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. Presentation at Scientific Day is also a mandatory component of degree completion for all research based and doctoral stream MSc and PhD students. IMS faculty members and students will be updated via email of competition deadlines and Scientific Day events.

SAVE THE DATE: May 26-27, 2021


The Scientific Day Memo contains important on:

  1. Scientific Day General information
  2. Laidlaw Manuscript Competition Information – Deadline: April 18 (Email submissions to
  3. Alan Wu Poster Competition Information – Deadline: April 18 (Submit here) *See note at bottom of page if having difficulties accessing the form.
  4. Data Blitz Student Talks – Deadline: April 18 (Submit here)
  5. Call for Judges
  6. Mel Silverman Mentorship Award – Call for Nominations
  7. Additional Scientific Day Awards


May 26: Alan Wu Poster Competition - exact timings TBC

May 27:

  • 9:15 – 9:30 am: Welcome & Director’s Report
  • 9:30 – 10:30 am: Laidlaw Manuscript Competition 
  • 10:30 – 11:00 am: Networking Break
  • 11:00 – 12:00 pm: Keynote Talk
  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm: Lunch Break
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm: Data Blitz Student Talks
  • 2:00 – 2:30 pm: Networking Break
  • 2:30 – 3:30 pm: Awards Ceremony

Bernard Langer Annual Lecture in Health Sciences Keynote Speaker: We are thrilled to have Dr. Jeff Biernaskie from the University of Calgary

Talk title: Deciphering the cellular and transcriptional recipe enabling skin regeneration

jeff biernaskie IMS Scientific day 2021Dr. Biernaskie completed his BSc in Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge. He earned a PhD in Neuroscience at Memorial University studying the effects of focused rehabilitative experience on brain plasticity following stroke. He completed postdoctoral training studying skin and neural stem cell biology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. In 2009, he joined the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary, where is he currently a Professor in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. He is a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and he holds the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society Chair in Skin Regeneration and Wound Healing.  In 2019, he was elected as a member of the Royal Society of Canada, College of Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

His research program is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying tissue regeneration and the potential to exploit tissue-resident stem/progenitor cells toward restoration of function following injury or disease. He is specifically interested in how skin and brain stem/progenitors cells are regulated during homeostasis and how factors like injury, advanced aging and the immune system impact their function.

Bernard Langer Annual Lecture in Health Sciences

Dr. Bernard Langer UofT IMS keynote scientific dayThe 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 his/her scientific contributions and is also known to be an excellent role model and mentor for graduate students.

Previous lecturers include:  

  • 2021: Dr. Jeff Biernaskie - Deciphering the cellular and transcriptional recipe enabling skin regeneration
  • 2020: No event was held due to pandemic. 
  • 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

Abstract Submission Troubleshooting

All registered graduate students have access to Office365. If the abstract submission link does not automatically load the form for you than please try the following steps:

  • Open up any browser and go to (clear your browser history & cache beforehand)
  • Sign in with your UofT email address
  • You should be taken to a University of Toronto login page
  • Log in with your UTORID and password
  • You should be able to login and access all Office365 Apps à open MS Forms
  • Leave MS Forms open and open another tab in the same browser
  • Click on the abstract link again

If you are still experiencing issues there may be a problem with your student account in which case you will have to contact the Information Commons Helpdesk at 416-978-4357 or