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MSc Graduate Student

Your Role

Job TitleMSc Graduate Student
Duties and ResponsibilitiesThe MSc graduate student will receive mentored and supervised training in conducting cutting-edge islet biology and diabetes research using human beta cells, primary human pancreatic islets and T1D donor tissue sections. This project will involve work exclusively with human cells/tissues and donor tissue slides. The student will learn cell/tissue culture, immunohistochemistry and molecular techniques including western blotting, flow cytometry, and protein secretion assays. The student will carry out coursework in Physiology and develop proficiency in the methods for the project. The student will then carry out the experiments with supervision from Dr. Thompson and the research team. The student will assist in preparing manuscript for publication and will present their research in poster and oral formats at diabetes conferences. The student will apply for eligible scholarships and will receive top-up funding if successful.
Skills and Benefits to be Gained from this Position The MSc student will work on a collaborative team in the Thompson lab and receive training in the above techniques to carry out innovative, translational diabetes research. The student will learn how to communicate research to scientific and lay audiences through diabetes and islet biology conferences, such as through the Canadian Islet Research and Training Network (CIRTN), Diabetes Canada, and the DREAM research theme annual symposium.
Involvement of Animals, Humans and/or HazardsAnimalsNone. No animal work involved in this project.HumansNone. No live human subjects in this research project.HazardsBiohazards related to work with human cells/tissues.

How to Apply

DeadlineNovember 01, 2022
University LevelGraduate
Application MethodEmail
Required Application Materials
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Transcript
  • A statement indicating the school, program and year that you are currently enrolled in.
References2(Contact info for 2 references should be provided in the Resume/CV)
Notification ProcessDr. Thompson will review all applications and contact short-listed applicants by email to contact references and arrange interview.

The Project

Project TitleDelineating the role of prosurvival protein BCL-XL in senescent human beta cells
Project DescriptionType 1 Diabetes (T1D) is a life-long metabolic disease resulting from autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells. While most efforts at treating or preventing T1D target the immune system, research in the Thompson Lab aims to investigate the molecular mechanisms operating in beta cells that drive this disease to identify novel therapies. The Thompson lab was recently established at the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM) and is part of the Diabetes Research Envisioned and Accomplished in Manitoba (DREAM) research theme. Learn more at One beta cell stress response we are interested in is called senescence, a form of programmed growth arrest and inflammatory signaling. Senescent beta cells accumulate during T1D in humans and mouse models, and drug targeting of these harmful cells prevents T1D in mice. In order to translate this promising therapy into the clinic, we need to identify ways to successfully target senescent human beta cells. In this project, we will carry out studies to investigate: 1) the expression levels of a candidate prosurvival protein BCL-XL in senescent human beta cells in T1D donor tissues; and 2) whether small molecule inhibitors of BCL-XL can selectively trigger cell death in human beta cell culture models of senescence.
Researcher/SupervisorDr. Peter Thompson
FacultyRady Faculty of Health Sciences
Department/SchoolPhysiology & Pathophysiology

Job Terms

Number of Jobs1
Job DatesMay 01, 2023 to [tbd]The MSc is expected to take 2-3 years.
Hours Per Week35
Other InformationThis is a MSc student position. Please see guidelines on applying to the UM Physiology grad program (


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