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Celebrating those who ‘have forever left their mark’: This year’s Research Month Awards winners

Toronto, November 30, 2018

By Ana Gajic

Dr. Ori Rotstein, Dr. Galit Alter, Dr. John Marshall, Dr. Erica Conte, Barbara Keenan, Dr. Michael Kofler, Dr. Pat O'Campo, Dr. Andreas Laupacis, Dr. Jennifer Watt and Karen Ung.
(from left to right) Dr. Ori Rotstein, Dr. Galit Alter, Dr. John Marshall, Dr. Erica Conte, Barbara Keenan, Dr. Michael Kofler, Dr. Pat O'Campo, Dr. Andreas Laupacis, Dr. Jennifer Watt and Karen Ung. (Photo by Yuri Markarov)

As this year’s Research Month comes to a close, the third annual Research Awards honoured seven outstanding members of the Research community across our network this week.

“These awards are meant to recognize people who have gone above and beyond,” said Dr. Pat O’Campo, interim vice-president of Research at St. Michael’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Providence Healthcare. “These people have contributed in a meaningful way within the institutes and have forever left their mark on Research at our network.”

The awards were given out to students, researchers, and staff from the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute (LKSKI) and the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science (KRCBS). This year, several categories were open to include network staff who are not yet appointed to either institute.

Dr. Ori Rotstein, director of the KRCBS and surgeon-in-chief at St. Michael’s, handed out the Keenan Awards. He was joined by Barbara Keenan, whose family the Keenan centre after was named in recognition of their generous contributions to the hospital and its research enterprise, and Dr. Galit Alter, this year’s Keenan Lecturer who is a Professor of Medicine at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard University.

“These awards and the basic and translational research program at St. Michael’s were named in honour of the Keenan family to recognize their generous contributions to the hospital,” said Dr. Rotstein. “Our goal as a centre is to make basic and translational science discoveries to help improve the lives of patients.”

This year’s winners from the KRCBS included two exceptional students, one staff member and one scientist:

  • Keenan Research Excellence Award: This award recognizes a student or trainee studying in the KRCBS who possesses significant potential as a scientist. The two winners are:
    • Michelle Dubinsky, a PhD student
    • Dr. Michael Kofler, a postdoctoral fellow

  • Keenan Culture of Discovery Award: This honour is awarded to a staff member working with one or more KRCBS scientist(s), who is committed to investing in the future of research by supporting the development of staff, students and trainees. The winner is:
    • Dr. Erica Conte, Senior Project Manager in the Office of the Vice-President of Research

  • Keenan Legacy Award: This award is given to a scientist who enhances the reputation of biomedical or translational research and their actions lead to a rich tradition of developing the next wave of great scientists. The winner is:
    • Dr. John Marshall, Co-Director, Critical Illness and Injury Research Centre at the KRCBS

Dr. Pat O’Campo awarded the recipients of the Li Ka Shing Research Awards, which this year included nominees from the whole network, as the work that goes on at all three sites aligns with the LKSKI’s foundational goals.

“The Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute runs clinical trials, and specializes in research on health services and policy, population health, global health and knowledge translation research,” she said. “Our focus is on conducting research and disseminating knowledge that is relevant for our health care system and important to our patients.”

This year’s winners from the LKSKI were one outstanding student, staff and researcher:

  • Li Ka Shing Excellence Award: This award recognizes an exceptional student or trainee studying in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute or at Providence or St. Joseph’s. This year’s winner is:
    • Dr. Jennifer Watt, a geriatric medicine fellow and research student

  • Li Ka Shing Culture of Discovery Award: This award is given to a staff member who works with one or more Li Ka Shing appointed scientist(s), or in research at Providence and St. Joseph’s. Candidates must be committed to the constant strengthening of our network. The winner is:
    • Karen Ung, Manager of Research Administration at St. Michael’s and St. Joseph’s

  • Li Ka Shing Legacy Award: This award is given to a senior scientist with the LKSKI. Candidates must exemplify the mission of the institute — generating new knowledge and translating scientific discoveries to improve patient health. This year’s winner is:
    • Dr. Andreas Laupacis, scientist and past executive director of the LKSKI

This year, a total of 36 people were nominated by their colleagues, peers, classmates, supervisors and students.

“Thank you all for nominating and recognizing our outstanding colleagues who go above and beyond at our research institutes,” Dr. O’Campo said.

Congratulations to all the nominees this year:

Mary Aglipay
Olugbenga Bello
Tamara Carvalho
Erica Conte
Jennifer Cruz
Carlos Fernando
Yishan Guo
Linda Karnay
Alyson Martinez
Samson Moses
Cheryl Pritlove
Peter Rodriguez
Courtney Sas
Jenna Sykes
Kay Tung
Karen Ung
Changsen Wang
Sanjay Yagnik
Eric Young
Sadiya Yousef
Xun Zhou
Tamadher Alghamdi
Ikran Ali
Ian Drennan
Michelle Dubinsky
Lina Elfaki
Shaza Fadel
Michael Kofler
Chantelle Lachance
Chloe Mighton
Anju Philip
Christine Schemitsch
Jade Sullivan
Ishba Syed
Shelley Vanderhout
Rohit Vijh
Jennifer Watt

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 29 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

St. Michael’s Hospital with Providence Healthcare and St. Joseph’s Health Centre now operate under one corporate entity as of August 1, 2017. United, the three organizations serve patients, residents and clients across the full spectrum of care, spanning primary care, secondary community care, tertiary and quaternary care services to post-acute through rehabilitation, palliative care and long-term care, while investing in world-class research and education.


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