Awards & Accolades - September 2020

Celebrating the achievements of our faculty, staff and students.

Kirsten Bauer - 16 September 2020

Alumni accolades

Congratulations to Dr. Abdullah Saleh, ’10 MD, Department of Surgery, on receiving the University of Calgary International Career Achievement Alumni Award. Read his story

Congratulations to University of Alberta spinoff company Tevosol, co-founded by Dr. Darren Freed, ’98 MD and Dr. Jayan Nagendran, ’01 MD and ’09 PhD, Department of Surgery, on being named a 2020 Nasa iTech finalist. 

Dr. Armin Badre, ’12 MD, Department of Surgery, was awarded the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand (AFSH) sponsorship in support of his attendance at the US Bone and Joint Initiative Young Investigator Grant Mentoring and Career Development Program.

Dr. Armin Badre

Faculty excellence

Dr. Hanne Ostergaard, Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, was awarded an operating grant from the Cancer Research Society.

Dr. Samina Ali and Dr. Simon Lebeuf, Department of Pediatrics, were named Top 10 Canadian Pediatricians to follow on Twitter

Dr. Cheryl Nekolaichuk, Department of Oncology, received the 2019 Canadian Virtual Hospice Award in Support of Palliative Care: Excellence in Psychosocial Oncology. This annual award is presented to a member of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO).

Division of Hematology

Dr. Elona Turley, Department of Medicine, received the Teacher of the Year award for the 2019/2020 hematopathology program.

Dr. Elona Turley

Dr. Danielle Meunier, hematopathology resident, was named 2019/2020 Resident of the Year by the hematopathology program.    

Dr. Danielle Meunier      

Learners as leaders

Connie Le, MD/PhD student (supervisor Dr. Lorne Tyrrell) received the 2020 Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award for Medical Students. 


Congratulations to the following winners of the 2020 Vanier Canada Scholarship:

  • Dr. Valentin Mocanu (supervisor Dr. Karen Madsen)  
  • Reed Sutton (supervisor Dr. Daniel Baumgart)  
  • Tessa Lamer, (supervisor Dr. John Vederas/ Dr. Gavin Oudit)

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2020 Izaak Walton Killam Award:

  • Kim Ho, Department of Pediatrics – “Increasing myocardial ketone oxidation as an approach to treat heart failure”
  • Dr. Valentin Mocanu – Department of Surgery – “Fecal microbial transplantation and fiber supplementation in subjects with obesity and metabolic syndrome: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded trial”
  • Jagdeesh Uppal – Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology – “Characterization of urinary arsenic metabolites to identify biomarkers of susceptibility to arsenic toxicity”                                                                     

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada grants

Congratulations to the 18 researchers from the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry who recently received grant funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

  • Dr. Maria Ioannou, Department of Physiology - “The regulation and function of lipid metabolism in astrocytes”
  • Dr. Rachel Wevrick, Department of Medical Genetics - “Biological functions of melanoma antigen (MAGE) proteins”
  • Dr. Jason Acker, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology - “Enabling the cryopreservation of embryos from aquatic species using ice recrystallization inhibitors”
  • Dr. Todd Alexander, Department of Pediatrics - “Molecular regulation of intestinal calcium absorption”
  • Dr. Klaus Ballanyi, Department of Physiology - “Complex neuromodulatory processes in the locus coeruleus neuron-astrocyte network”
  • Dr. Amit Bhavsar, Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology - “Cross-kingdom platforms to study bacterial ubiquitin ligases in eukaryotic cells”
  • Dr. Allen Chan, Department of Psychiatry - “An investigation of rest-stimulus interactions in mesoscale cortical networks”
  • Dr. Nicola De Zanche, Department of Oncology - “Instrumentation and methods for magnetic resonance imaging”
  • Dr. Gary Eitzen, Department of Cell Biology - “Regulation of immune cell vesicular traffic and exocytosis by Rho GTPases”
  • Dr. David Evans, Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology - “Gene acquisition by large DNA viruses”
  • Dr. Larry Fliegel, Department of Biochemistry - “Mechanism of plasma membrane mediated Na+/H+ exchange and salt tolerance in plants, animals and yeast”
  • Dr. Gregory Funk, Department of Physiology - “Information processing by respiratory motoneurons”
  • Dr. Armin Gamper, Department of Oncology - “Functional characterization of apical kinases in the cellular stress response”
  • Dr. James Hammond, Department of Pharmacology - “Posttranslational regulation of the SLC29A family of nucleoside transporters”
  • Dr. Marcelo Marcet-Palacios, Department of Medicine - “Differential expression and processing of CABS1 across tissues and fluids and its location-specific functions”
  • Dr. Evangelos Michelakis, Department of Medicine - “A novel, non-canonical mechanism for the nuclear entry of large mitochondrial enzymes”
  • Dr. Peter Nguyen, Department of Physiology - “Regulation of synaptic plasticity by the cyclic-AMP signalling pathway”
  • Dr. Boguslaw Tomanek, Department of Oncology - “Permanent magnet for ‘gradient-free’ MRI”

Canadian Institute of Health Research grants

CIHR COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants - March 2020 competition

  • Dr. Matthew Croxen, Dr. Paul Gordon - “Rapid RNA sequencing of coronavirus for public health surveillance and transmission”(Contributing Partner: Alberta Innovates)
  • Dr. Matthias Götte, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology - “Development and evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 RNA polymerase inhibitors”
  • Dr. Tom Hobman, Department of Cell Biology - “Therapeutic approaches to SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogenic coronaviruses”           
  • Dr. Michael Houghton, Dr. Lorne Tyrrell, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology - “Production of a recombinant S ( spike ) protein vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and emerging coronaviruses” (Contributing Partner: Alberta Innovates)
  • Dr. James Michael - “Towards anti-COVID-19 therapeutic development by targeting the viral papain-like proteinase” (Contributing Partner: Alberta Innovates)
  • Dr. Chris Le, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology - “Point-of-care diagnostics of COVID-19 using isothermal amplification and CRISPR technology” (Contributing partner: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC))
  • Dr. Joanne Lemieux, Department of Biochemistry - “Synthesis, structural studies and evaluation of inhibitors of the 3CL protease of SARS-CoV-2 as potential drugs for treating infection” (Contributing Partner: NSERC)

May 2020 competition                                                                                                       

  • Dr. Nicola Cherry, Department of Medicine - "The impact of COVID-19 on the health of physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers: an interprovincial cohort study”
  • Dr. Andrei Drabovich, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology - “Rational design and standardization of serology diagnostics using immunoaffinity-targeted proteomics assays”    
  • Dr. Steven J. Drews, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology - “Population-based seroprevalence of prior infection with COVID-19 in Canada: implications for testing, economic revitalization and population health”
  • Dr. Joanne Lemieux, Department of Biochemistry - “Optimizing polar, small inhibitors of a viral cysteine protease to identify a lead for an oral COVID-19 treatment”
  • Dr. John Lewis, Department of Oncology - “Rapid prototyping and deployment of a therapeutic pan-coronavirus fusogenix DNA vaccine engineered to eliminate ADE”
  • Dr. David Marchant, Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology - “Broad-spectrum antiviral nasal spray to prevent and treat infection by SARS-CoV2 and seasonal respiratory viruses in high risk patients and health-care providers”
  • Dr. Patrick McLane, Department of Emergency Medicine - “Equity in emergency department utilization in Alberta for priority populations during the COVID-19 pandemic: Exploring impacts of changes to health care and health-care utilization through administrative data analysis and nominal group techniques”
  • Dr. Xiaoli L Pang, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology - “Detection and quantitation of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater to conduct surveillance on burden of community infection, identify outbreaks and support public health decision-making on control measures for transmission of COVID-19”              
  • Dr. Ian Paterson, Department of Medicine - “MOIST study: Multi-organ imaging with serial testing in COVID-19 infected patients”   
  • Dr. Sangita Sharma, Department of Medicine - “Capturing the anticipated/unanticipated consequences of COVID-19 (C19) and C19 prevention, management, and treatment strategies (C19PS) among Indigenous peoples (IP) in Arctic communities (AC)”
  • Dr. Puneeta Tandon, Department of Medicine - “Reconnecting vulnerable outpatients with multidisciplinary care - an RCT assessing online programming in the time of COVID-19”
  • Dr. Lorne Tyrrell, Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology - “Characterization of interferon-lambda 1 as a treatment for COVID-19”
  • Dr. Lorne Tyrrell, Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology - “Advancing a potent inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease into clinical trials”                                                                                                   

CIHR Frailty and COVID-19 operating grants - May 2020 competition                                                              

  • Dr. Darryl Rolfson, Department of Medicine - “COVID-19 associated outcomes of critical illness in patients with frailty”

CIHR Mental Health & Substance Use Service Needs and Delivery grants                          

  • Dr. Patrick McLane, Department of Emergency Medicine - “Opioid use disorder care during COVID-19 disruptions emergency medicine”
  • Dr. Lexuan Zhong, Faculty of Engineering / Dr. Lisa Hartling, Department of Pediatrics - “Mitigation strategies against the public transmission of airborne COVID-19 in high occupancy structures: a program of research to develop optimized mechanical ventilation systems”
  • Dr. Michael Woodside, Faculty of Science / Dr. Jack Tuszynski, Department of Medicine - “Targeting programmed ribosomal frameshifting as a therapeutic strategy against 2019-nCoV”