmcgill)!

VP Academic Affairs

Cal Liao | cal.liao@mail.mcgill.ca

Hey everyone, I’m from Markham, Ontario and am a PhD3 student in the Rouleau Lab at the MNI. My project focuses on single-cell sequencing of bipolar and schizophrenia patient samples.

In my free time, I like spinning, cooking and painting. My favorite place in Montreal: any kind of terrace!

As your VP Academic Affairs this year, my goals are to promote diversity and to come up with unique events and workshop ideas.

VP Internal Affairs (2)

Nargess Farhangdoost | nargess.farhangdoost@mail.mcgill.ca

I’m a first-year Ph.D. fellow in Dr. Rouleau’s lab and I work at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Ludmer Building. I recently finished my M.Sc. in Human Genetics at McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Center where I primarily studied head and neck cancer epigenetics. Switching from the field of cancer epigenetics to psychiatric genetics, I’m excited to be working on bipolar disorder.

I’m from Montreal and my favorite place in the “Greater Montreal” area is Vergers Lafrance since I do enjoy the apple picking tradition with family and friends. The downtown campus of McGill is also one of my favorite places in the city. When I’m not doing science, I’m probably spinning, dancing, or singing in private karaoke studios with friends!

As an exec this year, I would like to bring the HGEN community closer together and organize engaging and creative social events where students from different labs get to interact with each other—online or in-person. Also, I would like to make more career-related and scientific workshops happen this year. Considering the pandemic situation, this year is going to be different in terms of what activities we can organize in-person, however, considering the amazing exec team we have this year I’m sure it will be legendary!

Ajay Sahai | ajay.sahai@mail.mcgill.ca

My name is Ajay Sahai and I am from Calgary, Alberta. I am a 3rd Year Master’s Student and my lab is at the Shriners Hospital for Children. My project focuses on Bone Development Signalling Pathways in Human Osteoblasts.
3 Fun Facts about me:
1. Love finding secret Montreal Bars
2. I am a licensed Pilot
3. I have been kicked out of Disneyland
Sherbrooke between Guy and Peel is some of my favourite parts of the city. The old architecture and art mixed with bustling life makes it a vibrant part of the city to enjoy.

My goals this year are to enable students to make lifelong friendships, have epic events and shared experiences, help students pave a path for their future ambitions and to survive 2020.

VP External Affairs

Bryn Golesworthy| jenna.golesworthy@mail.mcgill.ca

I’m just starting the second year of my Masters in the Zogopoulos Lab where I split my time between the Glen Site & GCRC, although these days I work from home most of the time. My project involves studying the genetic landscape of pancreatic cancer and how deficiency in Homologous Recombination Repair affects the immune microenvironment.

I’m from the Boston area (but really that’s just what I tell people who aren’t familiar with the States. I’m actually from a tiny town 45 minutes away). In my free time there’s a 90% chance you’ll find me hanging out on my balcony either reading, watching Netflix, or playing games with friends. My favourite place in Montreal is Jarry Park, it’s my go-to running spot.

My goal as an exec this year is to make sure that students are aware of all the opportunities available to them. I think the nature of our virtual semester will allow more time for people to get involved in events they wouldn’t normally attend.