Scientific Day

The Annual Scientific Day is the academic highlight of the year.

It is designed to highlight student achievements, teaching excellence and to provide opportunities for students to work on presentation skills and for faculty and students to interact.  All faculty and students are encouraged to attend.

Scientific Day takes place in May each year. Students are invited to compete for a number of Scientific Day Student Awards, including the Laidlaw Manuscript Competition and the Alan Wu Poster Competition. IMS faculty members and students will be updated via email of competition deadlines and Scientific Day events.

As part of their degree requirements, all MSc and PhD students must present their research project at Scientific Day once during their degree. Please read the Scientific Day Memo carefully for details on how to participate. The memo includes important information on the Laidlaw Manuscript Competition, the Alan Wu Poster Competition, Award Nominations and more.

Click here for the Scientific Day Memo 2022


Dr. Gelareh Zadeh

Bernard Langer Annual Lecture in Health Sciences Keynote Speaker: 

This year we are thrilled to have Dr. Gelareh Zadeh from the University of Toronto present the 2022 Keynote Address on the topic of "Clinically Relevant Molecular Data Driving Surgical Management for Brain Tumors".

Dr. Gelareh Zadeh is a Professor at the Department of Surgery and Head of Neurosurgery at Toronto Western Hospital. She leads Surgical Oncology at Princess Margaret Cancer Center and is a Senior Scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Research Institute.

She holds the Wilkins Family Chair in Brain Tumor Research focusing on building surgical clinical trials for brain tumor patients.

Internationally, she is the President of the Society for Neuro-Oncology and Editor-in-Chief of Neuro-Oncology Advances, an open access journal of Society of Neuro-Oncology and European Association of Neuro-Oncology.

Her clinical practice focuses on Skull Base Neuro-Oncology, with dedicated     general brain tumour clinic and many multidisciplinary clinics that she has established at UHN such as skull base, pituitary, brain metastases, gamma knife, and neurofibromatosis clinic.


Tuesday, May 17 from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM at Hart House

8:45 - 10:15 AM: Alan Wu Poster Competition 

E-poster presentations
Great Hall, East Common Room & Music Room

Click here for the abstract booklet.

10:15 - 10:30 AM: Director's Report

Dr. Mingyao Liu, IMS Director
Great Hall 

10:30 - 11:30 AM: Keynote Lecture 

Dr. Gelareh ZadehClinically Relevant Molecular Data Driving Surgical Management for Brain Tumors".
Great Hall

11: 45 AM - 12: 45 PM: Laidlaw Competition 

Great Hall
Student Presenters:

  • Akihiro Nakamura, PhD Candidate: "Macrophage migration inhibitor factor drives pathology of spondyloarthritis"
    PI: Dr. Nigil Haroon
  • Deanna Ng, PhD Candidate: "Plk4 promotes peritoneal metastasis through activation of the Rac1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor PREX2"
    PI: Dr. Carol Swallow
  • Nicolette Stogios, PhD Candidate: "Metformin for the prevention of clozapine-induced weight gain: a retrospective naturalistic cohort study"
    PI: Dr. Mahavir Agarwal
  • Jeffrey Zuccato, PhD Candidate: "Clinically relevant prognostic DNA methylation-based chordoma subtypes detectable non-invasively in patient plasma"
    PI: Dr. Gelareh Zadeh

12:45 - 2:00 PM: Lunch Break

Lower Gallery Hall

Let’s Talk Grad Wellness is hosting “real conversations” in the Music Room during the lunch break where students can discuss graduate student wellness and healthy student supervisor relationships. There will also be several wellness stations you can participate in.

2:00 - 3:15 PM: Research Panels (Concurrent)

Artificial Intelligence in Medicine:
Great Hall

  • Faculty Panelists:
    Dr. Muhammad Mamdani, Director T-CAIREM; Vice-President of Data Science and Advanced Analytics, Unity Health Toronto

    Dr. Michael Chaiton, Scientist, Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, CAMH; Director of Research, Ontario Tobacco Research Unit
  • Student Panelists:
    Atsuhiro Hibi, PhD Student: "Automated Computed Tomography Scoring of Traumatic Brain Injury via Reduced Annotation Workload"
    PI: Drs. Pascal Tyrell and Michael Cusimano

    Earvin Tio, MSc Student: "Exploration of the Neuroinflammatory Mechanisms of Suicidal Ideation using Machine Learning and a Whole-person Approach"
    PI: Dr. Daniel Felsky

Health Equity in Medicine:
Music Room

  • Faculty Panelists:
    Dr. Aisha Lofters, Scientist, Women's College Research Institute; Associate Professor, Department of Family & Community Medicine; Family Physician 

    Dr. Sloane Freeman, Scientist, MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions; Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics; Pediatrician, St. Michael's Hospital Inner City Health Program
  • Student Panelists:
    Sherald Sanchez, PhD Candidate: "Understanding the impact of patient engagement in youth mental health and substance use research"
    PI: Drs. Peter Selby & Michael Chaiton 

    Akshat Pai, MSc Student: "Impact of Health Inequities on the Acute Management and Outcomes of Stroke in Childhood: An Ontario-wide Study."
    PI: Dr. Nomazulu Dlamini

3:30 - 4:00 PM: Awards Ceremony 

Great Hall

Awards Presented:

  • Whiteside Award
  • Siminovitch-Salter Award
  • Sara-Al Bader Memorial Award
  • Roncari Prize
  • Student IMPACT Awards
  • Awards in Education
  • Mel Silverman Mentorship Award
  • Laidlaw Competition Winner
  • Alan Wu Poster Competition Winners

Scientific Day 2022 Planning Committee Members

Faculty Chairs: Drs. Brian Ballios and Nadia Minian 
Student Leads: Ergi Duli, Molly Hyde and Kyla Trkulja
Staff Leads: Sarah Topa and Sobiga Vyravanathan 

Bernard Langer Annual Lecture in Health Sciences

The keynote lecture was established to honour the achievements of Dr. Bernard Langer in establishing the Surgeon-Scientist training program at the University of Toronto during his tenure as Chair of the Department of Surgery from 1982 -1992.

Each year, a guest speaker is selected to give a talk at Scientific Day who is internationally recognized for their scientific contributions and is also known to be an excellent role model and mentor for graduate students.

Previous Lecturers 

  • 2021: Dr. Jeff Biernaskie - Deciphering the cellular and transcriptional recipe enabling skin regeneration
  • 2019: Dr. Dongeun Dan Huh - Microengineered physiological bio-mimicry: Human organs-on-chips
  • 2018: Dr. Stefan-M. PulstTargeting Ataxin-2 as a strategy for treating neurodegenerative diseases
  • 2017: Dr. Marina Picciotto - Vaping and the baby brain – what can studies of nicotine tell us about brain development?
  • 2016: Dr. Victor Dzau - Healing and Regenerating Hearts: 21st Century Prometheus?
  • 2015: Dr. Christopher P. Austin - Catalyzing Translational Innovation
  • 2014: Dr. James P. Landers - Rapid and Affordable Microfluidic Systems for Genetic Analysis: Are We on Track for the Personalized Medicine Era?
  • 2013: Dr. Jeffrey S. Mogil - Mice are People Too: Translation in Pain Research from Genetics to Social Modulation
  • 2012: Dr. Thomas R. Insel - Lost in Translation: Opportunities and Challenges for Translating Scientific Discoveries into Better Health
  • 2011: Dr. Andrew Feinberg - The Epigenetic Basis of Common Human Disease
  • 2010: Dr. Kevin J. Tracey Reflex Control of Immunity
  • 2009: Dr. Polly Matzinger - Immunity is a conversation, not a war