The Organizers

The Toronto RNA Club is primarily organized by a group trainees (graduate students and post-docs) who are highly motivated in establishing a more tight-knit RNA community. If you are interested in participating or would like to share your ideas, feel free to email us with your suggestions.


Image from iOS (2)Giovanni Burke

Giovanni is a PhD student in the Greenblatt Lab at the University of Toronto, based in the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research. He is investigating the role of C2H2-zinc finger proteins in post-transcriptional nucleotide modification of mRNA (the ‘epitranscriptome’) and their effects on gene expression through interactions with m6A-related proteins. As an organizer, Giovanni hopes to foster an environment for RNA biologists in Toronto and beyond to meet, interact and share their exciting research, ideas, wisdom, insight, to build friendships, and inspire collaborations.



Marjan Moallem

Marjan Moallem is a PhD student in Dr. Emanuel Rosonina’s lab at York University. Her graduate research is focused on exploring the effect of global levels of sumoylation, a post-translation modification, on gene transcription. These include the transcription of genes that are important for translation. Marjan hopes to expand the RNA community network across the GTA and connect with trainees and researchers who are excited about the intriguing world of RNA.


242699321_601054814246200_1344269884163184451_n copyNujhat Ahmed

Nujhat Ahmed is a PhD student in Dr. Jack Greenblatt’s lab at the University of Toronto. Her research is focused on identifying and characterizing novel regulators of alternative cleavage and polyadenylation (APA) through the use of genome-wide CRISPR screens. Additionally, she utilizes biochemical approaches to investigate the role of C2H2-zinc finger proteins in post-transcriptional regulation, primarily focusing on APA. As an organizer of the Toronto RNA Club, she aspires to bring together experts in the RNA field and facilitate exchange of exciting ideas among RNA enthusiasts.


unnamedKyra Kerkhofs

Kyra is a Ph.D. student in the Bayfield lab at York University. She is investigating the function of the RNA-binding protein La in tRNA precursor processing and mRNA translation during cellular stress. As an organizing member of the RNA club, she wants to help with creating an environment for junior and senior RNA scientists in sharing their work and meeting other interesting researchers in the field.


Picture1Farnaz Mansouri-Noori

Farnaz is a PhD student in Dr. Mark Bayfield’s Lab at York University. Her research involves characterizing the function of La-related proteins in the yeast S. pombe and in humans. She is interested in all aspects of RNA biology, especially mRNA translation and decay. As a Toronto RNA Club organizer, Farnaz is excited to facilitate interactions between numerous international RNA research groups and in doing so encourage communication, new ideas, as well as collaborations.


We would also like to thank our amazing faculty advisors for their mentorship and guidance.

      Palazzo lab | Claycomb lab


  • Eesha Sharma
  • Cigdem Sahin
  • Matthew Hildebrandt
  • Eliza Lee
  • Ashley Campbell
  • Nevraj Kejiou