Untitled Page

Val Cabral- Keeper of Research Flame

Val Cabral

Val Cabral

Val Cabral, the Department of Surgery Research Program Manager was recruited by Ori Rotstein in 1997. Ori asked her to help expand the research office when he was Vice Chair of Research for the Department. The Surgeon-Scientist Program, quite successful at that time, has expanded remarkably since then. Val worked with former Chairman Bernard Langer to put together a history of the Surgeon Scientist Program. Val continuously updates a database of grants in the Department which has been in used the Annual Reports of the Department and by the Divisions for their 5-year reviews.

Val says “Every Vice - Chair of Research has new projects and agendas. They have all been delightful to work with. One of the current projects is SSTP career guidance for present members of the Surgeon-Scientist Training Program. Graduates are invited to come to a catered evening meeting at the Peter Gilgan Centre and the speakers, all former surgeon scientists, SSTP supervisors, or SSTP graduates, make the rounds moving from table to table. Sixteen surgeons and scientists participated last year with 38 trainees.”

“Gallie Day, our annual celebration of Surgical Science, starts planning with Michael Fehlings and the Research Committee members suggestions and immense commitment. James Byrne and Chris Ahuja are the SSTP representatives who work along with 22 others from the divisions, meeting bi-monthly to plan PGY 1 & 2 Research Orientation, Gallie Day and Alman Research Rounds, among many other issues. At the Research Strategic Plan Retreat, there were 58 participants from the Surgeon-Scientist, Surgeon-Investigator, Surgeon- Teacher and Scientist ranks. They held panels on Memoranda of Agreement, PAC meetings and advice on two year reviews. There was a full discussion of the program, including fundraising, funding, future plans.”

“This year, we received 31 abstracts to compete for the 10 oral presentation openings, and 66 applications for the poster presentations - the biggest year ever for submissions. Since two years ago, all poster presentations are done electronically - 5 minutes presentations before electronic screens in the MaRS building. There are 10 screens in 3 rooms. The Presentations 2 Go company from Mississauga sets them up at 6.30 in the morning of Gallie Day. One screen in the lobby scrolls all of the presentations continuously to give attendees an opportunity to decide in advance which presentations to attend.”

“The Surgeon-Scientist Training Program was supported generously by the Johnson and Johnson company for 10 years until Malcom Eade retired. Other support comes from the Rutka Trust and other endowment trust funds. Neil Fleshner, Chris Forrest, and Tom Forbes are working to raise funds for the SSTP in their divisions.”

Val writes draft reference letters, reports such as the research report and Gallie Day synopsis for the Vice Chair of Research. She also drafts the research reports for the Spotlight for the Vice Chair of Research. She continues to say that she has been mentored by the best of the best, starting in Pharmacology and continuing in Surgery.

group photo

Belmira Fumo Lane family

Val is an excellent writer, as evidenced by poetry prizes that she has won, and a moving tribute to her mother, which won one of the Seaton Village Lane Naming contest. The “Belmira Fumo Lane” in the Bloor and Bathurst area was named in her mother’s honour. A neighbor nominated Belmira who was a supportive and loving presence in the community. Val serves as a Minister at St. Dominic’s Church in Mississauga, volunteers at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute by bringing patients to mass once a week, and prepares tax returns pro bono for Portuguese seniors, carrying on the public service and neighborliness inspired by her mother.


Skip Navigation Links