National Graduate Course in Islet Biology

We are excited to announce the launch of one our network initiatives: a for-credit online course for graduate students interested in islet biology is now being offered by the University of Toronto.

This course consists of two modules:

Islet Biology I: Gene to Cell to Organ to Disease

Islet Biology II: Beyond Glucose Control: Molecular Targets, Diagnostics and Cutting-edge Technologies

Lectures in each module cover a wide array of islet biology topics and will be delivered by over 20 CIRTN-R2FIC members.

For more information, please visit the links above or contact course coordinators Rob Screaton and Erin Mulvihill.

Highlighted Trainees

Maria Galipeau

MSc Candidate, Jen Estall Lab


Training: BSc Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, MSc Molecular Biology

Awards: Diabète Québec Scholarship (x2), IRCM Merit Scholarship

Project: I am fast-tracking to a Ph.D. degree working on a polymorphism in position 482 of PGC-1alpha protein that is linked to increased risks of type 2 diabetes. This polymorphism leads to a single nucleotide substitution (SNP) encoding either a glycine or a serine amino acid in position 482 of PGC-1alpha. My project integrates a pilot clinical study with biochemical analysis in cells and mouse models created in our laboratory to precisely define the role of this SNP in β-cell function and diabetes pathology. With this project, we hope to identify genetic predispositions to diabetes.

Techniques: Mass spectrometry, transfection, transduction, cell culture, iPSC, cloning, kinase assay, shRNAs.

About: I like being active, reading, cooking, gardening, cleaning and I am starting to become a DIY (do it yourself) girl!

Céline Schott

PhD Candidate, Mathieu Ferron Lab


Training: BSc Cellular Biology and Physiology, Université Paul Sabatier (France); MSc Molecular Biology, Université de Montréal

Awards: Fonds de recherche du Québec Santé Scholarship

Project: My research interest focuses on metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, and the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved. I’m studying the signaling pathway of GAS6 and its AXL receptor and their effect on insulin signaling in muscle. GAS6 can induce insulin dysregulation response in muscle. At the opposite, the removal of GAS6 induces better insulin sensitivity in mice. The understanding of the mechanism of action and identifying the effectors of this pathway would be necessary in order to find an inhibitor to improve insulin sensitivity and regulate glycemia of the patients with diabetes.

Techniques: Mouse metabolic tests, immunofluorescence, Western blot, mass spectrometry, ELISA, cell culture.

About: I like to share moments with my friends, to cook desserts and I love dancing!