Jun 29, 2021

Celebrating excellence: people at the heart of LMP

About, Our faculty, Undergraduate, Graduate, Postgraduate
Photos of everyone celebrated at our event

The Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology in the Temerity Faculty of Medicine usually gets together every June to mark the end of the academic year and celebrate successes at their annual awards banquet. With the global pandemic, as with many other things, we celebrated together virtually for the second time.

Although missing the rare chance for so many to get together in person (and having to all supply our own food and drink), the live-streamed event opened other possibilities. Due to the format, more could attend from far and wide - many students, trainees, and alumni joined the celebrations too with around 200 attending the live event.

Dr. Rita Kandel, Department Chair, commented in her opening speech, "All of our accomplishments demonstrate that we are progressing, not languishing. This is an accomplishment to be proud of, especially when we remember that at the beginning of the pandemic, we all initially just hoped to survive, to emerge unscathed. Each of you should be proud that you did not just survive COVID – you thrived in it."

Dr Paul Hamel, Dr Jennifer Taher and Dr Richard FloridaAddressing our graduates, Dr. Kandel added, "This has been a challenging year for you. It did not unfold as you expected yet you were able to rise above it. It is hard enough to learn under normal circumstances but to do so in the midst of COVID 19 makes your accomplishments all the more remarkable."

As part of the evening, the LMP Community joined a discussion with urbanist Dr. Richard Florida on what our cities might look like after the pandemic such as housing density an issue? How can the University of Toronto, the largest real-estate owner in the city, use its space better following COVID? Should health services be more decentralised?

Celebrating our graduates

We were delighted to mark the graduation of so many talented students and trainees. Many of whom joined to watch the event live.

Our graduates include:

  • 12 from the undergraduate Arts and Sciences Pathobiology Specialist Program;
  • 3 in our Translational Research Program – the MHSc in Translational Research;
  • 5 who successfully obtained their MSc; 
  • 12 new PhD graduates who successfully defended their research:
  • 11 graduating from across our Residency Training Programs;
  • 2 from our Areas of Focused Competence in Transfusion Medicine and Cytopathology;
  • 3 from our Postdoctoral Diploma Programs in Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Microbiology; and
  • 21 completed Fellowships across a variety of fields

We took a moment to thank the pathology residents who were redeployed during the pandemic to provide direct patient care: you can read more about it in Pathology residents step out from behind the microscope to help COVID patients.

We also took time to celebrate our senior promotions and give thanks and recognition to those retiring this year.

Our students and trainees: celebrating their achievements

Shawn Clark The excellence across our undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programs is outstanding.

Several students and trainees were nominated for awards:

Shawn Clark, recipient of the Norman Bethune Award, and a postgraduate trainee in his second year of the Postdoctoral Training Program in Clinical Microbiology talks about how training during the pandemic has influenced his studies in our "Spotlight on".

Excellence in teaching, research, and leadership

We recognized accomplishments in leadership, service to LMP, and research and innovation.

Cynthia HawkinsOur teaching awards recognized excellence in teaching across all our programs, including an award voted for by current residents.

Dr. Cynthia Hawkins, who received the Richard Hegele Award for​ Excellence in Research and Innovation, talks to us about her ground-breaking research into paediatric brain tumours: Pathology and precision medicine: how research has transformed brain tumour diagnostics for children.

If you missed it....

If you couldn't join the live event, you can now view the recording. 

Hopefully next year we can celebrate in person!

Blaise Clarke