The inaugural NMD4C basic science research summer school for neuromuscular research trainees will be held over May 27th-28th, 2024 in Montreal, QC. 

This annual summer school will serve to provide lecture-based and hands-on training workshops to neuromuscular trainees in cutting-edge wet lab and bioinformatics techniques, while providing an environment for trainees to present their research and network in-person with colleagues and senior investigators from across Canada.

Supporting preclinical trainees and scientists is a key focus of the network, and we are aiming to make this event as accessible as possible for trainees to attend from across Canada. There will be no registration fee and support will be available for accommodation in Montreal and for travel. 

2024 Summer School Program and Themes

A draft program for the summer school is available here. Please note this is not the final program and may be subject to change.

Themes

Cell Culture Modelling

Cell culture models derived from patient biopsies, identification of biomarkers, and the use of AAV for rapid genetic manipulations and development of individual based therapeutic approaches (led by Dr Benoit Gentil)

Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics analysis of bulk and single-cell RNA-sequencing data sets (led by Dr Martine Tétreault)

Speakers

The annual NMD4C summer school will provide several lecture-based training sessions in cutting-edge wet lab and bioinformatics techniques. See the list of confirmed speakers and presenters below.

Dr. Élise Duchesne

Associate Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi | Researcher, Groupe de recherche interdisciplinaire sur les maladies neuromusculaires (GRIMN)

Dr. James Dowling

Professor, Pediatrics and Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto | Pediatric Neurologist, Senior Scientist, Program of Genetics and Genome Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children

Dr. Hanns Lochmüller

Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute | Professor of Neurology, University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine and The Ottawa Hospital Department of Medicine

Dr. Christopher Perry

Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, Associate Director of the Muscle Health Research Centre at York University

Dr. Vahab Soleimani

Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology, University of Ottawa

Further lectures from:

  • eNUVIO, a Montreal-based science startup company

Eligibility Criteria

Placements at the summer school are subject to a competitive application process. Successful applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • A NMD4C member
  • Current full-time graduate student, postdoctoral research fellow, or other junior research staff* conducting neuromuscular disease-focused research at a Canadian institution**.

*Participation of junior research staff will be based on placement availability; graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will be given preference.  
**Placements may be restricted to one trainee per lab based on the number of applications received.  

Application Process & Guidelines

The full application guidelines are available here.

Applicants will need to include the following in their application: 

  • Contact information: Applicants must include their name, email, institution, role, their supervisor(s) contact information, and neuromuscular disease(s) researched. 
  • Research and Training Goals: Applicants must provide a short paragraph describing why they would like to attend the summer school, how they anticipate this to benefit their training and career goals and how the training may be impactful for their home lab and research colleagues. 
  • Flash Talks: Attendees will be invited to give a short (<3-min.) flash talk on their NMD research as a form of introduction at the beginning of the summer school. Applicants must indicate their interest in giving a flash talk. 
  • CV: Maximum of 4 pages, PDF attachment. Please ensure your CV includes your education, research experience, professional affiliations and activities, publications, presentations and awards.
  • Accommodation and Travel Bursaries: For non-local applicants, applicants will need to indicate whether they would like university accommodation during the summer school, and if they would like to be considered for a travel bursary. 
  • Supervisor Approval: Applicants will require their supervisor’s approval to attend the summer school. Supervisors must sign the approval form to be uploaded during the application.

Please complete the application in English as the summer school will be delivered in English.

Accommodation and Travel Bursaries

  • Accommodations: We will provide university accommodation (Carrefour Sherbrooke) for non-local attendees from May 26-28.
  • Bursary: We have a limited number of bursaries available for non-local attendees’ travel to/from the summer school in Montreal.

Selection

  • 30 applicants will be chosen based on training and career goals, commitment to NMD research, and equity, diversity, inclusion, and indigeneity. 
  • Priority will be given to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. 
  • The number of participants attending per lab may be limited.

Deadline

  • Competition Opens: January 9, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 27, 2024
  • Anticipated Notice of Decision: mid-March 2024