Scientific Day Faculty Awards
2021 Award Winners:
Mel Silverman Mentorship Award
Presented to Dr. Tarek Rajji
The Mel Silverman Mentorship Award was established to honour the contributions of former IMS Director Dr. Melvin Silverman. It is presented to an IMS faculty member who has served as an outstanding mentor and role model for graduate students, in addition to making significant contributions to the IMS graduate program.
Dr. Rajji obtained his MD from the American University of Beirut Lebanon. He completed residency in general psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh. In 2006, he joined the Center for Addiction and Mental Health as a research fellow and now as a clinician scientist and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Rajji's research focuses on enhancing cognition in older patients with or at risk for dementia using brain stimulation and clinical neurophysiology. He also studies standardization of mental health care for older people. Dr. Rajji has had several leadership roles at CAMH and the University of Toronto. Since 2012, he has been Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry at CAMH. In 2020, he was appointed as the Executive Director of the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance at the University of Toronto.
IMS Course Lecturer Award
Presented to Dr. Erik Spence and Dr. Marcelo Ponce
The IMS Graduate Course Lecturer Award recognizes the excellence in the leadership of an IMS graduate course. It is presented to an IMS course lecturer in recognition of sustained contribution of three years or more to excellence in lecturing in an IMS graduate course.
Dr. Erik Spence and Marcelo Ponce put a tremendous amount of work into ensuring that our students are prepared for theirlife as researchers in their course, Introduction to Computational Biostatistics with R.
Dr. Spence received his Doctorate in plasma physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has held post-doctoral positions at ETH Zurich, University of Toronto and Princeton University. He currently works at SciNet, the University of Toronto Centre for High Performance Computing, where he assists researchers in performing calculations on massively parallel computers. He has been teaching classes in data analysis for IMS since 2017.
Dr. Ponce is a computational scientific analysis working at SciNet, the supercomputer center at the University of Toronto. Marcelo also holds graduate lecturer appointments at the Departments Physics, Biochemistry and the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto, where he has been teaching several graduate level courses ranging from scientific computing for physicists, introduction to programming and computational statistics. He is an active researcher in different disciplines that have in common the implementation and use of advanced computational statistics and data analysis techniques. Marcelo is an advocated practitioner and supporter of open science initiatives. He has developed and contributed several codes as open source in particular several R packages that aims to help researchers to access and analyze data from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He has also authored several papers about education of computational science in higher education and across emerging and well-established scientific computing disciplines, Marcelo is an active member in the IMS, serving as a Faculty member on the Curriculum Committee for several years, co-designing the MSc 1090 Curriculum and contributing to students research projects and MSc-PhD transfer exams.
IMS Course Director Award
Presented to Dr. Tony George and Dr. Margaret Hahn
The IMS Graduate Course Director Award recognizes excellence in the development and management of an IMS graduate course. It is presented to an IMS course director in recognition of sustained contributions of more than three years to excellence in the teaching, administration, and development of a graduate course.
Drs. Hahn and George received this award because their course challenged and refined students' critical thinking, research and academic writing abilities despite the obstacles of virtual learning. They went out of their way to keep course content current and relevant, often referencing events in pop culture to highlight the underlying science and they provided a safe and stimulating learning environment.
Dr. George is professor of psychiatry and a clinician scientist and Chief of the Addictions Division in the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. His research investigates the biological basis of addiction comorbidity in serious mental illness.
Dr. Hahn is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and a clinician scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, where she holds the Michael and Kelly Mayo Research Chair in psychosis prevention. She leads the mental health and metabolism clinic and her research examines mechanisms of high rates of obesity and diabetes in those receiving psychotropic treatments.