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Congratulations to three UHN researchers awarded $100,000 each from Brain Canada's Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research program, which supports 28 early-career scientists conducting original research into nervous system function and dysfunction, and their impact on health.
Supported by the Canada Brain Research Fund and anchored by a lead gift from the Azrieli Foundation, the Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research program aims to accelerate novel and transformative research that will fundamentally change our understanding of this key research area.
Dr. Milad Lankarany is a scientist at UHN's Krembil Brain Institute in the Division of Clinical and Computational Neuroscience, and an assistant professor at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Physiology at the University of Toronto (U of T). His work centres on developing advanced methods to investigate how neural systems process information with the goal of improving treatments for neurological disorders.
Dr. Tijana Simic is an affiliate scientist at UHN's KITE Research Institute and an assistant professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at U of T. Her research focuses on understanding behavioural and neurological predictors of recovery in individuals with language deficits resulting from neurological issues like stroke or progressive aphasia.
Dr. Naomi Visanji is an affiliate scientist at UHN's Krembil Brain Institute, where she leads the
in vivo research arm of the Rossy Program of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), an assistant professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at U of T, and a principal investigator at U of T's Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases. She uses biospecimens and experimental models to understand the pathobiology of neurodegenerative diseases.
Congratulations to Dr. Robert Grant, medical oncologist and researcher at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, for receiving the 2023
AMS Healthcare Compassion and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fellowship. His research project will focus on using AI to prevent blood clots in cancer patients.
A common complication of cancer is venous thrombosis, or blood clot formation in veins. Currently this complication is prevented by prescribing direct oral anticoagulants. However, these medications have potential side effects, so assessing the risk of blood clots is important to determine which patients will benefit.
Dr. Grant and his team at the Princess Margaret will use AI to better assess the risk of blood clots to guide decisions around medications for prevention.
The team will design an AI system called CREST, which will apply AI to the integrated electronic health record from tens of thousands of patients to improve the detection of cancer-associated thrombosis. The team aims to design a prototype that can help clinicians to visualize and receive accurate information on the patient risk for thrombosis to improve patient care.
Congratulations to Dr. Catriona Steele, Senior Scientist at UHN's KITE Research Institute and a professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, for being named Canada Research Chair in Swallowing and Food Oral Processing (Tier 1).
Tier 1 Chairs have been acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. For each Tier 1 Chair, the institution receives $200,000 annually for seven years.
The Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) was established to attract and retain the world's most accomplished and promising minds. Chairholders are selected based on their ability to achieve research excellence in engineering and natural sciences, health sciences, humanities and social sciences.
Dr. Steele's research focuses on helping people who lose the ability to swallow – something we all take for granted. This includes studying how foods and liquids move through the throat, establishing international definitions for food and liquid consistency in diets for people with swallowing difficulty, and developing exercise-based therapy that helps people return to normal eating and drinking.
Dr. Steele is also Associate Editor of
Dysphagia Journal; a board member for the International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative; and President-Elect of the Dysphagia Research Society.
Congratulations to the five UHN researchers recently elected as Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences – one of the highest honours for individuals in Canadian health sciences recognizing excellence and leadership in academic health sciences.
Dr. Peter Backx is a Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (TGHRI) and a Professor in the Departments of Physiology and Medicine at the University of Toronto (U of T). He is recognized for his innovative studies into the molecular and ionic basis of the heart disease.
Dr. Mojgan Hodaie is a Senior Scientist at UHN's Krembil Brain Institute and a staff neurosurgeon at UHN. She is also a professor in the Department of Surgery and an associate member of the Institute of Medical Science in the Faculty of Medicine at U of T. She applies advanced brain imaging and artificial intelligence to develop objective tools to improve the clinical management of chronic neuropathic pain.
Dr. Samir Sinha is a clinician investigator at the TGHRI and an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at U of T. His research focuses on developing sustainable health care models that can better meet the needs of aging populations.
Dr. Lillian Siu is a Senior Scientist and senior medical oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and a professor in the Department of Medicine at U of T. Her research focuses on anticancer drug development specifically with respect to head and neck cancers and phase I clinical trials.
Dr. Michael Tymianski is a Senior Scientist at UHN's Krembil Brain Institute and a professor in the Department of Surgery, the Institute of Medical Science and the Department of Physiology at U of T. His research program focuses on translating seminal discoveries related to the mechanisms of ischemic neuronal death in stroke.
Congratulations to UHN researchers Dr. Amit Oza, Dr. Tom Chau and Dr. Aaron Schimmer on their election as Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, recognized for their impactful achievements in the arts, social sciences and sciences.
Dr. Amit Oza is a Senior Scientist and Medical Director of the Cancer Clinical Research Unit at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. (U of T). His research is dedicated to the design and development of clinical trials for anti-cancer drugs targeting gynecologic cancers.
Dr. Tom Chau is an affiliate scientist at UHN's KITE Research Institute, a Senior Scientist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and a professor in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at U of T. His research focuses on developing methods to help children and youth with disabilities to communicate.
Dr. Aaron Schimmer is Director and Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret and a professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics at U of T. His research is directed towards developing therapeutic strategies for leukemia by examining leukemic stem cells.
More than 100 Fellows were elected and recognized for their impactful achievements in the arts, social sciences and sciences. The RSC also recognized and welcomed 58 new Members to the RSC College; the College consists of mid-career researchers who help the RSC address major challenges and seize opportunities in emerging fields in Canada and around the world.