December 2019 Newsletter

Message from the President

Dear CSMB Members,

The end of the year is a perfect opportunity to reflect on what we have accomplished in 2019 and to look ahead to what 2020 will bring to Canadian scientists.

Tarik MoroyOne very important and positive step forward taken in Canadian Science in 2019 is the launch of the Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada charter. The CSMB applauded the announcement of Dimensions-EDI, which is an important step Canada is making towards realising its full research potential across all disciplines, by leveraging all its available talent. I invite you to read the message written by our Vice-President, Imogen Coe, on the occasion of this announcement here:

Other 2019 news were not so positive. While increased investments in fundamental research were announced in Canada’s 2018 budget, budget 2019 has been a disappointment to many researchers, who were, and are still hoping for the full implementation of the Canada’s fundamental science review, also known as the Naylor report. Calls to further #supportthereport have not been succesful, and the end of year is a good time to reflect on an effective strategy going forward.

During the federal election campaign, CSMB has worked with partners to promote the #VoteScience initiative, which aimed to engage local candidates, show how science funding is important to all Canadians, and to say that science should be an election issue every time. While most agree that this electoral campaign was not idea-driven, the #votescience campaign was still a success in bringing together like-minded individuals, and including 20 organisations from across the country and from different scientific disciplines, all in support of science. This initiative has brought our community together, and makes us hopeful that we can work together again to promote science funding in Canada.

While science was not an election issue, we still need to work to make science support a priority for the government. Tri-council funding application success rates are still too low to sustain a robust scientific community in Canada.  I invite you to read an editorial we published in the National Newswatch right after the election: Science was not an Election 2019 issue – but it should be a priority for the next Government

One way to promote science awareness is to advertise and highlight the successes of scientists, and the impact of their discoveries.  To this end, we have partnered with the Gairdner foundation and the Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC to produce a series of documents celebrating the science of this year’s Gairdner Award winners.  I invite you to browse (and share!) the documents that were produced and published during Gairdner week:

Advocating for science funding, promoting fundamental research in Canada, working towards more equity, diversity and inclusion cannot be achieved by individuals working separately.  We must put our strengths together and work as a community towards these important goals.  For this reason, I invite you to renew your CSMB membership today, to become a member, and to invite members of your team and your colleagues to become CSMB members today.  CSMB membership also comes with many benefits, which are listed on our Membership page. I thank you in advance for your support.

Finally, I invite you to spread the word about the CSMB by sharing this newsletter.  Our members are what makes us strong, and reaching out will help us increase our membership in the coming years.

I hope you had a great year, and that 2020 will bring you joy and success.

Tarik Möröy

President of the CSMB

2019 CSMB Meeting Highlights

Congratulations to the organizers of the CSMB 62nd Annual Conference: Model Systems in Cancer Research, which took place last June in Montréal.  Hosted by IRIC at the Université de Montréal, it focused on research relevant for understanding the biological basis of cancer using a variety of model systems including model organisms, in vitro systems and computer modeling.

Congratulations to the meeting organizers: Vincent Archambault, Kathy Borden, Jean-François Côté, Jean-Claude Labbé, Julie Lessard, Nora Mostefai, Martine Raymond, Michelle Scott, Brian Wilhelm.

The scientific program was stimulating to both trainees and principal investigators, and included workshops on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Science and Society and career planning.

Learn more about the meeting in this highlights video and on the 2019 meeting webpage


View the video directly on YouTube:

We also wish to congratulate again the 2019 CSMB meeting poster and travel award winners – View the full list of winner here

2019 CSMB meeting poster award winners

CSMB membership benefits – Renew today!

The CSMB membership year runs January 1 to December 31st of each year, and it is therefore time to renew your membership.

Renew today to make sure you don’t lose your membership benefits:

Do you have colleagues working in the area of Molecular Biosciences that could be interested in joining the CSMB?  Please share this newsletter with them!

2020 CSMB meetings

The CSMB is proud to announce it will be involved in the organisation of two meeting in 2020.

CSMB 63rd Annual Conference: Metabolic Regulation of Cell Signalling, June 12-12, 2020 Ottawa

From June 10th –12th in 2020 the Ottawa Institutes for Systems Biology (OISB) and the Ottawa Heart Institute will organize the 63th Annual Canadian Society of Molecular Biosciences (CSMB) Meeting in Ottawa, to be held at the University of Ottawa campus. The conference theme will be “Metabolic Regulation of Cell Signalling”. This will be an opportunity to showcase Canadian Science in an emerging field and to develop new research opportunities and collaborations. Our aim is to attract ~350 researchers from across Canada and internationally by offering top-tier speakers, special programing for trainees, and outreach events – all at an affordable cost. We encourage you to register your entire team!

Visit the meeting website for the latest information:

Follow the latest announcements on Twitter at @CSMB2020

For sponsorship opportunities please contact: Mike Downey

One of the highlights of the meeting will certainly be the trainee organized workshops, with panels based around Science Communication, Women in Stem, Alternative Careers, and Networking.  Check out the Trainee workshops page to stay informed

The CSMB2020 Trainee team – Top Row: Liam McCarthy (MSc Student), Hossein Davarinejad (PhD Student), Elizabeth Walden (PhD Student) Bottom Row: Amanda Bentley-DeSousa (PhD Student), Sarah Laframboise (MSc student),Yidai Yang (Postdoc)

To contact the Trainee Committee:


Life Sciences Career Expo 2020: Educating the Next Generation, May 13th – 15th | Toronto, Canada

NIH image gallery - Research Training

The Life Sciences Career Expo (LSCE) is a national three day, multi-university career conference designed to bring together graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with educators, researchers, industry partners and government stakeholders, with the common interest of educating the next generation of trainees about the diverse careers in the life sciences sector.

Organizing Committee
Walid A. Houry (UofT and CSMB), Jenna van Leeuwen (LSCDS), Reinhart Reithmeier (UofT), Nana Lee (UofT), William Willmore (Carleton University), Maria Mercado (LSCDS)

Visit the meeting website for the latest information:


Welcome to the new members of the CSMB Board of Directors


We are happy to welcome the following new councillors on the CSMB Board of Directors

  • Dr. Katey Rayner – University of Ottawa
  • Dr. Vincent Archambault – IRIC, UniversitĂ© de MontrĂ©al

Following the call for nominations for trainee representatives on the Board of directors, the CSMB is also proud to announce the two new representatives:

  • Matthew David Berg | Western University, PhD Candidate
  • Krysta Coyle  | Simon Fraser University, Post-Doc

We look forward to their input at our Board meeting.

Gairdner week: A Canadian celebration of science

In celebration of Gairdner week, CSMB, the Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC, and the Gairdner Foundation have collaborated to produce a series of documents celebrating the science of this year’s Gairdner Award winners.  These resources, aimed at middle/high school students and the general public, are designed to explain the breakthrough research behind each Gairdner Award and to emphasize the value of fundamental discovery-based research to society.

We invite you to view and share these resources widely, as they highlight the impact science has in our lives and our understanding of the world.



Investing in Tomorrow: The vote science campaign

We invite you to listen to a recent episode of the Raw Talk podcast, with leading Canadian science advocates giving advice on how to speak up for science.  The four advocates interviewed were: Dr. David Naylor, former President of the University of Toronto and chair of the recent Fundamental Science Review; Dr. Molly Shoichet, University Professor at U of T and former Ontario Chief Scientist;  Dr. Imogen Coe, Canadian leader for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion policy in science, Founding Dean of the Faculty of Science at Ryerson University, and Vice-President of the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences; Farah Qaiser, President of the science advocacy organization Toronto Science Policy Network and Graduate Student at U of T; Dr. Amanda Veri, Research associate at U of T.

The University of Toronto also had a feature on the launch of the #VoteScience campaign, and a panel organised by U of T’s Toronto Science Policy Network (TSPN), together with the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences (CSMB) and the Royal Canadian Institute for Science.  CSMB VP Imogen Coe was a panelist at this event, and Farah Qaiser, president of TSPN and member of the CSMB Trainee Committee, was amongst the organizers.

#VoteScience panel - Picture credit: DINA DONG/THE VARSITY
#VoteScience panel – Picture credit: DINA DONG/THE VARSITY

At this event, Imogen Coe highlighted the power of storytelling as a way to reach out:

“One of the points I’d like you to take away is that we need to be storytellers; we need to think about the stories that we can tell when we are trying to influence… politicians,” she said.

“All politicians are human beings,” she continued. “They all have family members who have been sick or they’re all worried about their futures.”

“[Storytelling] is a continual… active process, and I think all scientists need to be engaged in and involved at levels that [are] comfortable to them… It is something that we can all do.”

Read the full article about this event by Amira Higazy and Randa Higazy in The Varsity:

The Presidents of the CSMB, Tarik Moroy, and of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience, Katalin Toth, co-authored an editorial in Le Devoir, explaining why science should have been an election issue. View it in Le Devoir (in French only)

The electoral campaign may be over, but the tools and insight that were generated in the #VoteScience campaign are useful and relevant for continued science advocacy.  Check out the resources here:

Fundamental science advocacy: the long game

We invite you to read “How to continually make the case for fundamental science: from the perspective of a protein kinase”, a summary of Jim Woodgett’s Arthur Wynne Gold Medal talk. It is available in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, one of the CSMB’s official journals:

Progress in science is non-linear, sometimes unpredictable, and perhaps hard to grasp for non-scientists. Dr. Woodgett’s makes the case for the use of effective story-telling to communicate scientific meaning.  Effective communication is one of the keys to increase understanding and support for scientific research.

CSMB’s official journal Biochemistry and Cell Biology celebrates its 90th anniversary

Read a recent editorial by BCB editors James Davie and Chris Nelson, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the journal.

BCB is a not-for-profit journal of molecular life sciences, published by Canadian Science Publishing since 1929.  BCB supports life science through partnerships with societies like the CSMB, sponsors CSMB conferences and publishes special issues covering the CSMB annual meeting.

Drs. Davie and Nelson also highlight important efforts made by BCB to ensure timely and fair review, and to increase diversity in the BCB editorial board.

We invite you to read the full editorial in BCB.

Recent job postings

View more on our jobs page

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  • News about CSMB members
  • Images that represent molecular biosciences that could be used for our website and newsletter (full credits will be given to the image source)
  • Job openings
  • Advocacy opportunities open to our members

Write to us here:

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The official journals of the CSMB are Biochemistry and Cell Biology and Genome.