The wide variety of cutting-edge science in the Department of Cell & Systems Biology was on full display in the distinguished halls of Hart House at CSB Research Day on May 3, 2024. Grad students from all three campuses shared their findings with faculty, staff and fellow students at talks and poster presentations.

Dr Matthieu Piel gives an animated presentation

We welcomed invited guests who shared vivid insights. Keynote speaker Matthieu Piel presented a fascinating talk on how how mechanical constraints influence cell behaviour, particularly in cancer and immune cells.

Research Day Career Panel

CSB graduates Michael Martin, Rosiey Yang, Jennifer Doucet and Ahmed Hasan detailed their career paths and shared advice with current CSB students for our Career Panel, along with Paul Pease of LUMICKS. We are immensely grateful to CSBGU, LUMICKS and Active Motif for their generous support to this event, and to their representatives who engaged our students in lively discussions.

Graduate Chair Darryl Desveaux announces the awards for best presentation

From the excellent oral presentations in the Great Hall, there were three winners whose research covered drought response, neuroscience and immunology respectively:

Hasna Khan (Provart Lab at UTSG) earned her award for “Lost in translation: Drought stress-induced alternative splicing remodels the guard cell transcriptome through distinct gene regulatory pathways”

Milena Russo (Liu Lab at UTM) presented her discovery that “An inhibitory pathway mediates motional contextual modulation in the midbrain”.

Serene Moussaoui (Terebiznik Lab at UTSC) revealed her findings on “When macrophages bite off more than they can swallow – dealing with Aspergillus fumigatus”.

Attendees streamed into the Music Room and Debates Room for the poster presentations, with fascinated crowds learning about advanced techniques and new lines of inquiry. Awards were presented for research on mRNA splicing, neuroscience, insect behaviour, virology and plant-fungi communication:

Sanjana Bhatnagar (Calarco Lab at UTSG) showed the development of “A parallelized reporter screen to uncover tissue-specific splicing activator and repressor sequences in a multicellular organism”.

Drake Mark (Koyama Lab at UTSC) revealed that “Electrophysiological interrogation of V2a descending neuron dynamics in zebrafish illuminates the mechanism for developing flexible locomotor sequences”.

Anhad Singh (Senatore Lab) showed the results of “Exploring the Evolutionary Origins of Ionotropic Glutamate Receptor Function and Ligand Activation from the homologues of the Early Diverging Animal Trichoplax adhaerens”.

Mila Gorchkova (Anreiter Lab) dug into the details of “Variation in the foraging gene and its pathways; how a conserved protein kinase regulates social behaviour in larvae”.

Arvin Persaud (Guzzo Lab at UTSC) revealed how “Virion-incorporated CD14 Facilities LPS Binding and Inflammatory Signaling by HIV-1”.

James Bradley (Lumba/McCourt Labs at UTSG) found that “The plant hormone, strigolactone, inhibits the yeast phosphate transporter, Pho84, by regulating transporter localization”.

There were networking opportunities throughout the day, with excited conversations lasting until the winners were presented with their well-earned awards. Congratulations to everyone who skillfully presented their work, and especially to all our award winners!

This event was planned by a dedicated committee of thirteen graduate students, advised by faculty and staff, and led by Co-chairs Andreea Bosorogan and Cindy Hong. Thank you to everyone on the committee on your excellent work!

CSB Research Day Planning Committee