Cohort III - SN Biomedical

Our third cohort of trainees began their deepYellow Challenge with SN Biomedical in January 2021. They are looking forward to tackling a unique challenge with a growing Canadian start-up.

Admissions

  • Competitive funding opportunities are available for Undergraduate, MSc, PhD, and post-doctoral positions. Interested applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale in their last two years of undergraduate studies, although applicants with a lower GPA are encouraged to apply if they have sufficient research and/or industry experience.
  • Applications are now open for September 2021 program start (see below). For more information on our next intake please contact the program coordinator, Laura Keffer-Wilkes.
  • This opportunity is open to Canadian and international students. RNA Innovation supports efforts to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEM and thereby encourages applications from all underrepresented groups.

Trainee Applications

Please submit the program application form, along with two (2) reference letters, and transcripts to admin@RNAInnovation.ca no later than April 2, 2021 at 11:59 PM.

Application (English)

Application (French)

Current Trainee Openings

Please note: these are just to highlight specific trainee position openings and are not an exhaustive list.

Make sure you reach out to RNA Innovation faculty for more available positions!

Positions available at Université de Sherbrooke

Undergraduate, Master and Ph. D. positions with Dr. Sherif Abou Elela

Département de microbiologie et d’infectiologie
Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé
Université de Sherbrooke

Projects:

  • Ribosome biogenesis and functional diversity
  • Introns mediated regulation of splicing and nutrients sensing
  • Cancer RNomics and noncoding RNA

Research Interest:

The long-term goal of the Abou Elela lab is to develop and exploit a comprehensive molecular understanding of the mechanism governing RNA metabolism and its contribution to cancer biology. The lab studies introns function,  alternative splicing and ribosome biogenesis in yeast and link them to key features of cancer cells like proliferation, cell survival and resistance to starvation. Hence while this research provides useful knowledge, it may also lead to important relief for many individuals and reduce healthcare costs.

Expertise:

Transcriptomics – genomics –  bioinformatics – yeast genetics – single molecule analysis –  system biology – High-contents screens

Salary: According the U de Sherbrooke levels

Special Conditions: Canadian or permanent resident

For more information visit: http://abouelela.recherche.usherbrooke.ca/en/index.php

Positions available at University of Lethbridge

Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Nehal Thakor

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

University of Lethbridge

Open position: One opening for the postdoctoral fellow in the area of cellular and molecular biology is available in the Thakor Research Group at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

The project to be completed falls under the general theme of cellular and molecular biology, with applications to human health, which builds on the expertise in the Thakor lab. In broad terms, the aim of the project to be explored by the postdoctoral fellow is to investigate the regulation of protein synthesis in stress and oncogenesis.

The project is focused on studying the mechanistic details of the non-canonical translation initiation. The candidate will utilize various in vitro and in cellulo experimental setup.  Previous research experience in the field of biochemistry and/or molecular biology is required. Key technical skills required are mammalian tissue culture, RNA structure-function analysis, protein expression and purification, Western blot, RNAseq & qRT-PCR, and gene expression. Skills in RNA genomics and bioinformatics will be an asset.   

The ideal candidate is motivated, creative researcher looking for a stimulating work environment, and careful mentorship. Strong communication skills and a good work ethic are essential. Preference will be given to the candidates who are eligible to apply for NSERC and CIHR postdoctoral fellowships. The selected candidate will also apply for the RNA Innovation opportunity (https://rnainnovation.ca/program/applications/).

The postdoctoral fellow will take up a position at the University of Lethbridge (UofL). The UofL provides a dynamic research environment with groups working on biochemistry, biological sciences, neuroscience, and other areas of basic sciences. Thakor lab’s affiliations with various institutes including the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Canadian Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, and Southern Alberta Genome Science Centre as well as the Department of Biological Sciences will provide integrated and collaborative research and training opportunities. The Thakor lab has established various collaborations in and outside of Canada, providing access to research facilities and scientific expertise beyond the University of Lethbridge.

The UofL is located in Lethbridge, which is the largest city in southern Alberta, Canada, populated by about 100,000 people. It is favorably situated within driving distance of many attractive destinations, including the Rocky Mountains, Waterton Lakes National Park, the cities of Calgary and Edmonton, and ski resorts including Castle Mountain, Fernie, BC, and Whitefish, Montana, USA.

Please send a letter of motivation, current curriculum vitae, and contact information for at least three references to nthakor@uleth.ca. We thank all interested candidates; however, we will contact selected candidates only.

For further details, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Nehal Thakor at nthakor@uleth.ca.

Undergraduate Opportunities

The RNA Innovation Undergraduate Research Award aims to encourage students to undertake RNA-related research projects and advance their training at the University of Lethbridge or the Université de Sherbrooke. Students will receive the chance to learn more about the RNA Innovation training program and meet with current trainees and participate in program events.

The RNA Innovation Undergraduate Research Award is valued at $1125/semester.

Applications are now open! All application documentation is due no later than April 2, 2021 at 11:59 PM.

More details on the award and how to apply can be found here.

The deepYellow Research and Development Challenge​

deepYellow 2
deepYellow 1

Achieve your R & D goals while saving approximately $150,000 per year

Industry partners will have the opportunity to work with a team of highly motivated M.Sc., Ph.D., and Post-doctoral trainees over the course of a year. The team will carry out a collaborative R & D challenge that meets the needs of the partner company.  Past projects have involved developing a prototype nucleic acid-based pesticides. Our team will provide excellent documentation/reports of all experiments and procedures.

The deepYellow Challenge

RNA Innovation is an industry stream NSERC CREATE funded program that has a mandate to partner with biotech companies to help the Canadian bioeconomy flourish, while training highly-qualified personnel. Industry partners will propose an R & D challenge to a cohort of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Trainees will work on the challenge for 120 hours per semester for three consecutive semesters in SynBridge: a highly-equipped synthetic biology incubator at the University of Lethbridge. Financial support (cash or in-kind) for the operation and administration of the challenge will be provided by the industry partner, while trainees will be funded through the RNA Innovation program. This structure will allow for savings of approximately $150,000 per year in staff funding for the industry partner, while also achieving their R & D goals.

Benefits to your company

  • Access to a world-class synthetic biology incubator space including a fully-equipped biochemistry lab (FPLC, FACS, centrifugation, imagers, microscope, etc).
  • Access to a team of highly motivated, NSERC funded graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.
  • Participation in the Program Committee to ensure alignment of the program with industry needs.
  • Significant savings for R & D.
  • Graduates of the RNA Innovation program will be uniquely trained, “job-ready” with knowledge of applied and basic research, and possess a diverse set of leadership skills. This multidisciplinary background will make them ideally suited to careers in a multitude of biotechnology fields and participating industry partners will have increased access to highly qualified personnel upon their graduation.

Industry Partners Responsibility

  • Work with trainees to tackle R & D challenges.
  • Provide mentorship and expertise to trainees.
  • Work together to apply research and develop a final product.
  • Encourage project management and entrepreneurial skills.
  • Provide on-site industry training.
  • After trainees complete the program, industry will have access to highly-qualified personnel for hire, and will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on training.

IF YOU ARE interested Contact the RNA Innovation Program coordinators at admin@RNAInnovation.ca to discuss partnerships and support opportunities.

What is RNA Innovation?

The next revolution in biotechnology will be rationally designed
ribonucleic acid (RNA)-based systems, molecular machines and
devices. To prepare the next generation of RNA
researchers, the University of Lethbridge, Université de
Sherbrooke, and industry collaborators, have come together to
offer the RNA Innovation program. This unique partnership
will produce highly qualified personnel with skills in
advanced RNA research, scientific leadership, and industry
experience.

The RNA Innovation program is comprised of two key components, an entrepreneurial research and development challenge (deepYellow Challenge) and an extensive internship program (the Twinning Program). In the deepYellow Challenge, trainees will collaborate as a team to solve a complex scientific problem proposed by the program’s industry partners. Through the Twinning Program, all trainees will be matched with a specific industry internship, providing students with mentorship and a personalized networking experience. Contacts developed during this time will be extremely beneficial to the trainees for their future transition into the workforce.

Scientific Leadership Course

All RNA Innovation trainees complete a course in Scientific Leadership. This course will provide trainees with a well-rounded and current understanding of scientific ethics, issues regarding gender and minority representation, and professional communication. Experts in these fields will be brought in to facilitate learning and lead discussions. Students are expected to be involved in the selection of appropriate literature, preparation of presentations and written reports, and discussion of papers. Additionally, as part of the course, students will prepare their thesis project proposal. 

Our fall 2020 course will be instructed by Dr. Ute Kothe, University of Lethbridge.

Course Structure

gender and minority representation

• Students will explore and assess the challenges faced by minorities and women pursuing science
• Current understanding of implicit bias, consequences of the imbalanced representations for
society and for the economy
• Methods to support appropriate gender and minority representation
• Work-life balance issues

Integrity & Ethics

• Conflicting ethical and/or professional obligations (e.g. whistle blowing)

• Scientific fraud and how to make better ethical decisions

• “Gain-of-function” research and its ethical assessment

• Ethical dimensions of potential therapies

Professional Communication

• Written communication: emails, formal reports, reference letters, blogs, scientific publications and newspaper articles
• Communicating with diverse audiences, networking, communication with
supervisors and senior administrators, and the public.
• Preparing letters, newspaper articles, and presentations to children and youth.

Learn More About Dr. Ute Kothe

Sharing A Passion for Science

Why Dr. Kothe Chose Science

Why RNA Matters, with Dr. Kothe

Program Overview

Introduction

RNA Innovation is a unique partnership between the University of Lethbridge, Université de Sherbrooke, and industry collaborators, providing trainees with an exceptional learning experience.

This NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) funded program aims to produce highly qualified personnel with skills in advanced RNA research, scientific leadership, and industry experience.

RNA Innovation is an intensive program allows trainees to work with industry, while pursuing their graduate studies or post-doctoral work. Graduates of the RNA Innovation program will be uniquely trained, “job-ready” with knowledge of applied and basic research, and possess a diverse set of leadership skills.

The Details

RNA Innovation is the ideal program for students and post-doctoral fellows that desire real-world, hands-on experience during their research program. In addition to academic and research skills, trainees will develop skills in management, leadership, communication, teaching, integrity and ethics through complementary workshops and courses.

Our trainees gain industry experience through two key components, (1) an entrepreneurial research and development challenge (the deepYellow Challenge), and (2) an extensive internship program (the Twinning Program). In the deepYellow Challenge, trainees will collaborate as a team to solve a complex scientific problem proposed by the program’s industry partners. Through the Twinning Program, all trainees will be matched with a specific industry internship, providing students with mentorship and a personalized networking experience.

Participation in the deepYellow Challenge will encourage development of project management and entrepreneurial skills. While contacts developed during Twinning Program  internships time will be extremely beneficial to the trainees for their future transition into the workforce.

All trainees are required to participate in a Scientific Leadership course. Modules covered include professional communication, integrity & ethics, and leadership with respect to gender and minority representation.

Additional workshops will be offered to provide additional skills to supplement our trainee’s learning experience.

Funding

Funding provided by RNA Innovation offers competitive stipends for trainees. Undergraduate students receive up to $4,000 for summer placements, MSc students receive up to $10,000 per year for two years, PhD students receive up to $10,000 per year for three years, post-doctoral fellows receive $30,000 per year for two years. RNA Innovation funding can be combined with additional funding resources. 

synthetic_biology_header_3-2

Timeline

While our program is tailored to meet the needs of each individual trainee, below is a typical timeline for an MSc trainee. 

The student will complete their typical thesis work over two years, while spending 120 hours per semester on the deepYellow Challenge. Typically, in the fall semester of their first or second year the student will take the Scientific Leadership course. For 20 % of their time the student will work as an intern in the biotechnology sector. This can be done as a single internship, or broken up into two or more shorter internships. Throughout the program the student will be able to attend several networking fairs, conferences, and workshops to add value to their training. 

We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Graduate Students

Jessica Semmelrock
Jessica SemmelrockM.Sc. Student
Wieden Group, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Daniel Rocca
Daniel RoccaM.Sc. Student
Kothe Group, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Rebecca Jeong
Rebecca JeongM.Sc. Student
Wetmore Lab, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Julia Guegueniat
Julia GuegueniatPost-Doctoral Fellow
Kothe Group, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Laurence Faucher Giguere
Laurence Faucher GiguerePh.D. Student
Abou Elela & Scott Labs, Department of Microbiology and Infectiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke
Bimaldeep Singh
Bimaldeep SinghM.Sc. Student
Wetmore Lab, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Nathania Takyi
Nathania TakyiM.Sc. Student
Wetmore Lab, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Emily Wilton
Emily WiltonPh.D. Student
Wieden Group, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Dina Hussein
Dina HusseinPh.D. Student
Lafontaine Lab, RNA Group, Department of Biology, Université de Sherbrooke

News & Events

Internship Placements

Events

STEM Fusion – March 5, 2020

The inaugural networking event was co-hosted by Campus Alberta Neuroscience, Office of Research Services, Agility and RNA Innovation. Highlights included a keynote address from Connor Batchelor of Aurora Cannabis. RNA Innovation trainees presented as part of the Catalyst Talks and were able to meet one-on-one with industry partners.

The second STEM Fusion Event is being planned for May 3, 2021.

RNA Innovation Networking – Nov 19, 2020

While we weren’t able to meet in-person, trainees were still able to participate in a networking event. Trainees received advice on CV/resume prep, good job seeking skills, and met several industry partners. Question and answer sessions with FREDSence, Corteva, TATUM, Molecular Forecaster, SN Biomedical and Amino Labs provided the trainees opportunities to learn about different career pathways and emerging technologies.

Scientific Leadership Course

"This class has given me practice in basic professional skills that will help me succeed."

Daniel Rocca

The practical applications of RNA research and innovation has never been more prominent than in 2020 with the development of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccines. The joint RNA Innovation program at the University of Lethbridge and Université de Sherbrooke aims to create scientific leaders in RNA research. This unique NSERC CREATE program enables trainees to gain relevant industry experience through industry-driven R&D challenges and internship placements. In addition, trainees participate in the RNA Innovation Scientific Leadership course (BCHM5850/7850). Developed by the U of L Board of Governors’ Teaching Chair, Dr. Ute Kothe, this exclusive course brought together students from around the world.

“During the Fall 2020 semester, we had students participating from Lethbridge and Sherbrooke, as well as India and Egypt,” explained Dr. Kothe. “We knew this course was going to have students spanning across Canada due to the unique nature of the RNA Innovation program. But due to the pandemic, we had students stuck outside of Canada still able to actively participate.”

Throughout the course, trainees received comprehensive training in leadership skills including scientific ethics and integrity, equity, diversity, and inclusion as well as professional communication.

“This course is a great supplement to any graduate student education,” says Emily Wilton, a first year U of L PhD student.

A wide variety of guest speakers were brought in to offer their unique perspective on scientific leadership, including Dr. Sarah Viehbeck, Associate Vice-President, Research Programs – Strategy at CIHR. In her talk, she discussed issues involving equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) at granting agencies and what these agencies are doing to address unconscious bias.

“It was shocking and surprised me (…) to know about the type of bias that exists,” expressed Bimaldeep Singh, a U of L MSc student currently still in India. “(Understanding) the presence of bias in ourselves, knowingly or unknowingly, helped me clear up my mind towards implicit bias.”

Collaborating with Dr. Michael Stingl and his graduate students, Michaela Thompson & Jodi Newman, from the U of L Department of Philosophy, RNA Innovation trainees discussed the ethics and integrity needed to make tough decisions.

“Being ethical should be the most dominant trait not only as a scientist but as a human,” says Riya Roy, U of L MSc student. “I was introduced to a totally unknown philosophical world. The simplified presentation, along with our comprehensive discussions gave a new dimension to my current thought process.”

Teamwork and collaboration were strong themes throughout the course and gave students an opportunity to gain different perspectives. Most projects were completed in groups, and frequently the students grappled with controversial topics in debates.

“The most effective portion of this class was the collaborative aspect of the group meetings,” said Daniel Rocca, a first year MSc student at U of L. “The benefit to the class was that overall, it prepared me for my transition to being a grad student. Moving into grad studies felt like there were more expectations on me despite not being any more prepared for them. This class has given me practice in basic professional skills that will help me succeed.”

Dr. HJ Wieden, Director of RNA Innovation explains “the RNA Innovation Scientific Leadership course is helping to prepare the next generation for the complicated world of work. We are teaching them not only cutting-edge RNA research but how to be critical and inclusive leaders in their field.”

Dr. Kothe is looking forward to teaching the next cohort this fall.

Cohort II - Corteva Agriscience

Continuing on the success of Cohort I, Corteva has once again paired up with the RNA Innovation program. Trainees as part of Cohort II will continue to develop an RNAi-based pesticide treatment for clubroot. 

RNA Innovation is a unique partnership between the University of Lethbridge, Université de Sherbrooke, and industry collaborators, providing trainees with an exceptional learning experience during their graduate studies program.

A college city of over 100,000 people, Lethbridge is located in the southwest corner of Alberta. With an average of 320 days of sunshine each year, there are many opportunities to enjoy all that this region has to offer. Our location is in close proximity to some of the best ski resorts in the world, iconic national parks, the U.S. border, and the city of Calgary. 

We are proud to work in the Science Commons:

Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

Located just south of Montreal, Sherbrooke is situated at the confluence of the St Francis and Magog rivers. With just over 160,000 residents, it is the sixth largest city in Quebec. 

Overview

Industry Experience

The major advantage of RNA Innovation will be access to industry collaborations. Each trainee cohort will work together with an industry partner to solve an R & D problem as part of the deepYellow Challenge. Together the trainees will learn to apply their research training, work as a team, and develop a final product. Trainees will also receive funding for on-site industry training and project development through the Twinning Program. All participants will be matched with a specific internship, receive mentorship and a personalized networking experience.

Professional Skills

In addition to academic and research skills, trainees will develop skills in management, leadership, communication, teaching, integrity and ethics through complementary workshops and courses. Participation in the deepYellow challenge will encourage development of project management and entrepreneurial skills. Additional workshops providing some theoretical foundation in management will supplement the trainee’s learning experience. All trainees will be required to participate in a new graduate level Scientific Leadership course. Modules will include professional communication, integrity & ethics, and leadership with respect to gender and minority representation.

Highly Qualified Personnel

Graduates of the RNA Innovation program will be uniquely trained, “job-ready” with knowledge of applied and basic research, and possess a diverse set of leadership skills. This multidisciplinary background will make them ideally suited to careers in a multitude of biotechnology fields. RNA Innovation is the ideal program for students that desire real-world, hands-on experience during their research program. Funding is available for graduate students (MSc and PhD), as well as undergraduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Details on the application process can be found below.
Click here

Time line

RNA Innovation is an intensive program and requires commitment from the trainee and support from their supervisor. All RNA Innovation commitments are in addition to any graduate program thesis requirements. A typical 20% of the graduation timeline is meant for internship, however, some students may deviate depending on internship placements and research requirements.

Funding Opportunities

Funding provided by RNA Innovation offers very competitive funding for trainees. Undergraduate students receive up to $4,000* for summer placements MSc students receive up to $10,000/year* for two years PhD students receive up to $10,000/year* for three years Postdoctoral fellows receive $30,000/year* for two years *RNA Innovation funding can be combined with other funding resources. See Trainee Program Guidelines for institution specific funding information.
Click here

Add value to your graduate degree

RNA Innovation is an intensive program allows you to work with industry, while you are pursuing your graduation. Which enables the industry experience, further open doors to industry jobs.
We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

deepYellow Challenge

Industry partners wil engage with the deepYellow team through different phases of the challenge to provide a collaborative R&D environment and participate on the Program Committee to ensure alignment of the program. Financial support (cash or in-kind) for the operation and administration of the deepYellow challenge will be provided by the industry partner, while trainees will be funded through the RNA Innovation program. This structure will allow for savings of approximately $150,000/year in staff funding for the industry partner, while also achieving their R&D goals.

Clubroot in Canola

We are proud to introduce our RNA innovation, Cohort1, which is a combination of graduate students with talented postdoctoral fellows. Our team collaborated with the Corteva Agriscience company for our first Industrial collaboration and decided to work on Clubroot pathogen, which is causing significant damage in Canola fields. Our team using RNAi based approach to eradicate Clubroot pathogen in a non-GMO manner.

Industry expertise

RNA innovation is an great program designed to have industry experience at your door steps during your graduation. All graduate students are encouraged to work 120 hours per semester in industry project for one year as part of the program.

Cohort I - Corteva AgriScience

We are proud to introduce our RNA innovation, Cohort I, which is a combination of graduate students with talented postdoctoral fellows. Our team collaborated with the Corteva Agriscience company for our first Industrial collaboration and decided to work on Clubroot pathogen, which is causing significant damage in Canola fields. Our team using RNAi based approach to eradicate Clubroot pathogen in a non-GMO manner. Team members presented to the Canola Council of Canada Clubroot Steering Committee, as part of the RiboClub Annual General Meeting, and STEM Fusion Networking Event.

Graduate Students

Tithi Ghosh
Tithi GhoshPh.D. Student
Lafontaine Lab, RNA Group, Department of Biology, Université de Sherbrooke
Morgane Da Rocha
Morgane Da RochaPh.D. Student
Bell Lab, Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke
Gaspard Reulet
Gaspard ReuletM.Sc. Student
Scott Lab, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke
Riya Roy
Riya RoyM.Sc. Students
Zovoilis Lab, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Hoang Dong Nguyen
Hoang Dong NguyenPh.D. Student
Scott Lab, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke
Damian La Rosa Montes
Damian La Rosa MontesM.Sc. Student
Kothe Lab, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Makay Murray
Makay MurrayM.Sc. Student
Wetmore Lab, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Amanda Vazquez Gonzalez
Amanda Vazquez GonzalezPh.D. Student
Wieden Group, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge

University of Lethbridge Faculty

Dr. Hans-Joachim Wieden
Dr. Hans-Joachim WiedenProfessorhj.wieden@uleth.ca
Director of RNA Innovation and the Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, University of Lethbridge.
Dr. Ute Kothe
Dr. Ute KotheProfessorute.kothe@uleth.ca
Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge.
Dr. Stacey Wetmore
Dr. Stacey WetmoreProfessorstacey.wetmore@uleth.ca
Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge.
Dr. Marc Roussel
Dr. Marc RousselProfessorroussel@uleth.ca
Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge.
Dr. Olga Kovalchuk
Dr. Olga KovalchukProfessorolga.kovalchuk@uleth.ca
Board of Governors Chair in Cancer, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Lethbridge.
Dr. Athanasios Zovoilis
Dr. Athanasios ZovoilisAssistant Professorathanasios.zovoilis@uleth.ca
Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Dr. Nehal Thakor
Dr. Nehal ThakorAssociate Professornthakor@uleth.ca
Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge.

Université de Sherbrooke Faculty

Dr. Michelle Scott
Dr. Michelle ScottAssociate Professormichelle.scott@usherbrooke.ca
Department of Biochemistry and Functional Genomics, Université de Sherbrooke.
Dr. Jean Pierre Perreault
Dr. Jean Pierre Perreault ProfessorJean-Pierre.Perreault@usherbrooke.ca
Department of Biochemistry and Functional Genomics, Université de Sherbrooke.
Dr. Sherif Abou Elela
Dr. Sherif Abou ElelaProfessorSherif.Abou.Elela@usherbrooke.ca
Department of Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Université de Sherbrooke.
Dr.  Francois Bachand
Dr. Francois Bachand Associate ProfessorFrancois.Bachand2@usherbrooke.ca
Department of Biochemistry and Functional Genomics, Université de Sherbrooke.

Graduate Students

Mehar Gayatri
Mehar GayatriPh.D. Student
Kothe Group, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Sydnee Calhoun
Sydnee Calhoun M.Sc. Student
Wieden Group, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Prakash Chukka
Prakash ChukkaM.Sc. Student
Wetmore and Thakor Groups, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Kristi Turton
Kristi TurtonM.Sc. Student
Wieden Group, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Keith Aubrey
Keith AubreyM.Sc. Student
Thakor Group, Alberta, RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge
Matthew Stuart-Edwards
Matthew Stuart-EdwardsPh.D. Candidate
Zovoilis Group, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge

Post Doctoral Fellows

Dr. Preethi Seelam Prabhakar
Dr. Preethi Seelam PrabhakarPost Doctoral Fellow
Wetmore Group, Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge

What is RNA Innovation?

The next revolution in biotechnology will be rationally designed
ribonucleic acid (RNA)-based systems, molecular machines and
devices. To prepare the next generation of RNA researchers, the University of Lethbridge, Université de Sherbrooke, and industry collaborators have come together to offer the RNA Innovation program. This unique partnership will produce highly qualified personnel with skills in advanced RNA research, scientific leadership, and industry experience.

The RNA Innovation program is comprised of two key components: an entrepreneurial research and development challenge (deepYellow Challenge) and an extensive internship program (the Twinning Program). In the deepYellow Challenge trainees will collaborate as a team to solve a complex scientific problem proposed by the program’s industry partners. Through the Twinning Program, all trainees will be matched with a specific industry internship, providing students with mentorship and a personalized networking experience. 

We encourage companies interested in biotechnology, biofuel production, agriculture, forestry, bioremediation, resource extraction, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and life sciences to contact the RNA Innovation Program Coordinator to discuss potential partnerships and support opportunities.

We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

The Twinning Program

Overview

Our program offers competitive funding for roughly 10 trainees—MSc and PhD students, and post-doctoral fellows per year. As an RNA Innovation-funded trainee you must spend at least 20% of your time in an industrial setting.

Our current trainees have valuable expertise in biochemistry, bioinformatics, computational chemistry, and experimental biophysics and are based in Quebec and Alberta.

We hold a semi-annual networking fair that brings together prospective internship providers and trainees. Industry partners will provide guaranteed internships for trainees. Funding for travel and salary will be provided through the RNA Innovation grant, thus saving the industry partner roughly $10,000 per trainee.

Our Partners

FREDsense combines biology and engineering to detect chemicals in your water. Their portable field kits are fast, sensitive, and require no training to use. Spend less time acquiring your water quality information and instead focus on making active decisions affecting your infrastructure. The Field Ready Electrochemical Detector® (FRED), is fast & sensitive, achieving trace detection of select chemicals (down to 1 ug/L – ppb), and is easy to use.

Corteva Agriscience™ is the only major agriscience company completely dedicated to agriculture. By combining the strengths of DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences, they’ve harnessed agriculture’s brightest minds and expertise gained over two centuries of scientific achievement. 

Steeper Energy is a world leader in the development of advanced biofuels from low-value biomass, such as residues and wastes from the agriculture and forest industries. Steeper Energy’s Hydrofaction® produces drop-in renewable fuels with high energy density enabling the heavy transport sector to seamlessly transition to low carbon fuels. With an experienced team of world  class talents and strong industrial partnerships, Steeper is a leader in the realization of a low-carbon transport future.

Chinook Contract Research (CCR) is a small Canadian Contract Research Organization specializing in providing antimicrobial claims support to medical device developers and providing large animal field trial services for pharmaceutical manufacturers in the food animal production chain. Recently much of this work has been focused on the development of several leading pain control products.

Our Co-Ordinators

Dr. Laura Keffer Wilkes
Dr. Laura Keffer WilkesCo-Ordinator 1

Justin Vigar M.sc
Justin Vigar M.scCo-ordinator 2

Industry collaborations

RNA Innovation will facilitate industry access to trainees through the deepYellow Challenge and Twinning Program internships. Industry partners will engage with the deepYellow team through different phases of the challenge to provide a collaborative R&D environment and participate on the Program Committee to ensure alignment of the program. Financial support (cash or in-kind) for the operation and administration of the deepYellow challenge will be provided by the industry partner, while trainees will be funded through the RNA Innovation program. This structure will allow for savings of approximately $150,000/year in staff funding for the industry partner, while also achieving their R&D goals. The semi-annual networking fair will bring together prospective internship providers and trainees for the Twinning Program. Industry partners will provide guaranteed internships for approximately 3 months per year. Funding for the trainee’s travel and salary will be provided through the RNA Innovation grant, thus saving the industry partner almost $10,000 dollars/trainee

GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare‘s broad expertise is expansive and their continuous innovations to reduce costs, increase patient access, and improve product and process quality have made them a leader in many fields.
Aterica Inc
Aterica Inc is a consumer-focused digital health company that aims to help families and individuals actively manage their health. They are a rapidly growing company and are eager to participate in the deepYellow Challenge and RNA Innovations internships in the future.
Corteva Agriscience
Corteva Agriscience (DowDuPont) is committed to RNA Innovation’s research collaboration and will be the first sponsor for the 2019 deepYellow Challenge. They are a global leader in both Seeds and Crop Protection, with an interest in expanding their technology base and research infrastructure.

L’innovation en ARN facilitera l’accès de l’industrie aux stagiaires grâce aux stages deepYellow Challenge and jumelage Program.

Les partenaires de l’industrie s’engageront avec l’équipe deepYellow à travers différentes phases du défi afin de fournir un environnement collaboratif de R&D et de participer au Comité du programme pour assurer l’alignement du programme. Le soutien financier (en espèces ou en nature) pour le fonctionnement et l’administration du défi deepYellow sera fourni par le partenaire de l’industrie, tandis que les stagiaires seront financés par le programme d’innovation ARN. Cette structure permettra d’économiser environ 150000 $/an de financement du personnel pour le partenaire de l’industrie, tout en atteignant leurs objectifs R&D.

La Foire semestrielle de réseautage réunira les futurs prestataires de stages et stagiaires pour le programme de jumelage. Les partenaires de l’industrie fourniront des stages garantis pendant environ 3 mois par an. Le financement du voyage et du salaire du stagiaire sera assuré par le biais de la subvention de l’innovation ARN, ce qui économisera le partenaire de l’industrie près de $10 000 dollars/stagiaire.

Corteva Agriscience (DowDuPont) est engagée dans la collaboration de recherche de RNA innovation et sera le premier sponsor du 2019 deepYellow Challenge. Ils sont un chef de file mondial en matière de semences et de protection des cultures, avec un intérêt à élargir leur base technologique et leur infrastructure de recherche.

Aterica Inc est une entreprise de santé numérique axée sur le consommateur qui vise à aider les familles et les individus à gérer activement leur santé. Ils sont une entreprise en croissance rapide et sont désireux de participer aux stages deepYellow Challenge et RNA innovations à l’avenir.

Les vastes compétences de GE Healthcare sont étendues et leurs innovations continues pour réduire les coûts, augmenter l’accès des patients et améliorer la qualité des produits et des procédés en font un chef de file dans de nombreux domaines.

Our Program Coordinators

Laura Keffer-Wilkes, PhD
Laura Keffer-Wilkes, PhDCurrent Program Coordinatoradmin@RNAInnovation.ca
Justin Vigar, MSc
Justin Vigar, MScFormer Program Coordinator

Les demandes pour le programme d’innovation d’ARN ouvriront le 11 janvier et ferment le 1 avril, 2020 à 23 h 59 HNM. Les étudiants actuellement inscrits ou acceptés dans des études supérieures sont encouragés à postuler. Les étudiants admis dans RNA innovation peuvent commencer leurs études en septembre 2020.

Les demandeurs intéressés devraient avoir un GPA minimum de 3,5 au cours de leurs deux dernières années d’études de premier cycle, bien que les demandeurs ayant un GPA inférieur soient encore encouragés à postuler s’ils ont une expérience de recherche et/ou d’industrie suffisante.

Veuillez soumettre:

  • Formulaire de demande
  • Deux lettres de référence d’arbitres universitaires ou de l’industrie
  • Relevés de notes (premier cycle, MSc, PhD, selon le cas)

Les documents d’application peuvent être envoyés à admin@RNAInnovation.ca. Cette occasion est ouverte aux étudiants canadiens et internationaux. Nous encourageons les étudiants internationaux intéressés à étudier à l’Université de Lethbridge à postuler à des études supérieures pour le 1er février date limite pour éviter les problèmes de visa et un retard à leur départ dans le programme. Les femmes et les minorités visibles sont vivement encouragées à postuler. 

Les stagiaires postdoctoraux doivent avoir complété leur doctorat au cours des cinq dernières années pour être admissibles à participer à une initiative CREATE. Le congé parental pris pour le relèvement ou l’élevage des enfants n’est pas compté dans le cadre de la période de cinq ans.

Afin de participer au programme d’innovation ARN, les étudiants doivent également être inscrits dans l’une des institutions participantes. L’application à l’ARN innovation est destinée à l’attribution des bourses et à la participation au programme. Bien que l’acceptation dans l’innovation ARN ne garantit pas l’acceptation à votre établissement, être accepté dans le programme avec une bourse accordée pourrait avoir un impact positif sur votre demande académique.  Veuillez consulter les liens pour plus d’informations sur la façon de postuler pour les études supérieures:

Université de Lethbridge

Université de Sherbrooke

 

RNA innovation est un partenariat unique entre l’Université de Lethbridge, l’Université de Sherbrooke et des collaborateurs de l’industrie, offrant aux stagiaires une expérience d’apprentissage exceptionnelle au cours de leur programme d’études supérieures.

Le programme du formation orientée vers la nouveauté, la collaboration et l’expérience en recherche (FONCER) du CRSNG vise à produire du personnel hautement qualifié possédant des compétences en recherche avancée en ARN, en leadership scientifique et en expérience dans l’industrie.

Expérience de l’industrie

L’avantage majeur de l’innovation ARN sera l’accès aux collaborations de l’industrie. Chaque cohorte de stagiaires travaillera en collaboration avec un partenaire de l’industrie pour résoudre un problème de R & D dans le cadre du défi deepYellow. Ensemble, les stagiaires apprendront à appliquer leur formation en recherche, à travailler en équipe et à développer un produit final.

Les stagiaires recevront également un financement pour la formation de l’industrie sur place et l’élaboration de projets par le biais du programme de jumelage. Tous les participants seront jumelés à un stage spécifique, recevront un mentorat et une expérience de réseautage personnalisée.

Compétences professionnelles

En plus des compétences académiques et de recherche, les stagiaires développeront des compétences dans la gestion, le leadership, la communication, l’enseignement, l’intégrité et l’éthique grâce à des ateliers et des cours complémentaires.

La participation au défi deepYellow favorisera le développement de la gestion de projet et des compétences entrepreneuriales. D’autres ateliers qui fournissent des bases théoriques en gestion compléteront l’expérience d’apprentissage du stagiaire.

Tous les stagiaires seront tenus de participer à un nouveau cours de leadership scientifique de niveau supérieur. Les modules comprendront la communication professionnelle, l’intégrité et l’éthique, et le leadership en ce qui concerne la représentation des sexes et des minorités.

Personnel hautement qualifié

Les diplômés du programme d’innovation ARN seront formés de façon unique, «prêts à travailler» avec la connaissance de la recherche appliquée et de base, et possèdent un ensemble diversifié de compétences en leadership. Cette formation multidisciplinaire les rendra parfaitement adaptés aux carrières dans une multitude de domaines biotechnologiques.

RNA innovation est le programme idéal pour les étudiants qui désirent une expérience pratique dans le monde réel au cours de leur programme de recherche. Le financement est offert aux étudiants diplômés (MSc et PhD), ainsi qu’aux étudiants de premier cycle et aux boursiers postdoctoraux. Vous trouverez des détails sur le processus de demande ici.

Calendrier

L’innovation d’ARN est un programme intensif de deux ans et exige l’engagement du stagiaire et le soutien de leur superviseur. Tous les engagements d’innovation ARN s’ajoutent à toute exigence de thèse de programme d’études supérieures. Une chronologie typique des stagiaires est décrite ci-dessous, mais certains étudiants peuvent s’écarter en fonction des stages et des exigences de recherche.

Possibilités de financement

Financement fourni par

RNA innovation offre un financement très compétitif pour les stagiaires.

  • Les étudiants de premier cycle reçoivent jusqu’à $4 000 * pour les stages d’été

  • Les étudiants du MSc reçoivent jusqu’à $10 000/an * pendant deux ans

  • Les doctorants reçoivent jusqu’à $10 000/an * pendant trois ans

  • Les boursiers postdoctoraux reçoivent $30 000/an * pour deux ans

* Le financement de l’innovation ARN peut être combiné avec d’autres ressources de financement. Voir les directives du programme de formation pour des informations sur les financements spécificques à​ chaque institution.

Ajoutez de la valeur à votre diplôme d’études supérieures!

We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Cette recherche a été financée par le Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada (CRSNG).