International Alumni Profiles

Meet some of our international graduates

Hanan Goldberg

Hanan Goldberg

MSc Alumnus, 2020
Home country: Israel
Research area: Prostate cancer prevention

Profession: Assistant Professor and Uro-oncologist, Department of Urology at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New-York, USA

Why did you choose IMS for your graduate studies?
The IMS graduate training program was diverse and comprehensive. The courses were very informative and the instructors were excellent.

What were some of the highlights of your time at IMS?
I learnt a lot from all my courses, but especially the statistical courses, and health outcomes research. This really helped me to better understand the research I was involved in.

Any advice for new international students?
Study and participate in courses that interest you and advance your research. However, don’t forget to leave time for yourself to breath, have fun, and enjoy the beautiful city of Toronto.

What was your favourite part of living in Toronto?
The city of Toronto is very diverse, multicultural, with many places to go and visit, great food, and wonderful welcoming people.

What is a typical work week like for you?
I work as a physician and see urologic patients in the clinic and I also perform surgeries. I am also involved in research, assessing various urologic cancer related outcomes.

What do you like best about your job?
The daily interaction with patients, seeing their look of gratitude after a successful operation, and developing a relationship with the patients over time. Also, the satisfaction after publishing a manuscript with my original research idea is always an exhilarating experience.


Fernando Montaño Rendón

PhD Alumnus, 2022
Research area: The role phosphoinositides play as key signalling lipid molecules in the process of phagocytosis in macrophages
Home country: Mexico

Profession: Medical Writer at Sage Renegade

Why did you choose IMS for your graduate studies?
As an international medical graduate, IMS seemed like the best option for me to continue my academic education because of the variety of courses and areas of research available.

What were some of the highlights of your time at IMS?
I met a lot of great and brilliant people (students, staff and faculty) and learned a lot inside and outside the lab and classroom. I also co-founded the IMS International Community student group to provide support to international students at IMS.

What is your advice for new international students?
Reach out to your fellow international and domestic students for support. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. Stay active, eat well and be kind to yourself and others.

What's your favorite part of living in Toronto?
I love Toronto mainly because it is a multicultural city with so much to offer.

What is a typical work week like for you?
Attending meetings and reviewing literature, extracting relevant information, and developing communication materials for multiple healthcare settings.

What do you like best about your job?
It is mentally stimulating and engaging. I am able to keep up-to-date with relevant scientific literature and apply it in the field of science communication. Also, I enjoy the flexibility that a mostly remote job offers.

Neda Rashidi-Ranjbar

Neda Rashidi-Ranjbar

PhD Alumna, 2022
Research area:
Brain networks in the population at-risk of Alzheimer’s dementia
Home country: Iran

Profession: Post-Doctoral Fellow II, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto

What were some of the highlights of your time at IMS?
I received the GSEF Merit Scholarships for International Students when I started my PhD program, and was later nominated by IMS for the OGS (Ontario Graduate Scholarship) international award. In 2022 I was the recipient of the IMS
Sara Al-Bader Memorial Award. However, the greatest highlight was forming the IMS International Community - a group that I wish existed when I started my PhD.

What is your advice for new international students?
Find your people and community. Getting involved in extra curricular activities helps to balance graduate life and to build friendships beyond the lab. Be mindful of your mental health. Grad life is challenging for everyone, and international students face additional unique challenges. There are great mental health services on campus that you can get access through the university clinic - free of charge.

What do you like best about living in Toronto?
Toronto is the most multicultural city I have experienced. You can find communities from all over the globe, learn their culture, participate in their ceremonies, and enjoy their food.

What is a typical work week like for you?
I received a 1-year fellowship from 
MITO2i-TDRA to conduct a clinical trial investigating a photo-biomodulation technique in treating patients with dementia.
We are currently in the process of getting the REB approval. So, I have been busy writing the protocol and collecting other required documents. Once we receive the REB approval and the study starts, I'll interact with patients and collect data, including MRI scans. 

What do you like best about your job?
It is dynamic and I get to challenge myself.