Exit off canvas

Student Awards

Scientific Day Student Awards

The following awards are presented annually on IMS Scientific Day. Application procedures and deadlines are detailed in our IMS Scientific Day Memo.

Laidlaw Manuscript Prize

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.


1995 Liqun Zhang 2008 Christine Lau (Basic)
Hany Kashani (Clinical)
1996 Alan Dackiw 2009 Min Wang (Basic)
Prameet Sheth (Clinical)
1997 Chung-Wai Chow (Basic)
Matthew Feldkamp (Basic)
Sophie Dessureault (Clinical)
2010 Jennifer Rilstone (Basic)
Faranak Farzan (Clinical)
1998 You Ming Lu (Basic)
Joan Ivanov (Clinical)
 2011 Brent Williams (Basic)
Barbara Haas (Clinical)
1999 Robin Boushey (Basic)
Jennifer Jones (Clinical)
2012 Brian Ballios (Basic)
Christopher Tran (Clinical)
2000 Robert Gryfe (Basic)
Linda Valenta (Clinical)
2013 Susan Armstrong (Basic)
Charles de Mestral (Clinical)
2001 Sevan Hopyan (Basic)
Philip Jong (Clinical)
2014 Chung-Ho Leung (Basic)
Leanne De Souza(Clinical)
2002 Joshua Kruger (Basic)
Tomasso Gori (Clinical)
2015 Simon Kelley
Karineh Kazazian
2003 Lorraine Kalia (Basic)
Philip Jong (Clinical)
2016 Robert D’Cruz
Vanessa Williams
2004 Ross Ridsdale (Basic)
Anne-Claude Bedard (Clinical)
2017 Abdikarin Abdullah
Xiao Zhao
2005 Kristen Beard (Basic)
Edwin Chen (Clinical)
 2018 Tamadher Alghamdi                     Andrea Mariscal de Alba
2006 Warren Lee (Basic)
Catherine Tansey (Clinical)
 2019  Uswa Shahzad
2007 Shirley Mei (Basic)
Tara Kennedy (Clinical)

Alan Wu Poster Prize

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.

1995 Alan Dackiw (Basic)
Nicholas Woolridge (Clinical)
2008 Matthew Zulys (Basic)
Adrian Laxton (Clinical)
1996 Eva Pizzoferrato (Basic)
Ally-Khan Somani (Basic)
Mary Jane Esplen (Clinical)
2009 Greer Kirshenbaum (Basic)
David Kideckel (Clinical)
1997 David Hackam (Basic)
Elizabeth McLeman (Clinical)
2010 Nadia Sachewsky (Basic)
Massieh Moayedi (Clinical)
1998 Lena Serghides (Basic)
Per Lundmark (Clinical)
2011 Mark Moon (Basic)
Marko Skrtic (Clinical)
1999 Lori Mutsaers (Basic)
Andreas Maetzel (Clinical)
2012 Mohammed Sabri (Basic)
Crystal Chan (Clinical)
2000 Wendy Whittle (Basic)
Jennifer Mandzia (Clinical)
2013 Amanda Ali (Basic)
Seham Chaker (Clinical)
2001 Antonio Finelli (Basic)
Rhonda Martinussen (Clinical)
2014 Cynthia Luk (Basic)
Danielle DeSouza (Clinical)
2002 Rachel Khadaroo (Basic)
Aimee Nelson (Clinical)
2015 Shayne Greenberg (Basic) Jaime Sklar (Clinical)
2003 Caterina Di Ciano (Basic)
David Ashburn (Clinical)
2016 Angela Brijmohan
Fatima Jessa
2004 Stacey Pollock-Barziv (Basic)
Un Kyong Kwon (Clinical)
2017 Laura Best
Vanessa Williams
2005 Eric Vachon (Basic)
Sherina Tabassum (Clinical)
2018 Lauren Philp                        Archita Srinath
2006 Simone Birch (Basic)
Prameet Sheth (Clinical)
2019 Lina Elfaki                        Sara Mirali
2007 Simone Birch (Basic)
Prameet Sheth (Clinical)

Siminovitch-Salter Award

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.

2019 Winner: Stephen Wright, PhD

Stephen recently completed his Ph.D. in Medical Science at the University of Toronto and is currently a member of the Mecklinger Family and Posluns Family Cardiac Catheterization Clinical Research Laboratory at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. He previously completed his M.Sc. in Exercise Science, also at the University of Toronto.

Stephen’s integrative human cardiovascular physiology research is focused on the interaction between the heart and the lungs, and the cardiovascular adaptation to exercise. His Ph.D. work included cardiac catheterization-based studies describing hemodynamic responses to exercise in healthy older adults. Current projects include the characterization of right ventricular systolic function in the setting of pulmonary hypertension, and hemodynamic evaluation of advanced heart failure patients supported by non-pulsatile left ventricular assist devices. Stephen also serves on the board for the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Academy.

1995 Lea Fialkow 2008 Tony Yeung
1996 Tom Waddell 2009 Narveen Jandu
1997 Shitij Kapur 2010 Viviane Labrie
1998 Vivek Rao 2011 Aristotle Voineskos
1999 You Ming Lu 2012 Dominique McMahon
2000 David Alter
Ian McGilvray
2013 Taryn Grieder
2001 Robert Gryfe 2014 Vinod Chandran
2002 Lena Serghides 2015 Nathan Kolla
2003 Jane Batt
Chaim Bell
 2016  Ashleigh Tuite
2004 Michael Salman 2017  Sean Nestor
2005 Karen Badour 2018 Kevin Grace
2006 Gavin Oudit 2019 Stephen Wright
2007 Theo Moraes

Whiteside Award

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.

2019 Winner: Benjamin Markowitz, MSc

Ben Markowitz completed his Master of Science under the supervision of Drs. Andrew Advani and Janet Parsons. His narrative research focused on better understanding the lived experiences of emerging adults with Type 1 diabetes (18 to 24 years of age) who are challenged with balancing increased responsibility for self-management with many competing life demands.

To help improve individualization of care, Ben elucidated three ‘lenses’ (ingrained, intrusive and inconspicuous) through which emerging adults narrate the Type 1 diabetes experience. This clinical heuristic enables health care providers to rapidly recognize how emerging adults perceive life with Type 1 diabetes and tailor their self-management support accordingly. Over the course of his studies, Ben presented research on three occasions at international scientific sessions hosted by the American Diabetes Association and had a first author publication in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes.

Currently, Ben continues to pursue his interest in using qualitative inquiry to positively impact health services as he works as a Clinical Research Specialist in the Applied Health Research Centre at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital.

2003 Joyce Ching 2012 David MacLean
2004 Joan Krepinsky 2013 Emily Lam
2005 Gwyneth Zai 2014 Brittany Rosenbloom
2006 Rachel Mitchell 2015 Ronnie Har
2007 Kinh-Tung Thi Nguyen 2016 Romnan Reznikov
2008 Barbara Bachtiary 2017 Karen Gomez Hernandez
2009 Aoife Waters 2018 Laura Stefanik
2010 Udi Blankstein 2019 Benjamin Markowitz
2011 Karen Lim

Roncari Book Prize

Photo of Daniel 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.

2019 Winner:

Jonathon Chio, PhD Candidate

Jonathon Chio is a PhD student who joined the Institute of Medical Science (IMS) in September 2014. Working under the supervision of Dr. Michael Fehlings, Jonathon’s doctoral thesis aims to facilitate the clinical translation of human immunoglobulin G as an immunomodulatory therapy for treating spinal cord injury.

Outside of his academic work, Jonathon strives to enhance the experience for both undergraduate and graduate students; helping them to reach their full professional and personal potential. In the IMS community, at the graduate level, he is an Executive Editor on the Institute of Medical Science Student Magazine, mentor in the IMS peer-to-peer mentorship program and student representative on various subcommittees involved with strategic planning and curriculum development. He had also helped to develop the graduate professional development module and participated in the Student Council; holding positions of Secretary, Magazine Representative and Interdepartmental Representative. At the undergraduate level, Jonathon helps to organize the annual IMS Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Outside of IMS, he leads a neuroscience outreach program, is a teaching assistant and performs pro-bono consulting with Endeavour.

1995 Shona Torrance 2008 David Kideckel
Lucy Shin
1996 Graham Slaughter 2009 Jennifer Charlesworth
Duncan Chege
1997 Jodi Dickstein 2010 Diana Choi
1998 David Hackam 2011 Zeynep Yilmaz
1999 Graham Slaughter 2012 Ilyse Darwish
2000 Tony Lee 2013 Richard Foty
2001 Brenda Gamble 2014 Rageen Rajendram
Natalie Venier
2002 Joyce Ching
Cristoforo Silvestri
2015  Susith Kulasekara
2003 Gabriela Farcas 2016  Annette Ye
2004 Valerie Caraiscos 2017  Petri Takkala
2005 Samir Patel
Prameet Sheth
2018 Fadl Nabbouh             Craig Madho
2006 Fiona Lovegrove 2019 Jonathon Chio
2007 Narveen Jandu

Sara Al-Bader Memorial Award

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.


2019 Winner: Tahani Baakdhah, PhD Candidate

Tahani Baakdhah is a PhD candidate at the Institute of the Medical science under the supervision of Prof. Derek van der Kooy. Her thesis focuses on studying retinal stem cells biology and their use in curing blindness. Before joining the UofT, Tahani graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah – Saudi Arabia back in 2003, then moved to Canada where she got her MSc degree in molecular genetics at the University of Winnipeg in 2011.

She is also an avid crocheter and science communicator who uses her artistic talents to bring the neurons, photoreceptors and cells she studies to life. She uses these models in all the science communication and outreach events. She recently published her first (first) author scientific paper as well as her first science art crochet book. Her book is intended to educate the public about retinal stem cell and the retina using crocheted models. In the past two years, Tahani worked as director of the IMS magazine social media team and was a member of the photography team. Currently, Tahani is writing her thesis and planning to defend later this summer.

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