Graduate Defences


Final oral examinations may be conducted online (via MS Teams) or in-person. Please review the appropriate defence notice (below).

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.  


  • Manek, Jinal - MSC.MCB - June 19, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Cezar Khursigara)
    Characterizing the role of PA3923 and its homolog PA3422 in P. aeruginosa adhesion, biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance

  • Stekel, Zane - MSC.MCB - June 8, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Wei Zhang)
    The development of potent and specific inhibitors for Smurf1 and Smurf2

  • Wright, Madison - PHD.MCB - May 31, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Cezar Khursigara)
    Impacts of changes in cell surface components and intraspecific competition on the interactions of Pseudomonas aeruginosa with cystic fibrosis bronchial epithelial cells

  • Horn, Matthew - MSC.MCB - May 3, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Terry Van Raay)
    Elucidating the role of Vangl2 and its interactions with Wnt/ß-catenin signaling

  • Sukumaran, Arjun - PHD.MCB - April 25, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Jennifer Geddes-McAlister)
    Uncovering novel mechanisms of Klebsiella pneumoniae pathogenesis through mass spectrometry-based proteomics

  • Verhoef, Mackenzie - MSC.MCB - April 24, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Georgina Cox)
    Teichoic acid-associated surface charge impacts Staphylococcus aureus host adhesion

  • Wilde, Jacob - PHD.MCB - April 20, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe)
    Experimental frontiers in the study of human-associated bacteriophages

  • Robinson, Avery - PHD.MCB - April 19, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe)
    The impact of diet on the human gut microbiota in the context of colorectal cancer

  • Brott, Ashley - PHD.MCB - April 11, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Co-Advisors:  Dr. Anthony Clarke and Dr. Stephen Seah)
    Inhibition and structural insights into the mechanism of peptidoglycan O-acetylation in Neisseria gonorrhoeae

  • Agyare-Tabbi, Michelle - MSC.MCB - March 31, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Rebecca Shapiro)
    Characterization of the error-prone polymerase REV1 in DNA damage and antifungal drug resistance in Candida albicans

  • Buchanan, Reid - PHD.MCB - March 6, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Jennifer Geddes-McAlister)
    Proteomic insights into the mechanisms of deoxynivalenol resistance in Triticum aestivum

  • Sande, Caitlin - PHD.MCB - February 14, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Chris Whitfield)
    Investigating the genetic determinants for Escherichia coli capsular polysaccharide biosynthesis 

  • Morgenroth-Rebin, Jarod - MSC.MCB - January 9, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Jennifer Geddes-McAlister)
    Towards the characterization of putative degradation targets of Klebsiella pneumoniae Lon protease by quantitative proteomics and in vitro degradation assays

  • Lobbezoo, Mariann - MSC.MCB - January 4, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Joseph Colasanti)
    Investigating the role of INDETERMINATE1 in controlling the floral transition in Teosinte (Zea mays ssp. parviglumis)

  • Liang, Chen - MSC.MCB - January 3, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Wei Zhang)
    Development of synthetic modulators for the BRCA1-BARD1 heterodimer


  • Pascetta, Sydney - PHD.MCB - December 14, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Jim Uniacke)
    Hypoxia-induced NPY1R and NPY5R are linked to breast cancer progression and can be antagonized with commercially available inhibitors

  • Brozdnychenko, Dmytro - MSC.MCB - December 12, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Siavash Vahidi)
    Investigating the interaction mechanism of ClpP protease with small-molecule antimicrobials using H/D exchange mass spectrometry

  • Anderson, Erin - PHD.MCB - December 9, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Cezar Khursigara)
    Using peptidoglycomic methodology to examine peptidoglycan composition in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

  • Porte-Trachsel, Natalie - MSC.MCB - December 8, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Scott Ryan)
    Investigating the role of LC3B in the seeding of Alpha-synuclein in Parkinson's Disease model systems

  • Clarke, Marguerite - MSC.MCB - December 7, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Marc Coppolino)
    Elucidating the role of cortactin in invadopodium-based ECM degradation

  • Ganobis, Caroline - PHD.MCB - November 30, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe)
    Characterizing the mouse gut microbiome and improving mouse gut-derived microbial communities for mouse model studies

  • Walczyk-Mooradally, Alicyia - PHD.MCB+NEUR - November 18, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Jasmin Lalonde)
    Transcriptional and post-translational regulation of Activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated (Arc) protein

  • Leekha, Arshia - MSC.MCB+NEUR - November 15, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Shaun Sanders)
    Regulation of Dynactin by Palmitoylation

  • Doner, Nathan - PHD.MCB - November 11, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Robert Mullen)
    Identification and characterization of new lipid droplet proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana: LIPID DROPLET PROTEIN OF SEEDS and EARLY RESPONSIVE TO DEHYDRATION 7

  • Reisiger, Caroline - MSC.MCB - October 27, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Ian Tetlow)
    Diurnal regulation of enzymes of starch synthesis in the leaves of Zea mays L

  • Belanger, Maude - MSC.MCB - October 5, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.
    (Co-Advisors:  Dr. Ian Tetlow and Dr. Jaideep Mathur)
    Temporal regulation and subcellular localization of alkaline/neutral invertase of developing Zea mays endosperm: insights into sugar signaling and carbon allocation in cereal grains

  • Kelly, Steven - PHD.MCB - September 14, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Chris Whitfield)
    Characterization of the biosynthesis of Klebsiella pneumoniae O-antigen polysaccharides and the origin of the ribofuranose in bacterial polysaccharides

  • Hewitt, Tristen - PHD.MCB+NEUR - September 7, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Jasmin Lalonde)
    The role of the store-operated calcium entry in transcription factor activation and accelerated differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cell-neural progenitor cells derived from bipolar disorder patients

  • Shaban, Kholoud - PHD.MCB - September 7, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Joseph Yankulov)
    Replication Fork Pausing and Epigenetic conversions: Novel assays and new links with chromatin assembly factors CAF-1 and Asf1p

  • Robeson, Hannah - PHD.MCB+NEUR - September 6, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Nina Jones)
    Characterization of the physiological role of the adaptor protein ShcD in the adult mammalian central nervous system and testes

  • Williams, Danielle - PHD.MCB - August 17, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Chris Whitfield)
    Biosynthesis of the lipopolysaccharide O-antigens in Klebsiella pneumoniae

  • Sohail, Afshan - PHD.MCB - August 16, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Andrew Bendall)
    Identifying Dlx regulated genes in the chick craniofacial primordia

  • Goodyear, Mara - PHD.MCB - July 14, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Cezar Khursigara)
    Using a proteomics-based approach to uncover mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in epidemic strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Kirsh, Sarah - MSC.MCB - July 12, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Jim Uniacke)
    The pharmacological inhibition of the neuropeptide Y1 and Y5 receptors on the proliferation, migration, and cell signaling in hypoxic breast carcinomas

  • Rea, Victoria - PHD.MCB - July 7, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Terry Van Raay)
    Impacts of microbially derived metabolites on neural development and neural gene expression in the context of neurological disorder

  • Renwick, Simone - PHD.MCB - June 7, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Advisor:  Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe)
    The impact of the human milk oligosaccharides on the gut microbiota of the infants at risk of type 1 diabetes
  • Song, Yashu - PHD.MCB - June 3, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.
    (Co-Advisors:  Dr. Baozhong Meng and Dr. Robert Hanner)
    Investigation of the global gene expression changes in major wine grapes infected with grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3