McMaster University

McMaster University


Research for Life Continues to Inspire Oncology’s Student Research Day

On Wednesday June 24th the Department of Oncology held its Sixth Annual Student Research Day at the Juravinski Cancer Centre This popular event continues to attract students from across all disciplines adding nursing and radiation therapy to the list of submissions this year.  Students from medical physics, biology, medicine, pathology and molecular medicine, surgery, medical and radiation oncology showcased their research through oral and poster presentations.

This year’s event was hosted by Dr. Sachi Voruganti, Associate Professor in the Division of Radiation Oncology.  Keynote speaker was Dr. Anita Bane, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Oncology and Pathology & Molecular Medicine.  Dr. Bane spoke on “Molecular Profiling of Breast Cancer with Emphasis on the Basal-like Subtype”.

Eight oral presentations and fourteen poster presentations highlighted the most innovative cancer research being conducted by McMaster students in oncology.

Dr. Mark Levine, Chair of the Department of Oncology stated “I was overwhelmed by the quality of the presentations and the enthusiasm of the students”

Dr. JianPing Lu a Postdoctoral Researcher supervised by Dr. Jehonathan Pinthus in the Department of Surgery won for best poster in the Basic Science category.  Dr. Sara Rask a 4th year Medical Oncology Resident under the supervision of Dr. Bindi Dhesy-Thind, won for best poster in the area of Clinical Research.   

Oral Presentation Awards went to Toran Sanli, a Ph.D. student for Basic Science under the supervision of Dr. Theos Tsakiridis in Radiation Oncology, for his project “Activators of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) enhance radiation responses in lung cancer cells”.  The Clinical Research Award went to Diana Glennie, a Master’s student in Medical Physics under the supervision of Dr. Tom Farrell, whose work was entitled “Patient specific integrating spheres for the improvement of dosimetry in skin PDT”. 

Isabella Mak, under the supervision of Dr. Michelle Ghert (Surgery) won as runner up in the Basic Science category for her oral presentation entitled “Upregulation of MMP-13 via Runx2 in the Stromal Cell of Giant Cell Tumour of Bone”.  Jennifer Goy an undergraduate medical student, under the supervision of Dr. Mark Levine, was a runner up in the category of Clinical Research for her work entitled “Insulin Resistance and Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review of Biomarker Evidence”.   

Clinical Teaching Awards were presented to:

Dr. Hal Hirte, Associate Professor, Division of Medical Oncology

Dr. Gordon Okawara, Associate Professor, Division of Radiation Oncology

Special “Thank You” awards were presented to the Residency Training Program Directors and Program Assistant, Dr. Bindi Dhesy-Thind (Medical Oncology), Dr. Ian Dayes (Radiation Oncology), and Karen Dougherty respectively.

Dr. Eric Seidlitz from Medical Physics was recognized for his outstanding contributions over the past several years which laid the groundwork for the event’s success. 

The department would like to acknowledge the following faculty and staff for their support:

This year’s committee and judges: 

Dr. Peter Ellis, Medical Oncology

Dr. Do-Hoon Kim, Radiation Oncology

Dr. Mike Trus, Pathology and Molecular Medicine

Dr. Sachi Voruganti, Radiation Oncology

Dr. Jim Wright, Radiation Oncology

Heather Wilde, Coordinator, Department of Oncology

Laura Braun, Summer Student, McMaster Multimedia Program

A special thank you goes out to Debbie Nixon for raising $4500 in support of this year’s event from both Astra Zeneca and Sanofi Aventis.

Next year’s event will be held on Wednesday June 23rd, 2010. 

For a full list of details, event winners and their projects, please visit:


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