— who we are

The scientists in the Cytoskeletal Morphology Lab come from backgrounds in biology, biochemistry, engineering, and physics. We grew up in Canada, the United States, Germany, and Lebanon. Click on the Out and About page to see some of the things we do and the Stuff We Like page for some fun links.

  • Gary Brouhard

    Dr. Gary J. Brouhard

    Associate Professor ⁄ Principal Investigator

    Gary Brouhard grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. Gary loves all things bicycling, especially long-distance touring and track stands, and believes that some bicycles have souls. He likes Indian food, fountain pens, and coffee.

  • Susanne Bechstedt

    Dr. Susanne Bechstedt

    Research Associate

    Frau Dr. Susanne Bechstedt (Sanni) hails from Berlin, Germany. Sanni earned her PhD from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden. She loves microtubules, little balls that regulate microtubules, and cloning things. Besides science, Sanni is passionate about Ultimate Frisbee, where she competes at the international level.

  • Sami Chaaban

    Sami Chaaban

    Graduate Student

    Sami Chaaban was born in Montréal to Lebanese parents. Sami did his undergrad at McGill in Biology. Now he obsesses over high resolution electron density maps. In his free time, Sami enjoys captaining soccer teams and playing on his cherished piano. His neighbors seem to tolerate it.

  • Conrad Hall

    Conrad Hall

    Graduate Student

    Conrad Hall grew up in New England before moving to Montreal in high school. His undergraduate degree was in Chemical Engineering at McGill University. Conrad enjoys a variety of sports including baseball, hockey and squash (having competed on the McGill Varsity baseball and squash teams). His secret passions are eSports and life drawing.

  • Jimmy Hsu

    Jimmy Hsu

    Graduate Student

    Jimmy Hsu was born in Taiwan and grew up in Taipei then moved to Nova Scotia since high school. He did his undergrad at Dalhousie University in the Honours Physics Co-op program. Jimmy competes on the McGill Varsity badminton team and coaches on weekends. He also volunteers tutoring physics/math courses and likes to minimize any walking by taking the bus.

  • Aarat Kalra

    Aarat Kalra

    Graduate Student

    Aarat is from India and did his undergrad in Chemistry from Dayalbagh. He joined the lab on his birthday in January 2015. Aarat enjoys reading, wildlife, and cricket. He entertains himself by asking people to pronounce his name. His ambition in life is to own a Ferrari. He is unlikely to realize this ambition.

  • Hadrien Mary

    Hadrien Mary

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Hadrien grew up in the part of France called "Basque Country". He received his Master's in Bioinformatics from the University of Bordeaux after a 6 month internship in Australia. He moved to Toulouse for his PhD, where he deciphered how chromosomes move when a cell is dividing. Hadrien likes to cook all kinds food. He loves every sport that involves being in the water. (He came to Canada to try ice diving.)

  • Thomas McAlear

    Thomas McAlear

    Undergraduate Student

    Thomas grew up in New England, born to Canadian parents. He is beginning his third year at McGill studying Biology and Computer Science. Tom plays on the McGill Ultimate Team and hopes to one day win the Canadian University Ultimate Championships. He thoroughly enjoys OAP, baking pies, and his cottage.

  • Javad Paydar

    Javad Paydar

    Graduate Student

    Javad grew up in Shiraz, Iran, where he received his undergrad in Biology. He then moved to Malaysia to do his Masters in Biotechnology at University of Malaya. Javad enjoys mountain biking and spends most of his free time with his adorable puppy Pany. He is immensely fond of culinary art and is reluctant to eat undecorated food.

  • Cecilia Rocha

    Dr. Cecilia Rocha

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Cecilia comes from Brazil where she graduated in Biomedicine and received her Master's degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. After years studying Immunology, she moved to France to do her PhD at the Curie Institute and fell in love with microtubules. Cecilia is addicted to chocolate, and she also likes Japanese food, books, and watches. Surprisingly, she is from Rio de Janeiro but hates samba.

  • Olivia Scarfone

    Olivia Scarfone

    Undergraduate Student

  • Catherine Weiner

    Catherine Weiner

    Graduate Student

    Catherine, whose last name is pronounced "Viner" because it's cool and German, was born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario. Her undergrad was at Wilfrid Laurier University in Biology and Mathematics. During that time, she worked in various botany labs and developed an incurable addiction to research and sciencing. She also quite fancies rock climbing and swing dancing.