GlycoNet Mini-Symposium gathered trainees from coast to coast  

Posted: October 22, 2021

The event brought together trainees from Western, Central, and East Coast regions to network and exchange knowledge.

GlycoNet Trainee Association was excited to host their three-day Mini-Symposium on August 2, August 5, and August 10. The goal of the Mini-Symposium was to encourage trainees from Western, Central, and East Coast regions to network, exchange knowledge, learn about research from GlycoNet members, and advance professional development. Approximately 30 attendees took part in each event. 

Each event kicked off with a professional development workshop, followed by 15-minute research presentations from GlycoNet trainees. The topics covered in the professional development workshops included: 

  • Communicating your science to a broader audience (Dr. Torah Kachur, CBC Radio One) 
  • Data visualization using R-studio (Dr. Greta Reintjes, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) 
  • Motivating durable learning: focused attention through instructional design (Dr. Joseph Kim, McMaster University) 

“The Mini-Symposium is intended for trainees to practice and maximize their presentation skills in front of their peers,” says Emily Rodrigues, Chair of the 2020-2021 GlycoNet Trainee Association Executive Committee (GTA-EC). “Typically, our trainees present in front of an international audience and principal investigators at the Canadian Glycomics Symposium, the annual conference organized by GlycoNet. But this year, since the conference did not happen, the GlycoNet Trainee Association Executive Committee decided to host a smaller virtual version that involves only trainees.”  

The trainees enjoyed the workshops and opportunities to connect with other members from GlycoNet. 

“I thought the trainees did a great job presenting,” says Jolene Garber, Chair of the 2021-2022 GTA-EC. “The low-pressure environment allowed them to build their confidence. I also feel that it was a good idea to host them in conjunction with the PD workshops since this also allowed the trainees to learn new skills in small groups where they could easily ask questions to the presenter.” 

At the end of each event, attendees voted for their top choice of research presentation and a total of six awards were given to the presenters who received the most votes.  

“The Mini-Symposium is well organized,” says Hang Pham, one of the trainees who won the People’s Choice Award for the research presentations. “I enjoyed all the research talks. My favourite professional development workshop was Dr. Joseph Kim’s presentation on durable learning. Keeping a motivation for self-learning is never easy. It was really interesting to learn key methods to make learning more efficient.”  

There was a total of 20 trainee presentations throughout the three events of the Symposium:  


GlycoNet Supervisor 



Emily Rodriguez 

Joel Weadge 

Wilfrid Laurier University 

Characterization of the putative O-acetyltransferase CcsI: role in cellulose biofilms 

Jolene Garber 

Wade Abbott and Wesley Zandberg 

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada / University of British Columbia-Okanagan 

Large scale extraction and characterization of O-glycans and bovine milk oligosaccharides 

Poulomee Bose 

Alexey Pshezhetsky 

CHU Ste-Justine 

Recapitulating Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIC-Pertinent Deficits in iPSC Derived Human Neurons. 

Leeann Klassen 

Wade Abbott 

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 

The light at the end of the alimentary tract: Phenotype-based methods enable direct identification of gut microbiome function 

Kristin Low 

Wade Abbott 

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 

Carbohydrates and glycomics for a One Health strategy – implications for microbial community function and resiliency 

Faezeh Jame Chenarboo 

Lara K. Mahal 

University of Alberta 

Exploration of miRNA regulation of sialic acid 

Edward Schmidt 

Matthew Macauley 

University of Alberta 

Interrogating Siglec-ganglioside interactions using liposomal nanoparticles in a cell-based assay 

Elham Koosha 

Brian Eames 

University of Saskatchewan 

Cartilage PGs inhibit BMP signaling through the canonical Smad pathway, but not the non-canonical p38 pathway, during endochondral ossification 

Ngoc Thu Hang Pham 

Nicolas Doucet 

Institut national de la recherche scientifique 



Perturbing dimer interaction and allosteric communication alters the immunosuppressive activity of human galectin-7 

Alyssa Dumoulin 

Yves St-Pierre 

Institut national de la recherche scientifique 


A novel strategy to inhibit human galectin-9 for improving immunotherapy of cancer. 

Olivia Lui 

Bastien Castagner 

McGill University 

Characterizing the effect of amylase inhibitors on glycan metabolism by gut bacteria using fluorescent glycan labeling  

Hannah Liu 

Joerg Bohlmann 

University of British Columbia 

Engineering flavanone biosynthesis in yeast towards the production of the anti-diabetic plant metabolite montbretin A  

Jil Busmann 

David Vocadlo 

Simon Fraser University 

Allosteric macrocyclic peptides with high affinity for O-GlcNAc Transferase (OGT) and their use as chemical tools 

Camille Fuselier  

Yves St Pierre 

Institut national de la recherche scientifique 


Development of nanobodies as a tool to investigate the role of galectin-13-mediated functions in cancer 

Rita Nehme 

Yves St-Pierre 

Institut national de la recherche scientifique 


Galectin-7-specific single chain camelid antibodies for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer. 

Philippine Granger Joly de Boissel 

Yves St-Pierre 

Institut national de la recherche scientifique 


G1N1: a novel inhibitor of human galectin-1. 

Camille Fuselier 

Yves St Pierre 

Institut national de la recherche scientifique 


Development of nanobodies as a tool to investigate the role of galectin-13-mediated functions in cancer 

Frederick Sunstrum 

Joerg Bohlmann 

University of British Columbia 

Metabolic engineering of Montbretin A biosynthesis in Nicotiana benthamiana 

Eric Carpenter 

Ratmir Derda 

University of Alberta 

Glynet: A multi-task neural network for predicting protein-glycan interactions 

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