Surgeon Scientist Training Program Profiles 2020-2021

An alphabetical list of all students enrolled in the Surgeon Scientist Training Program. 

Please click for indiviual research interests and further information.

Muhammad Ali Akbar


Degree working towards: PhD (IMS)
Email: muhammad.akbar@mail.utoronto.ca
Division: Neurosurgery
Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network
Supervisor: Dr. Michael G. Fehlings
Research Focus:  Investigate diagnostic and prognostic value of diffusion tensor imaging among other MRI techniques in traumatic/non-traumatic cervical spine myelopathy

Matthew Castelo


Degree working towards: PhD(IHPME)

Email: matthew.castelo@medportal.ca

Division: General Surgery

Unity Health, SMH

Supervisors: Drs. Nancy Baxter and Adena Scheer

Research Focus: Delays to diagnosis and treatment in young adults with colorectal cancer

Douglas Cheung


Degree working towards: PhD (IHPME)

Email: douglas.cheung@one-mail.on.ca

Division: Urology

Princess Margaret Cancer Care – University Health Network 

Supervisors: Drs. Antonio Finelli & Murray Krahn 

Research Focus:  Decreasing the burden of prostate cancer management through novel methods of early detection

 

 

Woo Jin Choi


Degree working towards: MSc (IHPME)
Email: mcho890@gmail.com

Division: General Surgery
Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network

Supervisors: Drs. Bettina Hansen, Gonzalo Sapisochin and Steven Gallinger
Research Focus: The rising incidence of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and their surgical outcomes

Karen Chung


Degree working towards: PhD (IHPME)

Email: ky.chung@mail.utoronto.ca

Division: Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

The Hospital for Sick Children

Supervisors: Drs. Christopher Forrest and Beate Sander

Research Focus: Economic Evaluation of Cleft Lip and/or Palate in Ethiopia

David Cyr


Degree working towards: PhD (IMS)

Email: david.cyr@mail.utoronto.ca
Division: General Surgery

Mount Sinai Hospital

Supervisor: Dr. Carol Swallow

Research Focus: Molecular predictors of outcomes following resection of advanced pelvic GI malignancies

Julian Daza


Degree working towards: MSc (IHPME)

Email: julian.dazavargas@medportal.ca

Division: General Surgery

Unity Health, SMH

Supervisor: Drs. Duminda Wijeysundera and Nancy Baxter

Research Focus: Frailty in older adults who undergo major non-cardiac surgery

 

Malak Elbatarny


Degree working towards: PhD (Physiol)
Email: melbatarny@qmed.ca
Division: Cardiac Surgery
TGH-UHN
Supervisor: Dr. Maral Ouzounian
Research Focus: Proteomic characterization of hereditary thoracic aortopathy: Towards personalized prognostication and surgical thresholds

Alexander Gregor


Degree working towards: PhD (IMS)
Email: agregor@qmed.ca
Division: General Surgery
Latner Thoracic Surgery Research Lab - MaRS TMDT
Supervisor: Dr. Kazuhiro Yasufuku
Research Focus: Image-guided Surgery, specifically using nanoparticles to intraoperatively identify tumors, lymph nodes, etc. via various imaging modalities (near-infrared, cone-beam CT, etc)

Keegan Guidolin


Degree working towards: PhD (BME)
Email: keegan.guidolin@gmail.com
Division: General Surgery
Princess Margaret Hospital, UHN
Supervisor: Drs. Gang Zheng and Fayez Quereshy 

Research Focus: Developing nanomedicines for applications in colorectal cancer, including image-guided surgery and photodynamic therapy.

Laureen Hachem


Degree working towards:PhD (IMS)
Email: laureen.hachem@mail.utoronto.ca 
Division: Neurosurgery
Toronto Western Hospital, UHN
Supervisor: Drs. Michael G. Fehlings and Charles H. Tator 
Research Interests: Glutamate signalling after spinal cord injury
 

Doulia Hamad


Degree working towards: MSc (IHPME)

Emaildoulia.hamad@mail.utoronto.ca

Division: General Surgery

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Supervisor: Drs. Barbara Haas and Avery Nathens

Research Focus: The identification of optimal performance improvement structures and processes to limit the potential for preventable, or modifiable harm

Graeme Hoit


Degree working towards: MSc (IHPME)
Email: graeme.hoit@mail.utoronto.ca
Division: Orthopaedics
Women's College Hospital

Supervisors: Drs. Jas Chahal and Aileen Davis
Research Focus: Improving treatment options and patient selection in those with young adult hip disorders

Jean Jacob-Brassard


Degree working towards: MSc (IMS)
Email: jean.jacob.brassard@outlook.com
Division: Vascular Surgery
Unity Health, SMH
Supervisor(s): Drs. Mohammed Al-Omran and Charles de Mestral
Research Focus: Contemporary management of peripheral arterial disease in the province of Ontario

Kyle Juraschka


Degree working towards: PhD (LMP)
Email: kylejuraschka@gmail.comkyle.juraschka@mail.utoronto.ca
Division: Neurosurgery
The Hospital for Sick Children
Supervisor: Dr. Michael D. Taylor
Research Focus: Investigation of the genetic events in medulloblastoma that drive leptomeningeal metastasis and tumour cell growth and survival within the leptomeningeal niche using bioinformatics and functional genomic tools

Alexander Koven


Degree working towards: MSc (IMS)
Email: alexander.koven@mail.utoronto.ca
Division & Institution: Urology, St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health
Supervisor: Dr. Monica Farcas
Research Focus: Novel ultrasound technologies for urologic applications

Jerry Ku


Degree working towards: MSc (IMS)

Email: jerry.ku@mail.utoronto.ca

Division: Neurosurgery

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Supervisor: Dr. Victor Yang

Research Focus: Device development for the endovascular treatment of intracerebral aneurysms

Angela Young Ju Lee


Degree working towards: PhD(IMS)
Email: angela.lee2@mail.mcgill.ca
Division: Vascular Surgery
TGH-UHN
Supervisor(s): Dr. Thomas Lindsay & Dr. Maral Ouzounian
Research Focus: Spinal cord ischemia

Johnathan Lex


Degree working towards: MASc(BME)
Email: johnathan.lex@mail.utoronto.ca
Division: Orthopaedic Surgery
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Supervisor: Dr. Cari Whyne
Research Focus: Machine Learning to Predict and Optimize Resource Allocation for Orthopaedic Patients

Shelly Luu


Degree working towards: PhD (IMS)

Email: shelly.luu@utoronto.ca

Division: General Surgery

Mount Sinai Hospital

Supervisor: Dr. Carol Swallow

Research Focus: Identifying predictive molecular markers for peritoneal

recurrence after curative gastric cancer

Ann Mansur


Degree working towards: PhD (IMS)
Email: ana.mansur@mail.utoronto.ca
Division & Institution: Neurosurgery, Toronto Western Hospital (Krembil Neuroscience Centre)
Supervisor(s): Dr. Ivan Radovanovic MD PhD
Research Focus: Understanding the safety and efficacy of targeted MEK inhibitors on the angioarchitecture, molecular biology and clinical progression of arteriovenous malformations through clinical trials. This is within a larger focus of exploring molecular and genetic alterations in neurovascular conditions.

Wanda Marini


Degree working towards: PhD (IMS)
Email: wanda.marini@mail.utoronto.ca
Division: General Surgery
Princess Margaret Hospital, University Health Network
Supervisor(s): Drs. Michael Reedijk and Carol Swallow
Research Focus: The role of hedgehog signaling in basal-like breast cancer and the tumor microenvironment

Amine Mazine


Degree working towards: PhD (IBBME)
Email: amazine@gmail.com
Division: Cardiovascular Surgery
TMDT
Supervisors: Drs. Gordon Keller and Michael Laflamme
Research Focus: 1) Generation of the cardiac valve lineage from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs); 2) Cardiac cell therapy using hPSC-derived cells

Ali Moghaddamjou


Degree working towards: PhD (IMS) 
Email: ali.moghaddamjou@mail.utoronto.ca
Division: Neurosurgery
Toronto Western Hospital - University Health Network
Supervisor: Dr. Michael G. Fehlings  
Research Focus: 
To study the epidemiology of spinal cord injury and identify influential factors present in improved clinical outcomes. Findings could be used  to create quality improvement strategies that would standardize care and allow for improved delivery of time sensitive therapies.

Rashmi Nedadur


Degree working towards: MSc (IHPME)
Email: rnedadur@gmail.com

Division: Cardiovascular Surgery
PMCCRT, TMDT
Supervisor: Dr. Bo Wang
Research Focus: Using artificial intelligence for the automated measurement and interpretation of cardiac structure and function parameters from echocardiograms for patients with aortic valvular disease to increase speed and accuracy in measurement

Christopher W. Noel


Degree working towards: PhD (IHPME)
Email: christopher.noel@mail.utoronto.ca
Division: Otolaryngology
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Supervisor: Dr. Natalie Coburn
Research Focus: Symptom Burden as a Predictor of Emergency Room Visits and Unplanned Hospitalizations in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer

Whitney L. Quong


Degree working towards: PhD (IMS)

Email: whitney.quong@mail.utoronto.ca

Division: Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

The Hospital for Sick Children

Supervisor: Dr. Joel Fish 

Research Focus: Outcomes of multimodal therapy for keloids and hypertrophic scarring

Sneha Raju


Degree working towards: PhD (IMS)
Email: sneha.raju@mail.utoronto.ca
Division: Vascular Surgery
Toronto General Hospital, UHN
Supervisor(s): Drs. Jason Fish and Kathryn Howe
Research Focus: Determining the role of endothelial activation on microRNA communication within atherosclerotic plaque: Towards the identification of a novel therapeutic target in carotid disease

Moaath Saggaf


Degree working towards: MSc (IMS)
Email: moaath.saggaf@gmail.com
Division: Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network
Supervisors: Drs. Larry Robinson and Dimitri Anastakis
Research Focus: Assessing cold sensitivity in Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). We aim to identify clinical and neurophysiological factors that predict cold sensitivity in CTS and to assess the impact of carpal tunnel release surgery on cold sensitivity

Colin Sue-Shue-Lam


Degree working towards: PhD (IHPME)
Email: Colinjscl@gmail.com
Division: General Surgery
Unity Health, SMH
Supervisor: Dr. Nancy Baxter
Research Focus: Addressing deep sedation for routine in-hospital colonoscopy in Ontario

Hrishikesh Suresh


Degree working towards: PhD (IMS)
Email: h.suresh@mail.utoronto.ca
Division & Institution: Neurosurgery, Hospital for Sick Children
Supervisor(s): Dr. George Ibrahim & Dr. James Drake
Research Focus: The application of focused ultrasound for the treatment of epilepsy

Michael S. Taccone


Degree working towards: PhD (LMP)
Email: michael.taccone@sickkids.ca
Division: Neurosurgery 
PGCRL - The Hospital for Sick Children
Supervisor(s): Drs. James T. Rutka and Howard Lesiuk, UO
Research Focus: Reprogramming glioblastoma metabolism as a novel therapeutic strategy

Shervin Taslimi


Degree working towards: Postdoctoral Fellow (IMS)
Email: shervin_883@yahoo.com
Division & Institution: Neurosurgery, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Supervisor: Dr. Victor Yang
Research Focus:

Mathew Voisin


Degree working towards:  PhD (IMS)
Email: mvoisin@qmed.ca

Division: Neurosurgery
Toronto Western Hospital, UHN

Supervisor: Dr. Gelareh Zadeh
Research Focus:  Proteogenomics of matched primary to recurrent GBMs to facilitate molecular classification and identify novel therapeutic targets

Richard J.B. Walker


Degree working towards: MSc (IHPME)
Email: Richard.walker@mail.utoronto.ca
Division & Institution: General Surgery, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Supervisor: Dr. Paul Karanicolas
Research Focus: Defining optimal data sources for pragmatic clinical trials

Justin Z. Wang


Degree working towards: PhD (IMS)
Email: justinz.wang@mail.utoronto.ca
Division: Neurosurgery
TMDT, University Health Network
Supervisor: Dr. Gelareh Zadeh
Research Focus: Genomics of clinically aggressive meningiomas.  We will be using novel molecular biology techniques to predict the clinical behaviour of meningiomas and developing non-invasive methods of diagnosing brain tumours

Nebras Warsi


Degree working towards: PhD (IBBME)
Email: nebras.warsi@mail.utoronto.ca

Division: Neurosurgery
The Hospital for Sick Children

Supervisor: Dr. George Ibrahim
Research Focus:  Adaptive intracranial neurostimulation to rescue attention deficits in children with epilepsy

Phillip J. Williams


Degree working towards: MSc (IHPME)
Email: phillipjames.williams@mail.utoronto.ca
Division: General Surgery
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Supervisor(s): Drs. Barbara Haas and Andrew Beckett
Research Focus: Functional outcomes of geriatric patients following traumatic injury 

Michael Sifeng Xu


Degree working towards: PhD (IMS)
Email: michaelmx.xu@mail.utoronto.ca
Division: General Surgery, TMDT-UHN
Supervisor: Drs. Tom Waddell and Siba Haykal
Research Focus: Revascularization of Composite Tracheal Allografts with Novel Tissue Engineering Techniques

Han Yan


Degree working towards: PhD (IHPME) 
Email: hhan.yan@mail.utoronto.ca
Division: Neurosurgery, SickKids, PGCRL
Supervisor(s): Drs. George Ibrahim and Abhaya Kulkarni
Research Focus: Clinical trials in functional pediatric neurosurgery

Vincent Ye


Degree working towards: PhD (Molecular Genetics)
Email: vincent.ye@alumni.ubc.ca
Division & Institution: Neurosurgery, Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning (PGCRL) – Hospital for Sick Children
Supervisor: Dr. Peter Dirks
Research Focus: Glioma stem cells and glioma genesis

Nirmeen Zagzoog


Degree working towards: PhD (IMS) 
Email: nirmeenzagzoog@hotmail.com
Division: Neurosurgery
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre 
Supervisor: Dr. Victor Yang
Research Focus: Intraoperative imaging and surgical navigation in skull base. Engineering of a high-speed drill with frameless stereotactic navigation, and integration of the drill to the current state-of-the-art navigation system. Further integration will be conducted with systems which allow for mapping of the brain function and vasculature to add an element of safety to drill operations in skull base.

Jeffrey Zuccato


Degree working towards: PhD (IMS)
Email: Jeffrey.zuccato@one-mail.on.ca
Division: Neurosurgery
Princes Margaret Cancer Care Research Institute, University Health Network
Supervisor: Dr. Gelareh Zadeh
Research Focus: Elucidating the biomolecular profiles of intracranial neoplasms and correlating clinical outcomes to identify novel therapeutic targets.