CSC Board of Directors
Nicolas Cermakian, President
After my studies in Biochemistry at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and University of Montreal, I went to do postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Paolo Sassone-Corsi at the Institut de génétique et de biologie moléculaire et cellulaire in Strasbourg, France (1998-2002), where I started to work on circadian rhythms. In 2002, I took up a position at the Douglas Institute Research Centre and McGill University, where I am presently an Associate Professor. My research deals with the molecular mechanisms underlying circadian clocks in mice and humans, and how these clocks can regulate different physiological systems, in particular the immune response. In addition to my role in the CSC, I have also sat on the Board of Directors of the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms for several years, presently as Secretary.
Michael Antle, Vice-president
After earning my Bachelor’s with Dr. Ben Rusak at Dalhousie University in 1994, I travelled to British Columbia for my graduate work with Dr. Ralph Mistlberger at Simon Fraser University (MA, 1998; PhD 2001). Following a Post-Doctoral Fellowship with Dr. Rae Silver at Columbia University in New York, I took up my appointment at the University of Calgary and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute where I am a Full Professor. My NSERC-funded research program examines the form and function of the mammalian circadian system, focusing on both photic and non-photic resetting of the circadian clock, as well as the underlying neural networks. We study the circadian system with a variety of approaches, including behavioural, genetic, electrophysiological, and pharmacological.
Valérie Mongrain, Secretary
I am Assistant Professor at the Department of Neuroscience of the Université de Montréal. My research facilities are located at the Biomedicine Center of the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, where I joined the Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine founded by Dr. Jacques Montplaisir after completing two postdoctoral trainings (N. Cermakian, McGill University; P. Franken, U. Lausanne) and one Ph.D. in neurological science (M. Dumont, U. Montréal). I am a member of the Sleep Research Society, the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, the Canadian Sleep Society, the Canadian Association for Neuroscience, the Society for Neuroscience, and a Founding member of the Canadian Society for Chronobiology, for which I act as Secretary (2013-). My main research topic, funded by CIHR, NSERC and CR-HSCM, concerns the molecular physiology of sleep regulatory mechanisms. In particular, my team is working on the links between sleep homeostasis and synaptic plasticity, and on the involvement of synaptic adhesion proteins in sleep regulation.
Tami Martino, Treasurer
I hold a PhD in Medical Genetics and Microbiology (University of Toronto, 2000), and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Physiology and Cardiology (University of Toronto - at the Heart and Stroke Richard Lewar Centre for Cardiovascular Research, and Toronto General Hospital). Since 2009, I am a Professor in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph, with a research focus on the critical role of circadian rhythms in cardiovascular health and disease. My research combines classic physiologic approaches (e.g. transgenic models, echocardiography, hemodynamics, circadian biology, chronotherapy) with state-of-the art high throughput technologies such as genomics (microarrays, biomarkers), proteomics (DIGE, mass spectrometry) and bioinformatics, to dissect the mechanistic pathways involved in circadian regulation of cardiac remodeling and treatment. This translational research will ultimately help to better understand disease pathophysiology, an understanding that is pivotal for the development of innovative therapeutic strategies to benefit patients.
Members at large
I hold a Ph.D. in neurosciences (University of Montreal, 1988) and I completed a post-doctoral fellowship in chronobiology (Harvard Medical School – Brigham and Women’s Hospital) in 1988-1990. Since 1990, I am a professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal. As of October 2013, I am the scientific director of the Center of Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine at the Sacre-Coeur Hospital of Montreal, where I share the Human Chronobiology Laboratory with my colleague Julie Carrier. My main research interests include circadian disruption associated with night shift work, circadian and stimulant effects of light exposure, and individual differences in the regulation of sleep and circadian rhythms, especially in relation to chronotype and aging. In collaboration with other researchers, I also study circadian aspects of medical conditions such as traumatic brain injury and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
I became interested in chronobiology when I was an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania. I volunteered in Norm Adler’s laboratory in the Department of Psychology. Norm studied reproductive behaviour in rats and also developed an independent interest in chronobiology. Alan Rosenwasser was a post-doctoral fellow in the lab and he taught me a lot about circadian rhythms. After leaving that lab I get a PhD with Rich Miselis. My doctoral research involved using neural tracers to evaluate retinohypothalamic projections in female rats. Next I worked with F. Rob Jackson at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology. Rob introduced me to Drosophila research and we worked on a role for the dunce gene in circadian timing. I also worked with Dr. Steven Reppert at the Harvard Medical School and Massachussetts General Hospital. My work with Steve focused mainly on clock genes in the silkmoth Antheraea Pernyi. Finally, I worked with Jeff Hall at Brandeis University. It was in Jeff’s lab that I became interested in Drosophila social behaviour and the effect of the social environment on biological timing. This is what we study in my lab at UTM.
Hai-Ying Mary Cheng
I hold a PhD in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto, under the supervision of Dr. Josef Penninger. It was Josef who taught me the power of mouse genetics and, more importantly, not to be afraid to step outside of my comfort zone in my journey to figure out the phenotypes of the knockout mice that I had generated or was studying. That journey led me to explore various fields during my doctoral training, including immunology, pain, addiction, cancer and finally circadian rhythms. In 2004, I moved to Columbus, Ohio to complete post-doctoral work in the lab of Dr. Karl Obrietan, a chronobiologist whose research focused on signal transduction pathways that regulated photic entrainment of the clock. Karl inspired me with his deep knowledge of signal transduction and his hands-on approach to mentorship; he also introduced me to the world of microRNAs. I started my own lab in 2008 at the University of Ottawa, and subsequently relocated it to the University of Toronto at Mississauga in 2011. The research that takes place in my lab reflects the diversity of my own training experiences and interests. My students study everything from signaling proteins to microRNAs to ubiquitin ligases, and their roles in circadian timekeeping or adult neurogenesis.
I am pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Cardiovascular Investigations, at the University of Guelph in translational chronocardiology using murine cardiovascular disease models. My research focuses on the applications of circadian rhythms to cardiovascular disease treatment, specifically with chronotherapeutic and chronobiomarker approaches. Previously, I have completed an HBSc (2009) at the University of Toronto, where I have taken circadian rhythms courses and conducted a fourth-year research project in the field under Dr. M. Ralph. Throughout the years, I have been involved in the scientific academic and public communities. I am on the committee organizing the First and Second Canadian Chronobiology Simposium, responsible for establishing and organizing the chronobiology mini-school (2012-2015). On the public level, I was on the organizing committee as the attendee communications team lead TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) X Waterloo (2010-2012). In my undergraduate studies, I was on the logistics committee for organizing Science Rendezvous (2008-2009), and Canadian Wide Science Fair (2009).
I completed an Honours Bachelor of Science (Biology specialist & Chemistry minor) from the University of Toronto in the spring of 2014. As part of my degree, I had the opportunity to conduct an independent research project under the supervision of Dr. J.T. Westwood. There, I developed an interest in cell and molecular biology. My interest in chronobiology, however, began from independent readings in the field. I found myself intrigued by the fact that we and other organisms have internal alarm clocks. I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in the laboratories of Dr. Joel Levine and Dr. Mary Cheng at the University of Toronto in Mississauga. My research focuses on exploring the molecular mechanisms underlying biological rhythmicity using Drosophila and mice as model organisms.
© Canadian Society for Chronobiology 2014