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Jun 29, 2021

LMP Research Day: a virtual success

COVID-19, Impactful research, Programs: Graduate, Programs: Postgraduate
Logo for the LMP Research Conference

On Thursday, May 20, 2021, the LMP community gathered for its annual Research Day and Product Show.

With 122 posters, 7 oral presentations, talks from 5 faculty members, and a vendor area, it was a busy and engaging day of research in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology.

Students and trainees from across our graduate and postgraduate programs presented their research, reflecting the incredible variety of activities in the department.

Alongside the student research presentations, we heard from keynote speaker Dr. Allison McGeer on 'The COVID-19 Pandemic After a Year – What has been accomplished? Where are we going?' (recording available below).

Participants also enjoyed a 'power hour' where they could join a talk on either:

  • From Zoonotic Origins to VOCs, SARS-COV-2 Plasticity and Pandemics - Dr. Samira Mubareka
  • Challenges Translating Research to Impact the Patient: Three Examples Spanning Basic Science to Epidemiology - Dr. Theo Moraes
  • Autopsies during COVID19 era - Dr. Michael Seidman
  • Resolving molecular heterogeneity with artificial intelligence: automation and discovery - Dr. Phedias Diamandis

Although there were some challenges with transforming a large and wide-ranging conference, online feedback was generally very positive with nearly 74% saying their experience was either 'excellent' or 'good'. 86% agreed that the conference represented the diverse fields of study being conducted at LMP, but networking was the main thing missing as opposed to an in-person event.

"Great job with the conference! The seminars were wonderful, and the breadth of research was incredible. I'm very happy this was able to be translated into a virtual format."

"Thank you for all your hard work! I really enjoyed the virtual format."

Although the conference could be labeled a success, we hope it can take place in person next year!

Awardees from the conference

Various awards were presented to leading student presentations, these included:



Poster Presentation Excellence Award for Group 1 (Brain and Neuroscience)

James Dunbar: The function of retinal guidance molecule EPHRIN-A2 in visual map development in the midbrain

Poster Presentation Excellence Award for Group 2 (Cancer, Development and Aging)

Robert D'Cruz: Constitutively active hedgehog signaling in kidney stroma causes renal hypodyspia and impairs nephrogenesis in part via medullary WNT5A signaling.

Bryan Li: Clinical and molecular heterogeneity of pineal parenchymal tumors: a consensus study

Kyle Juraschka: In vivo CRISPRa Screens identify pro-metastatic genes in medulloblastoma

Poster Presentation Excellence Award for Group 3 (Cardiovascular, Physiology and Metabolism)

Jonah Burke-Kleinman: N-Cadherin strategies to inhibit vascular smooth muscle cell migration

Poster Presentation Excellence Award for Group 4 (Infectious Diseases, Inflammation and Immunology)

Julie Wright: Malaria infection in pregnancy is associated with intestinal permeability

Poster Presentation Excellence Award for Group 5 (Molecular and Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine)

Brian Wu: EphB4 signaling promotes the development of pulmonary fibrosis through modulation of extracellular matrix secretion and remodeling

Chenfan (Christina) Ji: The role of TRPV4 CA2+-permeable channel in extracellular matrix mechanosensing and remodeling through regulation of cell-matrix adhesions

Poster Presentation Excellence Award for the Translational Research Program (TRP)

Rabail Siddiqui: The connectors project: facilitating social connectedness with seniors

Poster presentation Excellence Award for Post-Graduates

David Dodington: JAK2-IGF1 axis in osteoclasts regulates postnatal growth in mice

LMP Research Conference Oral Presentation Excellence Award

Ryan Hiebert: Quantitative assessment of infectious particle dispersion associated with respiratory therapies in a simulated critical care environment

Thank you to the organising committee and all those who were involved

The event would not have been possible without the many members of the LMP community who were involved in organising and running the event, from members of the alumni, faculty, and learners.

A committee organised the event and included


  • Ian Marquez
  • Brandon Wells
  • Nelson Cabral
  • Ravinder Dhillon
  • Paula Nixon

Faculty presenters

  • Michael Ohh
  • Jeremey Mogridge
  • Rita Kandel
  • Harry Elsholtz
  • Cynthia Hawkins

CLAMPS, students and postgraduate trainees

  • Maryam Khalil
  • Ruilin Wu
  • Adrienne Ranger
  • Siobhan Wilson
  • Rupal Hatkar
  • Jenny Zhang
  • Karen Fang
  • Sofia Melliou
  • Ryan Hiebert
  • Cornelia Thoeni
  • Sarah Diaz
  • Dorottya Harangi

Can you suggest speakers for the Monday Seminar Series 2021-2022 schedule? 

Find out what we are looking for and how to propose speakers.

Watch Dr. Allison McGeer's keynote talk: The COVID-19 Pandemic After a Year – What has been accomplished? Where are we going?