About the organizers

Amanda Charlesworth


Amanda is a PhD student in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. Amanda is currently working in Dr. Julie Claycomb’s lab examining the essential Argonaute CSR-1 in the mighty nematode C. elegans. She believes the RNA community is great one especially because of it’s diversity. She believes collaboration is an essential part of moving science forward, and is excited to help organize TREnD as an opportunity for labs in the region to learn from one another.



Lauren Ostrowski


Lauren is a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Karim Mekhail’s lab at the University of Toronto. Lauren’s M.Sc. work involved characterizing the functional role of an endogenous natural antisense transcript in the regulation of Ustilago maydis teliospore dormancy. Her current Ph.D. research focuses on modelling neurodegenerative disease-linked mutations to RNA-binding proteins in budding yeast. She has a longstanding passion for the study of long non-coding RNA biology, and is excited to join the TREnD 2018 organizing committee to help facilitate discussions and collaborations amongst fellow RNA enthusiasts.



Matthew Hildebrandt


Matthew is a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. James Ellis’s lab at Sickkids. His graduate work revolved around the RNA binding protein DEAD box 1 and its role in early mouse development with Dr. Roseline Godbout at the University of Alberta. Now he studies post-transcriptional regulation in induced pluripotent stem cells as they are differentiated into neurons. Matthew joined the TREnD organizing committee to continue connecting with RNA focused researchers and assist with building a strong RNA research community.



Eesha Sharma


Eesha is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Ben Blencowe’s Lab in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. Her work focuses on advancing technologies to identify inter- and intra-molecular RNA-RNA interactions in the cell and understanding their roles in mRNA gene regulation. Science is never done in isolation and as part of the TREnD organizing committee, Eesha would like to contribute to a forum where fellow RNA researchers can get together to think critically, build upon and improve each other’s work.



Nevraj Kejiou

Nevs TREnD Heatshot

Nevraj is a Master’s student in Dr. Alex Palazzo’s lab in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto. His graduate research focuses on elucidating the role of the metabolic enzyme Pyruvate Kinase as a non-canonical RNA-binding protein. Nevraj believes that communication and collaboration is the cornerstone of amazing science. It is a great pleasure for him to serve on the TREnD organizing committee – a symposium where great science is communicated and collaboration is promoted. Last, but most definitely not least, he thinks RNA is the coolest biological macromolecule ever!




Amanda Hall


Amanda is a Ph.D.candidate in Dr. Karim Mekhail’s lab in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. Her graduate research work focuses on novel regulators of retrotransposons that move through an RNA intermediate. She is excited to be part of the TREnD organizing committee and is grateful for the opportunity to help organize a conference where students and researchers can share their findings and ideas.