A gene for adapting to changing seasons? U of T researchers have identified it

19 Apr 2017 - 4:31pm

University of Toronto researchers have identified a gene that determines whether the body will adapt to changing seasons.

The gene, a micro-RNA called miR-132/212, is part of a mechanism in the brain’s central timekeeping system, known as the circadian clock, located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This gene has also been previously implicated in mood disorders including depression.

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Biology Graduate Student Publication Featured on the cover of Cell Reports!

19 Apr 2017 - 4:13pm
Cell Reports cover

Lucia Mendoza-Viveros' (PhD, Cheng Lab) article on the role of miRNAs in seasonal adaptation of the circadian clocks was recently published in the science journal Cell Reports. This is an amazing accomplishment. However in addition to being published, Lucia’s article made the cover of the journal for April 17, 2017! 

Congratulations Lucia and the Cheng Lab!

You can find the article at the following link:

Zara Ahmed receives Undergraduate Research Grant

18 Apr 2017 - 3:19pm
Zara Ahmed

The UTM Office of the Dean awarded an Undergraduate Research Grant to Zara Ahmed. Zara is an undergrad working in the McCauley lab. The award is given to support summer research projects.

Zara’s project will be looking at the phenomenon of kin selection in dragonfly larvae Leucorrhinia intacta, more commonly known as the dot-tailed whiteface. To test this, she will compare the rate of cannibalism within pairs of dragonflies and I want to see whether siblings can differentiate between non-siblings.

Kayla Dias receives Principal’s Involvement Award!

6 Apr 2017 - 7:27am
Kayla Dias

Kayla Dias (MSc, Braeutigam Lab) has been awarded a Principal’s Involvement Award. These awards are given to graduate or upper year undergraduate students who have enhanced the equality of student life at UTM. Up to twenty-five students awards are presented each year. Kayla was recognized by the selection committee for “demonstrating a high level of leadership on-campus and a commitment to making the UTM community a place of excellence both inside and outside of the classroom”.

Congratulations, Kayla!

Sara Hegazi receives Graduate Scholarship!

20 Mar 2017 - 10:34am
Sara Hegazi

Sara Hegazi (PhD, Mary Cheng and Joel Levine labs) was awarded the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship-Doctoral (CGS-D) for 3 years ($105,000 total value).

Sara's research focuses on exploring the molecular mechanisms underlying clock protein stability and their role in regulating biological timing across species.

The Alexander Graham Bell Award provides financial support to top-ranked students to allow them to focus on their studies.