MD/PhD students in the news

April 2019

Swapna Mylabathula and her sister were invited to Ottawa to present their research and recommendations on concussions for a National Concussions Strategy. See their presentation to Parliament; and here they are on CTV News

Kirill Zaslavsky published a paper in the April issue of Nature Neuroscience titled, "SHANK2 mutations associated with autism spectrum disorder cause hyperconnectivity of human neurons". Download it here.

Ayesh Seneviratne published a paper in the April issue of Cell Stem Cell titled, "The Mitochondrial Transacylase, Tafazzin, Regulates AML Stemness by Modulating Intracellular Levels of Phospholipids". Download it here.

Congratulations to students who recently defended their PhD!

April 2019

Amanda Khan; Graduate Unit: IBBME; Supervisor: James Drake

Ayan Dey; Graduate Unit: IMS; Supervisor: Brian Levine

March 2019

Nicholas Howell; Graduate Unit: IHPME; Supervisor: Gillian Booth

Congratulations to winners of national awards!

April 2019

Prajay Shah received the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform Research Scholar Award.

Several MD/PhD students received various CIHR funded national awards! Their names will be announced shortly.

Congratulations to our latest CIHR Award winners!

July 2018

Tina Binesh Marvasti received a CIHR Vanier award.

Irene Harmsen received a CIHR Vanier award.

Hannah Kozlowski received a CIHR Vanier award.

Brian Tsang received a CIHR Vanier award.

Sara Mirali received a CIHR CGS-D award.

Siraj Zahr received a CIHR CGS-D award.

Andy Zheng received a 2018 CGS-M award.

Alex Dhaliwal received a 2018 CGS-M award.

Congratulations to this year's Ruggles Innovation Award winner!

July 2018

Nicholas Light, MD/PhD Year 4 Student, is named the Mr.Robert and Ms. Francine Ruggles Innovation Award recipient for 2018. This is awarded to an MD/PhD student currently in a graduate program, whose research demonstrates innovation related to the use of devices, patient care, sustainability of the health system, or research. The value of the award is $50,000 awarded over 2 years, and is in addition to a student's existing funding. Nicholas' work relates to Cancer Presdisposition Syndromes and their association with various cancers.

May 2018

Nicholas Howell's recent awards: Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium Student Travel Award; Claire Bombardier Award for the Most Promising Student in the Clinical Epidemiology & Health Care Research Program; Robert Dugg Barron Award for the Best oral Presentation or Poster related to Public Health Policy at IHPME Research Day; IHPME Resaerch Day Award Winner for Best Oral Presentation in Patient Literacy & Provide Education

June 2017

Read MD/PhD Director, Dr. Rosenblum's article "Will Clinician-Scientists Define Canada's Future?"

Learn more about MD/PhD student, Jonathan Fuller, and his work in the Philosophy of Medicine.

May 2017

Read interviews with two of our 2017 MD/PhD graduates, Susan Armstrong and Robert Vanner.

April 2017

MD/PhD student Robin Oh interviewed in MedEmail.

March 2017

Read the feature on Glenn Walpole in Faces of U of T Medicine.

MD/PhD Student, Josh Abraham, wins the Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award

For Karan (Joshua) Abraham (BSc 2011 TRIN), a student in the MD/PhD program at the Faculty of Medicine who is pursuing his doctorate in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, science is not just all these things, but also about sharing the wonder of discovery with the scientists of the future. read more in this featured story.

MD/PhD Program featured in MAA Matters

January 2017

Current MD/PhD student, Ashish Deshwar, is featured on the cover of the Fall MAA Matters Magazine. Take a moment to learn about 2 of our current students, a recent alumni, and life after CIHR funding.

Faces of U of T Medicine: Amanda Khan, one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women

January 2017

Learn more about our MD/PhD student, Amy Khan in this feature article.

U of T Hosts Young Investigators Forum

November 2016

MD/PhD students join Canada's future clinician scientists at this annual meeting featured here.

HIV, Crocodile Blood and Ebola: Meet MD/PhD Student Hannah Kozlowski

November 2016

Read more about Hannah and her first year in the MD/PhD Program.

Faces of U of T Medicine: MD/PhD student Natasha Lane

November 2016

Read this great feature on MD/PhD Student, Natasha Lane: As our population ages, ensuring our health  care system is structured in a way that supports older adults sustainably is a key priority.  MD/PhD student Natasha Lane explored this topic through her four-year PhD program with a focus in Heath Services Research at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. Lane is currently in her second year of the MD Program and she shares with writer Tabitha Chan what a few key moments have been so far, as well as discussing her growing interest in gerontology.

Faces of U of T Medicine: Enoch Ng

October 2016

MD/PhD student Enoch Ng completed his five-year PhD in behavioural neuroscience. Currently in his third year of the MD Program, Ng shares what fascinates him about the human mind, and what his experience in the MD Program has been like so far with writer Tabitha Chan.

Pair O Docs 2016


MD/PhD Research Focus: Shrey Sindhwani

June 2016

Tracking nanoparticles with transparent organs to help fight cancer and other diseases

Alumni Update: Andrew Perrin

May 2016

Dr. Andrew Perrin, a 2013 graduate, has received support from the Child and Family Research Institute for an OCD pilot study during his residency at BC Childeren's Hospital.

Featured person

Xin (Kevin) Wang

Xin (Kevin) Wang

Xin (Kevin) Wang entered the MD/PhD program in 2010 after completing a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree at McMaster University.

Currently in his third year of the PhD, Kevin is pursuing a functional genomics project under the supervision of Dr. Michael Taylor at the Hospital for Sick Children. Kevin’s work aims to apply novel genetic animal models to explore the mechanisms of tumor initiation and maintenance.

Having access to the largest pediatric medulloblastoma database in the world, Kevin is able to take a cross-species genetics approach to identify true drivers of cancer combining data from human, mouse, and zebrafish.

To date, Kevin’s work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Nature, Oncogene, and Neurosurgery. He is also the author of several book chapters and most recently was featured in AANS Neurosurgeon discussing how the molecular era of medicine will transform pediatric oncology. Kevin is the recipient of several awards for his research including the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and Ruggles MD/PhD Innovation Award, and has been invited to speak at both national and international meetings.

Outside of the lab, Kevin is the president-elect of the Clinician Investigator Trainee Association of Canada, working towards improving clinician scientist training. Kevin is also a member of the varsity fencing team and enjoys running, traveling and long walks on the beach.

Dean Trevor Young, Faculty of Medicine, recommitting to MD/PHD Program

September 28, 2015

In the face of CIHR cuts, Dean Trevor Young explains the Faculty’s continued support of this important program. Please visit our FAQ page for questions about the CIHR funding cuts.

Funding FAQ for MD/PhD Program

September 14, 2015

On June 18, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) announced it was ceasing funding to MD/PhD programs in Canada after the current (2015-16) academic year. This decision has led to an understandable variety of questions from current and prospective students about the future of this program. Below we respond to some of the most frequent and pressing questions.

1. Will the University of Toronto continue to admit students to the MD/PhD program after the current academic year?

Absolutely. The University of Toronto remains committed to this important program, which has trained generations of leaders in the field of medical research.

2. Will you continue to admit the same number of students?

The number of students admitted to the MD/PhD program has always varied depending on the quality of applicants. However, we don’t foresee the withdrawal of financial support by CIHR as an impediment to admitting qualified students into this program.

3. How might the MD/PhD program change as a result of CIHR’s decision?

Not at all. The University of Toronto has always determined the design and delivery of this program. While the funding provided by CIHR supported students financially, the CIHR has had no role in curriculum.

 4. How will the University of Toronto make up for the loss of funding?

We are exploring a number of options to continue to finance this program.

 5. How do I learn more?

Please see our FAQ page for prospective students.

Do you still have questions?

Contact the MD/PhD program via e-mail.

You can support continued funding for the MD/PhD programs by CIHR by signing the Clinician Investigator Trainee Association of Canada (CITAC) petition.

Pair O Docs: Spring 2015

September 14, 2015

View our Spring 2015 MD/PhD newsletter.

MD/PhD Longitudinal Mentorship Program launch

September 03, 2013

We are pleased to announce the launch of the MD/PhD Longitudinal Mentorship Program this Spring 2013.  This is an annual program designed to connect students with alumni and established physician scientists.  Mentors can provide advice on career choices, professional development and opportunities. Students are encouraged to set goals and meet regularly with their mentors to establish a lasting connection.

On June 13, 2013, we held a kick-off event to introduce the program to the enrollees.  Dr. Norm Rosenblum, MD/PhD Program Director, and Dr. Robert Jankov, Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children, spoke about the benefits of mentorship and how to form an effective mentor-mentee relationship.  Morgan Tilley, Office of Advancement and Program Development/Administration, outlined the structure of the program.  Feedback and inquiries about the program can be directed to Morgan.

Task Force on Physician Scientist Education approved by Faculty Council

October 22, 2012

On June 7, 2012, a Task Force on Physician Scientist Education, chaired by Norman Rosenblum, Associate Dean, Physician Scientist Training, and constituted by education leaders and physician scientists at the University of Toronto, submitted its report to Dr. Catharine Whiteside, Dean of Medicine.

The Task Force was convened in the fall of 2012. The overall goal of the Task Force was to examine the approach to educating and supporting the physician scientist at the University of Toronto.  I am excited to share the report (PDF) with the University of Toronto community. The SWOT analysis, contained within, highlights co-existing realities that shaped the Task Force recommendations. On the one hand, physician scientists are critical to the health system. Yet, in the face of dynamic changes in the health system and in medical education, the model for physician scientist training has been essentially static for decades. Based on the SWOT analysis, the Task Force makes seven major recommendations with far-reaching consequences for the identity of physician scientists in the health system and the nature of physician scientist education.

The final report was widely circulated across the Faculty and amongst all stakeholder groups, and has now received approval at the level of Faculty Council. Over the next few months, working groups will be convened whose terms of reference will focus on the steps and timelines required to pursue the newly articulated vision for Physician Scientist Training Programs at the University of Toronto.

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