Dr. Ian Tobias Brings Expertise in Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics to OVC’s Department of Biomedical Sciences

January 19, 2024

Dr. Ian Tobias specializes in functional genomics, a branch of biology that studies how genes function and interact. He uses bioinformatics – a set of software tools – to analyze complex genetic codes to better understand the variation in neurological traits and disease risk in animals and humans.  

As a new faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), Tobias’ lab seeks to find treatment methods for neurological disorders that are presently considered untreatable. 

Before joining OVC, Tobias did postdoctoral research on gene regulatory networks in neural stem cells in the Department of Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Toronto. 

Prior to that, as a PhD student in Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Western Ontario, Tobias provided a greater understanding of the earliest stages of development in mammals by studying canine embryonic stem cells.  

“It is a tremendous honour to have Dr. Tobias join our department,” said Dr. Tarek Saleh, Chair, Department of Biomedical Sciences. “Ian’s innovative research will have a tremendous impact on many of the research themes within our department, but also within the larger OVC research community.” 

 “I am fascinated by genomes, how they vary within human and animal populations, and the cutting-edge tools we develop to understand how even small changes in the genetic blueprint can impact development and physiology,” said Tobias. “I am delighted to bring my expertise and passion to this community to help answer these questions and form new collaborations that bridge different research focuses within the department and OVC.” 

As he starts his tenure at U of G, Tobias is being honoured with the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) Rising Stars Award presented annually to one Canadian early career faculty in a Neuroscience-related field. The award of $50,000 is intended to increase the successful transition and retention of diverse, early-career neuroscientists into academic positions by providing funds to make a significant difference in their research. 

Tobias is a member of the Neyaashiinigmiing Anishinabek community and joins OVC as part of the U of G's Black and Indigenous Hiring Initiative (BIHI)." 

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