Lianna W. Wat, a UBC doctoral student in the Cell and Developmental Biology program, in the Faculty of Medicine, has won all three trainee awards at the 2020 Canadian Student Health Research Forum (CSHRF). Canadian graduate programs that conduct health research are asked to nominate their top doctoral trainee to attend CSHRF.
“I am very honoured and proud to receive a CIHR gold, a Gairdner, and the Lindau awards. I am always working and aiming to be the best that I can be, therefore having my hard work and growth as a scientist be acknowledged through winning these prizes demonstrates that my efforts have paid off and that I am moving in the right direction on my career path. These prizes also mean a lot to me as they give me an incredible amount of motivation to continue pursuing my passions and goals in research,” said Lianna.
This annual conference accepts only the top 5% of doctoral level health research trainees from across Canada. During the course of the event, participants compete in the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) National Poster Presentation, attend the University of Manitoba’s Gairdner Symposium, and have the opportunity to network with other exceptional graduate trainees and Gairdner Laureates. This year, 177 trainees competed in the CIHR National Poster Presentation.
The top six trainees from the CIHR National Poster Presentation competition are then selected for a second round of judging conducted by Gairdner Laureates to determine Gairdner Award recipients and the Lindau Award recipient—the CSHRF only awards one Lindau Award per year.
As a recipient of all three awards, Lianna will be sent to represent Canada at the next Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting dedicated to Physiology and Medicine, alongside a select group of Vanier Scholars and Banting Fellows.
The Gairdner Laureates present at this year’s CSHRF and that were judging the Lindau/Gairdner Awards competition were Dr. Roeland Nusse (2020), Dr. Davor Solter (2018), and Dr. Lynne E. Maquat (2015). Dr. Susan E. Quaggin, the Director of the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute and the Chief of the Division of Nephrology at Northwestern University was also part of the University of Manitoba's Gairdner Symposium and a judge for the Lindau/Gairdner Awards.