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Gallie on screen at presentation at Research Day
Ben Alman at the podium with William Gallie on the screen

This year's Gallie Day celebrated the 25th anniversary of the formal establishment of our Surgeon Scientist Program (SSP) which pioneered formal training for residents to participate in graduate level research training.

The celebratory dinner, entitled "SHARP MINDS, SKILLED HANDS", was very successful in raising funds for the Program. Talks by SSP alumni, SSP in the Program now and research graduate students highlighted the day. The Gordon Murray Lecturer, Joseph P. Vacanti (Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Boston, MA) gave a fascinating lecture entitled, "Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine: From Science to the Surgical Armamentarium".

Joseph V. Vacanti
Joseph V. Vacanti

The theme for the day was decades of surgical research at the University of Toronto. In addition to the oral presentations from our trainees, we invited many of our SSP alumni to speak on how the SSP influenced their lives and to update us on their research. Peter J. Evans, Paul Fedak, John Ikonomidis, Douglas Kondziolka, Joan Lipa, Rajiv Midha, Sheila Singh, Larissa Temple and Dan Theodorescu all spoke. Steven Strasberg, Charles Tator and Richard Weisel, faculty directors of our SSP since its inception, spoke about how the program started, and how it changed over the years.

Poster Presentations
Poster Presentations
Barry Rubin
Barry Rubin

Barry Rubin was awarded the Lister Prize, our highest research award, given to an investigator who has shown outstanding and continuing productivity of international stature as evidenced by research publications, grants held, students trained and other evidence of stature of the work produced. Rebecca Gladdy received the Bernard Langer Surgeon Scientist Award, presented to an outstanding graduate of the Surgeon Scientist Program in the Department, who shows the greatest promise for a career in academic surgery. Subodh Verma received the George-Armstrong Peters Prize, awarded to a young investigator who has shown outstanding productivity during his initial period as an independent investigator as evidenced by research publications in peer reviewed journals, grants held, and students trained. Richard Reznick received the Charles Tator Surgeon Scientist Mentoring Award, recognizing the individual supervising participants in the SSP who emulates Professor Tator's excellence in research, commitment to SSP mentoring and dedication to promotion of Surgeon-Scientists.

from left to right: Nancy Calabrese-Condo, Val Kim Huynh, Val Cabral, Sylvia Perry

The Gallie Bateman Awards (for Surgeon Scientist Program participants) and the McMurrich Awards (for any trainee working with a member of the faculty of surgery) were judged for both platform presentations and poster presentations. Thirty of our faculty members helped in the judging of the research presentations. The variety of the topics and types of trainees highlighted the diversity and high quality of the research being conducted in our department. Attendance was larger than usual; for much of the day there was a standing room only crowd.

The Gallie Bateman Award for best work by a trainee in the Surgeon Scientist Program went to Douglas J. (DJ) Cook (Michael Tymianski, supervisor): "Neuroprotection in the gyrencephalic brain: Effectiveness of the PSD-95 inhibitor NA-1 in treating experimental stroke in the cynomolgus macaque", 2nd place to Mitesh V. Badiwala (Vivek Rao, supervisor): "Egfl7 suppresses ICAM-1 expression in response to I/R injury". There was a two way tie for 3rd place: Vanessa N. Palter (Teodor P. Grantcharov, supervisor): "Development of an objective evaluation tool to assess technical skill in laparoscopic colorectal surgery: A Delphi methodology", and Ali Zahrai (Valerie Palda, supervisor): "The development of a preliminary preoperative education tool for patients undergoing lumbar microdiscectomy utilizing multiple stakeholder interviews".

Rebecca Gladdy receives the award from Bernie Langer

Ben Alman and Gallie- Bateman prizewinner D.J. Cook

McMurrich awardees were tied 1st place: Francis Si Wai Zih, Carla O. Rosario, Yosr Haffani, James W. Dennis (Carol J. Swallow, supervisor): "A novel role for the cell cycle regulator polo-like kinase 4 (PLK4) in cell migration and invasion"; Tatiana K.S. Cypel, Iona Leong, Cho Pang, Peter Dirks, Christopher R. Forrest: "In vitro assessment of osteoblast behavior in craniosynostosis"; 2nd prize: Krishna K. Singh (Subodh Verma, supervisor): "BRCA1 improves endothelial function and limits atherosclerosis"; 3rd prize: Avi D. Vandersluis, Natalie A. Venier, Neil E. Fleshner, Alexandra J. Colquhoun, Laurence H. Klotz, Vasundara Venkateswaran: "The effects of physical activity on prostate cancer in the active surveillance cohort".

The quality, quantity and scope of the 60 research presentations from our trainees, and the tremendous accomplishments of our SSP alumni highlight the significance of the SSP to our department. It has shaped and facilitated our prominence in surgical research over the decades, and increased the size of our "academic footprint" in the world. The work from our trainees demonstrates our ability to generate new surgical knowledge at the highest level - practical knowledge that will ultimately improve the outcome for the patients we treat.

Ben Alman and Val Cabral

Gallie Slaves

W B Gallie
W B Gallie

Gallie Day celebrates the memory and accomplishments of William Edward Gallie who developed our Department of Surgery into the first fully-coordinated training program for young surgeons in Canada. Gallie was born in Barrie, Ontario in 1882 , the son of a building contractor. He graduated from the University of Toronto and trained at Toronto General Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children. He pioneered the use of "living sutures" while serving in World War I and was recognized for his success treating fractures of spinal vertebrae. Although he received many offers to work in the United States, Gallie remained in Toronto, committed to his goal of creating a systematic course here so that Canadians no longer had to travel abroad to complete their training. His devotion was not lost on his students who happily called themselves "the Gallie slaves". In 1937 they formed the Gallie Club, meeting annually to present major papers. For his birthday every January, Dr. Gallie and his wife entertained his students and former students, who would return from all over the world for a reception in their home on Teddington Park Blvd, overlooking the York Mills ravine.

Julie Roorda
Assistant Editor 2004 - 2009
(with notes from Ernest Meyer and Toronto Star columnist Donald Jones)

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