April 5th 2018

  • Time & Location
  • 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
    LSB lobby
  • 1:00 to 2:00 pm
    106 LSB
  • 2:00 to 3:00 pm
    107 LSB
  • 3:00 to 4:00 pm
    107 LSB
  • 4:00 to 6:00 pm
  • Event
  • Poster session
  • Panel Discussion: Ethics of the use of HeLa cells in research
  • Workshop 1: Clear communications for connecting your research outside of the academy
  • Workshop 2: Initial data analysis in R
  • Networking event
  • Details
  • Posters will be presented by graduate and undergraduate students. Awards for best poster. Refreshments will be provided.
  • Panel members will discuss the ethics concerning the use of HeLa cells in biological research. Presenters from multiple viewpoints will be speaking.
  • Presenters from the Knowledge Mobilization Network will help graduate students develop their networking skills and give advice on making the transition from academia into industry.
  • Dr. Tarmo Remmel will be instructing students on the use of R for conducting basic statistics.
  • Students will get the opportunity to expand their network meeting representatives from academia, industry, and government to help with future career prospects.
  • Student Registration - FREE!

    Full day registration for the conference including workshops, panel discussions, poster presentations, and networking event. Free with presentation of student card.

  • Early-bird Registration (February 2018) - $100

    Full day registration for the conference including workshops, panel discussions, poster presentations, and networking event.

  • Early-bird Registration (March 2018) - $150

    Full day registration for the conference including workshops, panel discussions, poster presentations, and networking event.

  • Full Registration (April 2018) - $200

    Full day registration for the conference including workshops, panel discussions, poster presentations, and networking event.

Panel Speakers

Dr. Mark Bayfield (panel facilitator)

Dr. Bayfield is a professor at York University in the Department of Biology. His research focuses on how conserved mechanisms in RNA metabolism function in both general cellular processes and adaptations to stress. More specifically, his lab explores the La antigen, which is an abundant, ubiquitous factor with several roles in RNA metabolism that are conserved between yeast and humans. Dr. Bayfield will be leading and facilitating the panel discussion on HeLa cells.

Dr. Yi Sheng (researcher)

Dr. Sheng is a professor at York University in the Department of Biology. Her research focuses on understanding how proteins are targeted by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and how aberration of this system contributes to pathogenesis of diseases. Understanding the mechanism and regulation of protein ubiquitination is essential for elucidating the role of UPS in pathogenesis of these diseases. Dr. Sheng will be providing insights into the role of HeLa cells for biological research.

Miki Stanikic (biotechnology)

Miki Stanikic is a senior neuroscience specialist sales and marketing consultant at HLS Therapeurics INC. Miki was previously in primary care sales for eight therapeutic areas in the GTA and he currently promotes a drug for treatment-resistant schizophrenia named Clozaril (clozapine). Miki will be representing the business and biotechnological side of HeLa cells.

Andria Bianchi (bioethicist)

Andria Bianchi is a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo examining the question of consent and the lives of older people with dementia crosses the traditional boundaries between academic philosophy and worldly, practical thinking—what the Greeks called phronesis. In addition to her scholarly work, she is active in a placement at a healthcare organization that cares for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of senile dementia. Andria will be providing her expertise in ethics associated with the usage of HeLa cells.


Functions: organize and simplify repetitive tasks

Functions are the primary building blocks of all code writers. Learning their fundamentals will improve your coding design, use of logic, and enforce standards. Using a simple dataset in Excel format, we will learn to import and restructure the input into a dataframe, identify factors, and produce a clean output object that is ready for analysis. We will then perform basic analysis on individual variables using a function that we create and return the results in a summarized format. We will cover basic file handling, data structuring, list objects, and writing functions with arguments. I will also briefly cover data visualization using boxplots.

Requirements: This is a beginner R-workshop that does not specifically require prior knowledge of R, but some experience would be beneficial. Participants should bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. You must have R installed your own computer prior to the beginning of the workshop (

Dr. Tarmo K Remmel
Associate Professor

Clear Communications: Connecting Your Research Outside the Academy

Researchers are utilizing numerous knowledge products beyond their thesis/dissertation or any published works to connect with people outside the university.  And while this is nothing new, an increased emphasis on knowledge mobilization is helping make research relevant to society.  It is this purposefulness which has seen an expansion in dissemination approaches of late.

This workshop will share clear language principles and share some demonstrated examples of good practice from York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit.  The workshop will also provide participants time to do some hands-on activity, summarizing scholarly conference contributions within structured elements of a ResearchSnapshot™.

ResearchSnapshots™ are lay summaries of scholarly outputs – journal articles, conference papers, etc – and make research and research findings accessible to audiences who may wish to engage with the research.  For knowledge brokers at York University, this is an important tool to support knowledge mobilization.

Michael Johnny
Manager, Knowledge Mobilization

Networking Event

Dr. Arthur Hilliker

Professor Co–Editor in Chief, GENOME

Ann Meyer

Senior Biologist

Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Christie Cestra

Biologist and Project Manager

Environmental Consulting Firm

Prof. Derek Wilson

York Research Chair in Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

Department of Chemistry

Thomas Van Zuiden

Modelling and Forecasting Analyst

TD Insurance

Prof. Jane Heffernan

York Research in Multi-Scale Quantitative Methods for Evidence-Based Health Policy

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Gretel Green

Planning Ecologist

Toronto Regional Conservation Authority

Poster Presentations

Tubulin-Mediated Transport of Connexin 36 (Cx36) Potentiates Plasticity in Neuronal Cells

Brown, C.A., Siu, R.C.F., Kotova, A., Zoidl, C., Spray, D.C., & Zoidl, G.
York University

Nutrient Sensing Through the RNA Helicase PRD-1 in Regulation of Circadian Rhythmicity in Neurospora crassa

Chian, M.F., Wu, D., & Lakin-Thomas, P.
York University

Elucidating the Mechanisms Surrounding H2A.X Monoubiquitylation Marks in the DNA Damage Response Pathway

D’Angelo, J. & Cheung, P.
York University

Structure/Function Analysis of the Hif1 Histone Chaperone in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Dannah, N.S., & Fillingham, J.
Ryerson University

Genomic tools for tracking invasive Africanized honey bees

Dogantzis, K., & Zayed, A.
York University

Elastic tethers extend between the telomeres of separating anaphase chromosomes in a broad range of animal cells.

Fegaras, E., Duquette, M., Paliulis, L., Ono, M., Preece, D., & Forer, A.
York University

The Fat and The Furriest: Insights on Polar Bear Physiology, Diets, and Behaviour from Animals Under Human Care

Glennie, M., Thiemann, G.W., Wensvoort, J., Dutton, C., Young, J., Kalka, H., & Goswell, A.,
York University

What is the extent of negative selection in social insects?

Imrit, A., & Zayed, A.,
York University

Receptor Expression, Immunolocalization and Physiological Activity of a Pyrokinin Neuropeptide in the Yellow Fever Mosquito, Aedes aegypti.

Lajevardi, A., Brown, M.R., & Paluzzi, J-P.V.
York University

The role of Clathrin in AKT activation in Legionella

Leshchyshyn, N., Lucarelli, S., Terebiznik, M., Antonescu, C.S.
Ryerson University


Ma, M.
York University


Mansouri-Noori, F.
York University

Quantitative estimation of percent conversion of tannins to gallic acid by high gallotannin tolerant mutant aspergillus aureus pm-24 strain isolated from kanpur tannery leachate.

Mishra, P.
York University

When nature calls: Characterization of aquaporin expression and function in the Malpighian tubules of the larval mosquito, Aedes aegypti

Misyura, L., Yerushalmi, G., & Donini, A.
York University

In vivo mutagenesis of H2A.Z using CRISPR-Cas9 technology

Morcos, S.
York University

Hide and slceeking: localization of SLC41A1 magnesium transporter across different tissues of goldfish (Carassius auratus)

Moshe, S., George, J., & Bucking, C.
York University

CREB plays a central role in mediating miR-378a-5p regulated syncytiotrophoblast differentiation

Nadeem, U., Salemn, M., & Peng, C.
York University

Understanding the effects of serine and glycine metabolism on p53-regulated calthrin-mediated endocytosis

Patel, A., & Antonescu, C.N.
Ryerson University

TOR pathway components in the circadian system of Neurospora crassa

Ratnayake, L., Seo, C., Pana, A., Lajevardi, A., Chrobok, N., Khalili, A., Eskandari, R., & Lakin-Thomas, P.
York University

Anti-Diuretic Action and Signaling Cascade of a CAPA Neurohormone in the Mosquito Disease Vector, Aedes aegypti.

Sajadi, Farwa, Curcuruto, C., & Paluzzi, J-P.V.
York University

The Synergy of Cx36-CaMKII is Modulated by NMDA Receptors, Src-kinases and the Pannexin1 Channel

Siu, R.C.F., Brown, C.A., Zoidl, C., & Zoidl, G.
York University

Role of Aromatic-Aromatic interactions in Folding and Structural Stabilization of Pannexin 1 Hemichannel

Timonina, K., Kotova, A., Zoidl, C., & Zoidl, G.
York University

Incorporating forage range information from radio frequency identification tags for native bumblebee conservation

Tompkins, M.M. & Colla, S.R.
York University

Enzyme activities in different intestinal layers in central stoneroller (Campostoma anomalum) and goldfish (Carassius auratus)

Vagharfard, N. & Bucking, C.
York University

How Drosophila become winter warriors: Describing the ionoregulatory adjustments that underlie cold acclimation in Drosophila

Yerushalmi, G., Misyura, L., MacMillan, H., & Donini, A.
York University

The expression profile of microRNAs in zebrafish ovarian follicles

Zayed, Y., Xin, Q., & Peng, C.
York University


Previous Symposia and Conferences

Other Biology Student Hosted Conferences


The 44th Annual Biology Symposium will be held at York University in the Life Sciences Building and at Shopsy’s in York Lanes. York University can be accessed using transit from the TTC subway station that exits adjacent to York Lanes or using Go Transit. There are also multiple parking garages or pay and display areas for those driving. The closest parking garages to the Life Science Building is the Arboretum and to Shopsy’s is the York Lanes Parking garage. Full details about transit and driving directions or to access an interactive map can be obtained from the YorkU website.

All events will be held at Life Science building on the north-west side of campus, with the exception of the networking event that will be held at Shopsy’s. Please refer to the schedule for the exact room numbers.

Important Note**

York University contract faculty, teaching assistants and graduate assistants are currently on strike. In the event that the strike continues to April 5, 2018, please note that picket lines are up at each entrance to campus from 7:30 am until 3:30 pm and will cause delays entering campus by car. Transit buses are also not entering campus but are dropping off passengers just outside of the university – please see the TTC website for info . The York University TTC subway station is still open during the strike.
We understand that some people may not wish to cross picket lines should the strike continue to the date of the symposium. Although the networking event takes place after the picket lines close (4pm) this may still affect your arrival time.