2020 Election candidate: Mojgan Rastegar

Candidate for the position of councilor

Mojgan RastegarMojgan Rastegar, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Medical Genetics, and Regenerative Medicine Program, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba


Candidacy Statement:

I am an Associate Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, and Regenerative Medicine Program, University of Manitoba, and would like to express my interest to apply for the CSMB Councillor position. In brief, I have obtained my PhD degree in Biomedical Sciences from the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Brussels, Belgium. Prior to joining the University of Manitoba as a Faculty Member in 2009, I performed postdoctoral training at the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, Canada), McGill University (Montreal, Canada), and Indiana University-Purdue University (Indianapolis, USA). My research program is focused on the role of epigenetics and DNA methylation in stem cell differentiation and neurodevelopmental disorders; including Rett Syndrome. My independent research has been supported by international and national funding agencies, including International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF), CIHR, NSERC-DG, and Ontario Rett Syndrome Association (ORSA). Last year, my research was recognized to take a leadership role in Canada for our research on Human Rett Syndrome Brain Tissues, and I established the “Human Rett Syndrome Brain Bio-Repository Laboratory” at the University of Manitoba. This new lab is the Canadian site for Human Rett Syndrome post-mortem brain donations from human patients, and has been developed via donations arranged through ORSA.

Prior to joining our university, my education, training, and research in Europe, US, and Canada resulted in 14 peer-reviewed published articles, including two papers in Oncogene (2002, 2003), one paper in Molecular & Cellular Biology (2004), two papers in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2005, 2006), and one paper in Cell (2007). Since 2009, I have published 32 original research and review articles, in 18 of them; I am the senior corresponding author. Of note, six of these original research manuscripts, where I am the senior author are published since 2018, and appear in reputable Journals (IF: 4.15 to 6.88) (Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 2020, Molecular Neurobiology 2020, Scientific Reports 2019, Cancers 2019, International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2019). I hold two approved Patents, and have been an invited speaker in USA, Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal, Montreal, Laval, Hamilton, and Vancouver. I have been an invited Chair at the Society for Neuroscience, Canadian Neuroscience Meeting, and a Symposium Chair and Speaker in FENS 2020, UK (FENS 2020 will take now place virtually due to COVID-19 pandemic). Since 2009, my lab has trained over 50 HQP at the PDF, PhD, MSc, and undergraduate levels. I have been a CSMB member since 2010, and currently serve as a Committee Member at Large at the two CSMB Nomination Committee and Awards Committee. I believe that my experience in administrative roles would make me a suitable candidate who can help in advancing the CSMB society, while my research expertise and history of HQP training would allow me to help improving the research environment for scientists and our trainees across Canada.



  • PhD in Biomedical Sciences, UniversitĂ© Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Brussels, Belgium (1996-2000)
  • DEA (DiplĂ´me d’Etudes Approfondies) in Biochemistry and Human Cellular Biology, UniversitĂ© Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium (1996-1998)
  • MSc in Medical Bacteriology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran (1988-1992)
  • BSc in Microbiology, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran (1984-1988)


Career Summary:

  • Associate Professor (Tenured), Department of Biochemistry & Medical Genetics, and Regenerative Medicine Program, University of Manitoba (2015-present)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Medical Genetics, and Regenerative Medicine Program, University of Manitoba (2009-2015)
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Medical Genetics, and Regenerative Medicine Program, University of Manitoba (2008)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Associate, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada (2005-2008)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada (2001-2005)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Indiana University Cancer Center, IUPUI, IN, USA (2000-2001)


Professional activities relevant to this position:

To prepare for this position, I have served in numerous committees nationally and at the University of Manitoba. Nationally, I serve as a CIHR grant panel member in Ottawa, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research panel member in Vancouver, and Ontario Research Fund-Research Excellence Program panel member in Toronto. I am a reviewer of NSERC Discovery Grants, Canada Research Chairs, MITACS, and grants from USA, UK, Poland, Taiwan, and Belgium. I am a reviewer of >35 peer-reviewed scientific journals, including Science Translational Medicine and Biological Psychiatry, while serving as an Associate Editor, and Editorial Board member of peer-reviewed journals including Frontiers in Genetics, Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, Neural Plasticity, and Scientific Reports. At the University of Manitoba, I serve on several Departmental committees, and I am a member of the Senate, Senate Committee on Planning and Priorities, Senate Committee on Admissions, Budget Advisory Committee to the President, and Executive Committee member our College and Faculty.

I am a current Committee member at large at the Canadian Society of Molecular Biosciences (CSMB) in both the Nomination and Awards Committees. I strongly believe that my professional expertise, vision, and leadership abilities will place me in a suitable position to further serving the CSMB Board of Councilors.


Major Research Interests:

My research is focused on epigenetics and Rett Syndrome (RTT). RTT is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder caused by MECP2 mutations. My lab focuses on fundamental concepts in disease mechanisms, with the goal of finding a cure for RTT. These include identifying differences between the human RTT and normal brains to characterize the specific key cell types that contribute to RTT pathobiology. We are targeting impaired cellular pathways in RTT, using FDA-approved drugs. My research has been supported by CIHR, NSERC-DG, IRSF, ORSA, with >45 peer-reviewed publications, 2 patents, >120 published abstracts, and key presentations in US, Europe, and Canada.




View Mojgan Rastegar’s CV