Ciernia Lab News

Congratulations to Hitasha Bajaj on receiving her Master’s in Neuroscience!


Congratulations to Postdocs Dr. Megan Rowland and Dr. Jordan Hamden on both receiving CIHR postdoc fellowships!

Congratulations to Kaitlyn Tonary and Shreya Ghandi for winning summer research fellowships!

Check out PhD student Jennifer Kim’s newest BioRxivPaper on immune memory!

Congratulations to PhD student Morgan Towriss on receiving a Vanier Graduate student fellowship – one of the most prestigious fellowships in Canada!!!

Well done undergraduate Coco Koltek on winning a presentation award at the BMB EDI work-learn undergrad presentations!

Congratulations to MSc students John Ni and soon to be graduate student Cal Rosete on receiving CGS-M awards!

Check out graduate student Jennifer Kim’s new BioRxiv Paper on Microglia morphology analysis and her excellent documentation on github and YouTube!

Check out the DMCBH feature article on MSc student Hitasha Baja and her recent endowment award!

Congratulations to Laura Meleady (graduated from the Ciernia lab in 2022) and Morgan Towriss (current PhD student) on their new co-author paper out in Epigenetics! Check out the twitter summary here.

Thank you to CIHR for funding TWO CIHR project grants! One focuses on microglial epigenetics and the other on microglial changes during gut inflammation caused by altered human microbiota!

Thank you to Research Corp for Scientific Advancement for supporting the Scialog Microbiome, Neurobiology and Disease that funded two of our projects examining how the early life microbiome communication shapes microglial development!

Thank you to the DMCBH for a kickstart award to explore microglial epigenetic links to metabolism! 

The Microglial Gene List Enrichment R Shiny App just got an update – 97 new gene lists added (July 2023) and the updated github code is available.

Thank you to the UBC Precision Medicine Grant for funding our new work on PU.1 in regulating gene expression in AD!

Thank you to the DMCBH Alzheimer’s Disease Grant for funding our work with the Tropini and Wellington labs to study the role of the microbiome in AD! 

Check out recent talks by Dr. Megan Rowland on Baf53b in ASD and Dr. Annie Ciernia on microglial gene regulation from the Fragile Nucleosome seminar series.

Congratulations to undergraduates Ching Zhang (UBC Neuroscience Research Excellency Award) and Carmen Choo (ImmunoTheraputics Cluster 3MT Competition Award) on recent research awards!

Congratulations to undergraduates Michelle Chan (Faculty of Medicine SURE award), Vivien Dang (SSRP) and Cal Rosete (NSERC USRA) on fellowships to conduct summer research in the Ciernia lab!

Congratulations to now PhD candidate Morgan Towriss on passing her comps exam!!! And on receiving a graduate student fellowship!!!

Congratulations to all the undergraduate student directed studies students presenting their work at the 2023 poster sessions!


Happy International Women’s Day!

Dr. Ciernia and collaborator Dr. Carolina Tropini are featured by the faculty of medicine for their collaboration work on understanding the gut microbiome-brain microglia interactions during development and inflammation. 


Graduate student Morgan Towriss presenting her poster at the 2023 Glia Biology Gordon Research Conference in Ventura, California.

Dr. Ciernia is selected as one of the Spectrum New’s 2022 40 under 40 lead researchers in autism-related fields!

Excited to announce new funding from Brain Canada as part of the 2021 Future Leaders Program for our collaborative microbiome project with Carolina Tropini’s lab! 

Check out our new preprint on BioRxiv on Hdac3’s regulation of microglia in culture. In vivo data coming soon!

Check out our new review paper on sex differences in microglia

Congratulations to Dr. Megan Rowland on receiving the 2022 Marshall Fellowship and the 2022 Michael Smith Health Research Trainee Award!!! 

Olivia Sullivan presenting her post at the International conference on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease.

Congratulations to Dr. Ciernia for receiving a Michael Smith Health Research Scholars award!

Congratulations to Laura Meleady on successfully defending her Master’s Thesis!!!

Lab hang out at the Centre for Brain Health Retreat at UBC-O!

Congratulations to Morgan Towriss on receiving the Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship!!!

Congratulations to Olivia Sullivan & Hitasha Bajaj on receiving CGSM funding for next year!

Congratulations to Jenn Kim on passing her PhD comprehensive exams! 

Check out Dr. Ciernia’s recent public talk on epigenetics in microglia regulation (10min). Original talk was given for the Leading Scholars of Green College.

Congratulations to postdoc Dr. Megan Rowland on two recent papers! Hughes, Rowland et al. 2022 in Translational Psychiatry  and a review on Baf53b in Autism in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience (2022)!!! This work was also featured by DMCBH in a recent press release.

Congratulations to undergraduate Justin Jao- His paper on our MGEnrichment App is now out in PLoS Computational Biology!!!

Super excited to announce funding of our rat 2-hit collaboration project with the Winstanley lab!!! Thank you to the Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation for your support!

Thank you to MSFHR for the Next Generation Scholars Award to Dr. Ciernia!

Welcome to new graduate students Morgan Towriss & Olivia Sullivan, new co-op student Brandon Wong, and new undergrads Jana Jajarmi, Mark Sgro and Vince Bacarac!!!

Check out the new CBH article on Justin’s Microglia Enrichment App! And the corresponding BioRxiv paper.

Congratulations to all the undergraduate summer student fellowships: Michelle Lu (Faculty of Medicine SURE award), Olivia Sullivan (FoM Summer Student Research Program Award), Jessie Chai (NSERC URSA)!!!

Thank you to NSERC for our new Research Tools and Instruments grant! 

Check out the Ciernia Lab YouTube Video shorts! And Olivia Sullivan’s 3 Minute Thesis Presentation!

We are excited for our new Co-PI funded project on the influence of ApoE and sex on neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease with Dr. Liisa Galea! Thank you to the CBH for the Dawn Shaw Alzheimer’s disease research award!

Congratulations to Jenn Kim on receiving the UBC Neuroscience Four Year Graduate Fellowship!!!

Congratulations to Laura Meleady for being one of the winners of the 2020 Astell Awards for her work promoting Equity, Diversity and Inclusion!!

Congratulations to undergraduate student Jessie Chai on receiving a scholarship from the Vancouver Korean-Canadian Scholarship Foundation!

Check out the inaugural issue of Neuropsyched! A graduate student run Neuroscience communication platform by trainees for trainees. Dr. Ciernia is featured in the Scientist Spotlight!


Congratulations to Jennifer Kim on receiving a CONP fellowship!!


We are so excited to get back into the lab – with new safety protocols, social distancing and a batch of home-made masks. Thanks to my two Aunts-in-Laws for sewing and mailing us some amazing masks!


Ciernia lab received a DMCBH KickStart Award to examine how LPS moves through the blood and potentially into the brain using live, whole animal imaging!


Check out the new paper from Dr. Ciernia (the last one from her postdoc at UC Davis)! And the corresponding feature article in Science in the City.


Congratulations to Megan Rowland on a postdoctoral award from DMCBH!!!

Congratulations to undergraduate student Brianna Bristow on a UBC Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Award to work in the lab over the summer!!!

Congratulations to graduate student Jennifer Kim on receiving a DMCBH Graduate Student Award!!!

Congratulations to Laura Meleady on an NSERC CGS-M Scholarship for 2020-2021!!!!

Congratulations to undergraduate student Laura Meleady on receiving a summer NSERC URSA!!


Check out Dr. Ciernia’s latest talk at the Neuropsychiatry Grand Rounds at UBC.


We are incredibly grateful to the SickKids Foundation and CIHR for our new grant to study chromatin remodeling in brain development and Autism Spectrum Disorders!

Check out the DMCBH press release on this project!


Ciernia Lab Featured in Spectrum News


Check out Dr. Ciernia’s newest paper, out this week in Cerebral Cortex!!!!!! The analysis code is up on her githup.


Dr. Ciernia received a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair for Understanding Gene Regulation in the Brain!!!


The Ciernia lab will open at UBC in July 2019!

Microglia (red), neurons (green), and astrocytes (cyan) in mouse cortex.