Executive Council

Cell and Systems Biology Graduate Union


Gurdeep Singh | Co-President


Hi there! My name is Gurdeep Singh and I will serve as Co-President this year!

You can contact me at gur.singh@mail.utoronto.ca



Hayley Nelles | Co-President



Hi, I’m Hayley and I’m your Co-President this year. I am a second year Masters student researching self-incompatibility in Arabidopsis in the Goring lab.

You can contact me at hayley.nelles@mail.utoronto.ca


Matt Cumming | Treasurer



I’m a first year masters student in the Provart lab interested in plant abiotic stress signaling. When I’m not pipetting in the lab I like to eat, bike, hike, and camp whenever possible.

You can contact me at matthew.cumming@gmail.com


Linda Yang | Secretary



I study a neural mechanism that is hypothesized to underlie the generation of REM sleep muscle atonia in the Peever lab. If I’m not working on my research, you’ll likely find me climbing, hiking, or exploring somewhere new.

You can contact me at lindayang.yang@mail.utoronto.ca

Amir Arellano Saab | Communications Director


Hey! I’m Amir and I serve as the Communications Director for the CSBGU. I am a 2nd year Ph.D. Student in the McCourt lab, studying the molecular and structural evolution of parasitic receptors… cool eh?!

Have anything to say? Contact me at amir.arellano@mail.utoronto.ca

Van Phan | Fundraising Officer



I study stress-related calcium signaling in plants, with and emphasis during pathogen defense and analysis of those possible defense components involved in calcium signaling. On my spare time, I love to cook and find new places to eat.

You can contact me at van.phan@mail.utoronto.ca

Angelica Miraples | Sports Coordinator



Sonhita Chakraborty | CUPE Rep





Carina Carianopol | UTSC Rep








Ariana Besik | UTM Rep



Hello! I’m currently doing a Masters in Plant Physiology. I use chlorophyll fluorescence and other parameters to evaluate field grown families of white spruce.

 When I’m not in the field or in the lab, I enjoy camping, kayaking, watching weird movies and just hanging out with friends! I’m looking forward to representing UTM this year 🙂

You can contact me at ariana.besik@mail.utoronto.ca

Conrad Izydorczyk | First-Year Rep



Hi, my name is Conrad and I am your First Year Rep for this upcoming year. I am a 2nd-year Master’s student in the Guttman lab studying the evolution of bacteria in children with cystic fibrosis. I am excited to get to know all of you and look forward to serving as your First Year Rep.

You can contact me at conrad.izydorczyk@mail.utoronto.ca

Ben Scott | Professional Development Officer







Abdiwahab Moalim | Professional Development Officer


I’m a PhD candidate in the Plotnikov Lab studying how cells sense the stiffness of their surroundings. I’m really excited to be part of the council this year as a CPDO! I believe that students in our department collectively have a lot of knowledge that we can synthesize and harness to help us all grow together.

You can contact me at abdiwahab.moalim@mail.utoronto.ca


Francis Lee | GSU Rep.


Ph.D. student in the Goring lab studying pollen-pistil interaction within Brassicaceae family of plants.

You can contact me at hyunkyung.lee@mail.utoronto.ca



Var Pillai | GSU Rep.


Hi, I’m Varshinie, a *cough* third year Masters student studying anoxia tolerance, and your GSU Rep for the year. When I’m not slaving away at the lab, I enjoy hiking, volunteering at the wildlife centre and photography. Don’t be shy to come say hi!

You can contact me at varshinie.pillai@mail.utoronto.ca

Eliana Vonapartis | Ombudsperson


My research involves studying the role of an E3 ligase in the development and stress response pathways of the model plant Arabidopsis. Outside the lab, I like to read, teach, and learn to cook new recipes.

You can contact me at eliana.vonapartis@mail.utoronto.ca


Artyom Gritsunov | Ombudsperson


Hello, my name is Artyom, and I am in my third year Ph.D. I am investigating enzymes of the aromatic amino acid biosynthesis. During my free time, I enjoy playing sports and going to the gym.

You can contact me at artyom.gritsunov@mail.utoronto.ca



Lida Langroudi | Seminar Representative


Hi!  I’m very excited and enthusiastic to jo the CSBGU and to work together with other CSBGU members to make a great and memorable experience for all CSB graduate students.

You can contact me at lida.langroudi@mail.utoronto.ca

CSBGU 2016-2017