Temerty Faculty of Medicine Dean's Alumni Awards

Our UofTMed alumni network of over 61,000 leaders — including graduates of our life sciences, rehabilitation sciences, MD and MD/PhD programs, as well as more than 20,000 former residents and fellows — are making contributions in Canada and internationally.

We celebrate your impact with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine Dean's Alumni Awards.

The 2020 Dean's Alumni Awards have been announced, and will be celebrated in the near future.


2019 Dean's Alumni Award Recipients

Dr. Murray B. Urowitz, MD ’63

Lifetime Achievement Award – Global Impact

Dr. Urowitz has helped change the way lupus is diagnosed and managed, establishing the University of Toronto Lupus Clinic and Lupus Databank Research Program in 1970 — now recognized as one of the world’s premier clinical and research centers for this autoimmune disease. He has also helped create the University of Toronto Centre for Prognosis Studies in Rheumatic Diseases, as well as the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics, published over 400 peer-reviewed papers and trained close to 140 rheumatology trainees and clinical research fellows.


Dr. Catherine Zahn, MD ’78, PGME ’83 (Adult Neurology), MHSc ’95

Lifetime Achievement Award – National/Community Impact

Dr. Zahn is a champion for the integration of psychiatry and neuroscience, working to steer mental illness into the mainstream of healthcare, and promoting equitable access to healthcare resources for people with mental illness. As President and CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), she is leading a massive redevelopment of the Queen Street site. Trust in her leadership was demonstrated by the 2018 announcement of a record $100M anonymous gift to support research, and her receipt of the “Canada’s Most Admired CEO, Public Sector” award in 2018. A U of T Professor, she helped establish the Department of Medicine’s Eliot Philipson Clinician-Educator Training Program. Her accomplishments have been recognized by numerous honours, including the Order of Canada in 2014.



Dr. Adrienne Chan, BSc ’96, MD ’00, PGME ’06 (Adult Infectious Diseases)

Humanitarian Award

Infectious disease specialist, Assistant Professor in U of T’s Department of Medicine and staff physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Dr. Chan has helped improve lives and break down barriers to health care at an international level. In 2007, she joined the Canadian organization Dignitas International, where she helped Malawian health workers decentralize HIV services to over 150 health facilities in the South East Zone, an area comprising a quarter of the country's population. In addition to providing clinical care in Malawi, Lesotho, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe, over the last 14 years, she has collaborated on multiple research collaborations with regional and international networks in southern Africa. In 2014-15, Dr. Chan served as a clinical consultant with the World Health Organization in Sierra Leone for the West Africa Ebola Response Team.


Dr. Mohammad R. Akbari, PhD ’11 (Institute of Medical Science)

Emerging Leader Award

As director of the Molecular Genetics Research Laboratory at Women's College Hospital, Dr. Akbari leads The Screen Project, a study offering Canadians access to low-cost genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, and providing genetic counselling to those who test positive. He aims to develop a more complete picture of genetic cancer risk and save lives through more effective prevention and treatment. Dr. Akbari has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, and has identified a new breast cancer susceptibility gene, named RECQL, a finding he published in Nature Genetics in 2015.

Dr. Sandro Galea, MD ’94, PGME ’97 (Family Medicine)

MD 25th Anniversary Award

Physician and epidemiologist, Dr. Galea is the Robert A. Knox Professor and Dean at the Boston University School of Public Health. Named one of TIME magazine’s epidemiology innovators, and identified as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds for the Social Sciences by Thomson Reuters, his research focuses on social epidemiology, causes of brain disorders, and health consequences of mass trauma. He has previously held academic and leadership positions at Columbia University, the University of Michigan and the New York Academy of Medicine.

Past Alumni Award Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award

Humanitarian Award (formerly Volunteerism)

Emerging Leader Award (formerly Rising Star)

MD 25th Anniversary Award

If you have any questions about the awards, please contact Sara Franca, Director, Alumni Relations at sara.franca@utoronto.ca

    Nominate Outstanding Alumni

    Help us recognize our outstanding alumni and share their achievements with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine community. Nominations for the 2020 Dean's Alumni Awards are now closed.

    Alumnus/a can be recognized for one of the following awards:

    Lifetime Achievement Award 

    This award recognizes alumni who have demonstrated a lifetime of exceptional professionalism through leadership, research, teaching, clinical care, administration or public service. Two recipients will be honoured each year, one for career accomplishments with international impact and one for career achievements with national and/or community impact.

    Humanitarian Award

    This award honours alumni who have provided extraordinary volunteer service, demonstrating leadership through local or global work. Recipients have enriched the lives of others through their volunteerism in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine or through their work with civic, charitable and social causes beyond the scope of their clinical or academic responsibilities.

    Emerging Leader Award

    This award is presented to an alumnus/a who is early in their career and has graduated in the past 15 years. The recipient will have demonstrated outstanding service to the Faculty, their local medical/healthcare community, or a scientific or academic achievement. The recipient can receive this award for one specific achievement or for a body of work. 

    Eligibility and Criteria

    • Individuals who hold a degree or certificate from the Temerty Faculty of Medicine are eligible for consideration (including graduates of our life sciences, rehabilitation sciences, MD/PhD programs, and former residents and fellows).
    • Nominations may be submitted by any individual, independently or on behalf of a group or institution. 
    • Nominees can only be nominated in one category per year
    • Nominators  cannot self-nominate or be the spouse or relative of their Nominee 
    • Additional eligibility criteria apply for the Emerging Leader Award, please see award description for more details.

    Please be sure to include with your submission:

    • A letter of nomination highlighting the nominee's achievements and explaining why the nominee should receive the award. Maximum 250 words.
    • An additional letter of support from an individual familiar with the nominee's work. This person is different from the nominator, and cannot be the nominee’s spouse or relative. 
    • A current copy of the nominee's curriculum vitae, including a summary of top publications (if applicable). Maximum five pages.
    • Optional: Supplementary documents (maximum two) that convey the importance of the nominee’s work. These can include notices and reviews, sample publications, media coverage, abstracts, etc. Each supplementary document cannot exceed five pages.

    Please note that all nominations will be in consideration for three years.


      Selection Committee Eligibility

      The Award Selection Committee is comprised of five teams of volunteers who review nominations and select the award recipients. If you would like to participate on the committee, please email Sara Franca, Director, Alumni Relations at sara.franca@utoronto.ca.

      All committee members:

      • Must be part of the U of T Temerty Faculty of Medicine community of alumni, students, faculty or staff.
      • Cannot be nominated in the current award year.
      • Cannot nominate or provide letters of support for current award candidates.
      • Be available to attend committee meeting(s).