Meet MSURJ: Sebastian


Hello MSURJ enthusiasts! My name is Sebastian Andric and I am a Junior Editor on

the MSURJ team. I am currently a first year undergraduate student hoping to get

involved with the research community here at McGill. Although I’m only starting out

my post-secondary academic career, I am interested in pursuing research in either

neuroscience or genetic engineering. Aside from reading and editing research papers,

my interests include traveling, playing piano, listening to music, especially jazz and

hip-hop, and gaming.  I’m looking forward to working with MSURJ and I hope you

all pick up a copy!

Meet MSURJ: Meng

Hello, hello! I’m Meng, one of the co-Editors-in-Chief for the 2015-2016 school year. I am a graduating pharmacology student minoring in economics.

In my free time, I love anything that involves being active, eating and taking Instagram pictures of food. A year ago, I started working at a research lab that focuses on the molecular basis of Alzheimer’s Disease and since then, it’s been quite a wild ride. I’ve learned through a summer submerged in research that there is no end to scientific learning, and that the amount of knowledge gained is directly proportional to self motivation, hard work and a lot of introspection—asking yourself why you are doing something, for instance.

Therefore, this school year, I’ve challenged myself to work as much as a graduate student and to produce as much, if not more data than the graduate students in my laboratory. So far, it has not been an easy journey, but I am anxious to see what a year of hard work will lead to. Ariana, the rest of the MSURJ team, and I have worked extremely hard over the whole summer to completely revamp ourselves, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds!

We’ve been featured!

MSURJ, currently in its 11th year of print, was recently featured by the McGill Tribune as one of the best scientific publications at McGill, with a lovely segment written by Daniel Galef. At this time of the year while all of us here are hard at work putting together our newest volume, this was both a pleasant surprise and an honour.

Volume 11 of MSURJ will be published in March, 2016.

Until then, we, the MSURJ team, would like to thank our readers and contributors for their continued support.

(image: Huffington Post)

Meet MSURJ: Alex

2015-10-19 12.50.08


Hello everyone!

I’m a U2 Computer Science student, and have recently joined MSURJ as an editor. I have research experience in medicine and stem cell therapy, but have more recently developed research interests in computer vision, computer graphics, and human-computer interaction. I am currently looking forward to be performing research with the faculty at the Centre for Intelligent Machines, and also have a number of side projects that I work on at hackathons, as well as on my own time.

Research is one of the only areas where you aren’t working to achieve what someone accomplished yesterday, but rather to discover something new. Being at the front lines of pursuing knowledge and gaining an appreciation of others’ work, is my main inspiration to do research, as well as was the main reason why I chose to join MSURJ this year.
On my own time, I enjoy building on my own programming side projects, watching tv shows, browsing reddit, playing with dogs, and exploring new restaurants. I like travelling around the world and have had the privilege of living in many countries throughout my life so far— though, if I had to call one place my home, it would be Malaysia.

To all science students: it’s never too early or too late to start making an impact! Check out past copies of the journal and submit to us yourself if you think your research deserves to be published!


Meet MSURJ: Aditya

AdityaMohanProfilePicAditya Mohan is a youth leader in STEM from Ottawa, Ontario who has always been keenly interested in science and the potential it holds to make a difference in the world. Over the years, Aditya has participated, and been awarded, in numerous scientific competitions with his work on biofuels, HIV, and cancer research.

In 2012, to help mitigate the issue of costs, Aditya designed a novel Algal Biofuel extraction process that produced industry-grade biofuel at a fraction of its current cost.

Soon after, Aditya began working at a research lab to study the cellular interactions found in chronic diseases such as HIV. His research in molecular immunology allowed him to develop a novel HIV treatment to stimulate the production of anti-viral CD8+ T Cells. This project won many national and regional awards, including the prestigious Canadian Manning Innovation Award.

Aditya’s latest project involves the bioengineering of the common cold virus for applications in cancer treatment. His virus has worked very well in on multiple cancers and holds a lot of potential moving forward. His project has earned him many international and national accolades, including the 1st place award at the International Science and Engineering Fair and the title of National BioGENEius of Canada.

Aside from science, Aditya also pursues a wide array of extracurricular activities, and has competed in and won multiple national competitions for the visual arts and creative writing. He is also an avid basketball player.

Undergraduate Research 101 with MSURJ: A Fond Recap

Just this past week, on a somewhat blustery but clear night, our research journal team did something groundbreaking—we did a workshop on how to get involved with research.

And so, with members and participants huddled up on couches and on the floor of ECOLE’s living room, MSURJ held its first, unexpectedly cozy undergraduate research 101 event. It was a resounding success, for a number of reasons which we would like to believe were absolutely not limited to the number of sofas in that room.

Being an event on a relatively small scale, it began with a number of introductions and hellos, as the team scrambled to set up projectors and speakers, propped up on a stack of journals. Meng, one of our co-Editors-in-Chief, then gave a detailed three-part presentation, citing examples of dos and don’ts when contacting professors, and how to create a strong profile as a candidate for a lab position.

A number of other editors on the board then introduced themselves, their programs and research interests, and the group broke into smaller circles accordingly. Riveting conversations were held, questions were asked and answered, and advice was doled out on a range of topics including cover letters and CVs, research awards, resources and timelines, and tips for general communication.

Closed off with a free-for-all journal and pastry selection, the evening was one that was wholly exciting for us, and hopefully informative, if not also fun and engaging for all present. We would like to thank everyone who showed up, and encourage further engagement with MSURJ.

We will be holding more events of this nature in the future. (Psst—what’s that I hear, an editing workshop in the makings?) If you’d like to learn more, like our Facebook Page and stay tuned for updates.

Meet MSURJ: Nick

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Like many other grade 3 students, I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. Neil Armstrong was my hero. The first man on the moon. I could be the first man on Mars, on Pluto. The possibilities were endless.

Of course, as I grew older, I developed other interests. But I never strayed too far from the path of science. It was in grade 7 that I decided I wanted to be a computer engineer. Then I would get an MBA and found a tech company that did everything that Apple and Microsoft couldn’t do with their mobile platforms. My path seemed clear. I’d spend weeks developing design schemes and blueprints.

I kept this dream alive until grade 12. Grade 12 was a year of many changes and realisations. One realisation came when I participated in the Canada Wide Science Fair with a friend. My project was on biofuels, and working on this project was the first time I seriously doubted my decision of going into the computer industry. “Bioengineering,” I said. “That’s what I’ll study.”

Of course that too changed when I started university. I began volunteering in a solar fuels lab at McGill, and I instantly fell in love with the field. My passion only became stronger when I took a course that married electrical engineering, my major, with materials science.

So why am I telling you this? Whether you have an incredibly detailed agenda of where you’re going with your life or if you have no idea what you’re going to major in, it never hurts to explore. If I could sum up the first year of university with one word, that word would be “change.” I went from living with my parents, to living in a dorm, to living in my own apartment. I got my first summer internship at a research lab. I met people from every corner of the world and made friends that I never imagined making. I took a philosophy class that opened my eyes to so many sociopolitical issues. Somewhat of an introvert in high school, I even began going out every weekend. And, I jumped off a plane fourteen thousand feet above the ground, counting on a parachute to deploy correctly.

My advice to you is make the most of your first year. Join things you would have never thought of joining. Do things you had never imagined doing. And, maybe, even join MSURJ. You’ll meet some of the brightest people who are working on mind-boggling research. You’ll entrench yourself in the final step of the scientific process: peer review. You’ll form many opinions, gain many experiences, make many new friends. But one thing you’ll never do is regret.

But only if you take that small step.

Meet MSURJ: Sapan


I was born and raised in Northern New Jersey, and am a third-year student pursuing an Honours Anatomy and Cell Biology degree with a minor in Neuroscience. I have worked as an undergraduate researcher in McGill’s Department of Anatomy, and am excited to be this year’s Managing Editor, Finance for McGill’s Science Undergraduate Research Journal.


Although I am currently a researcher in the Department of Anatomy, I have worked in other labs concentrating in neurophysiology, organic chemistry, and genetic engineering. I am also an avid lacrosse and volleyball player, love to watch netflix, hang out with friends, and go restaurant hopping. I enjoy traveling and listening to music, particularly hip-hop and rap. I have also participated in Model UN as a delegate and staffer at both the high school and collegiate levels, having previously served as a Coordinator for McMUN 2015, and am looking forward to serving on the McMUN 2016 Secretariat as Chief Financial Officer.

Meet MSURJ: Tatiana


Hello readers! My name is Tatiana Alejandra Sanchez, and I am in the fourth year of my undergraduate studies at McGill University. I am majoring in Honours Psychology (B.Sc) with a minor in Interdisciplinary Life Sciences. I plan on pursuing clinical psychology next year, and my research interests reflect this. I am currently working in Dr. David Dunkley’s clinical psychology lab at the Jewish General Hospital. My study involves looking at the correlation between depression and perfectionism in depressed patients.

I was initially drawn to MSURJ because it embodied what I wished to be a part of in university – a community with a commitment to research, and an assiduous focus on writing. Being an editor of this journal has been a worthy learning experience because it gave me a first-hand look at how articles are proofed, how peer-editing works, and how engaged our undergraduate authors are in the expansive McGill research domain. I also got to work with the most dedicated and brilliant people I have ever met. Although biased, I definitely recommend picking up a copy of our latest issue!

Meet MSURJ: Adam

Hello friends!

My name’s Adam and I’m the Managing Editor for Outreach on MSURJ! I’m studying biochemistry and will be entering the fourth and final year of my undergrad at McGill. With a new school year comes a new edition of MSURJ, and I am very excited to see what’s going to be published in this year’s journal!

This summer, I’m conducting research at the Goodman Cancer Center here at McGill. My project is a mix of genetics and biochemistry, as I’m looking at the oncogenic properties of a magnesium transporter-phosphatase complex. The key technique I’ve been implementing to conduct this investigation is CRISPR, a novel genome editing tool.

In the past few years, CRISPR has received widespread attention due to its potential to allow targeted editing of genomes with high fidelity. CRISPR is precise down to a nucleotide resolution, and thus the extent of genome editing is almost limitless. Of note, CRISPR is being investigated to fix deleterious mutations that are caused by genetic disorders. While a seemingly huge step forward, there are a whole range of technical, ethical, and financial issues facing the field. If you’re interested in learning more, check out this interest piece in nature:

And that’s it for me! To all those undergrads currently conducting research, I wish you good luck on your summer adventures and I highly recommend you consider submitting to MSURJ. To those currently not involved in undergrad research, I would definitely recommend giving it a try as research can be a very eye-opening experience. And to all those currently looking for a research position, don’t give up— you’ll find the right lab for you soon!