2020 Election candidate: Mohan Babu

Candidate for position of councilor

Mohan Babu, University of Regina

  1. Name : Dr. Mohan Babu
    Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty of Science, University of Regina (UofR), Saskatchewan, Canada

  1. Candidacy Statement

I have served as a secretary treasurer for the Canadian Society of Microbiology (CSM) for six years (2014-2020), where I oversee operating expenses for the conference, report revenue and any expenses spent (with financial statements prepared after auditing) in each fiscal year (e.g. membership dues, website development), project a conservative budget with future expected expenses, and participate in a monthly teleconference to discuss with society executives how to create revenue sources for operations and plan for an annual conference. Also, I have (1) worked with CSM executives in preparing the profit sharing policy for local organizing committees; (2) created new scholarships, travel and presentation awards for undergraduate or graduate students/ postdoctoral fellows to participate in the annual conference; (3) supported the sponsorship to host the student research day and members’ events at various Canadian universities; and (4) promoted CSM at the international levels by sponsoring awards for student presentations organized by CSM members at international conferences.

I partnered with EYES (Educating Youth in Engineering and Science) by providing training to girls, aged 9-13, to empower female students and demonstrate the value of science in improving the living conditions of Canadians, as well as finding innovative cures to human disease. In 2013, I founded the ‚ÄúUofR Proteomics and Genomics Facility‚ÄĚ to support research labs within and outside the province to address research problems from basic science to clinical and complex systems biology through innovative technologies. I have also offered 3 international (e.g. Italian Proteomics Association) and organized/given 4 provincial (e.g. McGill) workshops to train/ transfer knowledge for students on new proteomics tools in medical research.

As part of ‚ÄúMeet the Experts‚ÄĚ session in the XIII Annual Congress of the European Proteomics Association (2019, Germany), I discussed with young investigators the large-scale proteomics design, career prospects, and scientific manuscript writing. Because the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) funding agency is retransforming their research programs, as a university representative, I engaged in discussion with the Director of Funding Programs, by sharing my ideas to strengthen research capacity and competitiveness in the province, and advocated a need for an increased investment in research and innovation.

Since my term in the CSM is ending in June 2020, I believe my next step is to implement my knowledge and experience into continuing the growth of scientific societies in Canada like CSMB, where I want to play an important role in prioritizing a collaborative approach to student’s education and knowledge enhancement. If my nomination for CSMB Councilor position is accepted, my focus will be to promote and advance the society by bringing in new opportunities through existing or future collaborations with industry, provincial or federal agencies to improve the environment of researchers and trainees. I will also commit to bolstering public outreach through partnerships with groups like EYES, with special emphasis on underrepresented groups. Further, I will continue to increase the implementation of equity, diversity and inclusion through scholarship award programs to maintain research excellence, and support students and trainees who are Canada’s next generation of researchers.

 

  1. Education

09/1999-08/2002         : Doctorate, Pathology, TNAU, INDIA

07/2002-06/2004         : Postdoctoral Fellow, Functional Genomics, University of Toronto,                                                 CANADA

07/2004-12/2004         : Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, Functional Genomics, University of                                                  California, Davis, USA

07/2004-12/2004         : Postdoctoral Associate, Functional Genomics, Ohio State University,                                             USA

01/2005-01/2007         : Postdoctoral Scientist, Virology and Genomics, Agriculture and Agri-                                            Food Canada, CANADA

01/2007-06/2012         : Senior Research Associate, Proteomics and Genomics, University of                                              Toronto, CANADA

 

  1. Career Summary

07/2012-06/2017
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, UofR, CANADA

07/2017
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, UofR, CANADA

04/2018
Associate Member Neuroscience Research Cluster, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, CANADA

I have amassed 18 years of post-PhD research experience in the design and implementation of systems-wide studies in eukaryotes and prokaryotes. During my appointment at the UofR, I have led a strong, viable and independent research program, which has yielded measurably high productivity, as judged by high-quality research in peer-reviewed articles in top-tier journals, successfully funded grants, national and international conference/seminar presentations, and the training/mentoring of postdoctoral fellows, research associates as well as graduate and undergraduate student trainees, recruited from Canada and elsewhere. I have also demonstrated ‚Äúteaching proficiency and excellence‚ÄĚ at different levels of courses, with evidence reflected from student one-on-one feedbacks and web reviews, and fulfilled substantially my other responsibilities in ‚Äúadministrative duties and other public/community services‚ÄĚ at the department, faculty and university levels.

 

  1. Professional Activities Relevant To This Position

I am an Associate Editor (2017-2020) of the journal ‚ÄúBMC Microbiology‚ÄĚ; Editorial Board member of the journal ‚ÄúBioEssays‚ÄĚ (Wiley; 2016-2020), Editor of the book ‚ÄúProkaryotic Systems Biology‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúMitochondria in Health and Disease‚ÄĚ (Springer; 2015, 2018), CIHR (2017-2023) and European Science Foundation (2018-2021) college of reviewers, and Secretary Treasurer for ¬†CSM (2014-2020). I regularly review for many eminent journals (>100 reviews including Cell, Nature, PLoS, Proteomics, Bioinformatics, EMBO, Molecular Systems Biology), and serve on external (SHRF, CRC, CIHR, European Science Foundation-starting and advanced grants, Israel Ministry of Science (Technology and Space), MRC-UK, CFI, NSERC Discovery Grant/CRD/Idea to Innovation, Ontario Research Foundation/Genome Canada, MITACS Accelerate) and internal (UofR President‚Äôs Research Seed Grant, Banting Fellowship) grant review committee panels.

At the department level, I served in the capacity of seminar coordinator to organize seminars (2013/2018), and honours research coordinator (2014/2019/2020). Since 2012, I was involved in the graduate student selection committee where student applications are reviewed and a decision was provided to the graduate coordinator. I have served as a committee member for graduate students, and as an external examiner for undergraduate honours research. Since 2016, I took on the role of a coordinator to shortlist recipients for undergraduate scholarship awards.

 

  1. Major Research Interests

Although mitochondria are required for a number of cellular functions, mitochondrial defects are emerging as causative or contributing factors in many acquired or inherited human diseases. To understand how mitochondrial dysfunction is linked to these diseases, it is necessary to uncover how nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins are organized into functional and physical networks. Yet, our knowledge of how mitochondrial proteins assemble into macromolecular complexes, and how they interact with other subcellular pathways, remains limited. My research interest is to address the gaps in our current understanding of how mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to acquired/inherited disorders by surveying mitochondria-focused mammalian interaction networks.

 Keywords: Mitochondria, Network biology, Neurodegenerative disorders, Protein-protein/ genetic interactions, Quantitative genetics, Systems biology

  1. Website: http://uregina.ca/~babu200m/index.html

View Mohan Babu’s CV