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Honours, Awards & Accomplishments

Michael Taylor (Neurosurgery) has been named the 2010 Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Medalist in Surgery. Michael and colleagues recently published this award winning work, entitled Multiple recurrent genetic events converge on control of histone lysine methylation in medulloblastoma, in Nature Genetics. The Department of Surgery has done well in the Royal College Medal award. As the Department celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Surgeon Scientist Program, it is noteworthy that in the last twenty-five years faculty members have won the Royal College Medal 14 times.

Michael also was awarded a 5 year grant from the National Institute of Health for his project on "Medulloblastoma and Metastases".

Kellie Leitch (Orthopaedics) received the Order of Ontario for her contributions as a Paediatric Orthopaedic surgeon and a national voice for children's health in Canada.

Abdallah Daar (Department of Surgery and Dalla Lana School of Public Health) has been elected as the founding chair of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases. The Alliance was created in June 2009 to support clear and coordinated research funding priorities in the battle against chronic, noncommunicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases. CNCDs account for 60% of all deaths worldwide, of which 80% occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Andres Lozano (Neurosurgery) has been awarded the seventh annual Donald Calne Lectureship by the Parkinson Society Canada. Dr. Lozano's research is focused on developing novel surgical treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders particularly for 's disease and depression.

Michael Fehlings (Neurosurgery) has been elected to be Vice-President and President-Elect of the Cervical Spine Research Society, one of the most prestigious academic international spine societies.

Sender Herschorn (Urology) has been awarded the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of "significant contributions and leadership in the field of voiding dysfunction by the Society of Urodynamics and Female urology at their annual meeting in St. Petersburg Florida. Professor Herschorn delivered the Blaivas Lecture entitled What have we learned about the use of bowel in urologic reconstruction in the past 30 years?

Richard Reznick (Chair, Department of Surgery) has been awarded the 2010 Karolinska Institutet Prize for Research in Medical Education. "This international prize is awarded for outstanding research in medical education. The purpose of the prize is to recognize and stimulate high-quality research in the field, and to promote long-term improvements in educational practice. Professor Reznick's research in surgical education is focused on patient safety practice. He facilitated the development of a checklist that today is used globally to reduce surgical complications. His research has been instrumental in the assessment and training of surgical skills and their transfer from simulated to clinical environments. Professor Reznick's focus on non-technical safety aspects such as team communication and interprofessional collaboration has been highly influential in the promotion of safer surgery practice."

Stefan Hofer was recently appointment as Editor of the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, which is the former British Journal of Plastic Surgery. Stefan is the first non-British Plastic Surgeon to hold this position.

The laboratory of Darius Bagli (Division of Urology at Hospital for Sick Children) was awarded an American Urological Association Foundation Fellowship (AUAF) entitled: "Epigenetic Responses to Uropathogenic E.coli Urinary Tract Infection", to support a research fellow for 2010-2011. These fellowships are based on competitive grant applications, and are very difficult to obtain outside of the U.S.

David Backstein (Division of Orthopaedics) and Subodh Verma (Division of Cardiac Surgery) have been elected co-winners of the Silver Shovel Chute Award. The winner is selected by the fourth year class as the< undergraduate teacher who is deemed to have demonstrated excellence in overall clinical teaching in the undergraduate medical program.

General Surgery Resident Bharat Sharma received a PSI Grant for her study titled "Comparing three different Non - Technical Skills Assessment Tools in the Post Operative Setting". Bharat's supervisor is Teodor Grantcharov.

Andrea Covelli, resident in general surgery, has been awarded the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Fellowship grant for the 2010 funding year. She is currently in the SSP, PGY-3.

Wigdan Al-Sukhni, general surgery resident in the Surgeon-Scientist Program, has been awarded a Vanier CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship. This $50,000/ year award will support her as she continues her PhD project entitled "Validation and characterization of candidate Familial Pancreatic Cancer genes". Her supervisor is Steven Gallinger, Division of General Surgery.

Oleh Antonyshyn (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) was awarded the William K. Lindsay Faculty Research Mentor Award, 2010.

Christopher Forrest (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) received the Arnis Freiberg Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, 2010.

Mary-Helen Mahoney and Ryan Neinstein (Plastic Surgery) won the Mentor Canada Prize for Best Clinical Paper Award, 2010.

Karen Cross (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) received the Best Basic Science Award, University of Toronto, 2010.

Karen Wong (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) received the Best Clinical Paper Award, University of Toronto 2010.

John Edward (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) was awarded the De Toro Scholarship, University of Toronto, 2010.

Shaf Keshavjee (Thoracic Surgery) received a $1,750,000 grant from the Ministry of Research and Innovation entitled Molecular and Genomic Diagnostics to Improve Outcomes in Lung Transplantation (GL2-01-019).

D.J. Cook (Neurosurgery) won the Cerebrovascular Disease Award from the Section on Cerebrovascular Surgery of the AANS/CNS for his work "Immunomodulatory effects of the PDS-95 inhibitor NA-1 following middle cerebral artery occlusion in the rat and cynomolgus macaque".

Michael Cusimano won a 5 year CIHR Strategic Team Grant in Applied Injury Research Study for his work on "Traumatic Brain Injury & Violence: Reducing the risks, improving the outcomes".

Michael Fehlings has received funding from Tyco Healthcare Group LP (d/b/a Covidien) for his project "Examination of the therapeutic potential of self-assembling nanofibers in spinal cord injury".

Carlo Santaguida won the Codman Neurotrauma Fellowship.

Gelareh Zadeh received a BrainCHILD grant for her project "role of bone marrow derived progenitor cells in tumor vascularization".

Gelareh Zadeh received a Canadian Brain Tumor Foundation Grant for her project "Discovery of biomarkers to guide individualized therapy of brain metastasis".

Ali Zahrai (Orthopaedic Surgery) has received the T.R. Sullivan Award for best presentation at the Division of Orthopaedics Research Day.

Isaac Moss (Orthopaedic Surgery) has been awarded the Lawson Family Post-Graduate Fellowship.

Harith Abbas (Orthopaedic Surgery) has been awarded the Lawson Family Post-Graduate Fellowship for junior trainees.

Erion Qamirani (Orthopaedic Surgery) has been awarded the Lawson Family Post-Graduate Fellowship for junior trainees.

Daniel Whelan (Orthopaedic Surgery) has received the Orthopaedic Chair's Teaching Award for contributions to orthopaedic education as voted by the residents.

Rashid Jinnah (Orthopaedic Surgery) has received the Dr. Borna Meisami Post-Graduate Award in Orthopaedic Surgery for most compassionate resident as selected by the faculty.

Jaskarndip (Jas) Chahal PGY 5 (Orthopaedic Surgery) has won The Robert Jackson prize for the best resident paper on Sports Medicine.

Isaac Moss PGY 5 (Orthopaedic Surgery) has received The R. I. Harris award for best resident's presentation as selected by the visiting professor.

Mehdi Sadougi PGY 5 (Orthopaedic Surgery) won The CBI (Canadian Back Institute) award for the best resident presentation on the spine topic.

William Kraemer (Orthopaedic Surgery PD) has received The "PGME Excellence in Teaching Award for Development and Innovation in Post Graduate Education".

Aikins Awards

What a Department! This year we celebrate three of our faculty who are the recipients of Aikins awards. Mike Wiley (Division of Anatomy), Peter Ferguson (Division of Orthopaedics) and Ron Kodama (Division of Urology) all won the Aikins this year. This award is the most prestigious award in undergraduate medical education in our entire Faculty. And considering that there are thousands of eligible teachers, to have three members of our Department win this award in one year is astounding. We should take enormous pride in this Department's commitment to UGME and take vicarious pride in the accomplishments of Mike, Ron and Peter.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the outstanding contributions of our educational administrators in the Department - David Latter, David Backstein, Ron Levine, Sid Radomoski and Terry Axelrod.

Richard Reznick


Michael Taylor was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto.

Bill Tucker was promoted to Full Professor in the Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto.

Eric Massicotte was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto.

Tom Waddell has been promoted to Full Professor and Dr. Yaron Shargall has been promoted to Associate Professor in the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Toronto.

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