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Trainee Association

The GlycoNet Trainee Association (GTA) is composed of the students, postdoctoral fellows, technicians, and research associates affiliated with the Canadian Glycomics Network.

GlycoNet Trainee Association Executive Committee

The GTA Executive Committee (GTA-EC) represents the interests of all members of the Association. In addition to providing a trainee perspective to the GlycoNet training program, the Committee facilitate networking events and meetings, contribute to Network communications, and work to promote GlycoNet to the broader community. The GTA-EC meets regularly to discuss ideas and issues that matter most to the next generation of Canadian glycoscientists, and to help ensure that GlycoNet trainees have access to a diverse set of opportunities during their time in the Network.

Terms of Reference

View Terms of Reference (PDF)

The GTA 2020-2021 Executive Committee (GTA-EC)
Emily Rodrigues • Chair

I am a Chemical Biology PhD student in Dr. Macauley’s lab in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alberta. Previously I have completed a M.Sc. (Organic Chemistry) and B.Sc. (Chemistry and Medicinal Cell Biology) from the University of Western Ontario. My current research focuses on trying to identify natural sialic acid containing ligands for proteins found on immune cells, Siglecs. I also am designing a cell-based assay in order to test how modified sialic acid alters the binding to Siglecs. These will potentially increase the ability to treat certain diseases in which the immune system is used against us, such as in cancer and autoimmune diseases. Aside from the lab I enjoy curling and playing soccer.

The Chair of GTA-EC enforces the terms of reference of the Trainee Association. The chair is the official spokesperson of the GTA. The Chair sits as a member of GlycoNet’s Training Committee as the GTA’s representative.

Marie Boddington • Vice Chair

I am a M.Sc. student in Dr. Capicciotti’s lab in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Biology at Queen’s University. I obtained my B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Queen’s University in 2019 and I performed undergraduate research in the Davies lab studying antifreeze proteins. My current research focuses on combining the chemoenzymatic synthesis of N-glycans with chemical biology tools to engineer cell-surfaces with defined glycan structures to probe how glycans interact with proteins to stimulate biological function. Outside of the lab I enjoy dancing, spending time outdoors, and being active.

The Vice Chair is responsible for the coordination of the activities of the Trainee Association and serves as the official spokesperson in conjunction with the Chair.

Nakita Buenbrazo • Secretary

I completed her M.Sc. in Molecular Science at Ryerson University. I worked with Dr. Wakarchuk on characterizing Protein O-mannosylation. After graduation, I continued to work in the Wakarchuk lab on various projects, most of which involved engineering E.coli to mimic human-type glycosylation systems and produce human antigens. Currently, I am a research technician and study coordinator in the Brown Lab at McMaster University. I have been working on a research project and study involving implementation of frequent saliva-based COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic participants in the workplace and community. In my spare time, I spend time with my family outdoors, and like to travel and learn about other cultures. I also enjoy sewing, reading and watching bad reality TV shows. 

The secretary maintains and manages the records of the Association and assists the chair to perform Association duties, including meeting documentations and Association correspondence. 

Revathi Reddy • Communications Officer

I did my undergraduate degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India. In 2018, I moved to Edmonton to join the Derda Research Group to pursue my Masters in Chemical Biology at the Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta. My current research focuses on developing phage-display enabled newer and effective tools for serological diagnosis of infectious diseases. I am interested in Synthetic Biology and have been a part of the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition, Boston, as a student in 2017 and a graduate student mentor in 2019. Outside of lab, I devote time to drawing, designing, creative writing and tweeting. I also take a deep interest in the field of science communication and outreach.

The Communications Officers are responsible for all matters that pertain to internal and external communications of the Trainee Association. They maintain awareness of the members in the Association and assist information sharing with the trainees.

Reilly Pidgeon • Communications Officer

As a native Montrealer and a fan of both biology and chemistry, I decided to pursue my undergraduate studies at McGill University in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. During my final year, I was introduced to research as part of my Honours project and found that I had a knack for it. After graduating with a Convocation Prize in 2019, I decided that graduate studies were the next step. Currently, I’m entering my second year of master’s studies in the lab of Dr. Bastien Castagner at McGill University. My research project aims to identify prebiotics that modulate the gut microbiota to improve the efficacy of immunotherapies in cancer. When I’m not in the lab, I can usually be found cycling around the F1 track or cooking up a storm.

Jolene Garber • Symposium & Webinar Series Representative

I completed a B.Sc. at the University of Lethbridge in 2014, participating in a cooperative education program and an honors thesis course. I began my graduate research under the supervision of Christine Szymanski at the University of Alberta, focusing on carbohydrate metabolism by Campylobacter jejuni. I later moved with Christine to work at the University of Georgia Complex Carbohydrate Research Center and transferred into a Ph.D. program working on the same project initiated from the University of Alberta. I completed my Ph.D. in 2019 and am now a post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia Okanagan under the supervision of Wesley Zandberg in collaboration with Wade Abbott at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. My current research focuses on developing techniques for studying carbohydrate interactions between microbes and mucin implicated in livestock and human health, with an emphasis on studying sialidase activity by Clostridium perfringens, a causative agent of necrotic enteritis in poultry.

The Symposium & Webinar Series Representative is responsible for the coordination for the professional development and trainee activities of the annual Canadian Glycomics Symposium and webinar series. The Representative sits as a member of the GlycoNet’s Symposium Committee as the GTA’s voice.

Omozogie Paul Aigbogun Members-At-Large

I am a Chemistry Ph.D. candidate in the labs of Dr. Chris Phenix and Dr. Ed Krol at the University of Saskatchewan. I obtained my B.Sc. in Chemistry from Nigeria and moved to Saskatchewan, Canada in 2017 to begin graduate school. My current research focuses on the design and synthesis of novel bifunctional compounds as PET imaging probes for Parkinson’s Disease. My research involves synthesis of F-19/F-18 labelled compounds to evaluate both their phase 1 metabolism and biodistribution profile. I spend my spare time reading books, blogs and cooking. My favorite book is “THINK BIG” by Dr. Ben Carson.

Members-at-large are responsible for liaising between the GTA-EC and the members of the Association. They fulfill requirements as delegated by the Executive Committee and address overall Association goals.



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