Dr. Carolina Muños-Grajales 

​Congratulations to Dr. Carolina Muños-Grajales, Clinical Research Fellow at UHN's Schroeder Arthritis Institute at Toronto Western Hospital for earning the Lupus Foundation of America, Gary S. Gilkeson Career Development Award.

The Lupus Foundation of America's Gary S. Gilkeson Career Development Award provides research funding that supports young investigators focusing on critical lupus research, helping to ensure continued growth in the lupus research field.

Dr. Muñoz-Grajales obtained her M.D., and took sub-specialization training in internal medicine and rheumatology, in Colombia. She came to Toronto in 2017 to do a PhD in immunology at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Joan Wither with the Schroeder Arthritis Institute.

Dr. Muñoz-Grajales will be undertaking her Gary S. Gilkeson Career award placement under the supervision of Dr. Zahi Touma, who is also with the Schroeder Arthritis Institute. Her work will focus on translational research looking, at the role of biomarkers and their potential association with cognitive impairment in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Tak Mak

Congratulation to Dr. Tak Mak, Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, for being awarded the Albert Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research. Dr. Mak received the award in recognition for his pioneering work in the area of immune therapy, alongside fellow researcher Dr. Mark M. Davis of Stanford University.

In 1984, Dr. Mak was the first to molecularly clone the human gene encoding the T Cell Receptor. This discovery, combined with those of Dr. Davis, marked the beginning of a new era, making previously elusive cell-based immune therapy a medical reality.

These landmark discoveries, combined with those of Dr. Davis, who published the cloning of the murine TCR gene, paved the way for research teams to battle cancer through immunotherapy, now considered the fourth pillar of cancer treatment – alongside surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research was established by the National Foundation for Cancer Research in honour of its co-founder, Albert Szent-Györgyi, M.D., Ph.D., recipient of the 1937 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine. It recognizes outstanding scientists who have expanded our understanding of cancer and cancer causation, whose vision has moved cancer research in new directions and whose discoveries have led to advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis or treatment.

Dr. Mak, who is also a professor at the Department of Medical Biophysics and the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto, has also made several other significant contributions in the fields of immunology, cancer biology and cancer therapy.

Dr. Mak continues his research to develop novel approaches for designing and producing TCRs that are highly specific in recognizing the neoantigens mainly appearing on the tumour cells of non-blood cancers with the aim of bringing increased clinical benefits to patients with solid tumours.

Atul Humar 

Congratulations to Dr. Atul Humar, Medical Director of the Ajmera Transplant Centre at UHN, for earning the Canadian Society of Transplantation Excellence in Leadership Award.

This award recognizes leadership and vision that has led to considerable contributions to the advancements of transplantation in Canada.

In addition to being the Medical Director of the Ajmera Transplant Centre (formerly called the Multi-Organ Transplant Program), Dr. Humar is a transplant infectious diseases physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at UHN.

Dr. Humar's research interests are in basic and translational research on viral infections in organ transplant recipients. He is well known in the international transplant community for guidelines development, leadership, and research.

Cancer Education Video Award 

Congratulations to this year's Cancer Education & Video Award Winners!

The Cancer Education and Robert V. Brady Awards Ceremony was held virtually in late September. There were many deserving submissions this year, a testament to the quality of practice and care that our colleagues demonstrate every day in the Cancer Program at UHN.

Winners were recognized for their contributions to cancer education, research, and clinical care in the form of support, innovation, and involvement in the cancer community.

Excellence in Education Support Award

For outstanding contribution to education programs through programmatic support.

  • Shahbano Mustafa, Research Clerk, Radiation Medicine Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Innovation in Education Award

For contribution to an exceptional and innovative educational program or experience for learners of any kind in the Princess Margaret Cancer Program.

  • Nauman Malik, Resident Physician PGY-5, Department of Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
  • Rectal Cancer Surgical Education Institute (ReCSEI) Core Team: Sami Chadi, Mohammad Salhia, Karen Chaiton, Dimitra Labrakos

Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Education Award​

For commitment to patient and family education through resource development, exemplary patient education skills, compliments or testimonials by patients and families and/or contribution to learner fieldwork/placement, clinical lab or small group experiences, student research, continuing professional development, best practice forums, or faculty development.

  • Sexual and Gender Diversity in Cancer Care (SGDc) Working Group: Christian Schulz-Quach, Margo Kennedy, Gilla Shapiro, Andrew Matthew, Jennifer Croke, Nazlin Jivraj, Alan Wai, Jody Morita, Lauren Squires, Brendan Lyver, Samantha Scime

Excellence in Mentorship Award

For a staff or faculty member in the Cancer Program who has acted as a mentor, made a significant impact on the mentee(s), and contributed to mentorship advocacy at the local, national, and/or international level.

  • Anca Prica, Hematologist & Lymphoma Site Lead, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Robert V. Brady Award

For two residents, one from medical oncology and one from radiation oncology, who have made a significant contribution to patients and the oncology community within the Princess Margaret Cancer Program.

  • Lucy Ma, Medical Oncology Chief Resident, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre​
  • Aishah AlQaderi, Radiation Oncology Resident, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Best Fellow Award

For fellows in a clinical fellowship program who have made a significant contribution to patients and the oncology community within the ​Princess Margaret Cancer Program.

  • Rachel Soyoun Kim, Clinical Fellow, Surgical Gynecology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre​
  • Jerusha Padayachee, Clinical Fellow, Genitourinary Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Cancer Education Video Award Competition

The Cancer Education Video Award Competition is designed to solicit great ideas for educational development from various departments and individuals across the Cancer Program. Video resources can be directed to patients and families or for staff and/or trainees.

  • Angela Cashell and Emily Kennedy
    For their proposal to develop a patient-facing video to demonstrate the use of the Active Breathing Coordinator (ABC) device in Radiation Therapy. The video will explain what happens during the planning and treatment appointments when using the device.

Visit the Cancer Edu​​cation Awards and Video Awards webpages to learn more about the awards and past winners.

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