Abigail (Abby) Gerhold, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Biology

abigail.gerhold [at] mcgill.ca

Abby received a BA in English from Cornell University in 2002. She discovered her love of development and genetics as a research assistant studying maize leaf patterning in the lab of Dr. Sarah Hake (UC Berkeley). Genetics lead her to Drosophila and she carried out her PhD in the lab of Dr. Iswar Hariharan (UC Berkeley) investigating the genetic control of cell proliferation during imaginal disc regeneration. She then switched coasts, switched model organisms (again) and became a life-long devotee of microscopy, while carrying out her postdoctoral studies in the labs of Drs. Jean-Claude Labbé (Université de Montréal, IRIC) and Paul Maddox (UNC Chapel Hill). When not at the microscope, she enjoys lattes, spending time with her two occasionally delightful children, being outdoors and reading Scottish crime novels.

Lina Mougharbel, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

lina.mougharbel [at] mcgill.ca

Lina received her PhD in Biology from Concordia University in 2018. During her PhD research, Lina worked on developing consolidated bioprocessing competent Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains for application in the production of cellulosic ethanol. Lina's postdoctoral research is focused on the impact of caloric restriction on mitosis in the germline stem cells of C. elegans.

Mohamed Réda Zellag, BSc

MSc Student

(joint with Labbé lab)

mohamed.reda.zellag [at] umontreal.ca

Réda received a BSc in biological sciences from the Université de Montréal (UdeM) in 2018, while also completing research internships in the lab of Dr. Marc Drolet (UdeM) and of Dr. Jean-Claude Labbé (UdeM, IRIC), where he began to work on C. elegans. Between programming and microscopy, he is currently continuing his studies at the master's level under the direction of Dr. Jean-Claude Labbé (UdeM, IRIC) and Dr. Abigail Gerhold (McGill). Reda is trying to identify the different technical factors that can affect the division of germline stem cells (GSCs) in C. elegans during live cell imaging. During his MSc, he wants to demystify the relationship between GSC mitotic spindle orientation and the maintenance of germline tissue organization. Fun fact - Réda has been passionate about fishing since he was 8 and has been manipulating worms for years, but never imagined that worms would follow him during his studies.

Ramya Singh, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

(joint with Labbé lab)

ramya.singh [at] mcgill.ca

Ramya received her PhD from the University of Calgary where she worked in Dr. Dave Hansen's lab. Her PhD thesis was focused on characterization of the Derlin protein, CUP-2, in promoting stem cell proliferation in the C. elegans germ line. She loves working with worms and hopes she will still be picking worms for many more years to come. Her postdoctoral research is focused on understanding how rachis bridges behave during germ cell mitosis.

Alison Kem-Seng, MSc

PhD student

alison.kem-seng [at] mail.mcgill.ca

Alison comes from New Caledonia and received a MSc in the Biology of Reproduction from Paris Diderot University in France. She did her internship in Katja Wassmann's Lab (UPMC) and worked on SAC control and the CPC during mouse oocyte meiosis II. As she likes to travel and discover new things, she has decided to change cities and change models. As a PhD student, she will study how SAC strength differs between cells in the somatic and germline lineage in C. elegans embryos and how these differences are linked to PAR-mediated cytoplasmic asymmetries.

Eric Cheng

MSc Student

eric.cheng [at] mail.mcgill.ca

Eric received his BSc in Biology from Queen’s University in 2019. He was first introduced to C. elegans while doing his Honours research project under the supervision of Dr. Ian Chin-Sang (Queen’s University). His project involved studying a role for a kinesin-like protein, KLP-20, in microRNA regulation. His MSc research is focused on the insulin signaling pathway and whether it regulates mitosis in the germline stem cells of C. elegans. Eric will never say no to coffee, food, or a chat. He is a lifelong Toronto Maple Leafs fan, enjoys being active and loves to nerd out about space.

Joleen Santos

MSc Student

joleen.santos [at] mail.mcgill.ca

Joleen received her BSc in Biological Sciences from MacEwan University in 2018. During her undergraduate studies, she examined symbiodinium fluorescence as a proxy for coral health under the supervision of Dr. Ross Shaw. As a MSc student, she will research mitotic regulation in the germline stem cells of C. elegans. Outside the lab she enjoys collecting records and playing the guitar.

Undergraduate Researchers

Robert Kidd

Yasmine Azzi

Yifan Zhao

Leah Mappalakayil

BSc Microbiology and Immunology

BSc Interdepartmental Honours in Immunology program

BSc Pharmacology

BSc Honours in Biology & Computer Science

Sydnee Hall

BSc Biology

Elizabeth Cowper

BSc Biology & Computer Science


Office: 514.398.6423

Lab: 514.398.6427

abigail.gerhold [at] mcgill.ca


Office: Stewart Biology N5/7

Lab: Stewart Biology N5/2

1205 Avenue Docteur Penfield
Montreal, QC H3A 1B1


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