CULSC 2016!

It’s that time of year again, everyone!

The 6th annual Canadian University Life Science Challenge (CULSC 2016) will be hosted by the Neuroscience Association of Undergraduate Students at the University of Toronto.

Every year, we invite undergraduate students from institutions all over Ontario and Quebec to participate in a weekend-long Life Sciences competition. The competition is Jeopardy!-styled, and we have question rounds ranging from “100 level” to “700 level” finals with categories including Neuroscience/Psychology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Immunology, Pathobiology, and Anatomy.

In addition to the competition rounds, competitors can sign up for the events including breakfast and lunch on March 5th and 6th, social events around the U of T campus in the evenings, and a speech by a researcher at CAMH on novel scientific research. This competition is a great chance for students from different universities to come together and participate in a competition that will display their knowledge in the life sciences. It also allows students to engage in team building, communication, and engagement with the wide network of future Life Science colleagues.

Students will compete in teams of 4. You may sign up alone or as a team. Prizes will be awarded! While the website is undergoing repairs, signup for the event can be found at the link provided here.

See you there,

The NAUS Team


Hello, everyone!

Coming off of our last incredibly successful event, where the brilliant Dr. Feng Zhang gave some valuable advice to HMB students and faculty, it’s time for one of the biggest events of the year in neuroscience at UofT — or anywhere — Everything Neuroscience: The Science of Learning and Memory!

Everything Neuroscience, or ΣN for short, is a conference run by NAUS every year. This is our fourth annual ΣN; this year’s theme is Learning and Memory. The conference is a great interactive experience for anyone interested in neuroscience. The keynote speaker this year will be UofT’s own Dr. Sheena Josselyn, who has conducted critical research in learning and memory at the SickKids hospital in downtown Toronto. Other speakers will include Dr. Melanie Woodin, the director of the HMB program at UofT, and Dr. Derek Van Der Kooy & Dr. Iva Zovkic. There will also be an informative panel discussion and less-formal breakout sessions, where participants will gain the chance to discuss more specific topics on a more intimate basis with many different professors and experts in the field.

The conference will run from 10AM-3PM on November 21st, in the Stone Lobby of the Medical Science building, on UofT’s St. George Campus. Tickets cost $5.25, which includes breakfast and lunch, and can be purchased with the Eventbrite link below. Spots are limited, so book soon!

EN 2015 Final

The Inspirations Behind CRISPR with Dr. Feng Zhang

Hope you all had a fantastic summer, and have settled back into life at UofT!


Our first event of the year is a pretty exciting one: Dr. Feng Zhang, who has played an important role in the development of optogenetics and CRISPR, is coming to UofT!

He’ll be giving an informal, relaxed talk at the D. G. Ivey Library, on October 29th, 2015, at 15.00. Space will be limited, so get there early to reserve a spot!

See you there!

The NAUS Executive

Feng Zhang 2015

(Click on the image to view a higher resolution)

2015-2016 NAUS Executive Committee

The results of the online and in-person voting are in! Say hello to this year’s executive committee!

1. Co-presidents

i. Jaclin Simonetta

ii. Sandy Wang

2. VP Finance

Vivian Liu

3. VP Social Affairs

i.Victor Lee

ii. Amanda Cheung

4. VP Academic Affairs

Charles Lee

5. Secretary

Rania Faidi

6. Graduating Year Representative

Jessica Gosio

7. 3rd Year Representative

Claudia Tersigni

8. Webmaster and Online Presence Facilitator

Arjun Kaul

9. Graphic Designer

Maria Vorobeva

NAUS Elections!


If you feel passionate about making a difference to the undergraduate neuroscience community here at U of T, then consider filling one of the following available positions:

– 2 presidents
– 1 VP Finance
– 1 VP Academic Affairs
– 2 VPs Social Affairs
– 1 Secretary

– 1 Webmaster and Online Presence Facilitator
– 1 Graphic Designer

– 1 Third-year representative
– 1 Graduating-year representative (**you have to be graduating NEXT year**)

Candidate speeches will be given on FRIDAY, MARCH 27th from 3-5pm in UC163, where you will be able to vote in person as well.

Online voting will open on FRIDAY, MARCH 27th at 5:00pm and will remain open until SUNDAY, MARCH 29th at midnight. You MUST be a neuroscience student or taking an HMB-code neuroscience course in order to vote – your student number will be checked against a database of such student numbers. The link for online voting is here.

Information about individual positions is available in our most recent constitution, available here.

Candidate blurbs will be available below as they are submitted.



(Candidate blurbs will be available below as they are submitted – deadline for submission is Wednesday, March 25th by 11:59pm.)

1. Presidential Candidates

a) Sandy Wang

Hi everyone! My name is Sandy and I am running to be one of your co-presidents on NAUS for the 2015-2016 school year. I have been a part of NAUS since my second year first as a social committee member and then this year as a third year representative.

From helping with the Everything Neuroscience Conference to the Canadian University Life Sciences Challenge, I’ve learned a lot about the inner workings of NAUS, and about working together with a team to plan and promote events.

Neuroscience is a big program, and back in second year I was really trying to find my place within it.  Through my involvement with NAUS, it’s really allowed me to expand my circles, meet new friends and learn a lot about how an undergraduate student union runs. To me, community within a program is really important, and I think NAUS creates that community for neuroscience students.

If elected, I would like to continue to foster a sense of inclusion within the neuroscience community. I plan to make our office space a place where students can always drop by and provide neuroscience related resources for students during our office hours. Neuroscience is also a very interdisciplinary field and meshes with many other fields. Just this year, we had our Everything N conference on the topic of computational neuroscience! If elected, I would also like to expand the neuroscience field and bring my own interests into the mix. Personally, I would like to incorporate awareness on mental health issues and the current research surrounding the field into some of our events. This will not only be an educational piece on mental health, but will also be a great opportunity for us to collaborate with other student unions and groups.

Every year, NAUS is a little different, every new executive council brings forth different ideas and different visions for the council, next year, I hope to do that as well. If elected, I will do my best to put forth rewarding events and to continue to foster a sense of community within the neuroscience program!

b) Jaclin Simonetta

Hi everyone! My name is Jaclin Simonetta and I am running for co-president! I am in third year, doing a double major in neuroscience and molecular genetics.  I have been part of NAUS for two years now. This year, I was one of the third year representatives, along with Sandy, and in second year I was on the NAUS social committee. I have had a great year representing the 3rd year neuroscience students at UofT, and would love the opportunity to represent the neuroscience community in its entirety next year.

I have had an amazing time working with my fellow executive committee members over the last year. I especially feel so grateful to have worked with two amazing pairs of co-presidents these last two years. Seeing them organize and plan our various events has made me feel that I could take on the responsibility as co-president, and take a bigger role in planning the events NAUS hosts for the neuroscience community, such as CULSC and our undergraduate neuroscience conference.

One reason I love being on NAUS is because of the sense of family we had as a committee. It was evident that with each meeting or event we had, the committee got closer and were able to work better with each other. I would like this sense of family to span the entire neuroscience student body, and having an approachable executive team would make us a better fit to be a liaison between the neuroscience students and the Human Biology Department.

Next year, if elected co-president, I want to build a connection between the neuroscience faculty, the NAUS executive committee and the undergraduate neuroscience students. That being said, one event I would like to add next year is a NAUS neuroscience prof and student meet and greet, just as many other student groups do on campus.

I had a wonderful experience being a part of NAUS this year, as it has given me the opportunity to improve my team work skills, further my interest in the field of neuroscience and make great friends!  Vote for me for co-president, and I will guarantee an eventful and exciting 2015-2016 school year.  Thank you!

c) Stephanie Luu

Hi everyone! My name is Stephanie Luu and I’d like to run for NAUS’s co-president for the upcoming 2015-2016 year. Just a little bit about myself, I’m currently a 4th year neuroscience student and next year will be my victory lap. I’ve been involved with numerous clubs on campus and off-campus including Heart and Stroke foundation and Pre-Med Society. I was also Vice Chair of Science Rendezvous which allowed me to learn a great deal about working in a large team to achieve a collective goal, which was spreading awareness and love for science. In previous years I’ve worked on the NAUS team as a secretary which allowed me to learn all the crucial events that the organization holds, how to organize and coordinate them, manage a lot of the administrative work, and also work with all the other team members.

I am especially proud and excited to be apart of the neuroscience community at the university. We are known to have one of the best undergrad neuroscience programs in Canada and I would be honored to represent our students in this community. Even though UT is known as a commuter school, I believe that we should strive to foster a place where undergraduate students can get together to socialize and build a community where we can cultivate both ideas for research and networking opportunities. Neuroscience is a relatively new area of study and I find it important to work together inside and outside academia in order to develop this field.

This year I got to work with Science Rendezvous again to promote our love for science and even though the organization focuses on educating the public on science it also puts in a lot of effort to promote accessibility. Accessibility means to provide science in a way that is easy for people to enjoy and understand, as well as offer access to opportunities for people to learn about science on their own. And I hope to bring that to the table when I’m co-president for NAUS. I hope to provide an accessibility to the neuroscience community, so our undergraduate students can learn about research and job opportunities, as well as network and have fun.

I hope to continue offering our well-known events such as the Canadian Undergraduate Life Science challenge, NeuroFrosh, Everything N conference, as well as try to offer more seminars to provide research opportunities and hold more social events so undergraduate students can get to know one another. I think brilliant ideas come from bouncing ideas off each other and sharing knowledge as a community.

I am excited to be apart of the team and I hope you guys give me the honor to represent you as co-president of the NAUS next year! ​

2. VP Finance Candidates

a) Michelle Wan

Hi fellow Neuro-students!

I am Michelle and I would like to run for VP Finance on NAUS for the upcoming council term. I am a third year Neuroscience major and almost anything related to the brain fascinates me, because my (allegedly egoistic) brain loves learning about itself!

I believe my record involvement in a multitude of other charity driven and academia related clubs will give me an advantage in managing club affairs. My past positions are notably rooted in the marketing and financing sectors, including corporate relations with external organizations that demand a highly organized approach to tackle and manage various funding, sponsor and budget requests from various student unions and organizations. In addition, I also have a wealth of experience in organizing and executing fundraising activities, setting up booths with heavy involvement in the annual Clubs Fair, Bake Sales, Gala Concerts other than seminars, which have provided skills and personal nuances in being able to develop methods to efficiently sort out logistics matters.

Further, I pride myself on being a very transparent and morally upright person, which is particularly relevant to treasurer or finance-related positions. I would really like to strive for larger budget grants and take advantage of annual budget requests that can be obtained if the execution is timed correctly. I would also love to be part of a team that plans and organizes activities centred around a subject that I am passionate about, with other members who share common interests and backgrounds. I believe that NAUS has the potential to enrich the lives of undergraduates in neuroscientific studies, evidently shown by the innovative contests, seminars and events interweaving Neuroscience with other areas of study on campus. If you give me this opportunity to serve as a part of the NAUS, I will devote my utmost efforts into making Neuroscience not just a mere Subject POSt, but develop it into a community, a passion, an involvement for undergraduates intrigued by this field as well.

Thank You!

b) Vivian Liu

Seems like every councils got some cash

I wonder how they spend it all

With those bad ass cheques

And the big events

Just stop for a minute and smile

Why are NAUS execs so stressed out?

Cause they used their money to buy stuff

But you got me right here

Ill reimburse you fair

Our wallets will just be fine

Everybody Knows ASSU

Ill grab our funding from them(LEGIT)

Can you feel that (YEAH)

We’re spending that dough thats right

It’s all about the money, money, money

Eveythings so pricey pricey pricey

But you got me to pay ya

Forget about the price tag

I’ll run all the cha-ching cha-ching

When you buy all the NAUS ba-bling ba-bling

Trust me with your receipts

Finance people aint cheap

My name is Vivian and all jokes aside, I am interested in running as your VP finance for the following school year 2015-2016.  First off, for those of you who are running for the first time  I would like that you there are NO REGRETS.  This past year I was the secretary for NAUS and I have to say I got to know each and every member of the council so well and built pretty good friendships with them. This year I was in charge of NAUS gear, keeping track of orders, money and last minute changes.  I would say that my excel game is pretty strong … My organization skills have definitely been enhanced not only through NAUS, but over my undergraduate years juggling volunteer, research and intramurals.  I will keep reimburse every single one of you properly as long as you report to me what you buy, and I ensure communication will be met, not that I’m a creep or anything.  As for my goals this year as your VP finance, I will attend and listen attentively to the mandatory orientation and deal with the funding requests so we have the maximum budget to be the most awesome, efficient and engaging council that we ought to be.  Besides the housekeeping work, I will try my best to help all of you guys whenever you need it, because things do get hella busy especially during our biggest events such as CULSC (the life sci competition) and the neuro conference.  That being said, money never stopped true passion, so Imma make sure it don’t stop us.

3. VP Academic Affairs Candidates

a) Nasim Noroozbahari

Hello everyone! : ) My name is Nasim Noroozbahari and I am a candidate for VP Academic affairs for the upcoming year. I am currently a first year student, a member of NAUS, and will be majoring in neuroscience. As a first year student I was unsure about what I wanted to study and what major would best suit me so I attended numerous academic seminars and conferences that ultimately made me realize my passion towards fields in neuroscience, specially neurodegenerative disease. As a result of my exposure to great professors and people in the fields of neurosciences specially through NAUS, I became sure that I want to continue my undergraduate and graduate studies inneuroscience.

As an undergraduate it is crucial for us to explore different fields and it is also important to be familiar with different possibilities and opportunities that studying neuroscience can offer us. Neuroscience is no longer specific for medical fields, but it has also integrated with robotics, computer science, business and many more professions and I truly believe that it is important for all of us to be introduced to them. As we all know University of Toronto is among the top universities in the world for research and for numerous times its research and discoveries revolutionized studies in neurosciences. As members of this university and future graduate students and researchers, we can all agree that we all need to explore and get involved with the researches in our favourite field so that we can find our very own passion and topic for future research. Ultimately one day it is our findings and discoveries in neuroscience that will amaze the scientific world.

If given the chance as a VP of academic affairs, I would like to organize events in which undergraduate students are informed about the current research and opportunities in neuroscience in which they can learn from and connect with different researchers and professors in the university. Also, events that will introduce different professions in neuroscience will be held that allow undergraduates to discover how studying neuroscience can be integrated with medicine, technology, media, and other professions. Also, at certain point during the semester, different professors can be invited to talk about neuroscience courses offered which can help us to choose our future courses. I understand how important undergraduate experience and neuroscience program is to all of us and I would like to try my best to fully introduce you all to this fascinating field so that you are inspired and want to continue your studies inneurosciences.

b) Kezia Joseph

Hello everyone! My name is Kezia Joseph and I am running for the position of VP of Academic Affairs. I am currently in second year, doing a Specialist in Neuroscience and a double minor in Immunology and Physiology. I have had the privilege of getting to know members of the neuroscience community at the University of Toronto and find that we all have three things in common: passion, intellect and potential for stretching the boundaries of neuroscience.

Having conducted neuroscience research at Sunnybrook Research Institute, SickKids Research Facility (PGCLR) and through a Research Opportunity Program (ROP) at UofT, I believe I would be able to provide useful academic information pertaining to research opportunities, contacting scientists and/or professors and furthering the pursuit for involvement in brain sciences research. As a part of my responsibilities in this position, I would be more than happy to organize a seminar on the research process, including applications, interviews and conducting research in general. I have also become involved in many other groups on campus including Interneuron (the UofT student neuroscience journal) and Brain Day, which involves presenting an overview of the human brain to elementary school classrooms across Toronto.

Aside from the vast amount of academic knowledge that I’ve learned from these experiences, they have all allowed me to meet so many different people and create a strong, diverse and supportive network of students, scientists and professors. That is why I would love the opportunity to help lead and further strengthen the strong and vibrant community of NAUS.

I strongly believe that education is not at its full potential without community. Students should be able to freely share ideas, opinions, struggles and successes in an environment that is open and conducive to learning and friendships. If elected, I will do everything I can to create and maintain that type of environment through my friendly and outgoing approach to life at UofT. I am looking forward to getting to know every single one of you!

c) Ann Sheng

Hi everyone!

My name is Ann and I’m running to be your VP Academic Affairs.  I’m currently in my second year doing a Specialist in Neuroscience with Major in Physiology and Minor in Computer Science.  I have been involved in NAUS since the start of my second year, and I have gained valuable experience from attending events such as the Everything Neuroscience Conference to winning second place at CULSC.  NAUS has helped me find my passion by fostering a unique and welcoming community for neuroscience students on campus, and I am excited for a chance to give back to the community by becoming an exec.

Since neuroscience is such a growing field and continues to attract bright students like you who are eager to learn more, I believe it is very important to provide a variety of academic opportunities for you to explore your interests and build the skills you need to succeed.  In fact, I’ve been doing this ever since I started university, always being the person to help a friend edit their research application, to invite them to interesting conferences, and to relay important course information.

If elected, I would first and foremost like to hear from you what events you would like to see next year.  Some ideas that I would like to pursue include:

1. One-day conference, with top speakers discussing topics such as memory, artificial intelligence, neurodegenerative disorders, sleep, and the economics and ethics of neuroscience

2. Case competition about how to spread awareness for important issues such as addiction and mental health

3. Seminar and workshops for finding research opportunities for undergraduates and step-by-step guide through the process

4. Meet-and-greets with professors and researchers to learn more about different fields in neuroscience

5. Help make CULSC even better and more inclusive to all life science students

Together with the NAUS team, I also aim to collaborate with other neuro-enthusiastic student groups to bring diversity to our events, so that no matter what your interests lie within this broad field, you can find something that sparks your dopamine.  With my experiences in research, mentorship and leadership positions in various campus organizations, I believe that I have the skills and resources to help make your next year a more rewarding, intellectually-stimulating experience.

Good luck with your exams, and hope to see you next year!

d) Charles Lee

Hello Neuroscience-enthusiast!

I would like to first thank you for considering me to be your Vice President of academic affairs for the next academic year.

Having served as an executive member of two student unions (NAUS & LMPSU), I’ve helped organize all kinds of events ranging from three undergraduate inaugural conferences to the cross-country undergraduate life science competition. Thus, I understand what it takes to make events successful.

And as Vice President of Communications this year, I have conceived and executed 2 academic seminars. But more importantly, I have come to realize the importance of teamwork, communication, and passion in student-led initiatives.

As VP academics, I will organize more engaging academic seminars in addition to the standard ones, in which we simply invite professors to give talks about certain topics. We can collaborate with other student unions such as Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence Students’ Association (CASA) and Psychology Students’ Association (PSA) and have professors from different backgrounds demonstrate how topics can be approached from different angles.

Ultimately, my primary goal is to make sure that your voice is heard by the exec team, the HMB department, and the greater U of T community. I will create online forums where all neuroscience students can voice any concerns or opinions. I will ensure that you enjoy being part of the neuroscience program as much as I do.

Thanks again for your consideration ^_^

Charles Lee

4. VPs Social Affairs Candidates

a) Victor Lee

Hi Everybody!

My name is Victor Lee and I’d like to run for VP Social. I was VP of social affairs with Ella this year and we hope that we have done a good job hosting the pub nights and game nights. I have been attending and being involved with NAUS since I was in my first year and it has truly been a great community to me. Bringing students together to promote community is something that I think is very important on campus since the university could have a difficult atmosphere to be in sometimes. It’s unfortunate how some students just come to class and then go straight home. That is something that I would not like to happen.

I will make sure that there is free food at every event, and that they are more exciting foods than cheese and pepperoni pizza. If anybody was there, you’d remember the exciting pizzas that we got for CULSC this year. That was something that I suggested.

One of my biggest ideas for next year, above the pub nights that we still have, is an all you can eat sushi night (free of course, like our pub nights). This is something that I couldn’t do this year but I would really like to try to include that for next year. I strive to push for an inclusive environment where everybody can be friends and get along and I’d like to do that through continuing the role of VP social.

And also, as exam time is coming, keep calm and neuron!

b) Atiya Shaikh

Hello everybody,

My name is Atiya Shaikh and I am running for the position of VP Social . I am a third year undergraduate student pursuing  a major in neuroscience and a double minor in immunology and psychology. I have previously been a part of the social committee on NAUS, and trust me when I say I had an absolutely amazing time .

As  part of the social committee, I have closely worked with the previous executive committee and helped them organize and promote various events. I am very proud to say that we have organized some great events like Neurofrosh and The Canadian Undergraduate Life Science Competition (CULSC). These  events have taught me team work and made me realize the importance of having committees like NAUS.

Coming to university, I had always known I wanted to do neuroscience as it has always fascinated me. The human brain is a mystery in itself. Stanley Prusiner has rightly said, “Every human brain is different – the brain makes each human unique and defines who he or she is.”

The Neuroscience committee on campus is huge and I would like it to become even bigger. If I get a chance to become your VP Social, I would definitely organize some great events and make sure we have free food and drinks.  One of my major motives for next year will be to include  more of our second year undergraduates and make them feel comfortable in our community. As an executive member, my target would be to foster a sense of unity and solidarity among us. As a VP Social, I would make sure to include events catering to everybody’s needs. I have some great ideas for next year that include a treasure hunt game, games night, movie night, jeopardy competitions and many more.

If elected, I would try my best to bring our Neuroscience community closer together and organize some fun events next year.

Thank you and study hard:)

c) Amanda Cheung

Hey you, neuroscientist!

Are you always seeing that guy you sit with in class all the time, but don’t actually know? Or are you instead stuck in that awkward elevator ride to HMB200? BOTH? Well…

My name is Amanda and I am running to be your VP of Social Affairs for NAUS in 2015-2016! I am currently a second year student working towards a double major in Neuroscience and Physiology, and a minor in French. I have had the pleasure in meeting wonderful individuals of the neuroscience community this year, but I feel that there are so many more people and personalities that should come together!

To answer my question above, I am not promising that you will become BFFs with everyone in your neuroscience class (seriously now); however, I can promise that you will have various opportunities to meet your fellow classmates and be more involved in the neuroscience community! Through pub nights, study sessions, or even a dodge ball tournament, it will be a great way to actually KNOW who your classmates are, behind those faces you always see!

Academics are important and obviously highly regarded, but building valuable relationships and having strong support for what you do is just as important! As VP of Social Affairs, I hope to encourage more involvement within NAUS events and really promote a sense of community in neuroscience. Because let’s be real, it is a shame to simply go to class and leave right after (without knowing a single person)!!

I look forward to working with NAUS, and seeing YOU at future social and academic events (that you would definitely go to)!!


5. Secretary

a) Shikha Kuthiala

Hey everyone my name is Shikha and I’ll be going into my 4th year of neuroscience, while it would be my first time on NAUS, I have a ton of student council experience. I have been a senior member of the Innis Residence council for 2 years and have been on the committee for 3 years. I am also the current co-chair for Innis Fit and have had to be in charge of budgeting, organizing events, working with other groups and keeping it all organized! I think these experiences would help me be a great secretary for NAUS.

I love neuroscience, as soon as I started working with brains I couldn’t image anything else that could be nearly as interesting and complex and ever challenging! I think that my passion for neuroscience and my need to be organized and on top of things makes me the perfect fit for the position of secretary. I like to be able to keep things organized, plan meetings and making sure that the whole team is aware of what is going on. I believe that I would be able to excel in this position and help the whole NAUS team function like a well myelinated neuron.

Some ideas I have for the position of secretary are to implement an events newsletter to keep everyone more involved as well as open minutes of the meeting to all neuroscience undergraduates so that they are able to have a role in the NAUS team as well.

Neuroscience is wonderful, being organized can be a hassle, so let me do it for you

Vote Shikha for secretary

b) Rania Faidi

Hi everyone!

 My name is Rania and I’m currently a second year student  enrolled in the Neuroscience specialist program. This year I’ve had the greatest pleasure of working with a group of fantastic people as part of the second year social committee, along with the VP Socials Ella and Victor. For NAUS 2015-2016, I decided to run for Secretary and therefore  remain  an active part of the NAUS Famjam next year!

 In addition to my position as member of this year’s  Second Year Social Committee, I have helped in the planning of Neuro-Frosh, Games night and CULSC,  all of which I hope were a great success. Outside of NAUS, I am heavily involved in mentorship and tutorship activities (with the First Year Learning Communities at Trinity College  and the Saturday Program) and as an Arts and Science Student Ambassador with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences  and the  Office of Recruitment and Student Life.

 A lack of a neuroscience department at UofT can mean a lot of things for students, but most importantly it means we don’t quite get the benefits of having  a wide variety of Neuro-specific  resources and events. I am therefore happy that this year, along with the many accomplishments we have achieved, we were able to collectively add new position to council that only serve to push us forward in the right direction. As secretary of  NAUS next year, I only hope that I could further improve  the logistics and workings of NAUS, play a proactive role in various events, cooperate with our team of executives and work closely with the co-presidents in assisting them with NAUS administration. I also look forward to having a strong and constant presence in all of our General and Executive meetings as well as representing  NAUS’s presence in all  New College meetings. This way, I will be able to serve as the relay between our council and New College, given that we are an NC club.

This year NAUS managed to pull off fantastic seminars and events and I am confident that next year we would be able to focus on increasing the recurrence of these events that definitely  draw in students from various years and sometimes from various  disciplines too! I think this is important in providing a solid presence of a well-knit neuroscience community at UofT. I also look forward to finally unleashing my inner hobby in interior design (JK guys) and redecorate our office, I mean we can all agree a little Neuro-Swag renovation won’t hurt anyone! In all seriousness, I believe that creating a positive environment in our office space will encourage  our executives to look forward to office hours, and would make Neuro students feel more welcomed into our cozy warm office space that reflects our cozy warm hearts!

 I look forward to a bright and successful new  year with NAUS  as the Secretary and I can only think of the tremendous future opportunities this position offer in excelling my role within council. I have a whole lot of enthusiasm and excitement to come back to the dynamic and well-knit community that is NAUS next year! I believe that with the collective efforts of everyone on council next year, we will continue to move forward in creating a more energetic Neuro community at UofT!

Good luck on your exams and Thank you in advance!

c) Shubham Sharma

​Hello my fellow brain enthusiasts!

My name is Shubham and I’m currently a second year student enrolled in a Neuroscience and Psychology double major because, you guessed it, I am in awe of everything a tiny 3 pound organ can do. It’s one of those marvelous creations that is bigger on the inside; the other being TARDIS, of course (for all you Doctor Who fanatics out there). Jokes aside, I knew that I wanted to study the brain and the mind and all it has to offer, and what better way to feed my interest than collaborate with other like-minded individuals to learn more and provide opportunities for emerging neuroscientists like you to appreciate the brain.

I have decided to run for the position of Secretary for NAUS 2015-2016 to be more actively involved with like-minded people. In case you are wondering: yes, I do have experience working with a team, organizing events, and serving a community of more than a thousand people. Currently, in terms of council experience, I hold the positions of Education and Philanthropy Director in the New College Student Council and House Representative in the New College Residence Council, in addition to being a Brain Day volunteer and having participated as a Frosh Leader for NC Frosh last summer. So, I have experience dealing with other organizations, student groups and students as a whole; I have also been part of monthly meetings and help run and lead events catered to New College students; I have also presented to classrooms of teeny-tiny 4th-6th graders about the marvelous brain and why we should actively prevent injury to it.

I feel like I would be a good fit for the position of NAUS Secretary because of my past experiences and my current enthusiasm; looking at the NAUS constitution, I believe I can be of great assistance to the Presidents and VPs in administrative businesses and keep diligent records of our meetings, in addition to keeping our office space a fun space and attending all New College meetings. Furthermore, I feel like I can provide some meaningful suggestions and manual aid in the great events that NAUS hosts. I personally enjoyed the events NAUS hosted this year, especially the CULSC, and I definitely wish to contribute to more future success for such events. I believe in transparency, because it’s only right for the student body that you’re serving to know what it is that we actually do and believe in. As a secretary, I would like to open up the minutes for all Neuroscience students to see and ensure the smooth flow of meetings.

Let me be your astroglia so I can cooperate with all the other neurons in NAUS and maintain homeostasis in the brain that is the field of Neuroscience. Let me be a part of your wonderful year next year and help build a stronger, well-connected community at UofT.

What did the neuron say to the glia cell? “Thanks for the support.”

Vote Shubham/Shabba/Shubby for Secretary!​

6. Webmaster and Online Presence Facilitator

a) Arjun Kaul

Hello! My name is Arjun Kaul, and I’m running for the position of webmaster and online presence facilitator for the NAUS. It’ll be my second year next year at UofT (although, academically, my third year; I came here from Quebec, and… educational switches are bureaucratic and complicated. I’m in year 2 right now… from what they’ve told me). I’m doing a double major in Neuroscience and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, with a minor in English. This year, I’ve had a fantastic time attending the talks and events organised by the NAUS. I’ve also had a brilliant year attending my classes and getting more involved with the neuroscience community; in my spare time, I volunteer in a neuroscience/psychology lab in the Ramsay Wright building. If anything, I’ve had a ton of “epiphany” moments where I’ve thought about it and decided “wow, brains really are for me,” or, something along those lines. Basically: I’ve grown to appreciate how much I love neuroscience and its community and I want to do more, especially within the NAUS!

The position of webmaster and online presence facilitator is a crucial one. I definitely have experience with the required tasks. At my previous school, Marianopolis College, I was the communications director for my student council, school model United Nations team, and biology club; I was responsible for maintaining the member listservs and communicating with all club members and administration via email; graphically designing any media or announcements; communicating with any potential sponsors as well as professors who we would invite to give talks and seminars; and maintaining an online presence – so I have experience juggling multiple social media accounts, as well as building and managing a website, which includes some knowledge of Java and JavaScript, as well as some practice with HTML. I can definitely recognise that communications are an important and integral part of how the NAUS, and any student organisation is run. The university student is a sleepy, fickle, and unfocused beast, and the way you phrase a newsletter or email, how you design it, or the intricacies of when and how it’s sent is likely to be a large part of keeping the members of the NAUS interested. (Our model UN team was ranked among the top 50 in the world by Best Delegate – an association that actually devotes time to ranking these sorts of things – so we were doing something right with communication!)

If I’m elected, I plan to revamp the newsletter and website design (I’d like to make the website a little more interactive, especially!), as well as work closely with the executive committee to plan more talks and communicate more social events. I’m incredibly passionate about the subject of neuroscience, and being webmaster and online presence facilitator will not only be a fun and engaging job in itself, but it’ll help me connect more to the NAUS members – after considering the challenges, I am definitely up to taking on the responsibility of the position.

7. Graphic Designer

a)  Maria Vorobeva

Sup nerds I’m Maria. I’m a second year student in the neuroscience specialist program here at UofT. I’m also taking a minor in philosophy and I Kant think of pun to make ;). This would be my first year applying for a position on the NAUS.

Now I’m gonna tell it to you straight. I wanna make your posters.

I have done art for a really long time (drawing, painting, design) and you can say I’m obsessed. My parents enrolled me into graphic design classes when I was 12 because I would not stop hogging the computer to make crappy animations using Microsoft Paint and Windows Movie Maker. I moved up in the world and now use big girl programs. Needless to say I was and still am that passionate about computer art. I also attended a high school that specialized in the arts (RHSA – literally a block away from UofT) and was part of the visual arts stream.

 I have mainly been using my Photoshop super powers for evil and if any of you are members of the “Accepted – University of Toronto (St. George), Class of 2018” you may have seen one of my beautiful Photoshops (I’m the “Boundless Graduation” poster person). I’ve also recently worked on a logo for a new start-up company (Syntegra Labs) and I’ve done small personal projects in my free time.

As the graphic designer I promise to make sweet posters for all our events and also to provide some humorous Photoshops to brighten dreary days of studying.

 c) Tianyu Wang

Hey everyone! My name is Tianyu and I am running for the position of Graphic Designer for the 2015-2016 school year!  I’m currently a second year undergraduate student pursuing a specialist in Neuroscience and a major in Immunology. I have had the pleasure of attending some of the great NAUS events this year, and I hope to join the team and contribute to make next years events even more amazing! Although I will be new to the NAUS council, I sincerely wish to get to know each and every one of you in the neuroscience community!

Graphic design and video making have been my biggest hobbies since elementary school, and although I have mainly been developing these skills on my own, I have also taken digital illustration classes in order to gain some professional tips and techniques. I am always working on my own creative projects, as well as projects for clubs, mainly using Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator.

During my first year at U of T, I was on the Humber River Hospital Student Association’s marketing team and I made posters, flyers and logos for their events, such as the pub night, bake sales and sports tournaments. As well, I was a layout designer for The Victoriad (Victoria College’s yearbook). Last summer during my job as an intern at the YMCA, I was asked to design posters, business cards and templates for the School-Age program. Currently, I am in the Pre-Medical Society as VP Digital Media, and I am also a layout associate for the Journal of Undergraduate Life Sciences.

A large part of hosting events and reaching out to fellow neuroscience students is to get their attention first, and as graphic designer for NAUS, I will make posters, flyers and other promotional materials for NAUS events that are eye-catching, funny, meaningful and visually appealing!


8. Third-year representative

a) Dilpreet Moti

Hello brainiacs! If you are looking for a dil-igent and moti-vated individual as your Third-Year Representative, I hope that I, Dilpreet Moti, can be of service. While I am a fresh face to NAUS, the leadership skills that I have developed and refined through my involvement in a host of other campus clubs will be put to the best of uses if elected for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Neuroscience certainly is a fascinating field of study, however in the hustle and bustle of a student’s academic life, this fascination is sometimes momentarily diminished. By working closely with other members of NAUS, I hope to bring the alluring appeal of neuroscience back to its future investment: students! One way to go about achieving this is by getting students involved in academic and social events held by NAUS; and the first step to getting students involved is by getting them in the know. If elected, you can definitely expect energizing and enthusiastic class announcements that will keep NAUS affairs at the tip of your fingers (or should I say, forefront of your mind!).

Another approach of increasing student participation is by finding out what exactly students would like to get involved in. If you ever have a comment, suggestion, concern, or idea, feel free to approach me, and I will be sure to relay your voice back to the NAUS team. Furthermore if there are any matters that you may have, I will gladly lend you my auditory cortex and hear you out.

Community building among third-year students with each other, peers from other years, and the department, is an initiative that I would like to drive forward for next year. By fostering an atmosphere of inclusivity and camaraderie, I hope that it not only creates an aura of positivity within the classroom walls, but also extends into the greater University of Toronto community. With a large student population, being able to seek out and make new companions through a crowd really does wonders in encouraging students to try new things and to get involved too.

Spirited and sincere, friendly and focused, determined and dynamic, I hope I fit the bill for being your ideal third-year representative. With a dash of creativity and a sprinkle of inventiveness, my goal is to share my excitement for neuroscience with students, and to assist NAUS with branching out to other campus groups for innovative collaborations.

Where there is a will there is a way, and if you elect Dil, I’ll be sure to make your day!

b) Claudia Tersigni

Hello fellow neuroscientists!

My name is Claudia Tersigni and this year I will be running for YOUR Third-Year Representative! I am currently in second year pursuing a double major in both Neuroscience and Psychology, as well as a minor in Music History and Culture. Although I am a fresh face here at NAUS, I hope to contribute my skills, qualities, and talents to your team during the upcoming academic year.

Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated with the world of science! This infatuation was ignited when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at just 10 years old. Being a student is tough, but being a student with a disability gives new life to the word “challenge.”  Living with IBD has opened up my eyes and heart to the scientific community, inspiring me each day to continue to flourish and develop in my field. I have since been involved in research at the Hospital for Sick Children and Toronto General Hospital. These opportunities have allowed me to form many connections and gain academic and interpersonal tools, making me a potential asset to the NAUS team.

At U of T, I have demonstrated my leadership qualities in various ways. This year, I was a passionate advocate for the student body of my HMB220 class. A few dedicated classmates and myself both fundraised and promoted several events in support of the Geneva Centre for Autism Foundation. Our main goal was to give the gift of communication to children with autism who otherwise struggle with the everyday social interactions that we take for granted. Through this experience, I have gained an understanding of how to organize and plan events, how to be an impactful leader, and above all else I have gained a deeper appreciation for teamwork: the hidden key to success in any club at the University of Toronto. I plan on bringing all of this to NAUS in order to enhance the undergraduate neuroscience experience!

A “representative,” to me is someone who accurately embodies the lives of the students. My record exemplifies a motivated, organized, passionate and self-driven advocacy coupled with a friendly and outgoing personality. With my diverse background, connections, and leadership experience, it would be an honor to represent the neuroscience student body! If elected, I will focus on building a compact community amongst all neuroscience students. I look forward to meeting you all, and thank you for considering me to be a part of NAUS.

Help me help YOU make a difference!

9. Graduating-year representative

a) Jessica Gosio

Hello everyone!

My name is Jessica Gosio and I am a third year neuroscience specialist student going into my fourth and final year here at the glorious U of T. I want to be your graduating year representative because in my opinion neuroscience is the most fascinating and imperative topic out there to be studying and I want all neuro-students to feel this way! Neuroscience is a fairly new field in the world of research, with new discoveries being made daily and historic perceptions of the brain being re-vamped regularly. What this field needs right now is creative and out-of-the-box thinkers to continue advancing research and medicine and that is exactly the kind of students U of T is breeding! I have no doubt in my mind that our graduates will go on to be leaders in the field of neuroscience, and I want to help all students get to that point by coordinating different events that will support students academically as well as mentally.

I plan to do this by setting up a networking and future-bridging workshop early on in the year that will allow students to talk to graduate students and professors who come from a common background in neuroscience and find out where their career paths lead them to help inspire graduating students. Another initiative involves the idea of promoting proper brain health by providing stress reducing tips and tricks not only to neuroscience students, but all students throughout the school year, as we all know how important proper brain health is!

If elected a member of NAUS, I vouch to bring my responsibility, hard work ethic, and team player attitude to all meetings. I have previous involvement in a number of U of T clubs and running councils in high school so I come with experience and enthusiasm! I am also approachable, open to new ideas, and enjoy public speaking!

Please vote for me for Graduating Year Rep so I can continue to help NAUS show this campus just how amazing neuroscience truly is!

5th Annual Canadian Universities Life Science Challenge (CULSC 2015)


Anatomy! Genetics! Microbiology! Psychology! By your powers combined, you can WIN the 5th annual Canadian Undergraduate Life Sciences Challenge!

Undergraduate university students from across Canada are invited to participate in an intense weekend filled with competition, socials, and seminars in breakthrough lectures. Teams of up to four undergraduate students must register in advance for this event, for only $10/participant. This reserves your spot in the competition, gives you access to social events, and includes 2 days of breakfast, and 2 days of lunch.

The competition itself will be held in 6 rounds spread out over the weekend. Each round will consist of questions in various subjects, with each round increasing in difficulty. The topics covered include:

(1) Neuroscience and Psychology
(2) Molecular Biology and Genetics
(3) Physiology
(4) Anatomy
(5) Pathobiology, Immunology, and Microbiology
(6) Biochemistry and Pharmacology

The top team will receive a monetary prize and a trophy. There will also be prizes awarded for the most spirited team, the overall highest scoring university, and more.

Online registration is available now at, so start forming your teams! There is no limit to the number of teams each school can send.

The deadline to register for the 2015 Canadian University Life Sciences Challenge will be Friday, March 6th at 5:00 pm. Last minute teams will be permitted to register on March 6th between 5:00pm-6:30pm.

3rd Annual Everything Neuroscience (∑N) Conference: The Digital Brain

Everything N: The Digital Brain

TITLE: Everything Neuroscience (∑N): The Digital Brain
DATE / TIME / TICKETS: November 8th, 2014 / 10:00AM – 3:00PM / $5.25 (includes breakfast, lunch), purchase here
LOCATION: Medical Sciences Building – Stone Lobby, 1 King’s College Circle, University of Toronto
The Neuroscience Association of Undergraduate Students (NAUS) at the University of Toronto is pleased to present our 3rd annual undergraduate conference entitled ‘Everything Neuroscience (∑N): The Digital Brain’ on the topic of the fruitful intersection between neuroscience and computer science.
Neuroscience today has been dramatically augmented by technological innovations such as fMRI, widescale genetic mapping, and computational modelling, which all require the sophisticated algorithms and analytics of computer science. At the same time, many disciplines, including computer science, continue to share theoretical insights into the inner working of the brain. We are pleased to present a wide variety of exciting topics – from modelling individual neurons to how activity is integrated accross the brain – and encourage students from neuroscience, cognitive science and computer science alike to attend.
We are especially delighted to have as our keynote speaker Dr. Randy McIntosh, director of the Rotman Research Institute and The Virtual Brain Project, an initiative seeking to provide the world’s first open, individualized simulation of the entire brain.
We will also be holding an undergraduate research poster session during the lunch hour. We encourage undergraduate students to submit any neuroscience-related research project to with the phrase “Everything N Poster Submission” in the subject line and a 250-word abstract, title and author list. The deadline for poster submissions is October 31th, 2014.
Please refer to the itinerary below for further room location, event and speaker details. Continue reading