My own research focuses on the genetics of complex developmental disorders, especially schizophrenia and serious congenital cardiac disease, as well as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and other disorders associated with major structural changes in the human genome. My work shows how translating relevant genetic findings into the clinic can help patients and their families. Of many colleagues at IMS who have encouraged me through various stages of my career are Mary Seeman, Brenda Toner and, even before she became Dean in 2005, Cathy Whiteside.
I supervise graduate students and other students and trainees at all levels affiliated with IMS and in 2017 I received the IMS Mel Silverman Mentorship award. Amongst many highlights over the years are my most recent three PhD students. Greg Costain, an MD/PhD student was awarded a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, and 2012 CIHR Institute of Genetics Lap-Chee Tsui Publication Award. He defended his thesis containing 8 published papers after just 3.5 years in 2013. Nancy Butcher defended her thesis containing 6 published papers, supported by a CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship and Brain Canada Training Award. Chelsea Lowther, now a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard on a CIHR Fellowship, defended her thesis in November 2017 with 8 published papers, transferring in 2014 from a Masters program at IMS supported by Open Fellowship awards, to a CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship for her PhD.
Between these three IMS students, we have published over 60 papers, a testament to the productivity boost of successful IMS students. Greg, Nancy and Chelsea have also all participated actively in IMS and University activities, including the IMS Magazine, have mentored other students and are well on their way to launching their own scientific careers.