2019 Friedman Award for Scholars in Health recipients announced

Eight graduate students doing research in the field of health have received this year’s Friedman Award for Scholars in Health. Winners range from a variety of programs, including Neurology, Medical Genetics and Public Health.

The Friedman Award for Scholars in Health supports learning and research opportunities for graduate students or medical residents working in the broad area of health, to bring new perspectives to their education and further their career.

The award is named after two of the earliest faculty members in the UBC Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Sydney Friedman and his wife Dr. Constance Livingstone-Friedman believed that well-rounded and transformative education includes learning from different perspectives and cultures, and they wished to support such learning among UBC graduate students and medical residents.

Friedman Scholars receive funding for six or more months of study outside western Canada. Destinations for this year’s award winners include Harvard University, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, King’s College, Johns Hopkins University, and Dalhousie University.

2019 Friedman Scholars

Federico Andrade Rivas is a PhD student in Population and Public Health, and his research focuses on mapping and characterizing global, regional, and local drivers of chemical pollution associated with food systems among marginalized populations. Under the mentorship of Dr. Philip Landrigan at the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health at Boston College, Federico will explore global and regional contamination issues and the application of big data and spatial analysis tools to track and monitor progress in pollution reduction. The opportunity will allow Federico to connect to an international network of global health pollution researchers and foster new transnational collaborations.

Madison Bolger-Munro is a PhD student in Microbiology and Immunology. Under the mentorship of Dr. Ana-Maria Lennon-Duménil at the Institut Curie, Madison will study the contribution of mechanical cues at the immune synapse to the B cell (a type of white blood cell) immune response. The aim of Madison’s research is to provide new insights into the fundamental principles of immune cell activation and help inform the development of novel vaccines and therapeutic approaches. Upon completion of her PhD, Madison intends to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in the field of cell biology.

Dr. Brandon Chalazan is a medical resident in Medical Genetics at BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital. Under the mentorship of Dr. Patrick Ellinor at the Center for Genome Research at the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Chalazan will study a genotype-based therapeutic approach for treating atrial fibrillation. Dr. Chalazan intends to apply the knowledge gained from the experience to his future clinical practice toward fetuses, children, and adults suffering from inherited cardiovascular conditions.

Maggie Woo Kinshella is a PhD student in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences. Under the mentorship of Dr. Sophie Moore at King’s College London, Maggie will undertake a literature review of maternal nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa and a focused ethnography of meals and motherhood in rural sub-Saharan Africa, conducted through focus groups, interviews, photovoice and participant observations in the Gambia, Kenya and Mozambique. The objective of the research is to further understand processes of entrenching poverty and malnutrition and add to understandings of maternal-fetal nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa.

Henry Lu is a PhD student in Experimental Medicine. Under the mentorship of Dr. Joshua Milner at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Dr. Andrew Snow at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), Henry will work to better understand a group of rare immune system disorders called the CBM-opathies. At the NIH and USUHS, Henry will have privileged access to patients with germline mutations affecting CARD-BCL10-MALT1 complexes and he will focus on developing a diagnostic tool for identifying these diseases.

Dr. Harman Parhar is a medical resident in Otolaryngology (Head & Neck Surgery). Under the mentorship of Dr. Gregory Weinstein at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology (Head and Neck Surgery), the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Parhar will investigate the questions of safety, the resulting functional abilities, and quality of life that patients can expect from transoral robotic surgery for the treatment of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (throat cancer). After completing the opportunity, Dr. Parhar hopes to become one of the few surgeons in Canada to offer Transoral Robotic Surgery.

Dr. Aalia Sachedina is a medical resident in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Under the mentorship of Dr. Sonia Grover at The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Dr. Sachedina will undertake specialized training in paediatric & adolescent gynaecology from world experts in the emerging field of oncofertility, dedicated to preserving the fertility of paediatric patients affected by cancer. Dr. Sachedina aims to bring this expertise back to BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital to help establish a comprehensive oncofertility program.

Dr. Christopher Uy is a medical resident in Neurology at Vancouver General Hospital. Under the mentorship of Dr. Sarosh Irani at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals, Dr. Uy will conduct a research study describing the quality of life, cognitive, and neurological outcomes in autoimmune encephalitis patients. Additionally, he will gain expertise in the diagnosis and management of antibody-mediated encephalitis syndromes. Dr. Uy will gain invaluable clinical experience in treating inpatients in the acute phase of autoimmune encephalitis and in post-hospital care; he aims to bring this expertise back to serve as a local resource in Western Canada for this condition.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019