Scientific Day Student Awards

See the Scientific Day 2021 Memo below for further details on the awards:

 
 
 
 

2020 IMS Scientific Day Student Awards

See the accordion below to find all IMS Scientific Day Award winners from 1995 - 2020.  

Whiteside Award

Presented to Victoria Mintsopoulos, MSc, MD Candidate 

Established in 2003 to honour the contributions of Dr. Catharine Whiteside, a former graduate coordinator of the IMS, and our former Dean of Medicine at the University of Toronto, this award is presented annually to a recently graduated Master of Science student who has made outstanding scholarly contributions. 

Victoria Mintsopoulos completed a Bachelor of Sciences at Queen’s University where she specialized in Microbiology and Immunology. She then completed a MSc with Dr. Warren Lee where she focused on using ultrasound and microbubbles to deliver therapeutics to the injured regions of the lung in pneumonia and acute respiratory distress models. Victoria is now a second-year medical student at the University of Toronto. This past summer, she was part of the Chair’s Summer Student Program through the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at UofT, where she worked under Dr. Liat Hogen and looked at the clinical characteristics and outcomes of endometrioid ovarian cancer. Outside of research and medicine, Victoria is a choreographer and dancer in the DaffyDil Musical, co-leads UofT Med Dance Club, and enjoys mentoring undergraduate students. 

 

Siminovitch-Salter Award 

Presented to Ayesh Seneviratne, PhD, MD Candidate 

Established in 1995 to honour the contributions of Dr. Lou Siminovitch and Dr. Robert Salter, eminent researchers, founders, and mentors to the Institute of Medical Science, this award is presented annually to a recently graduated IMS doctoral student who has made outstanding scholarly contributions during their program. 

Ayesh Seneviratne is a 7th year MD/Ph.D. student, at the University of Toronto. He did his Ph.D. in Dr. Aaron Schimmer’s lab, where he studied the role of mitochondrial lipid synthesis pathways in leukemia cell growth. His research showed that the inhibition of the cardiolipin (a mitochondrial phospholipid) remodeling enzyme tafazzin increased levels of the phospholipid phosphatidylserine and decreased the growth and survival of AML stem cells. Interestingly, the loss of TAZ had no effects on healthy blood cells, implying a therapeutic window. He is now in the middle of his clinical rotations. Along-side his Ph.D. he was a founding member/President of Apollo Toronto (2015-2018, a translational medicine student group), worked with Toronto notes as Production Manager (2018-2019), and Editor-in- Chief (2019-2020). He spends his free time doing P90X workouts, binging travel shows on Netflix, and cooking with his wife.   

 

Roncari Book Prize 

Presented to Laura Best, HBSc, PhD Candidate & Michelle Dubinsky, PhD Candidate 

Established in 1995 to honour the memory of Dr. Daniel Roncari, who served as the Director of the Institute of Medical Science from 1980 to 1983, this award is presented to two IMS students who have made significant contributions to the academic experience of graduate students. 

Laura Best is a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Isabelle Boileau at CAMH and completed her HBSc in Pharmacology at McGill University. Her doctoral work, which is supported by the CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Doctoral Award, employs neuroimaging to investigate the involvement of the endogenous cannabinoid system in alcohol use disorder and other stress-related conditions. Her work has been recognized at both local and international meetings. Laura is an advocate for community engagement, outreach and leadership. She is a current Lead Organizer of UofT Talks, Vice-chair of the Young Person’s Cabinet of the Women’s Brain Health Initiative, Student Mentor with the IMS Mentorship Program and former Co-president, and Director of Community and Outreach of the Institute of Medical Science Students’ Association. Laura remains involved in the IMS as a Student Lead for annual events such as Orientation and the Ori Rotstein Lecture, writing for the IMS Magazine and teaching the occasional yoga class. She hopes to positively impact her community by promoting wellness, connection and mentorship. Photography credit: Mikaeel Valli 

 

Michelle Dubinsky is a PhD candidate who joined the Institute of Medical Science in 2016. Her research explores how healthy compared diseased blood flow patterns affect gene-protein interactions, under the supervision of Dr. Philip Marsden at St. Michael's Hospital. Michelle is avidly involved in leadership, mentorship, and science outreach, both at UofT and in the community. She has facilitated seminars, organized, and run the IMS Summer Undergraduate Research Program's 2019 annual Research Day for over 100 students. She is a Lead Mentor for the department’s Peer-to-Peer Mentorship Program and has assisted in its expansion through collaborations with other University organizations to provide mentors for Undergraduate students, as well as intake mentors for recently accepted students to the department. Presently, Michelle is working on creating an opportunity for current students to be mentored by Alumni. She continues to be actively involved in the IMS community by participating on committees, facilitating student seminars and assisting with event-planning initiatives. Through her experience on the St. Michael’s Hospital Research Student Association, Michelle has created the Senior Advisor position, and as acting Senior Advisor continues to be involved in promoting advocacy, equity, and the student perspective on many Hospital Research Committees. Michelle strives to create a positive environment for students at all educational levels as both a Graduate and Life Sciences Education PhD student Leader, and as a member of the IMS. 

 

Sara Al-Bader Memorial Award 

Presented to Jonas Osmann, PhD 

Established by the IMS to honour the memory of Dr. Sara Al-Bader, a PhD student at the IMS, this award is presented annually to an international doctoral stream student who shows exceptional academic promise. 

Jonas Osmann is originally from Germany but completed his BSc and MSc studies in the Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal. In 2016 he received the opportunity to pursue a PhD in medical science at the Institute of Medical Science under Dr. Anthony Feinstein with financial support from the Ontario Trillium Scholarship. His major lines of research are computational and statistical medical science, and psychological trauma in conflict journalists. He recently graduated the PhD program with a thesis on psychometric scale construction and psychological trauma in journalists, and is interested in pursuing a career in computational science. He is extremely grateful to the Institute of Medical Science and the Al-Bader family for being awarded this year’s Sara Al-Bader Memorial Award. 

 

 

 

Laidlaw Manuscript Prize - Past Winners

J LaidlawThe Laidlaw Manuscript competition was established in 1985 to honour Dr. Jack Laidlaw, the founder of the Institute of Medical Science. Manuscript submissions are solicited from students and prizes are given to the two most outstanding manuscripts and presentations.

Year Award WInner
1995 Liqun Zhang
1996 Alan Dackiw
1997

Chung-Wai Chow (Basic)

Matthew Feldkamp (Basic)

Sophie Dessureault (Clinical)

1998

You Ming Lu (Basic)

Joan Ivanov (Clinical)

1999

Robin Boushey (Basic)

Jennifer Jones (Clinical)

2000

Robert Gryfe (Basic)
Linda Valenta (Clinical)

2001 Sevan Hopyan (Basic)
Philip Jong (Clinical)
2002 Joshua Kruger (Basic)
Tomasso Gori (Clinical)
2003 Lorraine Kalia (Basic)
Philip Jong (Clinical)
2004 Ross Ridsdale (Basic)
Anne-Claude Bedard (Clinical)
2005 Kristen Beard (Basic)
Edwin Chen (Clinical)
2006 Warren Lee (Basic)
Catherine Tansey (Clinical)
2007 Shirley Mei (Basic)
Tara Kennedy (Clinical)
2008 Christine Lau (Basic)
Hany Kashani (Clinical)
2009 Min Wang (Basic)
Prameet Sheth (Clinical)
2010 Jennifer Rilstone (Basic)
Faranak Farzan (Clinical)
2011 Brent Williams (Basic)
Barbara Haas (Clinical)
2012 Brian Ballios (Basic)
Christopher Tran (Clinical)
2013 Susan Armstrong (Basic)
Charles de Mestral (Clinical)
2014 Chung-Ho Leung (Basic)
Leanne De Souza(Clinical)
2015 Simon Kelley
Karineh Kazazian
2016 Robert D’Cruz
Vanessa Williams
2017 Abdikarin Abdullah
Xiao Zhao
2018

Tamadher Alghamdi

Andrea Mariscal de Alba

2019 Uswa Shahzad
2020 N/A

Alan Wu Poster Prize - Past Winners

The Alan Wu Poster Prize was established within the IMS in 1993 with funds from the friends and associates of Dr. Alan Wu. The Alan Wu Poster Prizes are presented to the most outstanding poster at the annual IMS Scientific Day. Participants prepare an abstract and poster. A team of judges reviews and ranks the presentations.

 

Year Award WInner
1995 Alan Dackiw (Basic)
Nicholas Woolridge (Clinical)
1996 Eva Pizzoferrato (Basic)
Ally-Khan Somani (Basic)
Mary Jane Esplen (Clinical)
1997

David Hackam (Basic)
Elizabeth McLeman (Clinical)

1998

Lena Serghides (Basic)
Per Lundmark (Clinical)

1999 Lori Mutsaers (Basic)
Andreas Maetzel (Clinical)
2000 Wendy Whittle (Basic)
Jennifer Mandzia (Clinical)
2001 Antonio Finelli (Basic)
Rhonda Martinussen (Clinical)
2002 Rachel Khadaroo (Basic)
Aimee Nelson (Clinical)
2003 Caterina Di Ciano (Basic)
David Ashburn (Clinical)
2004 Stacey Pollock-Barziv (Basic)
Un Kyong Kwon (Clinical)
2005 Eric Vachon (Basic)
Sherina Tabassum (Clinical)
2006 Simone Birch (Basic)
Prameet Sheth (Clinical)
2007 Simone Birch (Basic)
Prameet Sheth (Clinical)
2008 Matthew Zulys (Basic)
Adrian Laxton (Clinical)
2009 Greer Kirshenbaum (Basic)
David Kideckel (Clinical)
2010 Nadia Sachewsky (Basic)
Massieh Moayedi (Clinical)
2011 Mark Moon (Basic)
Marko Skrtic (Clinical)
2012 Mohammed Sabri (Basic)
Crystal Chan (Clinical)
2013 Amanda Ali (Basic)
Seham Chaker (Clinical)
2014 Cynthia Luk (Basic)
Danielle DeSouza (Clinical)
2015

Shayne Greenberg (Basic)
Jaime Sklar (Clinical)

2016 Angela Brijmohan
Fatima Jessa
2017 Laura Best
Vanessa Williams
2018 Lauren Philp 
Archita Srinath
2019 Lina Elfaki
Sara Mirali
2020 N/A

 

Siminovitch-Salter Award - Past Winners

Siminovitch and SalterThe Siminovitch-Salter Award was established in 1995 to honour the contributions of Dr. Lou Siminovitch and Dr. Robert Salter to the Institute of Medical Science. It is awarded annually to a graduating IMS doctoral student who has made outstanding scholarly contributions. The endowment represents contributions by Mount Sinai Hospital, the University of Toronto Department of Surgery and the Institute of Medical Science. The recipient is nominated by their supervisor and selected by the IMS Graduate Coordinators.

Year Award WInner
1995 Lea Fialkow
1996 Tom Waddell
1997

Shitij Kapur

1998

Vivek Rao

1999 You Ming Lu
2000 David Alter
Ian McGilvray
2001 Robert Gryfe
2002 Lena Serghides
2003 Jane Batt
Chaim Bell
2004 Michael Salman
2005 Karen Badour
2006

Gavin Oudit

2007 Theo Moraes
2008 Tony Yeung
2009

Narveen Jandu

2010 Viviane Labrie
2011

Aristotle Voineskos

2012 Dominique McMahon
2013

Taryn Grieder

2014

Vinod Chandran

2015 Nathan Kolla
2016  Ashleigh Tuite
2017 Sean Nestor
2018 Kevin Grace
2019 Stephen Wright
2020 Ayesh Seneviratne

Whiteside Award - Past Winners

WhitesideThe Whiteside Award was established in 2003 to honour the contributions of Dr. Catharine Whiteside to the Institute of Medical Science. It is awarded annually to a graduating IMS Master of Science student who has made outstanding scholarly contributions. The recipient is nominated by their supervisor and defense committee and is selected by the IMS Graduate Coordinators.

Year Award WInner
2003 Joyce Ching
2004

Joan Krepinsky

2005

Gwyneth Zai

2006

Rachel Mitchell

2007

Kinh-Tung Thi Nguyen

2008 Barbara Bachtiary
2009 Aoife Waters
2010 Udi Blankstein
2011 Karen Lim
2012 David MacLean
2013 Emily Lam
2014 Brittany Rosenbloom
2015 Ronnie Har
2016 Romnan Reznikov
2017

Karen Gomez Hernandez

2018 Laura Stefanik
2019 Benjamin Markowitz
2020  Victoria Mintsopoulos

Roncari Book Prize - Past Winners

RoncariThe Roncari Book Prize was established in 1995 to honour the memory of Dr. Daniel Roncari. It is presented to an IMS student who has made significant contributions to the academic experience of graduate students. The recipient is chosen by the IMS Graduate Coordinators.

Year Award WInner
1995 Shona Torrance
1996 Graham Slaughter
1997

Jodi Dickstein

1998

Jodi Dickstein

1999 Graham Slaughter
2000 Tony Lee
2001 Brenda Gamble
2002 Joyce Ching
Cristoforo Silvestri
2003 Gabriela Farcas
2004 Valerie Caraiscos
2005 Samir Patel
Prameet Sheth
2006 Fiona Lovegrove
2007 Narveen Jandu
2008 David Kideckel
Lucy Shin
2009 Jennifer Charlesworth
Duncan Chege
2010

Diana Choi

2011 Zeynep Yilmaz
2012 Ilyse Darwish
2013 Richard Foty
2014 Rageen Rajendram
Natalie Venier
2015 Susith Kulasekara
2016  Annette Ye
2017

Petri Takkala

2018

Fadl Nabbouh 

Craig Madho

2019

Jonathon Chio

2020

Laura Best
Michelle Dubinsky

Sara Al-Bader Memorial Award - Past Winners

Sara Al-Bader The Sara Al-Bader Memorial Award was established by the Institute of Medical Science to honour the memory of Dr. Sara Al-Bader, a PhD student at the IMS whose thesis was entitled: Science-Based Health Innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa. The award will be presented annually at Scientific Day to an international doctoral stream student who shows exceptional academic promise. The recipient is chosen by the IMS Graduate Coordinators.

Year Award WInner
2012 Phan Sok
2013 Fabio Salamanca-Buentello
2014 Cornelia McCormick
2015 S. Fatima Lakha
2016 Pratiek Matkar
2017 Antigona Ulndreaj
2018 Beatrice Ballarin
2019 Tahani Baakdhah
2020

Jonas Osmann