Nov 17, 2023

IMS Innovators Win Big at Angels Den 2023

Angel's Den
By Sarah Topa

Every year teams of top scientists from St. Michael's Hospital take part in its annual Angels Den competition where they pitch their groundbreaking research projects to judges and jurors for a chance at $500,000 in funding.

This year's competition took place on October 11, 2023 and included finalists specializing in emergency medicine, critical care, community medicine, cancer and heart disease.

The 2023 winners included IMS faculty Dr. Sunit Das,  Dr. Mohammad Qadura and IMS alumnus Muzammil Syed. Find out more about their research and innovative healthcare solutions below.

Via Angels Den:

Sunit Das

Sarah McComb Award for Cancer Research

What are the mediators of brain metastasis in patients with breast cancer?

Dr. Sunit Das

Clinician Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, and Neurosurgeon, St. Michael’s Hospital​

THE CHALLENGE: Thirty to 50 percent of patients with breast cancer will develop intracranial metastatic disease (IMD), which occurs when a cancer that starts in one part of the body spreads (metastasizes) to the brain. The development of IMD has a significant impact on a patient’s survival and their quality of life. Women with metastatic HER2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer, in particular, are at a higher risk of developing IMD. The big question is why?

THE SOLUTION: We will analyze tumour tissue from patients with HER2+ breast cancer and IMD in order to determine if the development of brain metastasis is associated with loss of HER2 expression or resistance to medicines that target HER2. The study will give us insight into disease mechanisms that lead to IMD in these patients, and help researchers identify new targets for more effective treatments.


Keenan Award for Medical Discovery Winners

Keenan Award for Medical Discovery

Cardio MedCheck: Is Your Medicine Working?

Dr. Mohammad Qadura

Clinician Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and Vascular Surgeon, St. Michael's Hospital

Muzammil Syed

Research Staff, St. Michael’s Hospital & IMS Alumnus

THE CHALLENGE: Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death globally. Although millions of people are prescribed medications to treat their condition, more than 30 percent don’t get the right dosages or medication. One reason is that factors such as weight and genetics that impact how well a medication performs are normally not considered.

THE SOLUTION: Dr. Mohammad Qadura and Muzammil Syed have developed Cardio MedCheck. The device is a convenient urine test that measures the amount of cardiovascular drugs in your system to assess whether your body can absorb the medication, if you have the right amount, or if you need a different medication.