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AWARDS/HONOURS/
ACHIEVEMENTS

Barbara (Dee) Ballyk (Anat) has received a 2015 W.T. Aikins Award for Excellence in Course/Program Development and Coordination.

Barbara also received the Arbor Award which recognizes volunteers for outstanding personal service to the university. Barbara was acknowledged for being a volunteer mentor at the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. For the past five years she has taken on student interns from the KPE faculty, and placed them in important roles in the Division of Anatomy. Last year, she extended her commitment to 11 students and gave them a significant advantage in the professional world after graduation.

Christopher Caldarone (CardSurg) has been appointed as the Dr. Robert B. Salter Chair in Surgery at The Hospital for Sick Children as Chief of Perioperative Services.

George Christakis (CardSurg) received the John Provan award for undergraduate medical education across Canada. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to undergraduate surgical education in Canada.

Ren-Ke Li (CardSurg) has received a 3 year grant from the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence Program, for his submission “Pre-clinical Development of a Novel Umbilical Cord Perivascular Cell-based Therapy to Prevent Heart Failure”.

Ren-Ke Li received the CIHR Foundation Scheme: 2014 1st Live Pilot for the “Rejuvenation of aged cells and recipients to enhance cardiac regeneration and prevent progressive heart failure”.

Ren-Ke Li has also been elected as Fellow of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences.

Subodh Verma (CardSurg) has been selected as a member of the 2015 cohort of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada. Subodh is an internationally renowned cardiac surgeon-scientist and the Canada research Chair in Atherosclerosis.

Subodh is also Principal Investigator of a 5-year (2015- 2020) grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for In Vivo and Translational Role of Endothelial Autophagy in the Regulation of Vascular Diseases.

Subodh, together with Muhammad Mamdani of the Applied Heart Research Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital, recently launched the CARDIOLINK platform of randomized clinical trials across five pillars - aneurysm surgery (ACE trial of antegrade cerebral protection strategies), valvular surgery (CAMRA-1 trial of different approaches to repair mitral valves); atrial fibrillation (SEARCH-AF trial, evaluating novel ways to detect postoperative atrial fibrillation); peripheral artery disease (EXTINGUISH - evaluating colchicine in secondary prevention in PAD) and innovative community based interventions (ENABLE-NP Nurse practitioner based approach to reduce hospitalizations following cardiovascular surgery). The SEARCH AF trial is funded from Industry.

Jonathan W Yau (CardSurg, Postdoctoral Fellow), mentored by Subodh Verma, has been named a finalist for the 2015 American Heart Association Vivien Thomas Young Investigator Award for A Novel Role of Endothelial Autophagy in the Regulation of Thrombosis in Vivo.

Sean Cleary along with Anand Ghanekar (GenSurg) received a 2 year grant from the Canadian Liver Foundation for their work “Comprehensive Evaluation of Somatic Alterations in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)”.

Joao de Rezende Neto (GenSurg) received a CIHR - Proof of Principle Phase I grant for his project “A Non- Traumatic Binder for Temporary Abdominal Wall Closure”.

Anand Ghanekar (GenSurg) and co-investigators Binita Kamath (Pediatrics) and Gordon Keller (Medical Biophysics) published their study entitled “Directed differentiation of cholangiocytes from human pluripotent stem cells” in the August 2015 issue of Nature Biotechnology.

Anand Govindarajan, Nancy Baxter (GenSurg) and colleagues have published “Outcomes of Daytime Procedures Performed by Attending Surgeons after Night Work” in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM 2015 Aug 27; 373 (9): 845-53). They received both national and international media coverage for this study on the impact of sleep deprivation on surgeon performance.

Teodor Grantcharov (GenSurg) has been appointed to the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons.

Paul Karanicolas (GenSurg) Maeve is the recipient of a five year CIHR New Investigator Award for his project “HPB CONCEPT: An Integrated Program to Improve Outcomes Following Liver and Pancreas Surgery”.

Maeve O’Neill Trudeau (GenSurg, PGY3) was awarded the James H. Ware Award for Achievement in the Practice of Public Health from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, which is given to a student upon graduation who has demonstrated commitment and achievement and has advanced the cause of public health practice while enrolled as a student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. This award is mainly for her original research in the Democratic Republic of Congo regarding post-operative cell phone follow-up as a novel means of increasing surgical accountability in low-resource settings, and electronic data collection in low-resource and humanitarian settings. Maeve has just received her Master’s of Public Health (MPH) from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Harvard

Maeve also received the IPEG IRCAD Award for the best presentation and abstract submitted by a junior faculty during IPEG (International Pediatric Endosurgery Group). The IRCAD Award winner receives travel and registration for a course at the European Institute of Telesurgery (IRCAD), located in Strasbourg, France. More can be found at http://www.ipeg.org/abstract/ . This award was given for her podium presentations at IPEG on expertise in laparoscopic trainers, research done with Georges Azzie’s group.

Peter K. Stotland (GenSurg) was awarded the The Robert Mustard Mentorship Award at the Annual Assembly of General Surgeons and Residents.This award recognizes a physician mentor who is devoted to excellence in clinical training, and who provides exemplary teaching, leadership, mentorship and expertise to senior general surgery residents from the University of Toronto.

Sunit Das (NeurSurg) received a 2015 CIHR Transitional Open Operating Grant Program for his project “Targeting Bevacizumb Resistance Via LIVEmediated Vascular Mimicry in Glioblastoma”.

Karen Davis (NeurSurg) received a 2-year grant as PI from the Mayday Fund for the project entitled “Development of a Pain Treatment Prediction Tool”.

Karen also received the MS Society of Canada award for “The Pain Connectome in Multiple Sclerosis”.

Peter Dirks (NeurSurg) and colleagues published a high impact paper in Cancer Cell. Peter’s ongoing work on cancer stem cells and epigenetic regulation is highlighted in this paper (2015 Dec 14, Cancer Cell 28,1-15).

Peter also received a 2015 CIHR Transitional Open Operating Grant Program for his project “Functional and Genomic Clonal Analysis of Human Glioblastoma”

Peter Dirks received a Canadian Cancer Society: Innovation & Innovation to Impact Grant for his project “Pharmacologic and Optogenetic Dopamine-Directed Therapy of Glioblastoma Stem Cells”.

group photo

James Drake and team

back row: James Drake, Robert Merrifield (Imperial College –Challenge organizer), Guang –Zhong Yang (Imperial College –Hamlyn Centre Director) front row: Karl Price, MSc student, Thomas Looi, Project Director, Neurosurgery, Dale Podolsky, reseach resident, plastic surgery.

James Drake (NeuroSurg) and a team from the Centre of Image Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention, including PGY4 resident Vivek Bodani, won the Overall Winner and Best Design prizes at the Hamlyn Surgical Robot Challenge for their project “A Concentric Tube Tool for the daVinci Research Kit”. The team built a concentric tube robotic tool that is mounted on a DaVinci test bed. The tool has many potential applications, including intraventricular neurosurgical uses and was noted for its small size. The Hamlyn Robotics Symposium is one of the world’s largest meetings dedicated to surgical robotics. A video of the tool in use can be found at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ twi1lacyem8bt6s/Hamlyn%20final.mp4?dl=0C

group photo

Michael Fehlings elected to Royal Society of Canada

Michael Fehlings (NeurSurg) was named a Fellow within the Life Science Division of the Royal Society of Canada. One of 90 individuals elected for their outstanding scholarly, scientific and artistic achievements, Michael is celebrated for his contributions as a worldrenowned neuroscientist and neurosurgeon. Election to the Academies of the Royal Society of Canada is the highest honour a scholar can achieve in the Arts, Humanities and Sciences.

Michael also received the 2015 Scoliosis Research Society Thomas Whitecloud Award at the International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST) in Kuala Lumpur. The award recognizes the best basic science and clinical papers presented at the IMAST meeting. It is the culmination of a large international multicentre study which Dr. Fehlings led in complex spinal deformity surgery. An article about the award and Dr. Fehling’s winning abstract can be accessed at: https://aospine.aofoundation.org/Structure/pages/newsdetail.aspx? newslist=https%3a%2f%2faospine.aofoundation.org%2fnews%2f Lists%2fNews+Common&newsid=1383

Michael was ranked #5 in the world for the period of 2010-2012 for number of papers published in all areas of neuroscience by Elsevier and Thompson-Reuter in their assessment of researchers in the Faculty of Medicine.

Michael edited a special focus issue of Neurosurgery on The Aging Spine. The issue in its entirety is available at: http://journals.lww.com/neurosurgery/toc/2015/10001.

Michael Fehlings received a five-year Ontario Institute of Regenerative Medicine (OIRM) grant for “iPSCBased and Bioengineered Approaches to Enable Spinal Cord Regeneration: A Team Grant for Clinical Translation”.

He received a 2015 Cervical Spine Research Society 21st Century Research and Education Grant for his work “Therapeutic Approaches to Protect against Ischemia/reperfusion Injury Following Surgical Decompression for Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy(CSM): A Potential Solution to Attenuate Perioperative Neurological Complications following Decompressive Surgery”.

Michael is the recipient of one of four new Disease Team and New Ideas project that will be funded over the next sixteen months by the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Fred Gentili (NeurSurg) has been appointed to the Crean Hotson Chair in Skull Base Surgery at UHN.

Mojgan Hodaie (NeurSurg) was invited to serve on the Editorial Board of the Operative Neurosurgery Journal, and as Academic Editor and Curator of Compendium of the Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery Section.

Mojgan was named to the Grant Committee Panel of the MS Society of Canada’s Biomedical Research Review Committee, and was also appointed as a CIHR fellowships reviewer.

Abhaya Kulkarni (NeurSurg) received an NIH R01 grant for his study “Neurocognitive Outcomes and Changes in Brain and CSF Volume after Treatment of Post-infectious Hydrocephalus in Ugandan Infants by Shunting or ETV/ CPC: a Randomized Prospective Trial”. This is in collaboration with Harvard, Penn State, and Uganda.

Andres Lozano (NeurSurg) was one of 6 Canadians and the only neurosurgeon in the world to be named to a select list of highly cited researchers for 2015 in the category of Neuroscience and Behavior (http://highlycited. com/). The list, compiled by Thomson Reuters, acknowledges researchers from around the world who have published the top 1% of most cited papers in their subject field.

Andres was also chosen as one of Thomson Reuters 2015 World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds. The list is chosen based on highly cited researchers in the 11 year period between 2003 and 2013.

Andres has been elected an honorary member of the Western Neurosurgical Society and of the Spanish Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery.

Andres Lozano and Joyce Poon (Electrical and Computer Engineering) have been awarded as Co-I’s an EMHSeed grant for their project entitled “Lighting the Brain” through the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science (FASE) and the Faculty of Medicine (FoM). The one-year grant is renewable for up to two additional years.

Pablo M. Munarriz (clinical fellow, NeurSurg) was the recipient of the Sanitas Prize (second place), awarded to the best medical resident trainee in Spain.

James Rutka (NeurSurg) was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, 2015. He was one of 11 new Officers appointed to the Order, one of Canada’s highest civilian honours. Jim received the honour for his exceptional international contributions to neurosurgery and his ground-breaking work in advancing the treatment of pediatric brain tumours.

Jim has been named the fifth winner of the annual Margolese National Brain Disorders Prize. This award recognizes Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to the treatment, amelioration or cure of brain disorders. His research and clinical efforts focus on human brain tumours.

He has been elected as an active member to the James IV Association of Surgeons.

James Rutka was re-appointed as the R.S. McLauglin Chair of Surgery for a second five-year term.

Mohammed F. Shamji (NeurSurg) was named Scientific Program Committee Chair for the Canadian Neuromodulation Society Annual Meeting (2016). He was appointed to the committee for Research and Scientific Oversight and as the Advocacy and Society Liaison for the International Neuromodulation Society.

Mohammed F. Shamji was awarded a 2015 Director’s Kickstart Award by the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. This award will provide funding for his research on the epigenetics of failed back surgery syndrome.

Shervin Taslimi (NeurSurg, PGY2) won the Second Prize of the William J. Horsey Prize competition for his work entitled “Natural History: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Identifying Source of Heterogeneity”.

Charles Tator
Charles Tator at
Krembil Research
Institute Launch

Charles Tator (Neur Surg) was honoured during an event celebrating the launch of the Krembil Research Institute, Toronto Western Hospital’s newly renamed research arm. In his remarks, philanthropist Robert Krembil described Toronto Western Hospital as “the house that Charles built”, and paid recognition to Dr. Tator’s pivotal role and tremendous ongoing impact in establishing the foundation for research at Toronto Western that has enabled it to develop into a renowned research hospital over the years. Dr. Tator was recognized by applause from the over 200 attendees, which included Her Royal Highness The Princess Edward, Countess of Wessex and UHN President and CEO Dr. Peter Pisters.

Michael Taylor (NeurSurg) received a McLaughlin Centre, University of Toronto - 2015 Accelerator Grant.

Michael Tymianski (NeurSurg) has been appointed as the Harold & Esther Halpern Chair in Neurosurgical Stroke Research at University Health Network for a five year term.

Taufik Valiante (NeurSurg) received a 2 year MITACS grant from the Elevate PDF Program for his work entitled “Intraoperative Optical Characterization of Brain Tumor Tissues”.

Taufik was promoted to Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute, and received a 2015 IBBME Director’s Kickstart Award for his project entitled “A Platform for Contingent Brain Stimulation in Humans”. This award will provide funding for his work on developing a platform for contingent brain stimulation in humans.

Taufik received an NSERC Discovery Grant for his work “Probabilistic Maps of Spiking and Connectivity in Human and Mouse Cortex

Chris Witiw (PGY4, NeurSurg) won the first prize of the William J. Horsey Prize for clinical research competition for his presentation entitled “Cost-Utility of Surgery for Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy: Data from the AOSpine North American and International Studies”.

Gelareh Zadeh (NeuroSurg) has been appointed Treasurer-Secretary for SNO (Society for Neuro- Oncology).

Gelareh was also invited to serve on the Editorial Advisory Board of the journal CANCER.

Gelareh Zadeh and Julian Spears and the co-directors of the University of Toronto Meningioma Consortium (COMIT) presented at the inaugural consortium on meningiomas meeting. They have assembled a twelve member team with city-wide representation from neurosurgery, radiation oncology, oncology, neuroradiology, neuropathology and neuropsychology. The first COMIT sponsored scientific meeting will be held jointly with the Society of NeuroOncology on Jun. 17-19, 2016 in Toronto.

Gelareh Zadeh is the co-Director of the Elizabeth Raab Neurofibromatosis Program. Together with Vera Bril, they formally announced the opening of the clinic on Nov. 25, 2015 at University Health Network. The multidisciplinary team is dedicated to comprehensive care for patients with NF1 and NF2. The clinic has over fifteen affiliated physicians and allied health members. The mission is dedicated to improving clinical care and translational research for the NF population.

Gelareh Zadeh was awarded a MITACS grant for the work entitled “Investigation of Biomarkers of Response to Treatment with Marizomib in Gbm Patients”.

Tarik Attia (OrthoSurg) won the Sullivan Award (nonresident category) at the 2015 Division of Orthopaedics Annual Research Day.

Tim Daniels (OrthoSurg) and his team were awarded the Roger A. Mann Award at the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) meeting held in Long Beach, California. Their manuscript entitled “Prospective, Randomized, Multi-Centered Clinical Trial Assessing Efficacy of a Synthetic Cartilage Implant to First Metatarsophalangeal Arthrodesis in Advanced Hallux Rigidus” won the highest honour bestowed by the AOFAS in recognition of the best clinical paper accepted for presentation at its Annual Meeting. This is the fourth time that Tim has won this prestigious award.

Peter Ferguson (OrthoSurg) won the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada AMS Donald R. Wilson Award for helping integrate CanMEDS roles into a Royal College or other health-related training program.

Simon Kelley (OrthoSurg) won the 2015 Founder’s Medal from the Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society for his research entitled “Fgfr3 Modulates the Balance of Intramembranous and Endochondral Bone Formation in Fracture Repair”.

Simon also won the Young Investigators Award from the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research also for this research.

Jasjit Lochab (OrthoSurg, PGY3) won the Sullivan Award (resident category) at the 2015 Division of Orthopaedics Annual Research Day.

George Oreopoulos (OrthoSurg) won the Ross Fleming Education Award from UHN.

Emil Schemitsch (OrthoSurg) was appointed Chair of Department of Surgery University of Western Ontario.

Emil Schemitsch received a 2015 CIHR Transitional Open Operating Grant for his project “Operative versus Non-operative Treatment of Acute Unstable Chest Wall Injuries: A Multi-Centred Randomized Controlled Trial”.

Jay Wunder (OrthoSurg) received a McLaughlin Centre, University of Toronto - 2015 Accelerator Grant.

Marc Jeschke (PlasSurg) received a 4 year NIH Grant (over 1 million in funding) for his project entitled “Hepatic ER Stress Contributes to Morbidity and Mortality after Burn Injury.

Oleh Antonyshyn
Oleh Antonyshyn

Oleh Antonyshyn (PlasSurg) received the Marvin Tile Award given by the Department of Surgery at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre for his outreach activities in the Ukraine. Oleh, along with a team of 24 others volunteered for a 10-day mission in November 2014, and again in May 2015 to work alongside Ukrainian doctors and nurses to perform complex reconstructive surgeries on victims of the Euromaidan movement and from the battle in Eastern Ukraine. He has worked on developing the infrastructure, provided teaching opportunities and restored the lives of many patients affected by the conflict. His work has also been recognized by Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rob Nicholson and he has been awarded a 1.2 million dollar federal grant from the “Global Peace and Security Fund” to support “Capacity Building within Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense Medical System”. This project supports efforts to equip, supply and train local health professionals in the Main Military Hospital in Kyiv to treat craniofacial and upper extremity trauma and post-trauma deformities. The project involves 2 additional missions in the next year, equipping OR’s with craniofacial and micro instruments and hardware, better access to imaging, development of telemedicine and telesurgery support, and Trauma Life Support training and observerships. This is a remarkable example of global outreach for which Oleh and his team are to be commended.

Stefan Hofer (PlasSurg) was named an honorary member of BAPRAS (British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons) for exceptional contributions to the society for managing their journal for the last 7 years, making it highly successful scientifically and financially.

Toni Zhong (PlasSurg) received the CIHR Foundation Scheme: 2014 1st Live Pilot for the “Development of a National Quality Improvement Program in Postmastectomy Breast Reconstruction to Optimize Patient-Centred Experience”.

Toni also received a CIHR New Investigator Award for her project “Improving Access to Optimized Postmastectomy Breast Reconstruction through Health Services Research and Clinical Trials for Breast Cancer Survivors”.

Andras Kapus (Res) received a Biomedical Research Grant for “Profibrotic epithelial phenotype: the role of MRTF and TAZ/YAP”.

Katalin Szaszi (Res) received a 2015 CIHR Transitional Open Operating Grant for her project “Regulation and Functions of Rho Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors in Tubular Epithelial Cells”.

Gail Darling (ThorSurg) was appointed as the thoracic clinical lead and the clinical lead for high risk lung cancer screening by Cancer Care Ontario for their clinical programs.

Martin McKneally (ThorSurg) received the Distinguished Service to Joint Center for Bioethics (JCB) Award during the 20th anniversary celebration of the Joint Center for Bioethics.

Shaf Kesavjee (ThorSurg) was appointed for the second time to the Council for the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

Shaf Keshavjee received a McLaughlin Centre, University of Toronto - 2015 Accelerator Grant.

Kazuhiro Yasufuku (ThorSurg) is the 2014-2015 recipient of the Ivan Silver Innovation Award for the Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) program. This award recognizes an innovative CEPD initiative developed and delivered by a U T faculty member or team that has demonstrated an effect on health professional performance or health outcome.

Thomas Forbes (VascSurg) gave the Presidential Address at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery in Victoria, British Columbia. The talk entitled “Four Seconds” looked at the final seconds leading up to Sidney Crosby’s 2010 Olympic Golden Goal and reflecting on issues specific to vascular surgery.

Graham Roche-Nagle (VascSurg) won the Provan Award for Education at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery in Victoria, British Columbia.

Mary Tao (VascSurg), Graham Roche-Nagle’s trainee, won the Sigvaris Award for Best Venous Paper at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery in Victoria, British Columbia.

Trisha Roy (VascSurg, PGY3) won the Passareillo Award for first prize in the rapid paced poster competition at the recent International Society of MR Angiography Meeting in Cincinnati, OH.

Leonard Tse (VascSurg) won the Cook Research Award at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery in Victoria, British Columbia.

Robert Hamilton (Urol) received a McLaughlin Centre, University of Toronto - 2015 Accelerator Grant for his project “Molecular Characterization and Behavior of Tumours Arising in Patients Taking 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors”.

Laurence Klotz (Urol) has been named a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, one of Canada’s most esteemed academic academies.




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