17th Annual Graduate Student Symposium: April 29, 2022



We are excited to announce that this year’s Graduate Student Symposium (GSS) is taking place on April 29, 2022.

The GSS showcases graduate student research taking place across the College of Biological Science’s three departments: Human Health & Nutritional Science, Molecular & Cellular Biology and Integrative Biology. All students, post-docs, staff and faculty are welcome to attend.

GSS 2022 Keynote Speakers


Dr. Siavash Vahidi
Molecular and Cellular Biology

Prof. Vahidi

Dr. Sarah Alderman
Integrative Biology

Dr. Alderman

Dr. Andrea Clark
Human Health & Nutritional Sciences

Dr. Clark

Dr. Vahidi’s research group at the University of Guelph takes advantage of an integrative approach in structural biology by combining various methods, including mass spectrometry and NMR. A key focus of the group is on the protein degradation machinery that helps to maintain proper level of proteins (protein homeostasis) in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. 
Dr. Vahidi completed his PhD at Western University in the lab of Dr. Lars Konermann where he focused on biophysical mass spectrometry. Following this, he completed a CIHR postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Lewis Kay at the University of Toronto studying CIp protein degradation machinery. During this time he worked closely with the Rubinstein group at SickKids to complement his studies with electron cryomicroscopy.
Dr. Alderman’s research is focused on the regulation of the neuroendocrine stress response, and how elevated cortisol levels affect brain and heart function to modify physiology and behaviour. Her research group employs both model and non-model species (ex. zebrafish, Pacific salmon) to address specific questions on the mechanisms and consequences of stressor-induced changes to physiology using advanced molecular, histological, and proteomics tools.
Dr. Alderman completed her PhD in Zoology at the University of Guelph in the Bernier Lab. She continued at the university where she completed a postdoc that focused on projects that aimed to understand the genetic mechanisms that influence growth and maturation in important aquaculture species. Dr. Alderman continued postdoctoral work at the University of Waterloo in the Vijayan lab with the aim to characterize the function of mineralocorticoid receptors during embryogenesis in zebrafishes. At the University of British Columbia, Dr. Alderman studied enhanced oxygen delivery via pH sensitive haemoglobins in the teleost heart in the Brauner Lab.
Dr. Clark’s research group at the University of Guelph is focused on using genetic and surgical models of spontaneous osteoarthritis (with old age) and post-traumatic osteoarthritis (following injury) to understand the molecular mechanisms behind the disease process. Her research group harnesses confocal microscopy, histology, immunohistochemistry, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and micro-computed tomography technologies to follow the progression of osteoarthritis in a joint.
Dr. Clark completed her PhD in Medical Science at the University of Calgary with Dr. Walter Herzog where her research focused on the cartilage of the patellofemoral joint, which is a compartment of the knee that is often ignored in osteoarthritis. Dr. Clark received her postdoctoral training at Duke University in Dr. Farshid Guilak’s lab where she was trained in confocal microscopy to enable the visualization of live chondrocytes in their native tissue environment in real time.


We are looking for volunteer judges (faculty, staff, post-docs)! Come learn about the fantastic research CBS grad students are doing, and support student development by providing feedback on presentation and poster quality! Apply to be a judge today.

Schedule: April 29, 2022

9:15 – 10:45 am Concurrent Sessions

Zoom concurrent session 1
Zoom concurrent session 2
Zoom concurrent session 3

11:00 – 12:00 pm Concurrent Sessions

Zoom concurrent session 4
Concurrent session 1 – Biochemistry [SSC 1511]
Concurrent session 2 – Infection [SSC 2315]

12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch

Complimentary lunch served in SSC Atrium

1:00 – 2:20 pm Keynote Speakers [SSC atrium]

Dr. Sarah Alderman (IB)
Dr. Siavash Vahidi (MCB)
Dr. Andrea Clark (HHNS)

2:30 – 3:30 pm Concurrent Sessions

Concurrent session 3 – Animal biology and Cell Biology [SSC 1504]
Concurrent session 4 – Human health and Microbiology [SSC 1511]
Concurrent session 5 – Plant biology [SSC 2315]

3:30 – 5:00 pm Poster session [SSC Atrium]

Odd numbered posters – Session A 3:30 – 4:15 pm
Even numbered posters – Session B 4:15 – 5:00 pm
Appetizers will be served. Bartender will serve beer ($6-7), wine ($6), soft drinks ($2), and other non-alcoholic drinks ($2).

5:00 – 8:00 pm Graduate Student Social at the Lookout

5th floor of the University Centre
Trivia starts at 6:00pm


Thank you to the past and present sponsors of the CBS Graduate Student Symposium!

The organizers of the Graduate Student Symposium would like to thank the College of Biological Science, U of G Graduate Students' Association, Sarstedt and the U of G Student Life Enhancement Fund.

College of Biological Science logo

U of G Graduate Students' Association logo

Sarstedt logo

Student Life Enhancement Fund logo