Nov 24, 2021

Congratulations to our graduate students!

Programs: TRP, Programs: Graduate
photos of several students

Recently, the University of Toronto held a virtual convocation to celebrate all the students graduating this Fall. We are proud to have 52 graduate students across our programs graduating as part of the Class of 2021.

“The caliber of our students never ceases to amaze me,” commented LMP Department Chair, Dr. Rita Kandel. “I’m so proud of every one of them – they have achieved much and we are all excited to see what the future holds for them. It is no mean feat completing studies and graduating during a global pandemic.”

We spoke to some of our graduating students about their studies and what lies ahead.

Rabail Siddiqui

Rabail Siddiqui, MHSc in Translational Research

Capstone project: social connectedness of seniors, advisor Dr. Joseph Ferenbok.

“The TRP provided a hands-on experience that is much different from other graduate studies. I learned much more than I thought I would by interacting with actual clients and stakeholders in the field of healthcare research and working on real-world problems. I also enjoyed getting to know the diverse cohort of classmates, I definitely learned a lot from them throughout the two years!

Because of my training and education in translational research, I was able to get a position as a Research Development Coordinator at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. In this position, I work with healthcare researchers in developing research projects that address the needs of the patients in the healthcare system.

TRP and LMP pushed me out of my comfort zone, where I developed new skills and honed old skills that allowed me to get new employment opportunities”.

Changmo Kim

Changmo Kim, MSc with Dr. Jeremy Sivak

Research focus: studying lipoxin B4 candidates as a potential neuroprotective pathway for glaucoma.

“What I really enjoyed during my time at LMP was the paper critiquing course we had to take. Every mind in the room was really sharp and it was so invigorating being able to talk science without fear of seeming out of place.

I'm now working at a biotech! I think LMP and U of T's graduate program prepares students for success well. However, the pandemic has definitely been a challenge.”

Dilakshan Srikanthan

Dilakshan Srikanthan, MSc with Dr. James Rutka and Dr. Cynthia Hawkins

Research focus: investigating microenvironmental vulnerabilities for therapeutic targeting in diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas using single-cell RNA sequencing.

“I really enjoyed working with all my incredible colleagues in LMP in both my own lab and neighboring labs. I have learned a lot of from them with regards to my research as well as academia. 

I am currently pursuing the MD/PhD dual degree at Queen's University. I am prepared for my current program as my time in LMP has allowed me to learn the foundational skills needed for a career in research. I have developed character traits such as resilience and collaboration which are vital for a career in academic medicine.”

Farshad Azimi

Farshad Azimi, PhD with Dr. Jeff Lee

Research focus: biochemical, biophysical, and structural investigations of a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) protein called Vif (= viral infectivity factor).

“I was a 2nd-year medical student in Iran before I immigrated to Canada. In 2008, I joined the undergraduate Specialist program in LMP, becoming a research student at Toronto General Hospital the following year. I then completed an MSc in LMP and then 7.5 years of a PhD program. My limits of patience, dedication, and research hopefulness were tested many times during my 9.5-year “graduate tenure”, however, my work produced notable (unpublished) advances in my field.

I am now taking a year-long self-directed “sabbatical” from formal work/school to focus on my pursuits of mathematical and computational methods in biological research, hoping to begin post-doctoral work in Fall 2022.

While I am happy to finally conclude my PhD studies, leaving LMP is bitter-sweet. As cliche as this may sound to some, LMP was (and still is) like a family to me, a family where several incredibly caring and knowledgeable people at the undergraduate and graduate offices supported me along the way".

Caitlin Di Paolo

Caitlin Di Paolo, PhD with Dr. Eleftherios Diamandis

Research focus: investigating kallikrein inhibitors and their potential as therapeutics for inflammatory dermatoses.

“When I reflect back on my time in LMP, it is clear that my fondest memories were the result of times I was pushed out of my comfort zone and tried something new. From being comically bad at sports and participating in intramurals with CLAMPS, to traveling alone to Europe for a scientific conference, each experience afforded me the opportunity to learn more about myself and build close friendships. 

As scientists, we tend to spend much of our time alone in lab focused on one experiment, that despite all our efforts, will just not work. Remember that growth happens both inside AND outside of the lab. Do not be afraid to try something new and get involved with your LMP community. Grab a lab mate and take a break from your research at a CLAMPS event. You never know, you may just become the most valuable player on the softball team.”

Dorrin Zarrin Khat

Dorrin Zarrin Khat, PhD with Dr. Mansoor Husain

Research focus: Cardioprotective Effects of Combined Treatment with Sodium-Glucose Co-Transporter-2 Inhibitor and Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonist in a Mouse Model of Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury.

“What I enjoyed most in my grad studies at LMP was the variety; of techniques I learned in my lab, of pathologies, of research projects I learned about during our student and faculty seminars, of courses we were offered by the department, of instructors we had who were leading scientists in their fields, and of peers I had the pleasure of meeting and friendships formed. The experience was so rich and colourful, never a dull moment and always something new to learn!

I am currently a 2T5 medical student at the University of Toronto (UofT). During my graduate studies at UofT, I was inspired by my teachers and mentors to pursue a career as a physician-scientist. My time at LMP molded me into a highly adaptive and resilient student/scientist. I am proud to say that I am now inspired in the face of academic and non-academic challenges. I am excited by the prospect of addressing gaps in knowledge, to better myself and contribute to the understanding of health and diseases in the greater scientific and healthcare communities. Conducting my graduate studies at UofT and its affiliated hospitals I was able to collaborate with great minds (in both my peers and teachers), which made any idea/project direction possible and truly boundless. Going forward in my medical studies and future research, I am so looking forward to contributing and being a part of that culture.”

Feiya Li

Feiya Li, PhD with Dr. Burton Yang

Research focus: circular RNA functions in cardiovascular diseases. 

“I like that LMP is an open and inclusive department, with very different research directions, but the same goal: to solve disease problems and figure out potential mechanisms together. LMP people are spread across different institutes/hospitals and the multidisciplinary atmosphere gave me opportunities to meet other young scientists from different departments.

I am currently working as a postdoctoral fellow in the same lab in Sunnybrook to finish up some cool projects, but do have a plan to go to the United States for further postdoc training. I am still in the application process and am looking forward to joining top labs in the world and improving myself further.” 

Sachin Kumar

Sachin Kumar, PhD with Dr. Michael Taylor

Research focus: paediatric brain tumours medulloblastoma and ependymoma.

“I am very grateful for the rewarding PhD experience I had in LMP. The Taylor Lab provided me the opportunity to explore cutting-edge research - it was a collaborative environment that encouraged me to ask strong and interesting scientific questions and pursue a wide range of techniques and skills that I will continue to build upon in my career. 

I am also thankful to have been able to be part of the amazing LMP student body, including as President of CLAMPS. To represent such a diverse and vibrant group of colleagues was a privilege, and I am proud of the workshops, funding changes and infrastructure we were able to implement to support the growth and development of trainees. After my PhD, I have returned to complete my final two years of medical training as part of the MD/PhD program.” 

Congratulations to all our graduating students

MHSc in Translational Research

  • Fabricio Batistella Zasso
  • Atina Boonchit
  • Maame Panyin Darkwa
  • Jana Dengler
  • Katrina Engel
  • Zoe Findlay
  • So Youn Kim
  • Alexa Lanese
  • Joanna Law
  • Yasbanoo Moayedi
  • Maytal Perlman
  • Angie Katherine Puerto Nino
  • Sabrin Khalid Salim
  • Meghana Sharma
  • Rabail Siddiqui
  • Neerjah Skantharajah
  • Kailey Mae Ellen Steinhausen
  • Stefan Superina
  • Carly Marie Thrower
  • Anne-Marie Voyer


  • Luke Ajay David
  • Areeb Rashid Jafrani
  • Chen Fan Ji
  • Changmo Kim
  • Yuki Sze Long Leung
  • Kymberly Lagdameo Litman
  • Amy Ly
  • Jehan Mohammad Nazri
  • Ana-Maria Oproescu
  • Su Ping
  • Dilakshan Srikanthan
  • Nikita Thakkar
  • Daniel Vasic
  • Navkiran Verma
  • Xinglin Wu
  • Christy Yeung
  • Hwa Young Yun


  • Marwan Althagafi
  • Ronak Ghanbari Azarnier
  • Sachin Anand Kumar
  • Feiya Li
  • He Ren
  • Shawn Veitch
  • Farshad Azimi
  • Caitlin Teresa Di Paolo
  • Samuel Killackey
  • Kyung Ha Ku
  • Joseph Silburt
  • Daniel Tarade
  • Andrea Weckman
  • Dorrin Zarrin Khat
  • Liu Zhang

If you are LMP alumni

Stay in touch! Sign up to the LMP group on Temerty Medicine Connect, a private networking platform for the Temerty Faculty of Medicine.

If you need help signing up, see our video guide.