In 2007, OGI launched a new program to help build and provide ongoing support for university-based OGI Student Networks (OGI-SNs), which students run for students to facilitate sharing of knowledge and ideas within a multidisciplinary network of future Ontario genomics researchers, health professionals, and policy-makers. Students and faculty members from all university departments are welcome to join and participate in Network events.
The first OGI-SN emerged in late 2007 at the University of Toronto (U of T). For more details about the U of T OGI-SN, including its executive committee, events, and information on how to join, scroll down.
Interested in establishing an OGI Student Network at your university?
Contact OGI, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would be happy to add you to our LISTSERV. Please send us an e-mail at OGI.SN@utoronto.ca with your e-mail address and full name:
ADD OGI-SN-L john.smith @ utoronto.ca John Smith
OGI-SN (University of Toronto) Events
Spring 2010 Lunch and Learn
Derek van der Kooy, PhD (Professor, Dept. of Medical Biophysics and Dept. of Medical Genetics and Microbiology, University of Toronto)
"Genetic manipulations of stem cells"
Date: Friday March 19th
Venue: University of Toronto, FitzGerald bldg, Rm 104
Dr. van der Kooy will describe some of the surprising science around induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), the promise of clinical treatments, and some of the ethical issues that arise in considering the creation and clinical use of iPS cells.
Winter 2009 Lunch and Learn
M. Alexander Smith, PhD (Associate Professor, Biodiversity Institute of Ontario & Integrative Biology, University of Guelph)
"Integrating Community Ecology and DNA Barcoding"
Nearly ┬╝ of all animals are insects and we expect that up to ┬╝ of all insects are parasitoids. However, it is within this enormous block of life that we are most exposed to the taxonomic impediment. While only 10% of all insect species are described, identified parasitoid diversity may be as low as 1%. Clearly the stage is set for accelerated identifications of this diverse and economically important group. While DNA barcoding provides an effective tool for the accurate identification of species, the more fundamental facet of how diversity is actually connected on the landscape remains to be addressed. It is these connections, not the diversity itself, which ultimately dictate ecosystem function (e.g., herbivory, parasitism rates). I will provide examples of barcoding insect parasitoid food webs that delineated specific interactions with unparallelled precision and speed in addition to phylogenetic analyses of trophic connectivity that provided more accurate community ecological models. Integrating phylogenetic estimates of standardized barcodes permits ecologists and resource scientists to move from a strictly population-based approach to a more unified conceptual basis (i.e., from population to food web). We feel that integrating barcoding techniques with food-web ecology will change the face of community ecology.
Fall 2009 Lunch and Learn
Cheryl Shuman, MS, CGC (Director, Genetic Counselling, Hospital for Sick Children)
"Genetic Counselling: A View From the Front Line"
This session will incorporate cases from the clinical setting to illustrate how complex genetic information and testing can impact patients and their families. Ethical and counselling challenges will be highlighted as well as anticipated issues arising from emerging technologies.
Spring 2009 Lunch and Learn
Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy (Canada Research Chair in Nutrigenomics, University of Toronto)
"Nutrigenomics: Should Our Genes Determine What We Eat?"
Nutrigenomics is the science that uses genomic information along with high-throughput 'omics' technologies to address issues important to nutrition and health. Understanding how genetic variations influence nutrient metabolism or the molecular targets of nutrient action will provide a more accurate measure of exposure of target cells and unravel the mechanism of action. Genes can also influence our food preferences by affecting sensory, reward or energy homeostatic pathways. Identifying relevant gene-diet interactions will benefit individuals seeking personalized dietary advice as well as improve public health recommendations by providing sound scientific evidence linking diet and health.
Winter 2009 Lunch and Learn
Dr. June Carroll (Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto)
"Integrating Genetics into Primary Care: Challenges and Solutions"
Members of the public are increasingly asking their primary care providers about the utility of new genetic discoveries for their health care. This presentation will give an overview of some of the Canadian projects developing and evaluating educational materials on genetics for primary care providers so that they can help their patients make informed choices about genetic services.
Fall 2008 Lunch and Learn
Professor Trudo Lemmens (University of Toronto Faculty of Law)
"New Genetic Developments: The End of Health Information Privacy (As We Know It)?"
Protecting individual privacy through informed consent procedures has always been challenging in the context of genetic research, because of its familial and community aspects. The growth in genetic biobanks, new developments in genetic technology--particularly whole genome scanning-- and the increasing availability of genetic and genealogy data on the internet, may render the protection of privacy through informed consent to some extent obsolete. This presentation involves a brief exploration, through some examples, of these new challenges to genetic privacy, after which it will deal with questions around how privacy can be protected by the promotion of fair information practices, and whether Research Ethics Boards are sufficiently regulated to be able to fulfill this important public interest task.
Spring 2008 Lunch and Learn
Dr. Shane Green (Ontario Genomics Institute)
"Personal Genomics: Hope, Hype, and Hyper-speed"
Less than a decade after the human genome was first sequenced, Watson and Venter have had their personal genomes sequenced, and dozens of companies are offering to analyse people's DNA and tell them what it says about their ancestry and future health. Come hear about just how fast genomics technology is moving ahead and about its implications for you and for society.
About the 2010-11 OGI Student Network (University of Toronto) Executive Committee
Daiva Nielsen (Chair) is an MSc student in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. She is interested in the impact of genomics research on individual behaviour and, subsequently, on public health. As a member of the OGI-SN, she hopes to disseminate knowledge and education of genomics topics to students at all levels and facilitate discussions in the field.
Da Liu (Vice Chair) is a student in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. He is passionate about genomic research and the change it could bring to society. As a member of the OGI Student Network, he hopes to kindle an interest for the subject among all students and to promote the exchange of ideas between postgraduates working in the field. His own graduate research applies high throughput analysis to the study of genetic networks and interactions.
Nikolay Boychev (Administrative & Communications Director) is pursuing his Honours BSc degree at the University of Toronto. His research interests include studying glaucoma and its progression, diabetic eye diseases, as well as retinal diseases associated with retinal blood flow disturbance. Nikolay hopes to create a direct exchange of knowledge and ideas between genomics professionals and students, so a better understanding of human development can be prompted forward. He looks forward to becoming an eye care professional.
Francesca Garofalo (Activities Director) is an MSc student in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. She is currently examining genetic determinants of plasma alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) concentration. Francesca looks forward to sharing knowledge not only about genomics research but also about the current ethical and legal issues resulting from this exciting field.
Dina Nikitina (Activities Director) is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto majoring in Nutritional Sciences and Genetics. She is very passionate about the ethical and medical components in genetic research and counseling, which she hopes will lead her to pursue further studies in the genetics field following the completion of her BSc in June 2011. Dina became interested in the OGI-SN after attending the Lunch and Learn sessions and decided to play a part in expanding the audience of the network.