Mar 6, 2023

Barbara Vivash Award and David Stephen Cant Graduate Scholarship in Stem Cell Research

Gabriela Krivdova received the award for the most outstanding Ph.D. thesis defended in 2021/2022, Fraser McCready awarded a scholarship for stem cell research

headshots of Gabriela Krivdova and Fraser McCready

The Barbara Vivash Award is awarded annually for the most outstanding Ph.D. thesis in the Department of Molecular Genetics. Gabriela Krivdova from Dr. John Dick’s lab received the award for the most outstanding Ph.D. thesis defended during the 2021/2022 academic year. The Advisory Committee unanimously selected her thesis “Elucidating the Roles of microRNAs and Argonautes in Normal and Malignant Hematopoiesis.”

It is an absolute honour to be awarded the Barbara Vivash Award in Molecular Genetics. I am extremely grateful that the Molecular Genetics department recognized the value and contribution of my PhD work to the understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying normal and malignant blood stem cells. I earned my PhD in the laboratory of Dr. John Dick where my research focused on elucidating the role of post-transcriptional regulation mediated by microRNAs (miRNAs) and Argonautes in normal hematopoiesis and leukemia. My work identified differentially expressed miRNAs in normal hematopoietic and leukemic stem cells, described their mechanistic action and illustrated that miRNAs play unique roles in different cellular contexts. Moreover, using the state of the art CLIP-seq technology, our work uncovered endogenous, transcriptome-wide miRNA-target interactions and identified gene regulatory networks controlled by miRNAs in normal hematopoietic stem cells and leukemia.
Gabriela Krivdova

David Stephen Cant Graduate Scholarship in Stem Cell Research is granted annually to a Molecular Genetics graduate student in the M.Sc. or Ph.D. program demonstrating excellence and commitment in the area of stem cell research. The 2022-2023 scholarship recipient Fraser McCready from the lab of Dr. James Ellis writes:

I am incredibly thankful for having been awarded the David Stephen Cant Graduate Scholarship in Stem Cell Research. My research project involves using human induced pluripotent stem cells as a model system for studying how autism-associated variants in a gene called SHANK2 impact the way that neurons interact and assemble into functional networks in culture. The funding from this scholarship will allow us to continue this work and ensure the results are published for the broader autism-research community.
Fraser McCready

The Department of Molecular Genetics congratulates the two scientists and wishes them both all the best for their research careers.