Barbara Mainoli

Medical School Student

I completed a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia in 2017 and am now pursuing a degree in Medicine at University College Dublin. My research is focused on using proteomics and bioinformatics to identify biomarkers of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The pathogenesis of IBD is relatively unknown, hence causative treatment is unavailable. By determining key biomarkers of IBD, I’m hoping to elucidate more information on the pathogenesis of these conditions, as well as identify potential therapeutic targets.

Anthonia Anowai

Graduate MSc Student

I completed my BSc., major in Biology, minor in Chemistry, from the University of Alberta in 2018. My Masters research focuses on determining the role of Calpains in chronic inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Calpains are an endogenous family of proteases that initiate cell-signaling pathways when activated by calcium. They have been associated with detrimental tissue degeneration across several disease profiles including Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A), Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and RA. I hope to identify and characterize novel substrates of Calpain 1 and Calpain 2 within the network of collagen and proteoglycan in arthritic joints, using proteomics and bioinformatics. The elucidation of calpain interactions in prolonged rheumatism can point to new drug targets for more encouraging RA prognosis. I also enjoy volunteering within the Calgary community and I am a certified makeup artist!

Henna Sekhon

Undergraduate Student

I am an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Sciences (BSc) at the University of Calgary. My research is focused on the biological processes of cancer, tumor development and metastasis. Using proteomics, I am investigating spontaneous tumors located within muscle tissues that arise from Kras/Tp53 mutations. I am interested in understanding, on a system-wide level, how cancer cells have a competitive advantage over normal cells and what precise signaling pathways are involved. Through my research, I will be able to better understand the biology of muscle tumors and their effect on the the immune system.

Maggie Chopra

Undergraduate Student

I am an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours (BHSc). I am currently investigating the role of macrophages during inflammatory and immune responses in demyelinating disease such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Macrophages are important effector immune cells involved in the pathogenesis of demyelination. Unfortunately, Canada has one of the highest rate of MS in the world, with an estimated 1 in 340 Canadians living with the disease. As an active volunteer with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, I am currently investigating the protective and pathogenic roles of immune cells in brain diseases with a focus on multiple sclerosis to better understand this autoimmune disease.

I am also the co-founder of, a crowdsourcing and social connection to provide resources, education, information and support to diminish disparity around the world and heal the future of humanity one kid at a time.

Zoe Myers

Undergraduate Student

Zoe is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Sciences Honours (BScH) with a specialization in life sciences. She is currently involved in investigating the role of Calpain-3 in muscular dystrophy type 2A through employing novel techniques including proteomics. Her research interests include finding biomarkers for various diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis. In her spare time, Zoe enjoys volunteering at senior homes and is an active member of the curling community.

Colette Benko

Undergraduate Student

Colette is an undergraduate student researcher pursuing her BMSc at The University of Western Ontario. While in high school, she investigated epigenetic and nuclear transport inhibitors' ability to induce differentiation in pediatric cancer, winning both national and international recognition. She has now expanded her studies during her undergrad to include cancer metabolism and neurogenesis. As the youngest of 30 individuals chosen to represent Canadian women in STEM, Colette is humbled with the privilege to share her love of science with the community. Outside of her studies, Colette believes in making curiosity accessible for all students and helping people share their stories as an avid storyteller herself. Colette aspires to further her research and attain her MSc and PhD.

Mikaela York

Undergraduate Student

I am an undergraduate student pursuing my Chemical Engineering Degree at University of Calgary with a specialization in Biomedical Engineering. Previous to entering engineering, I completed an Exercise Science Program. I am currently researching the health consequences of strenuous extended activity.

In my spare time I can be found training to compete as a Varsity Cross Country/ Track & Field athlete or volunteering with organizations such as Robogals to increase the diversity and female representation in STEM fields.

Kimberly Main

Undergraduate Student

Kimberly is an undergraduate student pursing a Bachelor of Science Honours (BScH) with a specialization in Kinesiology at Queen’s University. Her current research involves using quantitative N-terminomic profiling of Crohn’s Disease serum and colonic biopsies. She is interested in using the inflammatory and fibrosis-associated signalling mechanisms with Crohn’s disease to identify precision medicine-based approaches for diagnosis and treatment. Kim is an active member of the dance community and works as a student Athletic Therapist for the Queen’s University varsity teams through the year.