Team Members

Maria Vera Ugalde Ph.D. Principal Investigator

Maria obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Navarra, Spain. She moved to New York City for her postdoctoral training with Evgeny Nudler at NYU Medical Center, where she became interested in the regulation of the stress response. Then, she moved to the laboratory of Robert Singer at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she developed single-cell and single-molecule fluorescence microscopy approaches to resolving the stress response.




Postdoctoral Fellow

Celia Alecki

PhD. FRQS fellow

I obtained a master’s in genetics at the University of Bordeaux Segalen, France. I moved to Montreal and obtained a Ph. D. in biochemistry at the University of Montreal, during which I studied the function of R-loops in the targeting of Polycomb group protein in Drosophila . Joining Dr. Vera Ugalde lab as a postdoc, I will continue studying the function of R-loops in mammals in the context of the stress response.


Graduate Students

Lokha Ranjani Alagar Boopathy

Ph.D. Student. FRQS fellow. Arthur S. Hawkes fellow.

Lokha obtained her Master’s in Medical Biotechnology from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. She joined the lab in 2019 and has been working on the induction and attenuation of heat shock response. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and astrophotography. 




Stella Xu

MSc Student

Stella studied biochemistry and computer science as an undergraduate at McGill University. She joined the lab to study heat shock protein’s mRNA translation and trafficking in dendrites. Outside the lab, she enjoys exploring coffee shops and taking care of her plants 🌱




Luca Lazzari

MSc Student 

NSERC fellow summer 2022

Luca studied Pharmacology and Therapeutics as an undergraduate at McGill. His project focuses on studying the translation of PINK1 mRNA. In his free time, he enjoys playing sports such as soccer and golf. 




Talar Ghadanian

MSc Student 

I’m a Biochemistry Master’s student. I am studying the translation mechanism of Heat Shock Protein (HSP70). 






Shruti Iyer

MSc Student

Shruti studied biochemistry as an undergraduate at McGill. She is thrilled to be joining the Vera Ugalde lab in Fall 2023 as an M.Sc student. In her free time, she likes to sit out in the park (weather permitting) and is in search of the best coffee in Montreal.





Undergraduate Research Students


Nathan Pilkey

I am a fourth-year student studying Microbiology and Immunology. My project is investigating viral replication organelles using smFISH microscopy. Outside of the lab, I enjoy hiking, canoe-tripping, and cooking. 




Kevin Muntos

Kevin Munos

I am a third-year student majoring in Anatomy and Cell Biology. My project examines the decay of HSP70 mRNA during recovery from stress. In my free time, I enjoy playing soccer, mixing music and event planning.








Evan Daynard

I am a fourth-year biochemistry student conducting my honours research project on the factors regulating the translation of heat shock proteins (HSP70). In my spare time, I play on several recreational sports teams, and I enjoy playing music and learning new instruments





Alexandra Dimitrov: Second-year Pharmacology Student

Jessamine Mattson: Biochemistry Student                                                                                  











 Lab Alumni

Graduate Students

  • Alan Xiao (2019-2021).
  • Suleima Jacob-Tomas (2019-2022).

Honour’s and BIOC 396 Undergraduate Students

  • Luca Lazzari (Fall 2022-Winter 2023)
  • Talar Ghadanian (Winter 2023).
  • Jan Mak (Winter 2023).
  • Tad Wu (Fall 2022-Winter 2023)
  • Kyla Edelmeier (Fall 2022).
  • Zoe Wefers (Winter 2022).
  • Emma Beadle (Fall 2021).
  • Ryan Huang (Summer 2020).
  • Maanasa Koripalli (Fall 2020-Winter 2021).

Undergraduate Students

  • Luca Lazzari (NSERC fellow Summer 2022).
  • Idia Boncheva (Winter 2022-Summer 2022).
  • Delina Efren (Winter 2022-Summer 2022).
  • Jennifer Jiang (Summer 2020-Fall 2021).
  • Sonya Madan (Summer 2019-Fall 2020).

Visiting students from Universidad Francisco de Vitoria and University of Navarra

  • Iratxe Aldaba Gonzalez (Summer 2023).
  • Aitana Garia Bueno Rico (Winter 2022).
  • Irene Garcia de Andres (Winter 2020).




María Vera Ugalde

McIntyre Medical Sciences Building
3655 promenade Sir-William-Osler
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1Y6