From left to right: Dakota Gustafson, Houman Tahmasebi, Joseph Samuel, Michael Liu, Elizabeth Richardson, Chanele Polenz, Shira Elion-Jourard, Sam Cen and Francesco Fazzari.
President – Chanele Polenz
Field of Study: Cardiovascular & Immunology
Where are you from? Nowhere… I’ve moved over 21 times in my life, and I’ve been lucky enough to live all over Canada & abroad.
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: Can I pick my favourite organ? The heart! If Ms. Frizzle let me choose where to take the Magic School Bus, that would be my #1 destination, in a heartbeat (look at that pun, I’m just the coolest).
What do you like to do? When I’m not breaking hearts in the lab? Travelling, exploring, dancing, climbing, baking.
Representative animal: Lion cub, but I’m not as adorable.
About yourself: I have an unhealthy obsession with coffee shops, my bucket list includes visiting every continent, and if I wasn’t scientifically inclined, I’d make the quintessential 1950s housewife.
VP Academic – Joseph Samuel
Field of Study: Renal Oncology
Where are you from? Markham, ON
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: DNA Helicase
What do you like to do? Basketball, football, video games, reading, learning new languages
Representative animal: LIONNN *DJ Khaled voice*
About yourself: I like to take Snapchats and repeatedly yell “bruh” in them. I also know a lot about drugs.
Senior Academic Representative – Liz Richardson
Field of Study: Pediatric Brain Tumours
Where are you from? Ottawa, Ontario
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: Cardiomyocytes - they can take quite the beating! (See what I did there?)
What do you like to do? Reading, exploring the city, camping, baking and cooking
Representative animal: Fox
VP Social – Dakota Gustafson
Field of Study: Cardiology and Nephrology
Where are you from? The great land of the barren and cold, otherwise known as Manitoba. Where specifically you ask? Well, a small place consisting of 700 people called Manitou, otherwise known as the best town in the world.
Favorite cell or protein or mechanism: My favorite mechanism is the binding of the hormone epinephrine to adrenergic receptors in cardiac tissue. It really makes my heart race.
What do you like to do? Anything involving the outdoors or exercise!
Representative animal: Penguin
About yourself: Fun fact! I have photoptarmosis, meaning I sneeze nearly every time I see a bright light.
VP External – Shira Elion-Jourard
Field of Study: Structural Biology, X-Ray Crystallography
Where are you from? Here! Toronto, born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days, chillin out relaxin etc.
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: Syncytins! Viral fusion mechanisms! Iridaphores!
What do you like to do? Read, bike, hike, canoe, camp, swim, touch my toes
Representative animal: Blue whale
VP Recreation & Wellness – Francesco Fazzari
Field of Study: Cancer
Where are you from?: Woodbridge
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: ZNF69
What do you like to do?: Playing squash and cooking
Representative animal: Panda. All they do is sleep and eat
About yourself: I am a second year Master’s student studying hypoxia and pancreatic cancer. When I’m not in the lab I’m organizing the athletic and mental wellness events for CLAMPS, or making myself a large meal.
Treasurer – Michael (Mingzhe) Liu
Field of Study: Stroke, Dementia
Where are you from? Thunder Bay, Ontario
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: Neurons!
What do you like to do? Camping, Fishing, Travel and Sports
About yourself: Avid outdoorsman and global traveler, fan of Lakers and Raptors, proud founding member of Sunnybrook FC
Head Location Director – Houman Tahmasebi
Field of Study: Serum Biomarkers/Laboratory Medicine
Where are you from? North York, ON
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: Astrocytes
What do you like to do? Reading and movies
Representative animal: Lion
About yourself: I am a MSC student in the LMP department, working towards identifying differences in serum biomarker concentrations between major Canadian ethnic groups and establishing ethnic-specific reference intervals, in order to improve laboratory test result interpretation by clinicians. As a Head Location Director, I lead location directors who are in charge of hosting events for LMP students working in each of the University of Toronto affiliated research centers.
Graduate Student Union (GSU) Rep – Sam (Yuchen) Cen
Field of Study: Virology and Immunology
Where are you from? Born in Sweden traveled around with my parents until we settled in Canada.
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: Alveolar macrophages, have you ever seen a cell eat another cell!?
What do you like to do? Tennis, waterfall hunting in the Hamilton area, photography.
Representative animal: Golden Retriever
About yourself: Trying to start something takes me forever, but when I get going I become obsessed, and end up binge watching every show on Netflix. Chose U of T because of its beautiful gothic libraries/buildings where I run away from lab to explore.
Secretary – Danielle Alvares
Field of Study: Diabetes
Where are you from? Toronto
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: Hepatic lipid and lipoprotein metabolism
What do you like to do? Watching movies and spending time outdoors
Representative animal: Otter
About yourself: I'm a second year MSc. Student. I love meeting new people so feel free to approach me if you have any questions about LMP or just want to chat about life.
From left to right: Quinn Bonafiglia, Milena Music, Alexandra Chirila, Kenneth Williams, Jennifer Kao, Michelle Ly and Srishti Jain
Academic Rep – Alexandra Chirila
Field of Study: Cancer Genomics
Where are you from? London, ON
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: Glycosylation Pathway. Almost as sweet as you!
What do you like to do? I love going for runs and hikes, and really anything outdoors (unless it’s really cold out). I also love travelling and cooking, so please send me any of your delicious recipes!
Representative animal: Giraffe
About yourself: I’m a first year MSc Student located at Mount Sinai Hospital and am new to Toronto. I have loved exploring the city so far and am always looking for new things to do and places to see, so tell me your favourites! I’m a HUGE Grey’s Anatomy fan and I am always trying to stay active.
Academic Rep – Kenneth Williams
Field of Study: I am working under the supervision of Dr. Vasconcelos, in the McEwen Center for Regenerative Medicine. I am specifically working on two projects pertaining to Cardiac Regenerative Medicine and Diabetes.
Where are you from? I hail from Halifax, Nova Scotia, but I was born in Madrid, Spain. I attended Mount Allison University, Sackville NB, for my undergraduate.
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: I quite enjoy the ETC as it is a main focus of my current studies on cardiac maturation and disease. Macrophages because they are totally badass, and their roles in non-inflammatory actions are still being determined by scientists like myself!
What do you like to do? A rather broad question, but I like to take long walks on the beach... just kidding, I love working on my MSc as well as being close to water (i.e. canoeing-kayaking, dragon boat, or swimming). I also really like rock climbing.
Representative animal: A narwhal. Seemingly majestic, but really a cow of the sea with a massively inconvenient tusk.
About yourself: I always strive to help those around me and to ensure that I represent my faculty and organizations properly, and in doing so I want to hear from the students in LMP on how CLAMPS can improve to serve you better.
I also like being early whenever possible but I am afflicted with an overwhelming positive outlook on my abilities which sometimes ensures that I am late for very important dates.
Social Rep – Jennifer Kao
Field of Study: Brain & Neuroscience
Where are you from? Richmond Hill, ON
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: Macrophages, because I also love to eat my way through the bad things in life.
What do you like to do? Cook, gym, illustrate, play Settlers of Catan, and watch awful rom-coms.
Representative animal: Ferret – the perfect combination of snake and raccoon (my alter egos).
About yourself: You can probably find me talking to my cells in the tissue culture hood (sending them good vibes, man) or trudging through the MaRS lobby at 9pm, too hungry to stay in the lab any longer. If you see me, don’t be afraid to say hi! My eyes may look dead but my soul is kicking around in there somewhere.
Social Rep – Michelle Ly
Field of study: Paediatric Brain Oncology
Where are you from? Brampton, ON was where I was born and raised, but I've lived in Hamilton, ON for the past six years
Favourite cell/protein/mechanism: Not sure what my favourite protein is, but I can say one of my least favourite is probably DHFR. It just brings back too many second year biochemistry memories/struggles
What do you like to do? Hiking, photography and reading
Representative animal: Cats, because they go "meow"
About yourself: I'm a first-year PhD student in the Taylor Lab at SickKids. I did my undergraduate studies and Master's of Science at McMaster University, specializing in leukemia.
Three fun facts about me:
- "Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica!" I LOVE Dwight from the Office
- I'm a huge Potterhead
- It's really hard for me to watch a movie without falling asleep
Rec and Wellness Rep – Milena Music
Field of Study: Cancer Immunotherapy Predictive Biomarkers
Where are you from? Belgrade, Serbia
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: Antibodies
What do you like to do? I like to play sports, binge watch Netflix, cook yummy food and travel
Representative animal: Corgi
About yourself: Varsity blues tennis player
Rec and Wellness Rep – Quinn Bonafiglia
Field of Study: Cardiovascular
Where are you from? Grimsby, ON
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: Discoidin domain receptor
What do you like to do? Baseball, golf, hockey, serenade myself on the piano and guitar, talk about my dog Lola, drink coffee and eat prosciutto
Representative animal: Sea turtle (Sea turtles are the old men of the sea, and I can’t wait to be an old man)
About yourself: I’m a 1st year PhD student, and completed my Masters and undergrad at Queen’s University, where I have an identical twin brother also starting his PhD (he’s the evil one so it’s a good thing he’s 250 km away)
Interdepartmental Rep – Sachin Kumar
Field of Study: Cancer Genomics
Where are you from? Grew up in Ajax, just east of Toronto. But have been a 6ix kid living in Toronto for a decade.
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism? Ependymal cells
What do you like to do? Huge sports junkie. Play all sorts of sports, and love watching my Toronto teams (Leafs, TFC, Raptors #WeTheNorth). I love biking around the city and stopping to take cool photographs along the way.
Representative animal: Monkey
About yourself: I’m a MD/PhD student doing my PhD in the lab of Dr. Michael Taylor. I’ve been at UofT for years (with many more to still go…) and love this city. If you want recommendations on any restaurants, nightlife or cool cafés let me know.
Webmaster – Srishti Jain
Field of Study: Immunometabolism and Epigenetics
Where are you from? Mississauga, ON.
Favourite cell or protein or mechanism: CD8+ T cells 'cause they are killer (Get it?? 🙂 )
What do you like to do? I love discovery, reading psychological/medical fiction and murder-mystery novels, painting&photography, and spending time with family.
Representative animal: Dolphin
About yourself: I might come off as shy sometimes but I love to meet new people, so feel free to contact me if you ever have any kind of questions or suggestions, especially regarding the website!