HGSS Site Reps 2020-2021

McGill University Health Centre/Glen Site

Will Bauer | william.bauer2@mail.mcgill.ca

Hey everyone! My name is Will and I am your Glen Site Representative for this year. I am a 1st-year graduate student in the MSc Human Genetics program, and my project consists of testing a special subset of melanoma cell lines for methionine dependence, a phenomenon observed in some cancers (supervised by David Rosenblatt).

Although I have held an interest in human genetics and genomics since I was 14 years old, my immediate background is in marine phylogenetics. Up until September 2020, I had lived in the Maritimes my entire life, completing an BSc with Honours in Biology at Acadia University, in Wolfville Nova Scotia. My honours thesis explored mtDNA transmission in bivalves – a unique phenomenon that you should ask me about sometime.

Now, I am very excited to be living in Montreal and attending McGill! Outside of the science world, you will probably find me hiking, cooking/eating weird food (give me good places to eat), or absolutely destroying everyone at Smash Bros.

Jewish General Hospital – Lady Davis Institute

Charlotte Sénéchal | charlotte.senechal@mail.mcgill.ca

Hi! My name is Charlotte, I am from Arlington Massachusetts (near Boston) though I did my undergrad at McGill. I am starting the first year of my Masters and am studying muscle stem cells at Dr. Colin Crist’s laboratory. During my free time, I love to run (mostly walk) up Mount Royal. When the Montreal winter hits I love to ski!

Douglas Mental Health University Institute

Lilit Antonyan | lilit.antonyan@mail.mcgill.ca

Hi! I’m Lilit and I’m a PhD4 student at Dr. Carl Ernst’s lab, at the Douglas Hospital. I’m studying two rare neurodevelopmental diseases using stem cell modelling. I’m from Armenia and I grew up in Mexico. In my free time I like to dance, play sports, learn new circus acrobatics, and buy lots of plants. I also want to seriously start learning French this year! My favourite spot in the city is the Old Port, specifically the docks where you can watch the river flowing.

Shriner’s Hospital for Children

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

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

Caitlin is 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!

Ajay is a 3rd Year Master’s from Calgary, Alberta. His project focuses on Bone Development Signalling Pathways in Human Osteoblasts.
Fun Facts about him: he loves finding secret Montreal Bars; he is a licensed pilot and he has been kicked out of Disneyland. His favourite place in Montreal is Sherbrooke between Guy and Peel as the old architecture and art mixed with bustling life makes it a vibrant part of the city to enjoy.

The Neuro

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

Nargess is a first-year Ph.D. fellow in Dr. Rouleau’s lab and works at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Ludmer Building. She recently switched from the field of cancer epigenetics to psychiatric genetics and she’s excited to be working on bipolar disorder. When she is not doing science, she is probably spinning, dancing, or singing in private karaoke studios with friends!

Life Sciences

Lysanne Desharnais | lysanne.desharnais@mail.mcgill.ca

I am a second year Master’s student originally from Ottawa. I am co-supervised by Dr. Logan Walsh and Dr. Daniela Quail at the Goodman Cancer Research Centre where I am studying how obesity influences response to immunotherapy in lung cancer patients.When I’m not in the lab, you can usually find me wandering around the city listening to a good podcast – I’m always open to some recommendations! Some fun facts about me: 1) my favourite food is falafel 2) I’m a huge reality TV junkie 3) most of my family lives in South Africa and I would love to live there for a few years!

McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre

Evelyn Zavacky | evelyn.zavacky@mail.mcgill.ca

Hi! My name is Evelyn and I’m your Génome Québec Innovation Centre sit representative! I’m from Ottawa but I did my undergrad at Western University. I’m currently in my first year of my Masters at McGill in Dr. Yasser Riazalhosseini’s lab. My research focuses on how cancer and immune cells contribute to the development of aggressive tumors, identifying new biomarkers to predict a patient’s response to treatment, and developing new approaches to target resistance to certain drugs! I’m very passionate about cancer genomics and would be happy if my research can one day help at least one person diagnosed with cancer. When I’m not in the lab, you’ll probably find me coding on my laptop, cuddling with my old cat, or playing Animal Crossing on my Nintendo switch! I also love any winter sport – skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, skating, etc., so I’m very excited to be spending this upcoming snow season in Quebec! Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions regarding the Genome Centre, my research, or if you just want to chat 🙂 

Genetic Counselling Program

Samantha Rojas | samantha.rojas@mail.mcgill.ca

I’m Samantha Rojas, but I go by Sam. I’m a second-year Genetic Counselling student at McGill. I spend most of my time at the MUHC, where I see patients in Prenatal, Cancer, Adult, and Pediatric Genetics (albeit all virtually these days). My research project is through McGill’s Centre of Genomics and Policy and GenCOUNSEL where I am studying the impact of practising genetic counselling outside of a Genetics Clinic.I’m from King City, Ontario (Deep into the suburbs near Toronto) but consider Ottawa to be my second home after living there for 6 years before coming to MTL. Apart from school, you’ll find me scouring the restaurant and bar scene, or at least you will when they open up again. I love binge-worthy TV, comedy, coffee and wine, and practising yoga (I teach too!). I also have a cat and dog who have been keeping me sane(-ish) through the pandemic.

First-Year Representative

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!). Fun facts about me: I love being in water, I dream of diving with hammerhead sharks and I’m currently learning Mandarin (I keep telling myself it’s never too late!).