Experimental Medicine Graduate Student Society (EMGSS) of McGill University – March 2016

Experimental Medicine Graduate Student Society (EMGSS) of McGill University
Division of Experimental Medicine
McGill University
March 17th, 2016

Correspondent: Rachel La Selva, VP External

For the past fifteen consecutive years, the Experimental Medicine Graduate Student Society (EMGSS) of McGill University has hosted the Annual McGill Biomedical Graduate Conference (AMBGC). The EMGSS is a non­profit, student­run, academic organization that represents graduate students registered in the Division of Experimental Medicine at McGill University.

The AMBGC is a one­day symposium which allows outstanding graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to present their research. Students from universities across Canada participate in the conference and participation is open to any student around the world. Attendees are given an opportunity to interact, present their work, and learn from fellow members of the scientific community. Post­doctoral fellows from the aforementioned programs volunteer as judges to award prizes to attendees based on the merit of their presentations. The goal of this conference is to provide training opportunities for graduate students from all labs, regardless of budgetary restrictions. In this vein, the AMBGC does not charge a registration fee. We rely for the most part on the generosity of academic and corporate sponsors to finance our conference.

The 16th AMBGC took place on Thursday, March 17th, 2016 at La Plaza Conference Centre, 420 Sherbrooke Street, Montreal, QC. In recent years, the number of attendees has ranged from 150­200. Participants include undergraduate and graduate students, post­doctoral fellows, university faculty, corporate representatives and community members.

Themes for the conference included:
  • Cell Signaling and Gene Expression
  • Clinical and Experimental Oncology
  • Central and Peripheral Neuroscience
  • Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Cell Biology, Polarity and Localization
  • Epidemiology, Bioethics and Medical Genetics
  • Cardiovascular and Respiratory Disease
  • Musculoskeletal and Developmental Disorders

The keynote address this year was given by Dr. Jiang from Terry Fox Laboratory at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Jiang received her MD from Shanghai Second Medical University and her PhD with Dr. Paul Jolicoeur in the Division of Experimental Medicine at McGill University. She undertook post-doctoral training with Dr. Connie Eaves at the BC Cancer Agency. She is a Distinguished Scientist at the Terry Fox Laboratory of the BC Cancer Agency and an Associate Member of the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Shanghai Institute of Medical Genetics. Dr. Jiang’s research interests are focused on basic and translational research of molecular properties of cancer stem cells that contribute to the development of leukemia and drug resistance. In particular, she discovered the AHI-1 oncogene in a mouse model of human leukemia during her PhD studies at McGill University; it has been widely recognized as a critical therapeutic target in several diseases. She has published more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, review articles and book chapters and received several prestigious awards, including an MSFHR Investigator Award, CFI Award and UBC Merit Awards. Dr. Jiang also plays lead roles in several national and international collaborative translational research projects to develop improved prognostics and treatments for human hematologic disorders. Her current translational studies on cancer stem cells are funded by CIHR, CCSRI, LLSC, CRS, and by industrial research grants from Novartis, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer.