About the Organizers

Sameen Ahmed


Sameen is a fourth-year PhD student in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto in Dr. Philipp Maass’ lab. She is currently exploring the role of long non-coding RNAs in gene regulation and genome organization during human chondrogenesis. As a returning member of the TREnD organizing committee, Sameen is excited to continue to be involved in the RNA community.

Pallavi Pilaka

I am a graduate student in the department of Cell and Systems Biology in John Calarco’s lab at the University of Toronto. I am currently studying the tissue- and species-specific alternative splicing in C. elegans. I joined TREnD to learn more about RNA and to help build and stronger and more diverse RNA community in Toronto.

Giovanni Burke

Giovanni is a fourth year PhD student in the Greenblatt Lab at the Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto. He is investigating the role of C2H2-zinc finger proteins in the post-transcriptional nucleotide modification of mRNA (the ‘epitranscriptome’) and their effects on gene expression through interactions with modification-related proteins. Giovanni is excited to be part of the TREnD team in fostering new connections and bringing together people interested in RNA at all stages in their careers.

Yifan (Eva) Wang

Eva is a PhD student in Dr. Alex Palazzo’s lab at the University of Toronto. She is currently studying the role of nucleoporins in mRNP maturation in mammalian cells. She joined TREnd to meet people in the RNA community and learn about cool and exciting RNA research. 

Giacomo Furlan

Giacomo is a post-doctoral fellow at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute in Pr. Miguel Ramalho-Santos lab. He is working on dissecting the role of small RNAs in intergenerational inheritance in response to environmental perturbations. Giacomo is excited to meet other trainees working on RNA research in the next TREnD!

Evelyne Collignon

Evelyne is a post-doctoral fellow in Pr. Miguel Ramalho-Santos’ lab, at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. She is interested in exploring the role of RNA modifications, such as mRNA methylation, in the biology of pluripotent cells and cancer. She is happy to join the TREnD team this year and connect with other RNA enthusiasts.


Mathias Renaud, Negin Khosraviani, Lamisa Mizan, Janine Truong, Amanda Charlesworth, Lauren Ostrowski, Marat Mufteev, Matthew Hildebrandt, Akashdeep Dhillon, Geraldine Seydoux, Eesha Sharma, Nevraj Kejiou, Amanda Hall, Julia Sobotka, Monica Wu, Miranda Wang, Chris Wedeles, Melissa Wong, Danielle Bilodeau, Ashrut Narula.


Dr. Julie Claycomb


Julie Claycomb is an Associate Professor in the Molecular Genetics Department at the University of Toronto. Work in the Claycomb lab focuses on understanding the mechanisms of germline small RNA pathways using the nematode C. elegans as a model system.

Dr. John Calarco


John Calarco is an Assistant Professor in the Cell and Systems Biology Department at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on understanding mechanisms governing post-transcriptional gene regulation in the nervous system, with a particular focus on alternative splicing. John is excited to be serving as a faculty mentor for TREnD.