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Neal I. Callaghan

Where is he now:
PhD student, Simmons Cellular Mechanobiology Lab Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto

Neal Ingraham Callaghan is an Honours Biochemistry graduate from Mount Allison University. Originally from Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada, Neal began his studies at Mount Allison in the Fall 2010 semester. Throughout his undergraduate years, he expertly and successfully balanced his academics, research, and extra-curricular activities.

Neal ranked as a Dean’s List student in every year. In the summer between his 2nd and 3rd years, he was awarded a Carnegie Summer Research Award, which he chose to hold in the lab of Dr. Tyson J. MacCormack, where he assisted in studies on the molecular mechanisms of nanoparticle toxicity in fish and in vitro serum models. In the summer of 2013, Neal was awarded the Goodridge Summer Undergraduate Award and began doing research with Chris. He continued the work he began over the summer towards an undergraduate honours thesis over the 2013-2014 academic year. The overall scope of Neal’s work was to study the regulation of oxidoreductases in response to nanoparticle toxicity in fish- specifically white muscle lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)- and attempt to define any mechanisms by which it is regulated.

In May 2014, Neal began working with MacCormack towards graduate research at Mount Allison. He was funded by a New Brunswick Innovation Foundation Graduate Scholarship and Mount Allison’s only 2015-2016 NSERC-CGS M. Approximately 2 years later, Neal began his doctoral studies with Dr. Craig A. Simmons at the University of Toronto. He is currently funded by a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS).

Neal has been a teaching assistant for a plethora of courses, including the laboratory components of: 1) Introductory Chemistry I (CHEM 1001), 2) Evolution, Ecology, and the Diversity of Organisms (BIOL 1001), 3) Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 2111), and 4) Enzymology and Metabolism (BIOC 2001). He has also been a tutor for the Physics student society, and for 2nd-year Biochemistry courses. In his “spare” time, he has avidly participated in the extensive Shinerama campaign held annually at Mount Allison; on Shine Day 2012, he had the role of “Super Shiner.” He has also participated as a mentor in the Global Health subgroup of Leadership Mount Allison, as a campus tour ambassador, and was the vice-president of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu club. Neal served as VP Biochem of the MTA Chemistry and Biochemistry Society for the 2013-2014 academic year.

How did his past experience help him get where he is now?
“My current research focuses on engineered substrates for stem cell culture. One of my aims is to develop an ideal substrate free of animal or bacterial products to maintain stem cell pluripotency for downstream applications. A second aim is to use the physical, nanoscale topography of the substrate to direct stem cell differentiation to desired phenotypes. This research relies on the blending of several fields that I’ve touched on in the lab and lecture hall with Dr. Dieni, including protein biochemistry, signal transduction, organic chemistry, and cell biology.”

Some of Neal’s accomplishments while a member of the Dieni Research Group (most recent to least recent):
Alumnus Neal Callaghan wins prestigious Vanier scholarship
Metal oxide nanomaterials in blood plasma
“Cerium nanoparticles exhibit minimal cardiac and cytotoxicity…” is in press at CBPC
Alumnus Neal Callaghan wins Mount Allison’s only 2015-2016 NSERC CGS-M
“Cardiorespiratory toxicity of environmentally relevant zinc oxide nanoparticles…” is now available online
Manuscript receives final acceptance for publication in Nanotoxicology
Our 2014 Honours Students convocate!
“Physiological hepatic response to zinc oxide nanoparticle exposure…” is now online
Manuscript receives final acceptance by Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology – Part C: Toxicology and Pharmacology
Neal receives departmental award for graduating students
Neal is featured in the latest “Honours Profile” of The Argosy
“Spherical Gold Nanoparticles Impede the Function of Bovine Serum Albumin In vitro” is now online
Chris and Neal present at the 2013 Association of Atlantic Universities Teaching Showcase
Neal and Pat present at ARCP 2013
Manuscript accepted at Journal of Nanomaterials and Molecular Nanotechnology
Neal and Pat present at the Mount Allison Summer Undergraduate Research Fair (SURF)
2013 Association of Atlantic Universities Teaching Showcase
Neal interviewed by CHMA 106.9 FM
The Dieni Research Group attends and presents at the CSZ 2013 Annual Meeting
Neal selected as a finalist for the CSZ 2013 Annual Meeting Holeton Award
Neal wins EPCOR Water Ltd Student Travel Award
Neal selected as a finalist for the CSZ 2013 Annual Meeting Battle Award
Neal wins student union travel award
Neal becomes VP Biochem of the MTA Chemistry and Biochemistry Society
Neal wins departmental travel award

Additional materials about Neal:
Biology master’s student Neal Callaghan gained valuable experience on a research trip to Portugal this past spring
Mount Allison Researchers Net Over $1-Million in Funding
Neal receives Canada Graduate Scholarship (Mount Allison Facebook post)
Graduate studies in Science at Mount Allison

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