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MMI 2008 News Archive

Thesis defense



Jay Varghese defended his PhD thesis on Dec 22, 2008. His thesis defense seminar title was "Characterization of CD8 Co-receptor and Adhesion Molecule Functions in T-lymphocytes". Jay is a student in the Kane lab.


Jay Varghese

Thesis defense

Brian Ma


Brian Ma defended his PhD thesis on Dec 15, 2008. His thesis defense seminar title was Specificity Mechanisms and Affinity of Activating and Inhibitory Ly-49 Receptors for Class I MHC. Brian is a student in the Kane lab.



Brian Ma

Thesis defense

Gunilla Einecke


Gunilla Einecke defended her PhD thesis on Dec 12, 2008. Her thesis defense seminar title was Mechanisms of Epithelial Deterioration During Renal Allograft Rejection. Gunilla is a student in the Halloran lab.


Gunilla Einecke


m olson Mary Olson

MMI was saddened by the death of long time departmental secretary, Mary Olson, on November 13, 2008. Mary seemed to know nearly everyone on campus and saw the department through many changes. After retiring from MMI, Mary took on a second career, volunteering as parish secretary for her church. We enjoyed her company at department picnics, and Christmas and other parties over the past several years. We will miss her.


Dr. Lorne Tyrrell Honoured by Canadian Liver Foundation


Dr. Lorne Tyrrell has been inducted into the Canadian Liver Foundation Northern Alberta's Wall of Distinction, to honour his research on hepatitis B and the discovery of the first oral antiviral therapy, lamivudine.

On September 26, 2008, $37,000. was raised in aid of liver research at a MASQUE BALL held in honour of Dr. Tyrrell at the Edmonton Petroleum Club.

Among the many guests were Dr. David Evans and other faculty from MMI, as well as staff and students from Dr. Tyrrell's laboratory.


Feature paper

Andy Kokaji


A paper by Andy Kokaji, Deanna Hockley and Dr. Kevin Kane was featured in the "In This Issue" section of The Journal of Immunology.



Dr. Randall Irvin

Engineering and Microbiology

Bacterial biofilm formation on implant surfaces and the resulting infections are a major medical challenge that has thwarted physicians, engineers and microbiologists for decades. However, a promising novel approach that merges state of the art engineering and microbiology, based on understanding the molecular basis of biofilm formation and the physical/chemical materials properties, offers hope for the future.

To learn more about the research of Dr. Randall Irvin of MMI (left) and Dr. DongYang Li of the Dept. of Chemical Materials Engineering, click here.

Student Milestones

Jay Varghese PhD Thesis Defense December 22, 2008

Brian Ma PhD Thesis Defense December 15, 2008

Gunilla Einecke PhD Thesis Defense December 12, 2008

Greg Workun MSc Thesis Defense November 5, 2008

Marc Couturier PhD Thesis Defense September 23, 2008

John Paul Bacik PhD Thesis Defense August 26, 2008

Andy Kokaji PhD Thesis Defense July 11, 2008

Leslie Robertson PhD Thesis Defense July 7, 2008

David Primrose MSc Thesis Defense June 26, 2008

William Chan PhD Thesis Defense June 23, 2008

Lisa Billesberger MSc Thesis Defense June 10, 2008