1 Aug: The Pai Lab is awarded a 2023 Cancer Research Society Operating Grant. The award is $125K CDN over two years, and will fund research into the developmental origins of Group 3 and 4 medulloblastoma, the most common malignant childhood brain cancer. Using single-cell multi-omics, the Pai Lab is linking gene regulation in the developing human hindbrain to those in tumours, to identify what changes may drive developing brain cells to oncogenesis, and eventually discover how to reverse these in cancer. Federico Gaiti (UHN) is a co-investigator on the grant.

31 Jul: Upcoming talk alert! Shraddha Pai will be giving a talk on “Developmental epigenomic origins of Group 3 and 4 medulloblastoma at the 2023 Canadian Cancer Research Conference in Halifax, N.S., November 12 - 14.

11 - 13 Jul: Pai Lab attends the 2023 Human Cell Atlas meeting held in Toronto. Ian Cheong presented a poster on his work finding evolutionarily recent gene regulatory networks in the developing human hindbrain, and link to Group 3 and 4 medulloblastoma.

27 - 28 June: Shraddha Pai leads the 2023 Canadian Bioinformatics Workshop on “Analysis Using R”, with co-instructor Delaram Pouyabahar, Chaitra Sarathy, and with Ian Cheong as Teaching Assistant.

29 May: Welcome to Xinghan Sun!
Xinghan is a direct-entry PhD candidate in the Medical Biophysics department at the University of Toronto, and will be conducting his doctoral research in the Pai lab.

21 - 26 May: Shraddha attended the Gordon Research Conference on Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics in Italy, and presented a poster on ongoing single-cell and bulk tissue transcriptomic and DNA methylomic characterization of the fetal origins of Group 3 and 4 medulloblastoma.

8 May: Welcome to Ellen Mak!
Ellen is a 4th year Hon. Chemical Biology student at McMaster University. Ellen will spend May - December 2023 in the lab, developing a CRISPRi pilot. This work is tied to studying the developmental origins of Group 3 and 4 medulloblastoma and will be used to validate putative drivers of oncogenesis in cell culture models.

8 May: Welcome to Mingjie Zhao!
Mingjie is a senior BMath Data Science candidate at the University of Waterloo. He will spend summer 2023 in the lab working on optimizing a software pipeline for WDR family target prioritization. This project is a collaboration between the Adaptive Oncology and Drug Discovery teams at OICR to discover novel cancer therapeutics, funded by FACIT, OICR’s commercialization partner.

17 Apr: Our study on the genetics of peri-adolescent cognition is out in Cerebral Cortex! This work identifies SNPs within the FBLN1 locus as associated with performance in nonverbal reasoning in peri-adolescents, and integrates pharmacogenetic, GWAS, single-cell marker, and epigenomic maps to implicates genes relevant for performance in working memory performance.

14 Apr: Ian Cheong was selected to present a short talk to accompany his poster presentation at the Keystone Symposium on “Single Cell Biology: From Development to Cancer” this June. Ian will be presenting his single-cell genomics analysis to identify evolutionarily recent gene regulatory networks in the developing cerebellum, which may be involved in oncogenesis of pediatric medulloblastoma. Congratulations, Ian!

31 Mar: Shraddha Pai is a co-author on a study prototyping point-of-care detection technology for SARS-CoV-2 using quantum dot barcoding technology. The study titled, Genotyping SARS-CoV-2 Variants Using Ratiometric Nucleic Acid Barcode Panels, was published in Analytical Chemistry.

6 Mar: Welcome to Paul Wambo! Paul joins the lab as a Bioinformatics Research Associate working on epigenomic biomarker discovery and machine learning projects for precision medicine.

16 Feb: The Pai Lab is awarded $100,000CDN for a CIHR Project Grant Priority Announcement for Pediatric Cancer Research. This grant is a collaboration with the Gaiti Lab (Princess Margaret) and Stein Lab (OICR). The funds will support single-cell genomic studies of the developmental origins of pediatric medulloblastoma.

9 Jan: Welcome to Alex Chan and Soumya Menon! Alex and Soumya are University of Waterloo undergraduate co-op students in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematical Physics, and will spend four months in the Pai Lab. Alex’s project involves visualization of gene regulatory networks in the fetal hindbrain. Soumya will develop .


21 Oct: The study using COVID Schools Canada crowdsourced data in epidemiological analysis is out in eLife. COVID Schools Canada was a project led by Shraddha Pai and the epidemiological analysis was led by Dr. Paul Tupper of Simon Fraser University. Congratulations to the COVID Schools Canada team!

1 Jun: Ian Cheong is awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship at the Department of Medical Biophysics. Congratulations, Ian!

30 Apr: Ian Cheong is awarded an Canada Graduate Scholarship at the Master’s level, from the Department of Medical Biophysics. Congratulations, Ian!

11 Apr: Shraddha Pai is awarded an NSERC Discovery Grant award. Congratulations, Shraddha!

30 Mar: The Pai Lab is on a team awarded a PROSPECT Oncology award from FACIT, OICR’s commercialization partner. The award will support algorithm development for discovering novel cancer therapeutics and is a collaboration between OICR’s Adaptive Oncology team headed by Lincoln Stein and the Drug Discovery team headed by Rima Al-Awar. Read the press release here.

1 Jan: Welcome to Ian Cheong! Ian joins the lab as a Master’s candidate in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto.


4 Jan: The Pai Lab starts at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research in Toronto.