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About Sickkids
About SickKids

November 3, 2011

More than 800 exceptional minds, one big room

On Tuesday, November 1, 2011 researchers and staff of the SickKids Research Institute gathered at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to share cutting edge research and to celebrate the excellence of their peers at the 2011 Research Institute Retreat.

The 24th annual retreat kicked off with Mary Jo Haddad, CEO of SickKids, welcoming a conference room of over 820 researchers and staff. “This retreat is a great tradition, an opportunity for everyone in the Research Institute to come together for a day of learning and it is wonderful to see so many faces in the crowd,” said Haddad. “Together, we have reaffirmed the immense contributions that each of you bring to advancing children’s health in addition to setting some  key strategic areas of research focus.”

This year’s retreat focused on the themes of cancer research, neuropsychiatric research and cardiac research. For the first time, trainees were included as invited speakers along with SickKids principal investigators, adding to the breadth of research presented during the sessions. Trainees also added to the day of science by presenting over 200 research posters during the poster session. Dr.  Huda Y. Zoghbi from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Texas was the 2011 Aser Rothstein keynote speaker, presenting her groundbreaking work on neurobiology and Rett Syndrome.

The retreat is not only an opportunity to celebrate our research excellence, but it is also a time to recognize accomplishments. Every year, awards are presented in recognition of individuals who contribute to the SickKids research community in extraordinary ways. This year Mark Hayes was awarded the Research Institute Citizenship Award for his generosity in facilitating the space and facilities needs of researchers. Each research program is also given an opportunity to recognize individual trainees. The 2011 Exceptional Trainee Award winners are:

  • Gregory Fairn, Cell Biology
  • Elinor Simons, Child Health Evaluative Sciences
  • Amy Wong, Developmental & Stem Cell Biology
  • Julie Turnbull, Genetics & Genome Biology
  • James Vlasblom, Molecular Structure & Function
  • Stephanie Ameis, Neurosciences & Mental Health
  • Amish Jain, Physiology & Experimental Medicine

Dr. Janet Rossant, Chief of Research, summed up the event perfectly, “What a fabulous day of science we have had. The presentations were tremendous and Dr. Zoghbi’s presentation will leave us buzzing for days!”

By Daniel Puatti