Editorial Team


Rachel La Selva 
Shawn (Zhuo) Shao

Managing Editor

Lee Sterling


Andrei Dan
Jessie Kulaga-Yoskovitz


Ania Syrowatka
Laura Labonté
Matthew Ades
Matthew Dankner

Section Editors

alexandre bélanger
Darya Naumova
Nick Distasio
Íçten Meraṣ

Jack Lam
Milani Sivapragasam
Nicolas Sheppard-Jones
Stephanie Scala

Online Editors

Allister Smith
Sondos Zayed

Rachel La Selva is a third year PhD student in Experimental Medicine at McGill University. Her research focuses on the relationship between oxidative stress and chemosensitivity in breast cancer. She also completed her BSc at McGill University where she gained leadership experience as president of a student advocacy group interested in university research patent and licensing policies. Improving people’s health and protecting people’s right to health care has been a consistent theme throughout her life and her diverse experiences ranging from the McGill Global Health Network to the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy have allowed her to see the medical field from many perspectives. She hopes to continue this pursuit of knowledge as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the MJM where her main goals are to build a solid and modern platform where students can exchange ideas on multiple aspects of medicine, have the opportunity to test the quality of their scientific method through the peer-review process and showcase their research projects. She is looking forward to working with this year’s qualified team of editors to reach these goals.
Shawn (Zhuo) Shao is a fourth year medical student with a PhD in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from McGill University and Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Neurovascular Development from Harvard Medical School. During his post-graduate studies, he served in numerous leadership roles focusing on establishing communication between the faculty and the student body. His passion in publishing and editing has led him to the management and organization of newsletters for student groups and non-for-profit organizations. He also served as a reviewer for various international peer-reviewed biomedical journals. As Co-Editor-in-Chief, his goal is to open up constructive and formal dialogues between undergraduate, graduate and medical school students in a journal format. With the help of the group of talented editors of MJM, he would hope to transform MJM into a professional journal that attracts the new generation of readers.
Lee Sterling is a third year medical student at McGill University. He is born and raised in Montreal, having gone to Cégep at Dawson College prior to completing McGill’s Med-P Program and beginning medical school. His research interests lie in clinical epidemiology with a focus in cardiovascular pharmacoepidemiology. As Managing Editor of the MJM, he hopes to continue to expand the journals online presence and establish it as a strong platform for students to publish their research.



Andrei Dan is a third-year medical student at McGill University. Prior to medical school, he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University. He has diverse research experience both in the private sector and academic university settings in varied fields including ophthalmology, colorectal surgery, and tuberculosis. As a writer, he hopes he can use the skills he has obtained through his research experience to create important, interesting content that will captivate students and hopefully spurn their interest into research and publication as well.
Jessie Kulaga-Yoskovitz is a first year medical student. She holds an MSc in Neuroscience and BSc in Anatomy and Cell Biology from McGill University. For her graduate research, she used high-resolution MRI to improve diagnosis and treatment options for patients suffering from intractable temporal lobe epilepsy. During her graduate studies she held leadership roles in the Graduate Student’s Association for Neuroscience and BrainReach North (education outreach programs). Subsequently, she was Project Administrator for McGill’s Integrated Program in Neuroscience. Most recently, she served as clinical research coordinator of the natural history study of peroxisome biogenesis disorders at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. These experiences have engendered an interest in science communication and publishing. As a writer for the MJM, she looks forward to creating content that engages the scientific and medical community.
Ania Syrowatka is a PhD candidate in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University. Her interests include health services research, medical decision making, knowledge translation, patient engagement in health care, and patient safety. She has served as the student member on the external editorial board for the journal ‘Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada: Research, Policy and Practice,’ and peer-reviewed manuscripts for various medical journals. Ania strongly supports the MJM’s mandate to provide students with the opportunity to publish early in their scientific careers. She is excited to be a part of the MJM team and to help disseminate student contributions to scientific literature.
Laura Labonté is a second year medical student at McGill University. She has previously completed an MSc at the University of Ottawa in Cellular and Molecular Medicine and a PhD at McGill University in Experimental Medicine. During her PhD, she worked with patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and concomitant heart disease, trying to understand the link between the two from genetic expression, to physiological manifestation, to population impacts in Canada. She has always found translational research particularly interesting, and aims to be involved in it as much as she can. Her interest in becoming a Clinician Scientist and to be involved in biomedical publishing stemmed from these experiences.
Matthew Ades is a third year MDCM student at McGill University. His research focuses primarily on novel frailty assessment models in the vascular and cardiac surgery population. Matthew completed his undergraduate degree at McGill University in Physiology. As an editor for the MJM, Matthew hopes to encourage fellow students to partake in research and provide them with an opportunity to publish their work. He strongly supports the journal and its mission, and is eager to help the journal expand its presence on campus and abroad.

Matthew Dankner is a second year MD/PhD student at McGill. His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms driving cancer metastasis to the brain using patient derived xenograft models. He also has interests in medical education and organ donation. Matthew completed his undergraduate honours degree at McGill University in Anatomy & Cell Biology. He believes deeply in the MJM’s mission, and sees the journal as an excellent tool for students, providing them with unprecedented opportunities to publish their work and gain first hand experience in the peer review process.

alexandre bélanger is a second year medical student at McGill University. After obtaining a BA in graphic design at UQAM he worked in the industry on movie posters, books, brochures, ad campaigns, and exhibitions. He then completed a BSc in Biomedical Sciences at the Université de Montréal and has spent a few years doing research at the Montreal Heart Institute. As he believes that form and content are equally important, he plans to take advantage of his background to promote student research as an editor of the MJM.
Darya Naumova is a second year Master Student in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University. She is conducting her research at the Douglas Institute investigating the genetic causes of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. She enjoys the multidisciplinary nature of her research, where she benefits from exposure to both the clinical and biological aspects of the condition. Early in her graduate career Darya came to realize that scientist’s responsibilities extend beyond designing and conducting experiments and includes honest knowledge dissemination. The best way to do that is through faithful reporting. As a member of MJM team Darya aims to contribute to this important and often overlooked part of the scientific world.
Nick Distasio is a second year PhD student at McGill University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. His research interests lie in biomaterials and tissue engineering, specifically using engineered materials to tackle the body’s complex problems. He believes that with current advances in nanotechnology and fabrication, we are at the dawn of a very exciting era in medicine; we have the ability to fine-tune biological processes at the molecular and genetic level to more efficiently and specifically treat diseases. He is interested in editing because he is interested in all aspects of science, and wants to be at the forefront ensuring that the new and exciting research coming from tomorrow’s leaders is the clearest and most impactful that it can be.

Íçten Meraṣ is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and the Experimental Therapeutics and Metabolism Department at MUHC-RI, McGill University. She is cell biologist with a strong background in molecular biology and genetics. She is focusing on fundamental cellular signaling events that regulate metabolism to identify novel therapeutical targets for obesity and related diseases. She strongly believes that communication of research is a golden criterion in science. As a Ph.D. student, she values reproducibility of previously published work and the inclusion of negative results, which are often overlooked or underestimated in the scientific community. She is excited to be part of the MJM team, and she is looking forward to joining the MJM editorial board as a section editor where students can publish their results.


Jack Lam is an MSc student in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University. He is particularly interested in structural and functional neuro-imaging and is presently examining the role of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 in hypometabolism in mesial temporal epilepsy. He is interested in becoming involved with the MJM because he believes that encouraging student research is vital for stimulating innovation and setting up future researchers and physicians for success.




Milani Sivapragasam is an MD-PhD student at McGill University. Her research interests are in molecular oncology, cancer biology and tumor evolution. She believes the peer-review publication process is a cornerstone of biomedical research and feels fortunate to have the MJM as a student-led space to learn about and contribute to this process.


Nicolas Sheppard-Jones is a fourth year medical student at McGill University. Prior to medical school, Nicolas completed a BSc in Cognitive Science and an MSc in Neuroscience, both at McGill. His interests include quality improvement in healthcare systems, medical education and surfing.


Stephanie Scala is an MSc student in the Department of Neuroscience at McGill University. Her research focuses on drug addiction, specifically, investigating vulnerability factors that predispose individuals to develop an addiction. Her interest in academic publishing stems from a desire to promote student research and began when she was an undergraduate working as an editor for PSI: The McGill Undergraduate Psychology Journal. She looks forward to being an editor of the MJM.



Allister Smith is a first year medical student at McGill University. He has an educational background in chemical engineering and biochemistry. In a previous life, Allister worked in vaccine manufacturing. As part of the online editing team, he is excited to support student research and translate research into an online format.


Sondos Zayed is a third year Medical Student at McGill University. She completed the Med-P program after Vanier College and went on to medical school from there. She joined the McGill Journal of Medicine in order to contribute to creating a space where students can foster their scholarship and jump-start their careers in research and academia. As a medical student, she believes this is a truly meaningful endeavor. As IT officer Sondos aims to facilitate MJM’s transition to an exclusively online, comprehensive journal with a rich history of publications and research. Sondos’ research interests include but are not limited to identifying fetal biomarkers that can predict adverse outcomes in newborns.

2015-2016 Editorial Team

Rachel La Selva 
Shawn (Zhuo) Shao

Managing Editors
Lara Berliner
Rami Darwich
Marzieh Ghiasi
Laura Labonté

Associate Editors
alexandre bélanger
Nick Distasio
Alex Goldberg
Jack Lam
Kedar Mate
Jake Prillo
Stephanie Ross
Stephanie Scala
Nicolas Sheppard-Jones
Milani Sivapragasam
Maryse Thomas