Graduate Defences


Please note that due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, final oral examinations will be conducted online (via MS Teams). 

Tips for Remote Thesis Defences and Oral Qualifying Exams   While observers are very welcome, they must follow all instructions given by the exam chair, including the tips listed here.  Please join the meeting via the link, found in the email announcement to the department.  Keep your microphone muted unless invited to speak by exam chair.  Join with your name or a static profile picture to cut down on visual distractions.  Do not send the student any messages in the chat during the defence.  If appropriate, the exam chair will invite questions from the audience after the oral presentation is done.  Leave the meeting, as appropriate, when instructed by the exam chair.  Thank you for your cooperation.  


  • Hebb, Owen - MSC.MCB - December 20, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Joseph Colasanti)
    Effects of phoshatidylethanolamine binding protein floral repressors and their interactors on the plant architecture

  • Samifanni, Rojina - MSC.MCB - December 17, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Andrew Bendall)
    Locating transcription activation activity in Dlx5 and Dlx6 proteins

  • Gorshtein, Genya - MSC.MCB - December 17, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Marc Coppolino)
    Analysis of the beta 3 integrin function during invadopodia based tumour cell invasion

  • Vancuren, Sarah - MSC.MCB - December 16, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe)
    Modeling the non-industrial gut microbiota: effect of diet on structure and function

  • Melanson, Gaelan - PHD.MCB - December 15, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Jim Uniacke)
    Interferon-stimulated gene 15 - mediated restructuring of the hypoxic mRNA translation initiation machinery is implicated in the ribonucleoprotein dynamics by gene ontology enrichment analysis

  • Gutierrez, Justin - MSC.MCB - December 13, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Co-Advisors:  Dr. Rod Merrill and Dr. Steffen Graether)
    Flavonoids as antimicrobials against Streptomyces scabies: a causative agent of common scab in potatoes

  • Kerry, Jenna - MSC.MCB - December 10, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Jim Uniacke)
    Investigating the hypoxia-induced alternative splicing event of eukaryotic ribosomal protein S24

  • Teelucksingh, Tanisha - MSC.MCB - December 6, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Georgina Cox)
    Investigating the Escherichia coli drug efflux system: generation of an efflux deficient genetic background

  • St-Denis, Myles - MSC.MCB - December 1, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Melissa Perreault)
    Sex-specific Cannabidiol- and Iloperidone-induced neuronal activity changes in an in vitro MAM model system of Schizophrenia
  • Golding, Adam - PHD.MCB - October 6, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Nina Jones)
    Investigation of Nck1 and Nck2 in mammary gland development and breast cancer

  • Bermas, Arianne - MSC.MCB - September 24, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Geddes-McAlister)
    Defining mechanisms of antifungal resistance in Cryptococcus neoformans by quantitative proteomics

  • Hofstra, Jordan - MSC.MCB - September 10, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.
    (Co-Advisors:  Dr. George van der Merwe and Dr. John Cline)
    Increasing the quality and diversity of Ontario cider through characterization of novel Saccharomyces yeast and nitrogen supplementation regimens
  • Stykel, Morgan - PHD.MCB+NEUR - September 10, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Scott Ryan)
    Cellular pathologies in SNCA mutant neurons: implications for Parkinson's disease

  • Lau, Hayley - PHD.MCB - September 8, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Nina Jones)
    Characterizing novel functions of the ShcD phosphotyrosine adaptor protein in receptor tyrosine kinase signaling
  • Phippen, Noah - MSC.MCB - September 1, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Nina Jones)
    Establishing CRISPR-Cas9 and BioID workflows to probe molecular signaling pathways in kidney podocytes

  • Smith, Margaret - MSC.MCB - August 19, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Steffen Graether)
    Probing the potential of a charge-based stabilizing interaction between the Vitis riparia YSK2 dehydrin and yeast frataxin homologue 1

  • Theriault, Rachel Karson - PHD.MCB+NEUR - August 16, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Melissa Perreault)
    Sex differences in depression susceptibility are modulated by circuit function and Eph receptor signaling 

  • Abou Zeid, Lina - PHD.MCB - May 26, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Co-Advisors:  Dr. Richard Mosser and Dr. Terry Van Raay)
    Investigating the effect of hyperthermia and Hsp70 overexpression on microRNA biogenesis
  • Doyle, Liam - PHD.MCB - April 30, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Chris Whitfield)
    Assembly of conserved glycolipid termini in Gram-negative bacterial capsules synthesized by ABC transporter-dependent pathways
  • Van Gelder, Kristen - PHD.MCB - April 28, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Tariq Akhtar)
    Understanding the biosynthesis and function of polyisoprenoids in Solanum lycopersicum
  • Thow, Zachary - MSC.MCB - April 27, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Rod Merrill)
    Preliminary characterization of Vorin and VorinI: a putative toxin-antitoxin pair produced by Erwinia amylovora
  • Manduca, Joshua - MSC.MCB - April 26, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Melissa Perreault)
    Transient dose-dependent effects of ketamine in neuronal oscillatory activity in Wistar Kyoto rats
  • Buckhalter, Shoshana - MSC.MCB - April 22, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Co-Advisors:  Dr. Melissa Perreault and Dr. Tariq Akhtar)
    The antidepressant and analgesic effects of Kratom are accompanied by changes in low frequency oscillations but not DeltaFosB accumulation
  • Lesy, Victoria - MSC.MCB - March 17, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Joseph Colasanti)
    Characterizing the molecular mechanism behind the anti-florigen ScFT2
  • Radford, Joseph - MSC.MCB - February 19, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Co-Advisors:  Dr. Susan Glasauer and Dr. Lucy Mutharia)
    Influence of temperature cycling and ethanol amendment on arsenic mobility in a contaminated northern wetland 
  • Petruccelli, Victoria - MSC.MCB - February 16, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Co-Advisors:  Dr. Anthony Clarke and Dr. Chris Whitfield)
    Expression of peptidoglycan O-Acetyltransferase A from Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Razzaq, Iqra - MSC.MCB - February 3, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Rebecca Shapiro)
    Analyzing the roles of the essential gene TRA1 and the novel extracellular vesicle EVP1 in regulating morphogenesis and the antifungal drug resistance response in the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans
  • Alibabai, Layla - MSC.MCB - January 13, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Marc Coppolino)
    STIP1 a novel SNARE complex interactor, and its role in tumour cell migration and invasion 
  • Carswell, Matthew - MSC.MCB - January 8, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Mike Emes)
    A regulatory role for 14-3-3 proteins in the starch biosynthetic pathway of Zea mays
  • MacNeill, Gregory - PHD.MCB - January 6, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Co-Advisors:  Dr. Mike Emes and Dr. Ian Tetlow)
    Post-translational regulation of starch branching enzyme 2.2 from Arabidopsis thaliana


  • Wismer, Sarah - MSC.MCB - December 18, 2020 at 9;30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Nina Jones)
    Investigation of the role of Nck in breast cancer cell invasion and invadopodia formation and its interaction with ADAM19
  • Hoff, Amy - MSC.MCB - December 7, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Co-Advisors:  Dr. David Josephy and Dr. Marc Coppolino)
    Possible binding partners of glutathione transferase theta 1
  • Minow, Mark - PHD.MCB - November 12, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Joseph Colasanti)
    Molecular genetic investigation into the processes underlying transitions in plant gene expression
  • Costain, Cecily - MSC.MCB - October 6, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Mike Emes)
    Effects of altered starch metabolism on growth and development of Arabidopsis thaliana 
  • Singh, Karamjeet - PHD.MCB - September 8, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Steffen Graether)
    Structural and biochemical investigation into Arabidopsis thaliana LEA3 proteins
  • Grafinger, Olivia - PHD.MCB - September 1, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Marc Coppolino)
    The role of beta-1 integrin signaling in regulating the phosphorylation and recycling of MT1-MMP at invadopodia
  • Rosiana, Sierra - MSC.MCB - August 26, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Rebecca Shapiro) 
    The role of fungal adhesins in mediating morphogenesis and virulence in Candida albicans
  • Pladwig, Samanta - MSC.MCB - August 25, 2020 at 9:30 am
    (Advisor:  Dr. Mark Baker)
    Characterization of human BRCA2 truncations on Rad51 levels and homology directed repair in mammalian cells  
  • Seidel, Laura - MSC.MCB - August 20, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Co-Advisors:  Dr. Cezar Khursigara and Dr. Matthew Kimber)
    Investigating the structure of the Escherichia coli divisome protein FtsK via covariance analysis
  • Sanderson, Victoria - MSC.MCB - June 2, 2020
    (Co-Advisors:  Dr. Melanie Wills and Dr. Cezar Khursigara)
    Improving Lyme disease direct detection: Identification of a novel method to enrich for Borrelia in blood, and comparing surveys and serology in a chronically ill patient cohort
  • Turner, Madison - MSC.MCB - May 14, 2020
    (Co-Advisors:  Dr. Rod Merrill and Dr. Ernesto Guzman)
    Characterization of virulence factors targeting Apis mellifera: Varroa Toxic Protein and LarvinA
  • Brumwell, Andrea - PHD.MCB - May 14, 2020
    (Advisor:  Dr. Jim Uniacke)
    Maiden exploration into hypoxic regulation of human ribosomal proteins
  • Brasher, Megan - PHD.MCB - April 29, 2020
    (Advisor:  Dr. Marc Coppolino)
    The regulation of Syntaxin4 and VAMP2 is required for invadopodium formation and extracellular matrix invasion in tumor cells
  • Jones, Carys - PHD.MCB - April 21, 2020
    (Co-Advisors:  Drs. Anthony Clarke and Cezar Khursigara)
    Structure, Function, and Inhibition of Peptidoglycan O-Acetyltransferase A from Staphylococcus aureus|
  • Brott, Julia - MSC.MCB - April 15, 2020
    (Advisor:  Dr. John Vessey)
    The RNA-binding protein heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K is responsible for regulating the fate decisions of neural precursor cells of the developing cerebral cortex
  • Ojehomon, Matiyo - MSC.MCB - April 9, 2020
    (Advisor:  Dr. John Dawson)
    Insertional vs targeted mutagenesis in the development of zebrafish as an in vivo model for cardiomyopathy
  • Hallam, Ryan - MSC.MCB - April 7, 2020 
    (Advisor:  Dr. Scott Ryan)
    Alpha-synuclein fibrils impair calcium flux in cortical neurons through aberrant nitric oxide-mediated inhibition of NMDA receptor function
  • Barton, Kiah - PHD.MCB - April 3, 2020
    (Advisor:  Dr. Jaideep Mathur)
    Investigations on the influence of cellular sugar and endoplasmic reticulum dynamics on plastid pleomorphy in Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Teng, Zi (Grace) - MSC.MCB - March 24, 2020
    (Advisor:  Dr. John Dawson)
    The dark side of actin:  Characterization of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy linked S271F ACTC variant and dilated cardiomyopathy linked T126I ACTC variant
  • Garnier, Nicole - MSC.MCB - March 12, 2020
    (Advisor:  Dr. Cezar Khursigara)
    Examining the intraspecific interactions in mixed-strain biofilms containing the prairie epidemic strain and unique clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates
  • Harris, Sharlaine - MSC.MCB - February 20, 2020
    (Advisor:  Dr. Lucy Mutharia)
    Investigation of surface structure diversity of isolates of Flavobacterium branchiophilum from Ontario, Canada
  • Rasmussen, Duncan - MSC.MCB - January 15, 2020
    (Advisor:  Dr. Melissa Perreault)
    Effect of ketamine treatment on neuronal oscillatory activity in the nucleus accumbens and hippocampus in an animal model of treatment-resistant depression

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