August 5, 2010
Over 200 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and clinical research fellows are trained at the Lunenfeld each year through the Research Training Centre (RTC). By the very nature of the process, our trainee population is under constant flux, like an artery passing through the Institute and providing lifeblood.
This year, many of our labs will welcome new trainees, and we will also wish ‘Lunenfeld graduates’ well as they begin exciting new opportunities at the conclusion of their research projects here.
Since 1998, the Lunenfeld has significantly benefited from the RTC, a program that offers trainees, drawn to the Lunenfeld from countries as far ranging as Iran, China, Belgium, Korea and more, what we believe is an exceptional research-based learning environment.
In fact, one of our most impactful and long-lasting contributions to biomedical research in Canada is the network of trainees from our Institute who act as ambassadors for the Lunenfeld, and go on to conduct their own amazing science or take on positions of influence. Trainees are at the heart of innovative research, and a large fraction of the success of the Lunenfeld can be attributed to our ability to attract and form outstanding graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
It is therefore highly rewarding to see our best students taking on new challenges in basic research.
Several recent examples of our trainees’ success include:
- John Calarco, a PhD candidate supervised by Dr. Mei Zhen, has received an exciting three-year research fellowship to Harvard University’sCenter for Systems Biology, as part of the university’s Bauer Fellows program.
- George Charames, who was a student in Dr. Bharati Bapat’s lab, will soon begin a two-year Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, toward certification by the American Board of Medical Genetics. George was selected as one of only two Fellows in the prestigious program.
- One of Dr. Steve Gallinger's graduate students, Wigdan Al-Sukhni, is working on a project that focuses on the identification of novel genetic alterations called copy number variation. In recognition of her groundbreaking work in this area, as well as her community involvement and leadership, Wigdan received a prestigious Canada Vanier Scholarship to help further her research.
- Stephanie Panier, a trainee working with Dan Durocher, received a Canada Vanier Scholarship to pursue her graduate studies in Dan’s laboratory.
Trainees enrich all of us by bringing their new ideas and perspectives to research and, in turn, accumulate their own valuable experiences for their own careers. They also keep us all young at heart!