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It's Awards Season

Paige Collins

Paige Collins | Friday, October 21, 2016

Please join us in congratulating several of our exceptional trainees on their new research awards.


The beginning of the academic year always feels like a fresh start. This rings especially true this fall, as we have several SCC-RI trainees starting prestigious awards and fellowships. These trainees have demonstrated excellence in their respective areas of focus, and these awards will support their ongoing research efforts. 

Read on to hear from recipients about what their respective awards will mean for them and their projects.

Alexandria Afonso

Position: PhD Candidate, Dr. Eva Szabo’s lab

Award: Doctoral Award - Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship

Project title: Modelling endothelial dysfunction associated with early-onset coronary artery disease

"Winning the Banting and Best award is exciting for me because of the opportunities that come with it. With the award, there is money specifically allocated as a "research allowance" which can be used for travelling to conferences. Being able to attend these conferences that I wouldn't otherwise be able to afford, is extremely beneficial to me and will impact my work by allowing me to meet and network with other researchers in my field."

David Bakhshinyan

Position: PhD Candidate, Dr. Sheila Singh’s lab

Award: Doctoral Award - Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship

Project title: Clonal evolution of medulloblastoma brain tumour initiating cells in response to therapy

Deanna Porras

Position: PhD Candidate, Dr. Mick Bhatia’s lab

Award: Michael G. DeGroote Doctoral Scholarship of Excellence

Project title: Reprogramming the differentiation blockade in human myeloid leukemia

"I'm extremely excited to be a recipient of the Michael G. DeGroote Doctoral Scholarship of Excellence which is awarded to incoming doctoral students based on outstanding academic records. It is very rewarding to receive a scholarship which provides competitive funding to doctoral students that have been considered to have the highest level of scholarly achievement and that show excellent research promise. Receiving this prestigious award is highly motivating at the onset of my PhD journey. My current project will focus on advancing our understanding of the molecular networks driving stepwise hematopoietic programming and the altered transcriptional programs underlying leukemic differentiation blockade. This funding will help me throughout the investigation of my proposed research and I am very grateful to have received it."

Maleeha Qazi

Position: PhD Candidate, Dr. Sheila Singh’s lab

Award: Doctoral Award - Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship

Project title: Modelling clonal heterogeneity in brain tumour recurrence: identification of treatment refractory tumour initiating population in human glioblastoma

Jennifer Reid

Position: PhD Candidate, Dr. Mick Bhatia’s lab

Award: Karl Freeman Most Outstanding Graduate Seminar Award 2015/2016

Project: "Investigating hematopoietic progenitor cells made from human pluripotent cells and determining why they aren't very good at being transplanted into pre-clinical mouse models."

"I'm very excited about this award because of what it means. A big part of research is, of course, coming up with hypotheses and carrying out experiments. Another very important part of research, though, is communicating ideas to those around me - whether that be my scientific peers, the general public or my family when I try to explain why I'm so excited to be at the lab at odd hours. This communication is an important two-way street because it's often the people furthest removed from my research who ask me the best questions."

Dr. Sean White

Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Karun Singh’s lab

Award: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Fragile X Research Foundation of Canada

Please join us in congratulating Alexandria, David, Deanna, Maleeha, Jennifer and Sean on their achievements. We’re so looking forward to seeing what they can achieve with the support of these awards.