Ontario Cell Biology Symposium (online version)
July 12-16, 11:30am-1:30pm each day
Online Zoom platform.

The Ontario Cell Biology Symposium will bring together researchers from around the province with the aim of creating new research opportunities and fostering new collaborations. This Symposium aims to provide a forum for students and postdoctoral fellows to present their research. This meeting will cover important topics in cell biology, including signal transduction, metabolism, organelles, cellular architecture, cellular trafficking and advanced microscopy, with a portion of the meeting dedicated to translational studies and emerging methodologies. We aim to create an inclusive environment for this meeting, and one that will feature diverse participants.

In 2021, the Ontario Cell Biology Symposium will have an online format. The meeting (all online) will be held from Monday, July 12 to Friday, July 16th, with talks available through an online platform on each of the 5 days from 11:30am to 1:30pm

All attendees must register before the conference. Abstract submission is now closed. 



Monday, July 12th

11:30               Opening and welcome

11:40-12:25    Keynote Lecture

                        Erika Holzbaur, University of Pennsylvania

                         Actin dynamics regulate spatial mixing of mitochondria in dividing cells

12:30-1:30      DNA, chromatin and gene expression

                        12:30   Aidan Brown, Ryerson University

                                    Quantitative modeling of protein-translational control of switch-like                                          mRNA localization to mitochondria

                        12:50   Daniel Espiritu, Queen’s University

                                     Elucidating the Impact of Histone Mutations in Cancer

                        1:10    Haley Wyatt, University of Toronto

                                   How to make and break the SMX tri-nuclease

Tuesday, July 13th

            11:30               Opening and welcome

            11:35-12:55    Membrane Traffic and Organelles

                        11:35 Run Xuan Zeng, Queen’s University

                               Mitochondrial hyperfusion via metabolic sensing of regulatory amino acids

                        11:55 Rachel Shannon, University of Toronto

                                  Investigating the role of septins in mitochondrial fission

                        12:15 Michael Mercer, Ryerson University

                                   Defining the Relationship of mTORC1, PIKfyve and the MiT Family of                                       Transcription Factors

                        12:35 Claire Martin, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute

                                  Coupling of miniTurbo-BioID and CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing unmasks                                    the proximity interactome of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor                                        during its signaling, endocytosis and trafficking


            1:00-1:40 Lightning talks (~6 talks per session x 4 concurrent sessions)

                        Session 1: Organelles and Membrane Traffic (Chair: Peter Kim)

                                    Sumaiya Soha Application of Metal-Enhanced Fluorescence for                                                Imaging of Biological Systems

                                     Daniel Nino  Molecular counting and cluster analysis in single-                                                     molecule localization microscopy towards applications in cell biology

                                    Arshia Leekha Regulation of Dynactin by Palmitoylation during Fast                                          Axonal Transport (FAT)

                                   Maria Cecilia Gimenez Analyzing the role of host cell phosphoinositides                                        in the replication cycle of Birnaviruses

                        Session 2: Signal Transduction 1 (Chair: Michael Scheid)

                                     Shimon Rosenthal Efficient proximity-dependent biotinylation in early                                        zebrafish embryos to interrogate the role of CCM3

                                     Ergi Duli VEGF Ameliorates Thrombotic Phenotype in DGKE                                                     Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

                                      Jennifer Holborn Inhibiting TrkB signaling with cannflavins limits                                                  glioblastoma survival and invasion

                                     Rosa Eskandari Localization and function of TOR Pathway                                                           components and their effects on circadian Rhythmicity in the fungus                                         Neurospora

                                     Mikayla Erdelsky The primary cilium: A hyper-localized compartment                                         for cAMP signalling

                        Session 3: DNA repair, chromatin and cell cycle (Chair: Lisa Porter)

                                      Ceryl Tan Cell size homeostasis in animal cells is maintained at a                                                 CDK4-determined target size

                                      Samantha Sanayhie Histone Chaperones influence genome stability                                         and response to DNA stress

                                      Camila Aprosoff Analyzing the SLX4-ATRX-DAXX complex and its                                          roles in genome stability

                                     Bradley D'souza Characterization of Mrc1 during Replication Initiation                                        in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

                                     Ruihuan Yu Investigate the regulatory roles of H2S in lipid overload-                                          induced lipotoxicity and cardiac cell senescence

                        Session 4: Metabolism 1 (Chair: Nica Borradaile)

                                      Rachel Wilson Inhibition of elongation factor 1A1 activity alters lipid                                            metabolism in the setting of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

                                      Laura Orofiamma Metabolic control of clathrin-mediated                                                             endocytosis by AMPK impacts integrin traffic and cell migration

                                      Kelly Boddington Biosynthesis of novel anti-inflammatory compounds

                                      Fatima Lukmani Developing A Drug-Protein Interactome for                                                      Identifying Potential Drug Targets In-situ

                                      Alena Ivanova AMPK activation under metabolic stress spatially                                                  redistributes EEA1-positive early endosomes to match metabolic                                                requirements of cancer cells

                                      Rachel Wilson Inhibition of elongation factor 1A1 activity alters lipid                                           metabolism in the setting of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Wednesday July 14th

            11:35               Opening and welcome

            11:35-12:55    Cell Biology: from cells to tissues

                        11:35   Gonca Erdemci-Tandogan, University of Toronto

                                  Physical mechanisms of tissue compartmentalization in the Drosophila                                      embryo

                        11:55   Charmi Shah, Queen’s University

                                  Regulation of Podosome Rosette Formation for Focal Control of                                                Sprouting Angiogenesis

                        12:15   Isabelle Hinch, University of Windsor

                                    The Role of Spy1 in Mammary Involution and Oncogenesis

                        12:35   Athanasios Litsios, University of Toronto

                                     The spatiotemporal proteome of the yeast cell division cycle

            1:00-1:40 Lightning talks (~6 talks per session x 4 concurrent sessions)

                        Session 5: Development (Chair: Jonathan Lee)

                                    Reuben Samson Deciphering protein changes in subcellular                                                         organization associated with somatic cell reprogramming

                                    Jennifer Kaminker LGALS16 is a new biomarker of placental cell                                                 differentiation

                                    Jolaine Smith The role of galectins in neutrophilic differentiation of                                            HL-60 cells.

                                    Navroop Dhaliwal A novel in vitro platform for rapid generation of                                             CRISPR Knockout in pluripotent stem cell derived human neurons.

                                    Samantha Tome Is there clinical value in model organisms: a Model                                           Organisms Use (MOUse) database tests clinical referencing habits

                                   Afrin Bhattacharya Investigating the role of microglia in regulating                                               human fetal cortical development using a stem cell-derived co-culture                                     system

                        Session 6: Metabolism 2 (Chair: Robin Duncan)

                                   John Chan Oleoylethanolamide regulates mitochondrial dynamics of                                         lymphoblasts deficient in Tafazzin

                                   Alexandria Kellington Investigating the effects of oxidized guanines in                                        human physioxic molecular biology

                                   Louis Lo Targeted metabolic modulation of Cancer Cells using                                                    Ultrasound-and-Microbubbles

                                  Laura DiGiovanni Peroxisomes maintain mitochondrial redox                                                        homeostasis via peroxisome-mitochondria contact

                                  Sadia Rahmani AP2-Associated Kinase is regulated by N-                                                             acetylglucosamine modification

                                  Chelsea Margerum Dissecting the Roles of Mitochondrial Fusion in                                            Maintaining Cancer Cell Metabolic Homeostasis

                        Session 7: Cancer cell biology (Chair: Shaiya Robinson)

                                    Nick Philbin Optimizing the Effectiveness of Aldehyde                                                                  Dehydrogenase One (ALDH1) as a Breast Cancer Stem Cell (BCSC)                                      marker and Its Clinical Implications in TN Breast Cancer Patients

                                    Sami Alrashed Validation of a Novel Nanoparticle System for Select                                          Targeting of Therapy-Resistant Cell Populations Glioblastoma

                                    Erin Sellars A cell-based reporter to screen for modifiers of BRCA1                                          protein expression

                                    Parasvi Patel Excessive transcription-replication conflicts are a                                                    vulnerability of BRCA1-mutant cancers

                                    Adam Renaud Spy1 Levels Predict Sensitivity of Relapsed Multiple                                            Myeloma to Therapy

                                  Jonathan Tak-Sum Chow Using CRISPR-Cas9 screens to identify                                             microRNA involved in aggressive prostate cancer phenotypes.

                        Session 8: Cytoskeleton (Chair: Andrew Wilde)

                                  Riya Shah Independent spatially restricted β- and γ-actin networks are                                      required for cytokinesis

                                 Alicyia Walczyk Mooradally Phosphorylation-dependent control of                                             Activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) protein by Tnik

                                 Joy Du Dia1-mediated mechanical protection of the actin cytoskeleton                                     is required for myofibroblast differentiation

                                 Thomas Panagiotou Establishment and Maturation of the Intercellular                                       Bridge are Active Processes Required for Cell Division

                                 Anna Christina Erpf A photo-conversion-based visual screening                                                 platform to facilitate the identification of centrosomal proteins involved                                    in aberrant cell division and disease

                                 Aminmohamed Manji Pulmonary microvascular endothelial cell barrier                                      dysfunction during sepsis

Thursday, July 15th

11:30               Opening and welcome

11:35-12:55    Cell Biology of disease

            11:35   Firyal Ramzan, University of Waterloo

                         A surprising role for a small protein with a big impact in Multi-System                                         Proteinopathy

            11:55   Katrina Mekhail, University of Toronto

                         Palmitoylation of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein is prevented by Fatty Acid                                  Synthase Inhibitors 

            12:15   Maxime Boutry, University of Toronto

                       ORP1L mediated PI(4)P transfer from lysosomes contributes to                                                   mitochondrial division

            12:35   Tristen Hewitt, University of Guelph

                          Calcium signaling dysregulation in bipolar disorder iPSC-derived neural                                    progenitor cells results in aberrant neurodevelopment


1:00-1:40 Lightning talks (~6 talks per session x 3 concurrent sessions)

                        Session 9: Cell Biology of disease (Chair: Shaun Sanders)

                                    Devika Jayawardena The role of the TIMP/metalloproteinase balance                                          in human septic PMVEC barrier dysfunction

                                    Shyong Quan Yap Loss of mfsd8 in Dictyostelium discoideum affects                                       growth and multicellular development stages

                                   Sergiu Lucaciu Perturbed Gap Junction Turnover Underlies                                                         Erythrokeratodermia Variabilis et Progressiva Caused by Novel                                                   Connexin 43 Mutants

                                   William Kim Revealing aberrant biological pathways associated with                                            cln5-deficiency through a transcriptomics approach using Dictyostelium

                                   Rhett Figliuzzi Erythrokeratodermia Variabilis et Progressiva (EKVP)                                         linked Cx30.3 mutants can be selectively rescued by co-expression of                                      wildtype keratinocyte connexins

                        Session 10: Signal transduction 2 (Chair: Andrew Craig)

                                    Hanad Adan Activated Src requires Cadherin-11, Rac and gp130 for                                         Stat3 activation in mouse Balb/c3T3 fibroblasts

                                   Joyce Ang IRAK3 deficiency promotes development of early onset                                            inflammatory bowel disease

                                  Adam McTague O-GlcNAc homeostasis regulates expression and                                             secretion of galectins in HL-60 cells

                                  Dafne Vural Regulation of epidermal growth factor receptor by                                                  clathrin- associated kinases

                                  Timothy J. Walker Altered RET Trafficking Contributes to Oncogenicity                                    in TMEM127-depleted Cells

                                  Lauar Monteiro Leptin signaling boosts macrophage responses and                                            determines immunometabolic outcomes in obesity

                        Session 11: Pathogens, infection and immunity (Chair: Costin Antonescu)

                                 Anat Usatinsky Engineering protein reagents towards the development                                      of a portable immunoassay to detect SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing                                                  antibodies

                                 Gillian Okura Therapeutic Potential of Novel Boron-Containing                                                Compounds against NL63 Coronavirus Infection

                                Daniel Rappaport To the Root of the problem: Preventing excess copper                                   waste and remediation, by targeted treatment of downy mildew in grape                                   crops

                                Alexandra Williams Phagocytosis of Filamentous Fungi by Macrophages

                                Harpreet Jat Investigation Of Complement C3 Activation And                                                    Expression In Skeletal Muscle Myotubes Under Pro-Inflammatory                                            Cytokine Stress

Friday, July 16th

11:30               Opening and welcome

11:40-12:25    Keynote

                        Sonya MacParland, University of Toronto

                        Leveraging single-cell transcriptomics to understand the cellular                                                  microenvironment of the liver in health and disease


            12:30-1:30       Cancer Cell Biology

                        12:30   Fereshteh Moradi, Brock University

                                    The effects of O2 and media compositions on cancer cells


                        12:50   Brittney Messam, Western University

                                     The receptor for hyaluronan-mediated motility as a regulator of drug                                          sensitivity in triple-negative breast cancer

                        1:10     Rebecca Cabral-Dias, Ryerson University

                                    Epidermal growth factor receptor signaling requires specialized                                                    clathrin-labeled structures and necessary accessory protein Fyn and                                          TOM1L1



The organizing committee for the 2021 Ontario Cell Biology Symposium is:

Robin Duncan (University of Waterloo)
Andrew Wilde (University of Toronto)

Peter Kim (SickKids)
Shaun Sanders (University of Guelph)

Jonathan Lee (University of Ottawa)

Michael Scheid (York University)

Andrew Craig (Queen's University)

Lisa Porter (University of Windsor)

Nica Borradaile (Western university)

Shaiya Robinson (McMaster University)

Costin Antonescu (Ryerson University)

For more information, please contact ontariocellbiology@gmail.com