Departments of Microbiology & Statistics, The University of Manitoba
Our lab applies evolutionary principles and statistical methods to understand the acquisition of stress resistance in human fungal pathogens. We are particularly interested in determining the factors that constrain and promote genotypic and phenotypic diversity in the context of drug resistance. When existing methods don't do what we need, we develop new ones!
20/05/04 We're thrilled to welcome three new undergraduate students to the MicroStats lab. Brooke Sidney, Riley Sierhuis, and Yana Syvolos in addition to Rebekah Kukurudz were all awarded undergraduate scholarships to spend the summer with us. We're starting off as a virtual group but are hoping to get back in the lab (if it's safe to do so) in the near-ish future. In the meantime, we've never been more appreciative to have a computational component of the work we do since!
20/04/27 Our first 4th year honours student, Madison Chapel, turned in a fantastic thesis. Madison followed up on work done by NSERC USRA student Quinn Wonitowy last summer. Now it's up to others in the lab to see this project across the finish line, hopefully this summer.
19/07/17 New paper it out in mBio that uses GWAS to link pathogen genotype to human immunological phenotype during cryptococcal meningitis. GWAS in microbes is rad, because it gives us a way to screen for genes of interest that can then be followed-up with targeted experiments. In this case we identified 40 genes (and 3 hypothetical RNAs) with a statistically-significant association. We then found that 6 of 17 available knockout strains had a virulence effect in mice (not finding an effect doesn't necessarily mean that the identified gene doesn't influence virulence; it could be that the knockout doesn't recapitulate the necessary effect; e.g., over-expression or mis-translation). The intersection of microbiology & statistics is a great tool for genomics research!
19/07/12 MSc student Ola Salama was awarded a prestigious University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship. Congrats Ola!
19/06/25 Experiments are underway and data is being collected. We have a student at each bench and are enjoying our first summer in operation.
18/11/07 We have space! Our first two undergrads will start working soon: Rebekah Kukurudz is waiting for biosafety training and clearance before she can start working in the lab (helping Aleeza unpack boxes and then mastering empirical yeast techniques), while Margot Henry will spend the winter semester in a co-op term analyzing evolve-and-resequence data.
18/09/01 The lab is officially a lab! It's a bit lonely and we don't have physical lab space yet so Aleeza is writing all the grants to secure funding. Will you be the first student? We're looking for undergrads, MSc and PhD students! Ongoing projects are both empirical and statistical (and a mix), so we're looking for students with diverse backgrounds and interests in microbiology, genetics, bioinformatics, biostatistics, and/or computational biology. See the People page for more information.
18/06/18 Aleeza gave a talk at the Canadian Society for Microbiology Meeting, conveniently located in Winnipeg. It was a great meeting and really fun to show non-Winnipegers around town.