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Carly Fraser

Carly Fraser earned her Honours degree in Biopsychology from the University of Winnipeg. She received the MICH student summer-ship in May 2011 where she joined MIRACLA and evaluated the role of microRNA-200b in lung cells and became skilled in the techniques of real-time PCR and Luciferase assays. Carly returned to the lab in May 2012, and switched focus on miR-10a using rt-qPCR and luciferase assays. Carly presently remains as a lab technician in the MIRACLA lab, and is focusing on methylation patterns in DNA and pyrosequencing. “I am very honoured to have become a part of the MIRACLA lab, and to work with such a dynamic, interesting team of people. This place is like a second home to me. I would encourage undergraduate science students to apply for the MICH summer student-ship to get a feel for techniques used in the lab.”

Fuquin Zhu

Fuqin Zhu joined the MIRACLA lab in 2012 as a laboratory technician. Her duties include preparing experimental materials; collecting, organizing, and processing research samples; performing experiments; and conducting statistical analysis of research data. She is skilled in methods such as in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, standard/confocal bright field and fluorescent microscopy. She enjoys doing research on microRNA's and Congenital Lung Anomalies within the excellent team environment.

Patricia Daniela Pereira Terra

Patricia Daniela Pereira Terra joined the lab in September of 2012. She received her Masters in Biological Engineering from The University of Minho in 2007 where she worked with patients with mitochondrial cytophaties. She then joined Hospital de Sao Joao in Porto as a research Fellowship since March 2008 until October 2010 where she worked on a project entitled “Diabetes and the somatosensory system: effects of dysfunctions in insulin and its related peptides in painful diabetic neuropathy.” She is now a PhD student in the MIRACLA lab and works in Lung Development – Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia in collaboration between Portugal and Canada. She is trying to find differences between CDH and normal patients and to find new therapeutic targets to treat and improve quality of life in these patients.

Barbra Iwasiow

Barbara Maria Iwasiow received her Masters of Science degree in Biochemistry from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. She worked in the laboratory of Dr Robert Shiu, Faculty of Medicine, Dept. of Physiology for many years. Her interest in cancer research started with her Masters degree project on the effects of radiation on pigmented and non-pigmented melanoma in hamster, and was continued in research of regulatory mechanisms and molecular factors involved in human breast cancer. Her first work in Dr Shiu’s lab was on the project that lead to the discovery of PiP /GCDFP-15 protein. In this laboratory over the years she acquired a wide expertise in numerous molecular biology techniques.

She joined Dr Richard Keijzer’s effort in organizing his new laboratory within the Biology of Breathing Group, Manitoba Institute of Child Health and is welcoming new investigators, students and researchers to his laboratory. She plays a managerial role in the lab’s every day running, develops/establishes lab technologies and introduces members to new techniques. 

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to help establish Dr Keijzer’s lab, to be able to enter this new area of research - normal and abnormal pulmonary development and disease - and have a chance to work in a rapidly developing field of microRNA research, which is now a frontier of fascinating scientific developments and discoveries.”

Phillip Snarr

Phillip is one of the lab technicians in Dr. Keijzers lab.  He graduated from the University of Manitoba with his B.Sc in Microbiology and Chemistry.  Outside of the lab Phillip spends his time with his wife Marilyn and their two children Julia and Jack.  Phillip is a big hockey fan and some of his other interests include fishing, playing golf, and camping.

Drew Mulhall

Drew earned his BSc from McGill University in 2015 and is now a medical student at the University of Toronto. He has been a summer student in the miRacla lab since 2012 and has played a large role in optimizing certain histological techniques, such as fluorescent in situ hybridization. His work in this lab is focused on exploring the role of the microRNA-200 family in pulmonary hypoplasia associated with congenital diaphragmatic hernia.


In his free time, Drew enjoys playing sports, such as hockey, soccer, and golf. When his NHL career didn’t pan out as planned he settled for the U of T med intramural hockey team. Drew’s other interests include listening to music, watching sports and movies, enjoying the outdoors, and hanging out with friends and family. 

Naghmeh Khoshgoo

Naghmeh is a PhD candidate in Dr. Richard Keijzer's lab. In her project she uses a miR-200b knockout mouse model as well as a rat model of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) in order to address the role of miR-200b in normal and abnormal lung development associated with CDH. Naghmeh revieved a BSc in Animal Biology and MSc in Molecular Biology in Iran where she was born and raised. Coming to Canada and the MIRACLA lab, gave her the opportunity to extensively increase her knowledge in pulmonary development and more importantly be actively involved in research that has the potential to be able to diagnose and treat babies born with pulmonary diseases.  


Apart from her research and academic achievements, Naghmeh enjoys being in Winnipeg and experiencing many "firsts" like her first time skiing, temperature less than -40° C, hiking in extremely dense woods and swimming in so many different lakes.

Lojine Ayoub

Lojine Ayoub, is a graduate of medicine and surgery from King Abdulaziz University where she also obtained her Masters in physiology. In the MIRACLA lab, she is working on her second Masters program focussing on autopsy paediatric lung tissue from Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia cases for targeting a specific sequence of microRNAs using immunohistochemical and molecular biology analysis techniques and comparing it to age-matched controls.

Shana Kahnamoui

Shana has been passionate about biological sciences ever since she was a teenager, so in 2010 she choose to pursue an undergraduate degree with a major in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Throughout her undergraduate degree Shana began working in different laboratories to learn more practical skills. Finally, after about 2 years of working in molecular genetics, hematology, biochemistry, microbiology and immunology laboratories and getting an A in her bachelor program, she was confident that she was ready to start her work as a researcher at the Cancer Institute of Iran by focusing on molecular pathways of programmed cell death and epigenetics in cancer biology.

In 2016, she started her Master’s of Physiology and Pathophysiology at the University of Manitoba. Shana believes that combining molecular vison while considering clinical aspects will help her to reach her goal of preventing life threatening diseases. Shana’s molecular background in addition to her physiological knowledge help her in completing her Master’s project in the miRacla Lab, which is identifying miR-200b targets in normal and abnormal lung development.

Richard Wagner

Richard joined the miRacla Lab as a Research Fellow in January 2018. He studied Medicine in Germany (Leipzig), Australia (Sydney and Perth) and Colombia (Medellin) and graduated in 2016 from Medical School. In 2017 he started his training in Paediatric Surgery in Leipzig at the University Hospital. After his Fellowship, he plans to return to Leipzig and continue his training and research in cooperation with the miRacla lab. 


His project in Dr. Keijzer's Lab is focused on improving the diagnosis of CDH babies prenatally and continuing  the investigation of CDH lungs using novel large scale analysis methods. 


In his free time he enjoys reading, making music, surfing and spending time with friends and family.

Dustin Ameis

Dustin joined the miRacla lab in August 2015, before entering his final year at the University of Winnipeg and beginning work on his Honours Project. The goal was to study the differential expression of proteins between wildtype and miR-200b knockout mouse lungs, particularly those involved in epithelial-to-mesencyhmal transition (EMT).


Since then, he has been investigating the mechanisms behind pulmonary miR-200b downregulation in fetal rats that have nitrofen-induced diaphragmatic hernias. The idea is that production of mature miR-200b is disrupted during its biogenesis, and the hope is to link any findings to dysregulation of miR-200b in human congenital diaphragmatic hernia.


In his spare time, Dustin does rock climbing and skate skiing, but mostly eats.

Franklin Liu

Franklin is entering his second year at the University of Manitoba as a biology student. He joined the miRacla lab this summer with hopes of garnering basic research experience and techniques. He is currently working with another lab member to investigate the role of the quaking gene in lung morphology.


In his spare time Franklin enjoys volunteering, spending time with family and friends, and playing a few video games.

Henry Li

Henry is a medical student entering his 2nd year at the University of Manitoba. Having previously completed a B.Sc, he joined the miRacla Lab this summer to further develop his research skills and contribute to the understanding of congenital respiratory disorders. Over the summer, he will be studying the expression of Cadherin-26 in CPAM to explore its involvement in the disease.


Outside of his studies, Henry fills his time with commitments in student politics and cultural education. He also enjoys playing basketball, weight training, and expanding his wardrobe and shoe collection.

Sean Higgins

Sean graduated from the University of Winnipeg in the spring of 2017 with a BSc. in Biology before beginning medical school at the University of Manitoba in August 2017. He will be in the lab over the next two summers working towards completing a BSc. Medicine with Dr. Keijzer and Dr. Tse.


Sean's project involves the use of in vitro and in vivo models to study the use of nanoparticles as a trans placental delivery vehicle for miR-200b therapy. This includes examining any potential maternal and fetal toxicities, developmental effects, bio distribution and bioavailability and the effectiveness of its trans placental transport. 


In his spare time he enjosy playing golf, playing and listening to music and cheering on the Jets.

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