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Student Awards

Scientific Day Student Awards

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


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


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 selected by the IMS Graduate Coordinators.


2018 Winner: Kevin Grace, PhD

Kevin Grace completed his Ph.D. work in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Horner as a graduate student in the Institute of Medical Science. While working with Dr. Horner, Kevin also completed a Master’s Degree in Science and participated in an industry collaboration with Eli Lilly. Since 2014, Kevin has served on the executive board of the Canadian Sleep Society (CSS). Kevin’s work has focused on identifying neural circuits involved in the generation of Rapid Eye Movement Sleep, determining the mechanism underlying the loss of muscle activity in the upper airway that occurs in this sleep state, and developing new pharmacological approaches to the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Kevin’s distinctions include the Division of Respirology’s Outstanding Research Trainee Award, the CSS’s Outstanding Student Achievement Award, and a CIHR Doctoral Award. Kevin’s published work have been the subject of multiple editorial comments and have led to four phase II clinical trials. Kevin is currently a research fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.


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


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 the IMS Graduate Coordinators.



2018 Winner: Laura Stefanik, MSc

Laura Stefanik (MSc, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto) is a recent graduate from the IMS program under the supervision of Dr. Aristotle Voineskos. Her work focused on the application of novel data aggregation algorithms for social cognitive, neurocognitive, and neuroimaging data in an effort to identify impairment-specific markers of illness across adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum, schizophrenia spectrum, and bipolar disorder. Through these efforts, she provided evidence of brain-behaviour subtypes cutting across these disorders with relevance for social cognitive and neurocognitive function. During her graduate studies, Laura was an author on five peer reviewed scientific publications and her work was presented at a number of local and international academic conferences. She now works at the Slaight Family Centre for Youth in Transition in the Child, Youth and Emerging Adult Program at CAMH, with a longer term goal of research management and administration.

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


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.




2018 Winners:

Fadl Nabbouh, MSc student

Fadl Nabbouh is a MSc student in Anurag Tandon’s lab where he works on non-invasive, gene therapy knockdown of α-synuclein in a Parkinsons Disease model. Within the IMS community, Fadl is heavily involved. He is a past President of the Institute of Medical Science Students’ Association, where he promoted a sense of community, fostering an atmosphere for collaboration and engagement between students, faculty, staff, and alumni. He co-created the IMS peer-to-peer mentorship program after surveying the needs of IMS students, and leads the organization of UofT Talks, an annual, interdisciplinary symposium discussing a relevant medical topic. He has also sat on the curriculum and program development subcommittee meetings within the IMS since 2016 as a student representative.

Craig Madho, MHSc Student

Craig Madho is a MHSc student in the Translational Research Program who is currently completing his capstone project looking at how to improve the nutritional resources for cancer outpatients. In addition to his academic work, Craig serves as one of the current co-presidents for the Institute of Medical Science Students Association. During his time in the IMS, Craig has committed to building a stronger student community by working with students to understand their needs and create resources that would help them not only as graduate students, but also beyond school. Within this mandate, he helped co-found the IMS Mentorship program and works with a team to plan the interdisciplinary networking event Pillars of Health. Craig has also made significant contributions as a member of the Student Alumni Faculty Engagement committee to events such as UofT Talks, an annual symposium on popular and emerging topics in medicine.

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

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.



2018 Winner: Beatrice Ballarin, PhD Candidate

Born in Venice, Beatrice completed her Bachelor’s degree in Italy, where she studied Biomedical Science. After graduating with an honours degree, Beatrice moved to The Netherlands to pursue a Master’s degree in Fundamental Neuroscience at Maastricht University. Finally, she received a full scholarship to complete her master’s thesis at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Molly Shoichet. There, she studied the ability of stem cells to promote recovery after injecting them into the injured spinal cord together with the use of a biomaterial as scaffold.

Beatrice joined the Institute of Medical Science in January 2015. Working under the supervision of Dr. Michael Tymianski, Beatrice aims to understand the mechanisms with which promoting recovery after stroke through the use of NA-1. Outside of the lab, Beatrice initiated various scientific collaborations, she is a member of the IMS Magazine as an Executive Editor and she loves to organize the annual international thanksgiving dinner for international students of the IMS.

2012 Phan Sok 2013 Fabio Salamanca-Buentello
 2014  Cornelia McCormick  2015  S. Fatima Lakha
2016  Pratiek Matkar 2017  Antigona Ulndreaj
2018 Beatrice Ballarin