The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry celebrates three new Killam Laureates

This year’s Killam Award winners include Jhon Enterina from Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Shubham Soni from Pediatrics and Alexa Thompson from Laboratory Medicine & Pathology.

Shirley Wilfong-Pritchard - 07 December 2022

The Killam Trust Scholarships have generously funded doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and professors at the University of Alberta — to the tune of more than $127.3 million — since 1967. The distinguished research awards recognize sustained excellence and impact in a scholar’s respective field and were originally gifted by Mrs. Dorothy J. Killam in memory of her husband, Izaak Walton Killam and his outstanding achievements.

The Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship is the most prestigious graduate award administered by the university. It includes a stipend of $45,000 per year and is awarded for two years to outstanding doctoral students. This year we are proud to announce three award winners from the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry: Jhon Enterina (Medical Microbiology & Immunology), Shubham Soni (Pediatrics) and Alexa Thompson (Laboratory Medicine & Pathology). Soni is also a Dorothy J. Killam Memorial Graduate Prize winner. This prize is awarded annually to the three most outstanding Killam Memorial Scholarship recipients and consists of $5,000 and a certificate of recognition.

Gregory Funk is the associate dean of the Office of Research in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, as well as chair of the Department of Physiology. He is also a Killam Laureate and received the Killam Mentorship Award in 2018. "The Killam Trusts and its diverse award programs provide invaluable support for higher education across five Canadian universities, including the outstanding faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students at the University of Alberta,” says Funk. “I will be eternally grateful to the Killam Trusts as their support has been instrumental for my career. The cutting-edge research of this year's recipients --- just three examples of the outstanding work being done in the faculty --- will be greatly facilitated by these awards."

We spoke with each of the award recipients to learn more about them and their doctoral research. 

...Jhon Enterina
Jhon Ralph Enterina, MSc (Chemical Biology) ‘15, PhD candidate 2018-2023, Medical Microbiology & Immunology

Enterina’s research focuses on understanding how our bodies respond to pathogens, produce antibodies, build immunity and eliminate infections such as COVID-19.

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...Shubham Soni
Shubham Soni, BSc Physiology (Hons) ‘18, MD Class of 2026, PhD candidate 2018-2024, Pediatrics

Soni’s research looks at the effectiveness of “ketone therapy” to improve heart function, reduce inflammation and protect the failing heart in both males and females.

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...Alexa Thompson
Alexa Thompson, BSc (Cell Biology) ‘19, Cert (Med/Dent) ‘19, PhD candidate 2019-2025, Laboratory Medicine & Pathology

Thompson’s research targets improved health outcomes for pregnant and disadvantaged patients infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Alberta. If effective, outcomes from her research program could be used to inspire HCV efforts in other provinces and territories across Canada.

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