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4th annual LDI Scientific Retreat4th annual LDI Scientific Retreat
On May 10, 2013 the LDI held its fourth annual Scientific Retreat, showcasing examples of research under way in each axis, as well as the work of some of its most promising trainees. This year’s retreat attracted more than 100 abstract proposals for oral and poster presentations, and was attended by more than 300 scientists, lab assistants, and students.
 
The best student oral presentation was by Valentina Gandin (left) of Ivan Topisirovic’s cancer lab, for “Degradation of newly synthesized polypeptides by ribosome associated RACK1/JNK/eEF1A2 complex.” In second place was Peter Quashie (right) of Mark Wainberg’s HIV/AIDS lab for “Evidence for the importance of the integrase mutation G118R in subtypes C and CRF02_A/G.”

Prizes for the best poster presentations went to:
Stefania Simeone - hemovascular
Matthieu Neault - cancer
Ricky Kwan – ageing
Amanda Lovato - cancer
Heather Duncan – ageing
Luca Melnychuk – HIV/AIDS
Jesse Hudson - cancer
Mohammad Oneeb Mian - hemovascular
Fernando Valiente-Echeverria – HIV/AIDS
Fethia Benyebdri - cancer
 
Winner ofÉtudiants-chercheurs étoiles from FRQ-S
Sidi Mehdi Belgnaoui, Post-doctoral fellow in immunology at the Lady Davis Institute, was named Étudiants-chercheurs étoiles by the Fonds de recherche du Quebec in November 2012.
 
Student Travel Award winners
LDI Travel Awards have been won by Ryen MacDonald, a third year PhD candidate, Hamed Bekerat, second year MSc, and Mathieu Neault, a second year PhD. Each will receive up to $1,000 for travel expenses to make an oral or poster presentation of their research at a scientific conference.

LDI Travel Awards are conferred three times per year. Students employed at the LDI who are enrolled in the second or third year of a Master’s program and in their second to fifth year of Doctoral studies are eligible. The next deadline for applications is September 20, 2012 for travel to be undertaken between November 2012 and February 2013. The deadline is January 20, 2013 for travel between March and June 2013; the May 20, 2013 deadline covers travel from July to October 2013.

Guidelines and applications are available on the LDI intranet.
 
 
CIHR Master’s Scholarship

Amanda Lovato, a second year Master’s student in Experimental Medicine working in Dr. Michael Witcher’s lab, has been awarded the Canadian Institute for Health Research’s Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships for the 2012-13 academic year. Her work seeks to clarify how tumor suppressors are silenced, thereby allowing cancer cells to proliferate uncontrolled. Specifically, she is looking at the over-expression of PARG, which inhibits the work of tumor suppressors, in breast cancer.

“If we can show that PARG blocks tumor suppressors, we may be able to target it with drugs that will prevent its activity and allow for reactivation of suppressors that will control tumor growth,” Lovato explained.
 
 
LDI student honoured by CIHR

Dr. Tariq Roshan, a PhD candidate in the Ponka lab won an award of excellence (Silver Category) at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research National Research Poster competition in Winnipeg in June.

“Students such as Tariq bring great credit to the LDI and show our ability to turn out fine graduate students,” commented his supervisor, Dr. Prem Ponka.
 
 
McGill Cardiology Research Day

Three LDI students were recognized for their presentations at McGill’s Cardiology Research Day in May. Tying for third place in oral presentations were Greg Star of Dr. Langleben’s lab (for “Knockdown of bone morphogenic protein receptor–II by siRNA increases in vitro endothelin-1 synthesis by human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells”) and Stefania Simeone of Dr. Lehoux’s lab ( for “Shear Stress-induced Atherosclerotic Plaque Regression is Reversed By Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibition”). Second prize for poster presentations went to Talin Ebrahimian of Dr. Lehoux’s lab (for “Inhibition of Four- and- a- Half Lim domain protein 2 increases survival and migratory capacity of human early outgrowth endothelial progenitor cells through upregulation of sphingosin kinase-1: Implications for endothelial regeneration”). 
 
 
Students in the Spotlight at LDI Scientific Retreat

Almost 300 students, research associates, and principal investigators from the Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish General Hospital gathered for the 3rd Annual LDI Scientific Retreat at the Bonsecours Market in Old Montreal on May 18. The purpose of this popular event is, in the words of Dr. Roderick McInnes, the Institute’s Director, “to put on display the extraordinary range of important research underway at the LDI. Because everybody tends to concentrate on their own area of expertise, they lose sight of how their work contributes to the greater enterprise of a world class facility.”

The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Clyde Hertzman of the University of British Columbia, who is one of the leading experts on the connections between early childhood development and societal health and well-being. In 2010, Dr. Hertzman was named CIHR Researcher of the Year. Also taking to the podium were investigators the LDI’s six research axes, each of whom presented insights into their on-going work.

Students play a central role in the Scientific Retreat, competing for the opportunity to give oral and poster presentations. The first prize for an oral presentation went to Frédérick Mallette, who spoke on a promising new tumor suppression finding. Second place went to Stefania Simeone for a talk on reversing the accumulation of arterial plaques. Best poster honours went to Rahul Gawri, Michelle Jasmine Ramcharitar, Konstantinos Gkouvatsos, Asia Rehman, Samara Perez, Nicolas Garnier, Alexander Kelly, and Torsten Nielsen.

Health and Safety Officer Alain Petit was recognized as the LDI’s 2012 Employee of the Year for his outstanding contributions to ensuring employee safety and compliance with all existing regulations.
       
Frédérick Mallette (left),and Stefania Simeone (right) deliver the first and second place (respectively) oral presentations at the 3rd annual Lady
Davis Institute Scientific Retreat
 
 
A bi-monthly report of news and scientific developments

Upcoming Seminars and Events

A calendar of distinguished lectures and scientific talks. Also, post-doctoral fellow talks, a dedicated lunch time seminar series where post-docs can interact scientifically and practice speaking skills.
The LDI arranges for monthly Career Seminars that focus on how to become an independent scientist or pursue a non-research career path.

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