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Seminar Series



Wednesday April 26th, 2023
1:00pm – 2:00pm
School of Medicine, Room 123A

Soheila Karimi, PhD
Professor, Dept. of Physiology and Pathophysiology
Founding Director, Manitoba Multiple Sclerosis Research Centre
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB

Novel roles of neuregulin-1 pathway in pathogenesis, progression and repair of multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) that transitions into a neurodegenerative condition with disease progression. It is proposed that this transition is regulated by the microenvironmental changes associated with resident glia that orchestrate neurodegeneration in collaboration with infiltrating leukocytes. Progressive MS show distinct characteristics that include changes in the landscape of immune response and prolonged demyelination. In MS, although widespread spontaneous remyelination can occur completely or partially at the early stages of the disease, remyelination declines significantly in chronic lesions. While mechanisms underpinning the remyelination failure in progressive MS are yet to be fully understood, it is thought that the behaviour of CNS innate immune cells play a critical role in this process. Our group has discovered, for the first time, a key role for Neuregulin-1 pathway in regulating immune response and repair processes in MS. This talk will provide an overview of our recent findings related to the emerging role and novel mechanisms of Neuregulin-1 in immune homeostasis, neuroprotection and neuroregeneration, and its potential as a multifaceted therapeutic target for early and chronic stages of MS.

Wednesday May 3rd, 2023
1:00pm – 2:00pm
School of Medicine, Room 123A

Ajitha Thanabalasuriar Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
CRC Tier 2 Infection, Immunity, and Targeted Drug Therapies
McGill University, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics Montreal, QC

Understanding the immune determinants of repair and infection within the cornea

The cornea is tasked with a difficult dilemma, having to balance immune responses to sufficiently defend itself against pathogens while trying to avoid excessive inflammation which could decrease vision acuity and blindness. This creates a unique and understudied immune system on the cornea. Interestingly, following a sterile injury, macrophages play an important role for a quick healing response however the role of neutrophils is still unclear on the cornea. Further to this, before the wound has healed, the cornea is susceptible to infections. Notably, Pseudomonas aeruginosa corneal infections can use neutrophils to help form biofilms, establishing antibiotic resistant infections. Our goal is to understand the role of macrophages and neutrophils in the cornea and how they respond to injury or infection. In the naïve eye, we have observed large macrophages on the surface of the cornea. Following a sterile wound to the cornea, these cells migrate towards and enters the wound within an hour. Moreover, these large macrophages express unique markers demonstrating a unique phenotype change after corneal injury. Through gaining a better understanding of P. aeruginosa corneal infections, novel treatments to targeting key aspects of the infection may be developed to prevent blindness.


Monday May 1st, 2023
10:00pm – 11:00pm
Botterell Hall, Room B143

Michael J. Gray, M.S., Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Department of Microbiology

UAB | The University of Alabama at Birmingham


Regulation of inorganic polyphosphate synthesis in bacteria: challenges, complications, and a few solutions

Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) is an evolutionarily ancient and near-universally conserved biopolymer with a wide array of functions. In bacteria, polyP is important for response to multiple environmental stress conditions, cell cycle regulation, and virulence. While the enzymes tht catalyze polyP synthesis in bacteria, the polyP kinases (PPKs), are well known, the signaling pathways that control polyP accumulation under stress are not understood. Using an Escherichia coli model, in recent years we have begun to characterize the complex transcriptional and post-translational regulatory network that contributes to polyP synthesis under nutritional stress. This presentation will summarize our current knowledge and progress in addressing challenges in the biochemical and genetic analysis of polyP biology in bacterial systems.

BMED 897 MSc Seminars

Tuesday January 31, 2023

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Botterell Hall, Room B139


Richard Nauman

Microbes, Immunity and Inflammation Field

1:00 – 1:30 pm

Investigating the Role of Trained Immunity in Bladder Cancer Progression                

Supervisor – Dr. Charles Graham


Julia Barilo

Microbes, Immunity and Inflammation Field

1:30 – 2:00 pm

Characterizing the Innate Immune Response of Alternatively Activated Macrophages to LCMV Infection                      

Supervisor – Dr. Sam Basta



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BMED 897 MSc Seminars

Daniella Gilmour

Experimental Medicine Field

Supervisor – Drs. Alan Lomax and Stephen Vanner

Synergistic Effects of Histamine and Proteases in Visceral Hypersensitivity

Tuesday January 24, 2023

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Botterell Hall, Room B139



BMED 897 Student Symposium

Tuesday April 18, 2023

12:30 pm – 2:10 pm                                                        

Botterell Hall, Room B139




Seminar Title



12:30  pm

Alexandra Golds            BCB

Site-Specific Glyco-Engineering to Develop           Antibody-Au Nanocluster Conjugates

Chantelle Capicciotti

12:45 pm

Stanimira Aleksieva    RDS        

Examining the Role of Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin     in the Endometriotic Lesion Microenvironment

Chandra Tayade

1:00 pm

Avery McGinnis     RDS

Investigating the Relationship Between Sca-1POS Trophoblast Cells and TGFβ Superfamily Growth Factors

David Natale

1:15 pm


10 Minute Break


1:25 pm

Ujjwal Sangwan           MII

 Understanding the Role of IRF1 in the                     Antiviral Activity of Cyclosporine A

Che Colpitts

1:40 pm

Shaina Smith                EM

Electronic Waste from Big Data Centers and Its Impact on the Environment and Human Health

Amber Simpson



Kaitlyn Kobayashi                 EM

Survival Prediction for Colorectal Liver Metastasis Recurrence Using Imaging Biomarkers


Amber Simpson




Seminar Attendance & Rubric Evaluations Submission