Elena Kuzmin

Canada Research Chair Tier II in Synthetic and Functional Genomics; Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Centre for Applied Synthetic Biology, Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics, Concordia University; Adjunct Professor, Department of Human Genetics, Goodman Cancer Institute, McGill University
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Elena Kuzmin received an undergraduate degree in human biology and zoology at the University of Toronto, M.Sc. in laboratory medicine and pathobiology at the SickKids Research Institute, followed by a Ph.D. in molecular genetics at the Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto. As a PhD student under the supervision of Profs. Charlie Boone and Brenda Andrews she studied how multiple genetic determinants combine to affect fitness. She conducted pioneering studies on mapping complex genetic interactions in yeast and showed their key role in the genotype-to-phenotype relationship. She then conducted her postdoctoral fellowship at the Goodman Cancer Institute, McGill University, supervised by Prof. Morag Park. As a postdoctoral fellow she continued to investigate how mutations in multiple genes drive cancer. She characterized the evolution of chromosome 4p loss in triple negative breast cancer by constructing the largest available evolutionary trajectory for TNBC. She showed that chr4p is loss is frequently recurrent, associated with poor prognosis, evolves early in cancer and confers onto cells a proliferative and mesenchymal state. This provides new insight into TNBC, a hard-to-treat cancer with the worst survival compared to other breast cancer subtypes. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Concordia University and Canada Research Chair Tier 2 in Synthetic and Functional Genomics. She is cross-appointed to the Goodman Cancer Institute and the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University. Her main research area is integrative synthetic and functional genomics, with a focus on complex genetic interaction networks in yeast and human cells.