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crystal Igor Stagljar Laboratory
Department of Biochemistry
gold_bar Department of Molecular Genetics
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Farzaneh Aboualizadeh Canada flagIran flag

Farzaneh Aboualizadeh


I graduated in biology from Razi University, Iran and pursued my MSc in Biotechnology at Panjab University, India. I then worked as a research and teaching assistant as well as laboratory manager at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran. I moved to Canada in 2014 and got a Master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Igor Stagljar.

Currently I am working on characterization of the interaction network of Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) using the MaMTH assay.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time in nature, doing yoga and meditation, playing a musical instrument (Setar), as well as visiting new places.

Indira AkulaCanada flagIndia flag

Indira Akula


I graduated with a Masters in Biology from Saint Joseph University, Philadelphia and have worked in research labs at the University of Pennsylvania, Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children. Currently in the Stagljar lab I am working on prey library construction and preparation of constructs for stable bait and reporter cell lines to be used for HTP MaMTH assays.

I like listening to music, watching basketball, reading biographies, doing yoga and enjoy baking.

Luka DrecunCanada flagMontenegro flag

Luka Drecun

Graduate Student

Upon completing the Immunology specialist program at the University of Toronto for my Undergraduate studies, I enrolled in the Department of Molecular Genetics for Graduate school. In the lab, I am working on identifying SH2 and PTB domain containing proteins that interact with specific RTK family proteins using the state of the art MaMTH assay.

I was an avid basketball player in high school; having played for the Godfather of Canadian basketball, coach Ro Russell, with Grassroots Canada. I like wilderness but appreciate urban life as well. I am also a proud supporter of FK Lovcen in the Montenegrin First League.

Ingrid GrozavuCanada flagRomania flag

Ingrid Grozavu

Graduate Student

I graduated with my BSc from the University of Toronto and also completed my fourth-year thesis in the Stagljar Lab. Being excited and inspired by the research performed by our group, I continued working on my project in the lab as a graduate student. My goal is to map the KRAS dynamic interactome (i.e. in WT vs oncogenic state) and use this data in combination with our drug screening platform to render novel therapeutic pathways for addressing KRAS mutations in various cancers.

When I'm not in the lab, I divide my time between reading, watching the Raptors play, and practicing my photography. I also have a keen interest in bridging science and entrepreneurship in a way that brings results faster from academia to patient bedside.

SangHyun Lim
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SangHyun Lim

Graduate Student

I completed my BMSc degree at the Western University with honours in biochemistry and cell biology. I studied interactions between adherens junction proteins for my fourth-year project. As a graduate student in the Stagljar lab, I am investigating the dynamic interactome of the human CFTR protein. I am working to elucidate the mechanisms of protein interactions and to screen for possible drug targets.

Outside of the lab, I like to play computer games, watch eSports, and go snowboarding in winter.

Anna LyakishevaCanada flagRussia flag

Anna Lyakisheva

Research Associate

I obtained my PhD in Biochemistry at University of Hannover, Germany and was research associate at the Institute of Gene Biology in Moscow, Russia, where my research focus was the biology of stem cells.

In the Stagljar Lab, I work on development of MaMTH technology into a high-throughput platform, and carry out large, unbiased screens on human integral membrane proteins to identify interacting partners and potential drug targets.

Shivanthy Pathmanathan
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Shivanthy Pathmanathan

Graduate Student

I graduated with a B.Sc in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry from the University of Toronto in 2016 where I completed my senior year thesis in the Stagljar Lab. I continued on as a graduate student at the lab where I now work on mapping and characterizing c-MET interactome using MaMTH.

In my spare time, I like to listen to music, catch up on science-fiction and spend time with my family and friends.

Laura Riley
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Laura Riley

Lab Manager

I graduated with a PhD in microbiology from the University of Liverpool and completed a postdoc at Sick Kids in Toronto. As the lab manager in the Stagljar lab, I take care of administrative duties and support the research carried out by the other lab members.

I like to be outdoors and active all year round, but I love winter in particular. I also enjoy playing the saxophone and learning Spanish.

Punit Saraon
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Punit Saraon

Postdoctoral Fellow

I completed my PhD studies at University of Toronto in August 2014. The main focus of my PhD was understanding the molecular alterations that occur during the progression of prostate cancer to high grade disease using quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomics.

My current research interests are to identify and functionally characterize novel small molecule inhibitors targeting oncogenic mutant receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) that could have clinical utility using our newly generated Mammalian Membrane Two-Hybrid: Drug Screening (MaMTH-DS) platform.

In my spare time, I like to play and watch a variety of sports including hockey, basketball, and baseball.

Punit is the recipient of a three year CIHR Fellowship

Dr. Jamie SniderCanada flag

Dr. Jamie Snider

Research Associate

I obtained my PhD in Biochemistry here at the University of Toronto. I joined the Stagljar lab in September 2007, and am currently working on the development and application of new proteomics technologies for use in protein-protein interaction screening and drug discovery.


Igor Stagljar, PhD
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Dr. Igor Stagljar


Igor coordinates zillions of projects in his group and enjoys interacting with his group members. He tries to create the opportunities for all of his group members to have cool, new projects.

In his spare time, Igor is doing a lot of sport (swimming, jogging, and basketball), makes his own red wine, and plays acoustic guitar.



The captain of the boat, the fisherman of fishes:

Igor Stagljar holding a big fish caught on holiday.


Priscilla TangCanada flag

Priscilla Tang


I graduated with a MSc from the University of Toronto in the Department of Cell and Systems Biology and the Collaborative Program in Developmental Biology. My thesis focused on elucidating the role of imprinted SFMBT2 in maintaining a trophoblast stem cell population. In the Stagljar lab, I am helping to develop MaMTH into a high-throughput screening system.

In my spare time, I enjoy outdoor activities such as camping and hiking, and playing computer games.

Adriana VučetićCroatia flag

Nika Vučković

Visiting Graduate Student

I am a graduate Molecular Biology student at the University of Zagreb in Croatia. I was awarded the scholarship from the Scholarship Fund Igor Stagljar to do research for my Master's thesis in the Stagljar lab. My projects include investigating interacting partners of ErbB and FGFR families using the MaMTH assay.

Besides being in the lab, I love spending time watching movies and sports, reading, exploring the city and nature and taking part in pub quizzes.

Victoria WongCanada flag

Victoria Wong


I work on a number of projects assisting various lab members as well as contributing to the running of the lab.

When I'm not at work, I enjoy reading literature.


Dr. Zhong Yao
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Dr. Zhong Yao

Research Associate

I obtained my Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. I am currently developing new methods for protein-protein interaction studies and CRISPR, and using these methods, together with MaMTH, to study signaling networks related to cancer and other diseases.

Aside from my research work, I like to spend my spare time with my son.

Stagljar lab and the former Croatian ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Veselko Grubisic, May 2015

Stagljar Lab
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Former Group Members


The Stagljar Lab alumni from
Toronto, Canada.

Mehrab Ali
Anthony Arnoldo
Caroline Benz
Frank Butty
Kevin Chen
Jennifer Chiang
Mathew Chuk
Jasna Curak
Dunja Damjanovic
Katelyn Darowski
Tobias Dietschy
Angelika Duffy
Dawn Edmonds
Steve George
Chris Graham
Dr. Bella Groisman
Asad Hanif
Ralph Imhof
Mathieu Jacob
Dr. Saranya (Jing) Kittanakom
Becky Koscik
Dr. Mandy Lam
Lianet Lopez
Lucía López Vázquez
Raymond Mac
Carol Mazurek
Meg Mendoza
Dr. Javier Menendez
Mohammad Fahad Miah
Natasa Milutinovic
Shirrin Nassiri
Kathleen Nethery-Brokx
Dr. Uros Petrovic
Dr. Julia Petschnigg
Maanasa Raghavan
Monique Rehal
Paizeh Salek
Philipp Schmidt
Dr. Igor Shevelev
Kate Sokolina
Dr. Bernhard Suter
Adriana Vučetić
Marta Wierzbicka
Michael Yang
Analyn Yu


The Stagljar Lab alumni from
Zurich, Switzerland.

Lucija Beneti
Dr. Boris Bogdan
Dr. Lukas Bürkle
Martin Dinkel
Kim Engels
Dr. Mike Fetchko
Jacqueline Hort
Kavitha Iyer
Patrick Kuster
Lana Ljuma
Dr. Graziella Pedrazzi
Dr. Maja Petkovic
Dr. Nives Selak
Ingrid Stoffel-Studer
Dr. Safia Thaminy
Caroline Zbinde

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Last modified on 24 July, 2018