2021 MRM Talks: Dr. Arezu Jahani-Asl, Dr. Ahmad Sharanek and Dilan Rasool


The MRM Network presents: the MRM Talks. Join us every fourth Thursday at noon to learn more about stem cells and regenerative medicine. The webinar series will feature leading scientists in the field, including MRM Principal Investigators and external guest speakers.

For each seminar, we will also highlight the work of one MRM Trainee, who will present alongside our guest speaker.

In this edition of the MRM Talks:

Dr. Arezu Jahani-Asl,
Associate Professor of Oncology
McGill University

“Cytokine regulation of glioma stem cell fate and glioblastoma resistance to therapy”


Dr. Ahmad Sharanek,
Postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Jahani-Asl’s Lab

“Regulation of glioma stem cell fate by a novel galectin1/HOXA5 transcriptional pathway”

Dilan Rasool
Ph.D. Candidate in Dr. Jahani-Asl’s Lab

“Regulation of neural stem cell fate by a novel PHF6/EphR transcriptional pathway”

12:00 – 1:00 PM


About the speakers:

Dr Jahani-Asl Completed her undergrad at U of T, and grad studies at U Ottawa, followed by post doc studies at Harvard Medical School and OHRI. She joined faculty at McGill in July 2015 and is affiliated with LDI, Exp Med, IPN, and Oncology departments. Her research is centered on how rewiring of neural stem cells alter neurodevelopmental programs and lead to brain diseases. Specifically, she investigates several main areas of research: a) inherited genetic defects that impair neural stem cell fate specification and hardwiring of the brain leading to intellectual disability and b) genetic alterations that leads to malignant transformation of neural stem cells in glioblastoma brain tumors, and c) developing methods to target brain tumour stem cells in glioblastoma tumours in order to overcome tumour recurrence and therapeutic resistance. Her research involves the use of neural stem cells and brain tumor stem cells from rodent models, patient derived brain tumor stem cells, as well as loss and gain of function studies in these cells, in combination with imaging, genomics, proteomics, and drug screen approaches.

Dr. Ahmad Sharanek is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Arezu Jahani-Asl in the department of Molecular and Regenerative Medicine at the LDI. He joined the laboratory of Jahani-Asl after completing his PhD degree from Rennes 1 University in France, where he studied the mechanisms of drug-induced liver injury. His main research interest in the Jahani-Asl lab is to study the underlying molecular mechanisms of glioblastoma pathogenesis. The objective of Ahmad Sharanek work is to better understand how the carbohydrate binding proteins control glioma stem cell fate. He is using a combination of molecular biology and biochemistry, transcriptomics and proteomics technologies, neural stem cells, genetically-engineered mouse models and patient-derived xenograft models, to unravel the mechanisms by which galectin family of proteins contribute to glioma stem cell tumorigenesis and glioblastoma resistance. These studies will provide key steps towards understanding of key regulators of glioblastoma tumorigenesis and help in identifying new targets for glioblastoma therapy.

Dilan Rasool is a second year PhD student in Dr. Arezu Jahani-Asl’s lab located at the Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish General Hospital. Dilan received a B.Sc. in 2019 from Carleton University where she majored in Neuroscience and Mental Health and minored in Psychology. She then went on to fast track to the PhD program in Experimental Medicine in 2020. Dilan’s research focus is on intellectual disability and neural stem cells during development. Her study is on the role of a zinc-finger protein, PHF6, and the pathogenesis of a rare x-linked intellectual disability, Borjeson-Forssman-Lehmann.


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