As a new nation, Canada has some growing pains to work through, but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the world, especially during the current pandemic. I believe that the vast majority of Canadians care about the health and welfare of all Canadians as well as the health of our fragile environment. As I look out at the streets of Winnipeg this Canada Day, I can see that people are still largely self-isolating to protect themselves and others, which is heartening, given what is happening in other countries. I am incredibly thankful to be living in Canada!

Although the last year has been very challenging, there have been some very positive highlights. I received my first NSERC Discovery Grant, which will allow me to continue exciting studies on Wnt signaling mechanisms in pluripotent stem cell models. Thank you NSERC! I was also fortunate to be a co-applicant on a grant led by Dr. Tamra Werbowetski-Ogilvie, which was awarded funding from  the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.  I look forward to working with Tamra on the childhood cancer, Medulloblastoma. I have also been able to recruit two international students, one of whom has just completed her two-week self-isolation period, Anna. Anna made the long trek from Vietnam under less than ideal conditions, and I am so happy to have her join me here in Winnipeg. A student from Iran will be joining the lab in January, and I can't wait to get the lab's projects ramped up again.

Victor has been making great progress with some TurboID studies, and is on track to defend his doctoral thesis at the end of August. Luckily, he'll be sticking around Winnipeg for a few months after August, as a postdoc in Tamra's lab.

The pictures accompanying this post were taken from various spots along my morning bike outings in Assiniboine Park and the Assiniboine Forest.