Scientific Day Student Awards

2021 Award Winners:

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

Whiteside Award

Presented to Alexandria King, MSc

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. 

alexandria king

Alexandria King is awarded for her outstanding Master's research project on the development of a core outcome set for future studies on pregnancy-associated venous thromboembolism, supervised by Dr. Rohan D'Souza. Her focus was on standardizing outcome reporting in this area while incorporating the perspectives of pregnant persons and their health care providers. During this time, she also completed a Collaborative Specialization in Women's Health through the School of Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Her thesis work has been presented both locally and internationally and was supported by a CIHR Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best graduate scholarship. Alexandria was an active member on the IMS Students' Association acting as Vice President in 2017-2018. She also competed on the varsity track and field team at U of T and previously at Western University, where she completed her Bachelor of Medical Science. Alexandria is now entering her second year of medical school at Dalhousie University and is excited to continue her journey in medicine. Outside of research and medicine, Alexandria is a co-chair of Euphoria, Dalhousie Medicine's musical production and continues to enjoy athletics.

Siminovitch-Salter Award 

Presented to Ian Drennan, ACP, PhD

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. 

UofT Dr. Ian Drennan

Dr. Ian Drennan is this year's recipient of the Siminovitch-Salter award. Ian's background is somewhat distinct from the other recipients of this award as he is a paramedic specialist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto so it's exceptionally impressive that he elected to undertake PhD graduate work at the IMS working with Dr. Laurie Morrison while holding these and for that matter many other positions. Ian's project was aimed at developing a clinical prediction rule in order to facilitate early risk stratification for out of hospital life-threatening conditions such as cardiac arrest. He developed an adult model that was a significant improvement improvement over existing models and also developed a model for the unique pediatric population something that had not been done by anyone before. The external reviewer of Ian's thesis commented that it represents work of great importance for Canada and similar healthcare environments throughout the world and may after external validation stand as a model for many. 

Roncari Prize 

Presented to Sarah Watling, Alaa Youssef, Stephanie Tran, Rachel Dadouch

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 IMS students who have made significant contributions to the academic experience of graduate students. 

Sarah Watling

Sarah Watling joined the University of Toronto's academic community in 2012 when she enrolled in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and competed on the women's varsity soccer team after participating in research studies through the sport medicine clinic. Sarah decided to pursue her Master's degree in the U of T's concussion research program after studying peripheral systems in physical brain trauma. Sarah shifted spaces for her PhD research. She is currently completing her Doctoral research at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health under the supervision of Dr. Isabelle Boileau. Her research is employing advanced brain imaging and peripheral blood sampling to understand the biological mechanisms underlying post-traumatic stress disorder. Throughout her PhD degree, Sarah has dedicated time to give back to the IMS through their work-study programs. In these positions, she has contributed greatly to several IMS projects including the Master's Futures project with Reinhart Reithmeier and more recently over the past year in the IMS Curriculum review. 

alaa youssef

Alaa Youssef is a graduate student in the IMS and a research fellow at the Wilson Centre Temerty Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto. Her PhD research aims to identify ways to improve bariatric surgery long-term outcomes and care experiences for patients living with obesity. Under the supervision of Dr. Sanjeev Sockalingam, Alaa's doctoral thesis uses population-based analysis approach to predict bariatric patients long-term health-related quality of life outcomes after bariatric surgery and to create care pathways that enable personalized follow-up care. During her time as a student in IMS, Alaa has been involved in many IMS activities. She's been an active member of IMSSA, contributing to many of its very various events over time and has been involved in important institute work as a work-study student including the Master's Future project and more recently in the IMS curriculum review. 

stephanie tran university of toronto neuroscience ims award

Stephanie Tran is a third-year PhD student in Dr. Robert Chen's lab at Toronto Western hospital. Her research explores sensory-motor integration in older adults and people with Parkinson's disease focusing on balance and gait. This work is supported by the Parkinson's Canada Graduate Student Award and the Queen Elizabeth Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology. Stephanie is an active member of the IMS community, Previously she was IMSSA's Toronto Western Hospital Site Director. She is currently a team member on Raw Talk Podcast, U of T Talks, IMS Magazine and IMS Communications team. This year, she played a lead role to the launch of the new IMS website and Temerty Medicine Connect. Stephanie aims to use her passion for digital communication and social media to bring together the IMS community. 

rachel dadouch

Rachel Dadouch is a fourth year PhD student supervised by Dr. Rohan D'Souza and Dr. Janet Parsons at Mount Sinai Hospital and St. Michael's Hospital and in the Collaborative Specialization in Women's Health. Funded by Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral to honor Nelson Mandela, her work is in maternal fetal medicine address communication barriers in the clinical encounters between healthcare providers and plus-sized pregnant patients. Rachel has engaged in IMS community through former position on IMSSA as the Director of Community and Outreach and Co-President and currently through being a Senior Advisor to IMSSA, Coordinator of U of T Talks, Co-Founder of Let's Talk Grad Wellness, Content Creator on Raw Talk Podcast and a member of the EDI committee.

Sara Al-Bader Memorial Award 

Presented to Mina Mirjalili

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. 

mina mirjalili uoft ims neuroscience toronto

Mina Mirjalili is completing her PhD program here at the Institute of Medical Science. Mina completed her Bachelor's in electrical engineering from the University of Tehran in Iran. Interested in the complexity of the nervous system, she then pursued her training in computational neuroscience and received a Master's degree in biomedical engineering also from the University of Tehran. In 2018, Mina joined a highly collaborative team under the supervision of Dr Tarek Rajji. As a PhD student working at the interface 
of theoretical and clinical neuroscience, Mina is interested in developing interdisciplinary approaches to explore complex brain mechanisms. The goal of her research is to evaluate the efficacy of brain stimulation and optimize its outcome as a therapeutic tool in brain disorders in particular Alzheimer's dementia. Her focus is to use machine learning to identify brain activity patterns that could serve as individualized targets for brain stimulation interventions resulting in enhancing memory performances in patients suffering from memory impairment. Now in addition to building her publication records and her great research, Mina also actively disseminates her findings at international conferences and several meetings. Mina has a broad experience in teaching and currently serves as TA in engineering courses at the University of Toronto. 

Laidlaw Manuscript Prize - Past Winners

The 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

2021

Jennifer Kwan

Alan Wu Poster Prize - Past Winners

The Alan Wu Poster Prize was established within the IMS in 1993. Dr. Alan Wu was a member of the Department of Anatomy at the University of Toronto. He was well recognized for his research excellence, his passion for science and his strong belief in the value of translational medicine. His promising career was on an upward trajectory when he succumbed to a brain tumour. His wife Gillian Wu established this award in his honour with funds from the friends and associates of Dr. Alan Wu. The Alan Wu Poster Prizes are presented to the most outstanding poster presentations at the annual IMS Scientific Day. Participants prepare an abstract and poster. A pair 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

2021

Heather Brooks
Jesse Joynt

Siminovitch-Salter Award - Past Winners

The 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

2021

Ian Drennan

Whiteside Award - Past Winners

The 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

2021

Alexandria King

Roncari Prize - Past Winners

The Roncari Prize was established in 1995 to honour the memory of Dr. Daniel Roncari. It is presented to an IMS student (or students) who has made significant contributions to the academic experience of graduate students. The recipient(s) 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

2021

Sarah Watling
Alaa Youssef
Stephanie Tran
Rachel Dadouch

Sara Al-Bader Memorial Award - Past Winners

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

2021

Mina Mirjalili