Honours and Awards
Recent Honours and Awards Announcements
The Royal Society of Canada named three members of the Faculty of Medicine as 2019 Fellows: Cheryl Grady, a professor of psychiatry at U of T and a senior scientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest; Sidney Kennedy, a professor of psychiatry at U of T and a scientist at Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute (St. Michael's Hospital) and Toronto Western Research Institute (University Health Network); and Michael Taylor, a professor of surgery and of laboratory medicine and pathobiology at U of T and a senior scientist at SickKids Research Institute.
The First Nations Child & Family Caring Society has honoured Professor Anna Banerji with the Peter Henderson Bryce Award, which recognizes leadership in promoting the safety, health or well-being of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and youth. Dr. Banerji is a professor of paediatrics at U of T and the director of global and Indigenous health at Continuing Professional Development. She is also an associate scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital.
Professor Adelle Atkinson has been honoured with the Program Director of the Year Award from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Prof. Atkinson is the director of Postgraduate Medical Education for the Department of Paediatrics at U of T, a role she took on in 2006. The College recognized Prof. Atkinson's work with fellow educators to enhance the learner experience without comprising the safety of patients, and her role in streamlining the resident admission process and enriching curriculum. Dr. Atkinson is a professor of paediatrics at U of T, and a clincal immunologist and project investigator at The Hospital for Sick Children.
Joseph Raymond Buncic is a professor of ophthalmology and vision sciences at U of T and a staff ophthalmologist at The Hospital for Sick Children. He has maintained an interest in clinical research related to pediatric and central nervous system disorders during his career. “For his pioneering contributions to the field of pediatric neuro-ophthalmology, notably through his mentorship of multiple generations of pediatric eye specialists,” Prof. Buncic has been named a Member of the Order of Canada.
Chaim Roifman is a professor of pediatrics at U of T and head of the division of immunology and allergy at The Hospital for Sick Children. He is best known for discovering a rare congenital disorder that bears his name, Roifman Syndrome, as well as uncovering its genetic cause. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to the field of immunology, “notably in the diagnosis and management of pediatric primary immunodeficiency.”
The University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine has honoured Professor John Dick with the 2019 Dr. Chew Wei Memorial Prize in Cancer Research. Prof. Dick was recognized for his work on the origins of leukemia and the causes of relapse, which has revolutionized our understanding of normal and leukemic human hematopoiesis, and also of the nature of many types of human tumours. Dr. Dick is a professor of molecular genetics at U of T and a senior scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network.
Professor Graham Collingridge is a 2019 recipient of the Queen’s Birthday Honours, which recognizes the achievements of extraordinary people. Dr. Collingridge was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his research on the cellular basis of memory and its role in brain disorders. Dr. Collingridge is professor and chair in the Department of Physiology at U of T and a senior investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System.
The College of Family Physicians of Canada has recognized Professor Farhan Asrar with a 2019 Award of Excellence, which honours contributions in a specific area pertaining to family medicine. Dr. Asrar is a professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at U of T and the physician research lead, Credit Valley & Summerville Family Medicine Teaching Units, Trillium Health Partners.
The University of British Columbia Okanagan has recognized Professor Lewis Kay with an honorary Doctor of Science degree, for his research in biochemistry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Dr. Kay is a professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at U of T and a senior scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children.
The School of Graduate Studies at U of T has honoured Professor Tania Watts with the JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award. Dr. Watts is a professor in the Department of Immunology at U of T, and she directs the Faculty of Medicine Flow cytometry facility, where 17 postdocs, 22 PhD students, six M.Sc. students and 30 undergrads have done their research. This award is the only one of its kind offered by the School for physical and life sciences, and it marks the second year in row that a professor from the Faculty of Medicine has received it.
The Division of University Advancement at U of T has honoured Darina Landa with the 2019 Distinguished Leader Award. Ms. Landa has been with U of T since 2010, and holds the position of Executive Director of Advancement in the Faculty of Medicine. Under her leadership, the Faculty of Medicine recently surpassed a $600 million Boundless campaign goal, closing at 639.5 million — part of the University’s record-breaking $2.6 billion fundraising campaign. She has also increased alumni engagement and grown support among donors, alumni and faculty.
Professor York Pei was honoured with the PKD Foundation's Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize for Advancement at the World Congress of Nephrology in Melbourne recently. The award recognizes scientific work improves knowledge and treatment of polycystic kidney disease. Dr. Pei is a professor in the Department of Medicine at U of T and a staff nephrologist at the Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network.
The University of Calgary has recognzied Professor Emerita Catharine Whiteside with a 2019 honorary degree. Prof. Whiteside served as dean of the Faculty of Medicine and vice-provost, relations with health-care institutions at from 2006 to 2014. Prior to these roles, Whiteside was a prominent researcher at the Canadian Institute for Health Research Group in Membrane Biology and at University Health Network in Toronto. She is a faculty member in U of T's Department of Medicine and currently serves as executive director of Diabetes Action Canada.
The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine has honoured Professor Angela Colantonio with its 2019 Women in Rehabilitation Science Award, which recognizes world-class research conducted by a female scientist. Dr. Angela Colantonio is the director of the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and a professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. She is also a senior scientist and team leader with the Acquired Brain Injury & Society Team, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network.
The University of Toronto has honoured Ms. Hana Lee with a 2019 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Award, which recognizes work that advances anti-racism and contributes to the University’s commitment diverse, equitable and inclusive environments. Ms. Lee is the Associate Registrar, Admissions and Registration for the MD Program.
Professor Michael Cusimano has been honoured with Carolyn Tuohy Impact on Public Policy Award by the University of Toronto, in recognition of research and advocacy that has influenced major league sports — from hockey to baseball to soccer — to make changes to help reduce concussion rates, and better care for their young players. Dr. Cusimano is a professor in the Department of Surgery at U of T and a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, Unity Health Toronto.
Mr. Ike Okafor, a senior officer in Service Learning and Diversity Outreach at the Faculty of Medicine, has been honoured with the Jill Matus Award for Excellence in Student Services by the University of Toronto. In just four years, Mr. Okafor has helped more than 100 Black and other students who are under-represented in medicine get into top-ranked medical schools, including U of T and Yale.
Dr. Tatyana Mollayeva has been awarded the first Robert D. Voogt NABIS Founders Award, which is jointly sponsored by Robert D. Voogt's family and the North American Brain Injury Society. Dr. Mollayeva has dedicated close to ten years of her career to the advancement of the traumatic brain injury research.
Dr. Mollayeva is a postdoctoral research fellow working with Professor Angela Colantonio on topics related to injury prevention, cognitive outcome assessment, gender and brain injury comorbidity, incorporating sleep function in all research hypotheses. She is also an instructor at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society, University of Toronto Scarborough.
U of T will honour 13 individuals for their leadership, creativity and generosity, including U of T President Emeritus and former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine David Naylor; business leader and philanthropist Carlo Fidani, the chairman of Orlando Corporation, Canada’s largest privately owned industrial real estate company; and Molecular Genetics Professor Alan Bernstein, the president and CEO of CIFAR and past president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Professors Michael Cusimano and Khamran Khan have been honoured with U of T President’s Impact Awards, which celebrate honours faculty members whose research has led to significant impact beyond academia. They will each receive a monetary award of $10,000 per year for five years to be used toward their research.
Dr. Cusimano is a professor in the Department of Surgery and a neurosurgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital. He is founding director of the Injury Prevention Research Office at St. Michael’s, where he leads a research program and knowledge translation activities that have had major impact in the field of traumatic brain injury and sport concussions. He is also the recipient of U of T's 2018 Carolyn Tuohy Impact on Public Policy Award.
Dr. Khan is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and a clinician-scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital. He has pioneered novel areas of research on the globalization of infectious diseases, including real-time tracking and predicting of infectious disease risks using big data, artificial intelligence, and disease modelling. He is also the founder of BlueDot, a Toronto-based company that protects people around the world from infectious diseases with data-driven technologies.
The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada has honoured Professor Mahan Kulasegaram with the 2019 Young Educators Award, which recognizes achievements within the first seven years as a faculty member, and who has produced change within their Faculty or the general medical community. Dr. Kulasegaram is an assistant professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at U of T, and a member of The Wilson Centre and the Institute of Medical Science.
The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada has honoured Professor Sharon Straus with the 2019 May Cohen Equity, Diversity and Gender Award, which recognizes achievements in improving the equity diversity and gender environment in academic medicine in Canada. Dr. Straus is a professor in the Department of Medicine at U of T and a clinician scientist at St. Michael's Hospital.
The Health Research Foundation of Canada has honoured Professr David Jenkins with its Medal of Honour, for his research contributions. Prof. Jenkins led the team that first defined and explored the idea of the glycemic index of foods, and he has pioneered several nutritional therapies for chronic conditions including diabetes and heart disease. Dr. Jenkins is a professor in the Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Medicine at U of T, and a clinician scientist at St. Michael's Hospital.
The Ontario Psychological Association has recognized Professor Judith Laposa with the 2018 Dr. Harvey Brooker Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching, for clinical training of psychology students. Dr. Laposa is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry of U of T, and a clinician scientist at the Centre for Addition and Mental Health.
The Faculty of Medicine's MD Program Learner Chart Group received a 2017-18 Excellence Through Innovation Award from the University of Toronto. The group helped implement programmatic MD student assessment through the user-friendly, dashboard Learner Chart, which enables students and faculty to quickly access information about student progress. This information allows timely and formative feedback from faculty to support students. The chart has also substantially reduced data management and collation tasks by bringing information from various student information systems into one integrated platform.
Group members include Sam Chan, Emil Cean, Philip Chung, Ben Smith-Lea, Yujung Liu, Lynette Terrill, Courtney Van Beek, Arnold Alfonso, Howard Chow, Heidar Heidari Nia, Bochra Kurabi, Pauline Pan, Tamica Charles, Melissa Casco, and Frazer Howard.
Professors Zulfiqar Bhutta and Beverley Orser
Professors Beverley Orser and Zulfiqar Bhutta have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine — two of only 159 non-American members of the organization. Dr. Orser, a professor of physiology and chair of the Department of Anesthesia, was chosen for her groundbreaking discoveries around anesthesia and memory impairment. Dr. Bhutta, a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, was elected for his contributions to child health and nutrition.
The Academy’s 2,178 members provide independent advice and analysis to support public health and medicine in the United States. Members are elected on the basis of outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. The two medical researchers join five existing members from U of T, including President Emeritus David Naylor.
Professor Emeritus James Till
James Till, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Medical Biophysics, is the inaugural recipient of the Edogawa-Niche Prize. The international award recognizes a physician or scientist based on their contributions to interdisciplinary research leading to health care solutions in disease prevention, diagnosis or treatment. Till and his collaborator Professor Emeritus Ernest McCulloch, were the first to publish evidence of stem cells, in 1961.
Professors Daniel Drucker and Kamran Khan
Canada’s Manning Foundation has honoured two members of the Faculty of Medicine with its prestigious Innovation Awards, which recognize technological innovations across all sectors of the economy, and which have improved the human experience.
Professor Daniel Drucker will receive the Principal Award, which comes with $100,000, for his discovery and development of glucagon-like peptide 2 (GLP-2) for short bowel syndrome. Dr. Drucker is a professor in the Departments of Medicine, and Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at U of T, and a senior scientist at Sinai Health Systems's Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.
Professor Kamran Khan a $10,000 Innovation Award, for his role in start-up company BlueDot, and digital technologies that leverage big data and artificial intelligence to track and predict the global spread of dangerous infectious diseases. Dr. Khan is professor in the Department of Medicine and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at U of T, and a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital.
Jeffrey Wrana, a professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at U of T and a senior investigator at Sinai Health System’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, was named recipient of the Royal Society of Canada's McLaughlin Medal. The award recognizes sustained excellence in medical science and is one of just 12 research awards the Society granted this year. Prof. Wrana’s work has led to several breakthroughs in cell-to-cell signalling and the molecular understanding of cancer, and he was the first to discover the molecular pathway for a type of protein that influences how cells respond to their microenvironment, called transforming growth factor beta.
The U.S. Brain & Behavior Research Foundation has honoured Professor Benjamin Goldstein with the Colvin Prize, for outstanding achievement in mood disorders research. Prof. Goldstein's work focuses on bipolar disorder in adolescents, including new biomarkers, links between the condition and cardiovasulcar disease, and new treatments. Dr. Goldstein is a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology & Toxicology at U of T, as well as a clinician and senior scientist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
The Medical Council of Canada has honoured Professor Shiphra Ginsburg with the 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award in the Evaluation of Clinical Competence. This award recognizes sustained excellence in Canadian health care or health-care research. Dr. Ginsburg is a professor in the Department of Medicine and a scientist at the Wilson Centre for Research in Education at U of T. She studies how clinical supervisors assess learner peformance, and professionalism in medical education.
Dr. Rachel Glicksman has been honoured with the 2018 Jean Roy Award from the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology. This award acknowledge residents who show creativity, capacity to innovate and leadership in the fields of education, administration or clinical application of new technologies.