Congratulations to Dr. Minna Woo, Director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in the Department of Medicine at UHN/ Sinai Health System, for being appointed Director of the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre (BBDC).

Dr. Woo has been appointed to a five-year term to lead the BBDC and advance its mission to lead discoveries in diabetes research, develop novel treatment paths to cure diabetes or prevent its complications, and identify innovative ways to manage diabetes.

This award is significant given that insulin was discovered by Frederick Banting and Charles Best at the University of Toronto 100 years ago. Steeped in a rich history, the BBDC continuously strives to advance diabetes research, education and patient care in Canada and globally.

Dr. Woo holds the Soham and Shaila Ajmera Family Chair in Molecular Diabetes Research, and the Canada Research Chair in Diabetes Signal Transduction. As a clinician scientist, Minna's laboratory focuses on molecular mechanisms that determine the pathogenesis of diabetes, and their associated cardiovascular diseases and cancer, focusing on major signaling pathways.

Congratulations to Dr. Michael Fehlings, scientist at CRANIA, Senior Scientist at UHN's Krembil Research Institute, Robert Campeau Family Foundation / Dr. C.H. Tator Chair in Brain and Spinal Cord Research at UHN and Neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital, for receiving two awards: The 2022 Apple award for excellence in spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation literature, and for being named the number one author in the world for articles relevant to SCI over the last two decades by the scientific journal Nature.

The first award is given to the author of the best published paper in SCI rehabilitation literature by a clinician or researcher in the preceding calendar year. The award is given out by the American Spinal Injury Association one of the leading organizations in spinal cord injury care, education, and research.

For the second award, Dr. Fehlings was named the top author in the world over the last 20 years for SCI research by Nature. He was the top-ranked author in terms of publication count, H index and citation count. He was named the top author in the world over the last 20 years for articles relevant to SCI by one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world.

Dr. Fehlings combines active clinical practice in complex spinal surgery with a translationally oriented research program focused on discovering novel treatments to improve functional outcomes following spinal cord injury (SCI). He has published over 1000 peer-reviewed articles (h-index > 100) chiefly in the area of central nervous system injury and complex spinal surgery.

Congratulations to Dr. John Dick, Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, for receiving the prestigious Royal Society of Canada McLaughlin Medal! Established in 1978 through the generosity of the R. Samuel McLaughlin Foundation, this award recognizes sustained excellence in medical science.

Dr. Dick is also a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Biology and a University Professor at the University of Toronto. He is internationally recognized for his pioneering discovery of cancer stem cells in certain types of human leukemia and for developing the first hematopoietic xenograft assay – an experimental technique for generating distinct classes of blood cells from stem cells.

This technique has enabled his team to model different types of leukemia and has deepened our understanding of these diseases. His discoveries have provided actionable targets for drug development, improved approaches to preventing cancer relapse, and tools to predict cancer survival and treatment outcomes. His research holds the promise of improved treatments and quality of life for cancer patients.

"Dr. John E. Dick perfectly exemplifies a McLaughlin Medal awardee – from the earliest days of his career till now, he has consistently provided research insights that have shaped and transformed the field of cancer biology," says Dr. Brad Wouters, Executive Vice-President of Science and Research at UHN.

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

The Cancer Education and Video Awards Ceremony was held virtually earlier this month. 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. 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. Join us in celebrating this year's winners!

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.

  • Dr. Camilla Zimmermann, Head and Lederman Chair, Department of Supportive Care, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre; Head, Division of Palliative Care, UHN; professor of Medicine, U of T.

Excellence in Education Support Award

For outstanding contribution to education programs through programmatic support.

  • Rouhi Fazelzad, Information Specialist, UHN Library and Information Services, Princess Margaret Cancer Program

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.

  • BMT-IEC Program: Cell Therapy and Autologous Transplant Team Dr. Christine Chen, Andrew Winter, Rhida Bautista, Dr. Sita Bhella, Lauren Finlay, Joanne Siu, Emily Barca, Christina Zeglinski

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

  • Princess Margaret COVID Steering Committee Dr. Monika Krzyzanowska, Geoffrey Liu, Ashley Liu, Colleen Dickie, Dr. Richard Tsang, Dr. John Waldron, Dr. Vishal Kukreti, Dr. Philippe Bedard, James Austin, Dr. Ernie Mak, Dr. Meredith Giuliani, Anet Julius, Dr. Jennifer Bell, Lesley Moody, Celina Dara, Dr. Ann Heesters, Dr. Lauren Linett, Dr. Kazuhiro Yasufuku, Dr. Miranda So, Dr. Shahid Husain, Dr. Natasha Leighl, Dr. Neesha Dhani, Dr. Alejandro Berlin, Dr. Janet Papadakos, Dr. Taymaa May, Dr. Rajat Kumar, Ada Seto, Dr. Olavo Fernandes, Dr. Jonas Mattsson, Tina Papadakos, Alyssa Macedo, Dr. Mary Elliott, Dr. Keith Stewart, Dr. Amit Oza, Dr. Fei-Fei Liu, Victoria Glinsky, Dr. Caroline Cheung, Mike Lovas, Dr. Ilan Weinreb, Dr. Ur Metser, Dr. Girish Kulkarni, Maria Madden, Lisa Tinker, Sarah Coyle, Shawn Jeffords, Schenell Rosario, Iqra Ashfaq, Marina Jimenez.

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

  • Dr. Carly Barron, Medical Oncology Resident, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
  • Dr. David Mak, 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

  • Dr. Fadwa Abdel-Rahman, Clinical Fellow, Radiation Medicine Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
  • Dr. Junhyung John Lee, Clinical Fellow, Dental 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. This year, there were two winning proposals put forth:

  • Suman Dhanju, Muriel Lopez, Leonard Benoit, Joanna Vautour from the Indigenous Ca​ncer Program For their proposal to develop a patient-facing video explaining what an Indigenous Ceremonial drum is, including its cultural relevance and benefits within the healthcare context, and how to access the drum while receiving care at UHN. View a short clip about the Indigenous Ceremonial Drum video proposal
  • Dr. Satheesh Krishna Jeyaraj and Dr. Nathan Perlis from Medical Imaging and Surgical Urology. For their proposal to develop a patient-facing video demystifying prostate biopsy, to decrease patient hesitancy and anxiety and increase patient compliance and comfort. View a short clip about the Prostate Biopsy video proposal

Visit Cancer Education Awards and Video Awards to learn more about the awards and past winners.

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