In January, 2020, the Foundation established support for a one-year Fellowship in the Laboratory of Dr. Ryan Morin, in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University. The purpose of this support was for continuation of expert staffing for completion of the genomic sequencing and analysis of the adult BL cases from the BLGSP, and for development of abstracts/manuscripts to convey the data findings. For the period of January 2020 through July 2020 the recipient of this support is Dr. Bruno Grande who worked full time on the BLGSP. From August 2020 and through the end of the year the support will be provided to Ms. Nicole Thomas who works full time on the BLGSP, and Dr. Kostiantyn Dreval, who will work part time on the BLGSP.
Bruno Grande, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Simon Fraser Univ. (until August 2020)
The first recipient of this Foundation support was Bruno Grande Ph.D. Dr. Grande completed his Ph.D. requirements in December 2019 under the supervision of Dr. Morin. During the course of his Ph.D. studies, he co-authored 15 peer-reviewed publications; he was awarded 16 scholarships and fellowships; and he presented 7 talks and 12 posters at both local and international conferences, including genomic findings from the BLGSP pediatric cases at the ASH Annual Meetings, the AORTIC Conference on Cancer in Africa, and the International Student Research Forum.
Ms. Nicole Thomas
Ph.D. Student, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Simon Fraser Univ.
Also receiving Foundation support to work full time on the BLGSP adult cases is Ms. Nicole Thomas. After graduating with honors from Simon Fraser University, Ms. Thomas continued working as a research assistant in the Morin lab where she is also a Ph.D. student. Her research focus is to characterize the genomic and molecular landscapes of adult BL and how they differ from that of pediatric BL. The research further involves investigating genomic, transcriptomic, and epigenomic differences between EBV+ and EBV- BL, and how both the human and EBV genomes can co-evolve to offset overall cell survival.
Kostiantyn Dreval, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Simon Fraser University
Working part time on the BLGSP genomic data, is Dr. Kostinantyn Dreval, who joined the Morin lab as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in August 2020. Before joining the lab, Dr. Dreval conducted original research in the area of cancer epigenomics and transcriptomics at the University of New Mexico. Working on the BLGSP, he will apply his skills in bioinformatics to uncover genomic features of BL, focusing on comparing the genomic and molecular characteristics of adult and pediatric BL, EBV+ and EBV- BL, as well as endemic and sporadic BL.