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Congratulations to our staff on their recent awards and accomplishments
9 minute read

Congratulations to our staff on their recent awards and accomplishments


Hollywood’s award season may be over, but at SickkKids our staff are recognized year-round for their outstanding work that contributes to the advancement of child health and health research. Congratulations!

Hollywood’s award season may be over, but at SickkKids our staff are recognized year-round for their outstanding work that contributes to the advancement of child health and health research. Congratulations to the following staff members!

Monica Justice named 2016 AAAS Fellow

Woman stands in a lab wearing a lab coat.
Dr. Monica Justice.

Dr. Monica Justice, Program Head and Senior Scientist, Genetics & Genome Biology, has been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Individuals are elevated to this rank because of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

Justice was specifically recognized for her distinguished contributions to the genetics field, particularly for the development of a mouse model for identifying disease genes and elucidating therapies for human diseases.

Sheena Josselyn and Paul Frankland each appointed to new Canada Research Chair positions

Dr. Sheena Josselyn.
Dr. Paul Frankland.

Drs. Sheena Josselyn and Paul Frankland, Senior Scientists, Neurosciences & Mental Health, have each been appointed to new Canada Research Chair positions after the Government of Canada announced 203 new and renewed Chairs in December 2016.

Canada Research Chairs improve our depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen Canada’s international competitiveness, and help train the next generation scientists. Josselyn now holds the Canada Research Chair in Systems Neuroscience Memory Function and Dysfunction, while Frankland holds the Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neurobiology. This funding will allow both of them to further their respective research in the area of mental health.

Allan Dai named Energy Manager of the Year

Man stands in an equipment room.
Allan Dai.

Congratulations to Allan Dai, Program Manager, Environmental Sustainability, Facility Operations, PGCRL, who was named the 2016 Energy Manager of the Year by Toronto Hydro for excellence in energy conservation.

Dai was recognized by Toronto Hydro for consistently providing detailed reports and projects updates around energy conservation at the Peter Gligan Centre for Research and Learning, as well as for exceeding his conservation targets. Dai also placed second in overall savings in Toronto Hydro’s Embedded Energy Manager program.

Michelle Letarte honoured by Canadian Society for Immunology

Headshot of a woman wearing red glasses and a black shirt.
Dr. Michelle Letarte.

Dr. Michelle Letarte, Senior Scientist Emeritus, Molecular Medicine, was honoured by the Canadian Society for Immunology (CSI) with the John D. Reynolds Award for her exceptional service to the CSI.

Letarte has been a long-standing member of the CSI, holding the roles of Councillor, Vice-President and President. She currently serves as the Chair of the Education Committee for the Council for International Union of Immunological Societies, where she helps to foster the development of immunology in the developing world by supporting students through direct funding and education.

James Rutka presented honorary degree from Queen’s University

Headshot of a man wearing a suit.
Dr. James Rutka.

Dr. James Rutka, Staff Neurosurgeon and Senior Scientist, Cell Biology, was presented with an honorary degree from Queen’s University, for his remarkable contributions in health care, scientific research and to the lives of others.

Rutka graduated with his MD from Queen’s in 1981, and played as quarterback for the Queen’s varsity football team during their 1978 Vanier Cup victory. He will receive his honorary degree at the 2017 Queen’s spring convocation.

Charles Deber wins American Peptide Society’s 2017 Merrifield Award

Headshot of man wearing glasses.
Dr. Charles Deber.

Congratulations to Dr. Charles Deber, Senior Scientist, Molecular Medicine, on receiving the 2017 R. Bruce Merrifield Award from the American Peptide Society for his outstanding career accomplishments in peptide research.

Deber’s research investigates the interactions and structures of peptides (a compound consisting of two or more amino acids linked in a chain) and proteins within membranes, how membrane-embedded mutations underlie protein misfolding diseases, and how knowledge gained from these studies can be applied to the development of membrane-interactive peptide therapeutics. In addition to being recognized as a leader in his field, the award honours Deber for demonstrating the “highest level of scientific creativity” in his work.

Paolo Campisi recognized for contributions to medical education and paediatric laryngology

Headshot of man wearing a suit and tie, as well as glasses.
Dr. Paolo Campisi.

Dr. Paolo Campisi, Staff Otolaryngologist and Project Investigator, has won two awards for his contributions to medical education and the field of paediatric laryngology respectively. Campisi was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the Canadian Association of Medical Education for his commitment to Canadian medical schools and his contributions to medical education as Director of Postgraduate Medical Education and Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Toronto.

In addition, Campisi will receive the Gabriel F. Tucker Award from the American Laryngological Association in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of paediatric laryngology. The award is only presented in years when an outstanding recipient is identified.

Ronald Cohn named Researcher of the Year by Muscular Dystrophy Canada

Man stands in SickKids atrium wearing a suit and pink tie with hands in pockets.
Dr. Ronald Cohn.

Congratulations to Dr. Ronald “Ronni” Cohn, Paediatrician-in-Chief and Senior Scientist, Genetics & Genome Biology, on receiving this year’s Dr. George Karpati Award for Researcher of the Year from Muscular Dystrophy Canada. The award is presented to an exemplary neuromuscular researcher or clinician who has made significant contributions to neuromuscular research and the advancement of care for people with these disorders.

Cohn’s research focuses on the biology of muscle regeneration as it relates to various inherited and acquired myopathic states, with a particular interest in muscular dystrophies. The Cohn Lab made headlines in 2015 when his team used CRISPR, a genome-editing technology, to correct DNA errors in the cells of a patient with muscular dystrophy.

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