News September 2020

Sep 18th, 2020


News September 2020

We hope you all had an opportunity to enjoy our wonderful summer weather. We have started a new semester remotely which brings challenges and opportunities for us all. We encourage you all to stay as connected as possible with students, faculty and staff.


Welcome to Dr. Shyamchand Mayengbam, our newest Faculty Member. Dr. Mayengbam started with us on July 1st as an Assistant Professor. Welcome Dr. Mayengbam.


We had one new graduate student join us in the Spring semester – Sean Ezekiel is a Masters student in Dr. Park’s lab. Two students have started their programs remotely in the Fall semester – Vishal Pandya is a PhD student with Dr. Park and Trevena Youssef is a PhD student with Dr. Banoub. Welcome to you all and we wish you success with your studies.


Students have made some great achievements and major milestones the past few months. We would like to acknowledge some of those as follows: Congratulations to the following students for completing their Master of Science in Biochemistry:

  • Robert M. Gill (Mailloux Lab)
  • Peter O. Isesele (Cheema Lab)
  • Adrian Young (Mailloux Lab)
  • Emmanuel Asante (Christian Lab)
  • Alexandria Tobin (Brown Lab)

Congratulations to Marcus Payne (Dr. Harding) who has received a NSERC Masters scholarship, and Zack Clancy (Dr. Bertolo) who received a CIHR Masters scholarship.

Canadian Nutrition Society Competition Winners

A number our students participated in the Canadian Nutrition Society virtual conference with several winning awards. For the “Nutrition Graduate Student and Trainee Award Finalist /Christine Gagnon Memorial Travel Award” congratulations to Julia White for coming in first place and to Zack Clancy who tied for third place.Raniru Randunu was also a finalist. All three students are in the Brunton/Bertolo Lab.

Olatunji Anthony Akerele and Indrayani Phadtare were also both finalists in the poster competition. Anthony and Indrayani are in Dr. Cheema’s lab.

Dalshini Kirupananthan (Brunton/Bertolo Lab) was also a finalist in the Infographic Award Competition.

10th Annual Biochemistry Symposium

In August we had our Annual Biochemistry Symposium. Congratulations to the following students for their presentations!

Undergraduate posters:
1st place - Jenna K. Caines
Runner up - Willow R. Squires

MSc presentations:
L.M Stead Award for best oral MSc presentation - Julia White
Runner up - Kyla Walsh

PhD presentations:
L.M Stead Award for best oralPhD presentation - Madhushika Silva
Runner up - Sarika Kumari

Congratulation to the following students who were awarded “Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies”:

  • Emmanuel Assante
  • Indrayani Phadtare
  • Tharindu Ruchira Senadheera
  • Madhushika Silva
  • Alexandria Tobin

Congratulations to our recent PhD graduate, Nikitha Kendyala and her husband Purvikalyan Pallegar, who won the 2020 Mel Woodward Cup with their company Nucliq Biologics.

Dr. Margaret Brosnan recently received Professor Emerita designation. This is a thoroughly deserved recognition. Congratulations Dr. Brosnan!

Dr. Berry completed his second term as Head of the Biochemistry Department this year. We are pleased to announce that he has graciously accepted to serve as Head for a 3rd term. Thank you Dr. Berry for your continued service.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is providing funding for critical infrastructure and equipment for five specialized research projects based at Memorial. The new funding comes from the CFI’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF). Those benefitting from the funding include several of our Biochemistry Faculty as follows:

  • Drs. Scott Harding (project leader, biochemistry), Christina Thorpe (psychology) and John Weber (pharmacy) are co-applicants on the project, A Comprehensive Metabolic Monitoring System for Laboratory Animals, which is receiving $132,818.
  • Drs. Craig Moore (project leader, biomedical sciences) and Rob Brown (biochemistry) are receiving $101,073 for the project, Seahorse XFe24 Analyzer for Real Time Measurement of Metabolism in Live Cells.
  • Drs. Rodney Russell (project leader, biomedical sciences), Sherri Christian (biochemistry) and Bruno Stuyvers (biomedical sciences) are receiving $247,728 for their project, Applications of Live-cell and Super Resolution Confocal Microscopy for BioMedical and Biochemistry Studies.

The full Gazette article can be found here -

Dr. Jaeok Park was awarded an NSERC Discovery Grant for his project, Structural and Functional Studies of Allosteric Regulation of Metabolic Enzymes. He also received a Launch Supplement from NSERC, which is awarded only to select Early Career Researchers to support the timely advancement of their research programs.

Dr. Scott Harding was awarded an NSERC Discovery Grant for his project, Dietary, energy balance, and behavioural factors affecting postprandial fructose metabolism and the impact on normal glucose and lipid metabolism. He was also approved for funding from the Provincial Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry, and Innovation to match his CFI JELF funding noted above.

Dr. Rob Bertolo was awarded an NSERC Renewal Grant for his project Creatine metabolism in young pigs.

Dr. Sukhinder Cheema was awarded an NSERC Renewal Grant for her project - Understanding how Maternal Nutrition Impacts Offspring Metabolism: The Role of Dietary Fats Congratulations to all our faculty who received these research award.