Outstanding research on display at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute’s 22nd annual Research Day

November 18, 2022

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute’s 22nd annual Research Day was a great success! Designed to highlight and celebrate the outstanding work of trainees and promote scientific interaction, the event featured 115 posters, 19 oral presentations, and five finalists in the Elevator Pitch Competition.

The event also included special presentations from Dr. Sheila Singh, Dr. Deborah Cook, Dr. Taha Azad (Worton Researcher-in-Training Award), Marilyn Erdley (patient speaker) and Maddy Hill and Leah Labib from OHRI’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council.

Prizes were awarded to the following students and postdoctoral fellows:

Oral Presentation Competition

Clinical: Elisabeth Vesnaver (Justin Presseau group) Partnering for impact: A community and health system participatory approach to support the inclusion of newly eligible gay, bisexual and all men who have sex with men in plasma donation in Canada.Co-authors: Emily Gibson, Amelia Palumbo, Gisell Castillo, Kyle Rubini, Richard MacDonagh, Andrew Rosser, Glenndl Miguel, Marco Reid, Paul MacPherson, Mindy Goldman, Terrie Butler-Foster, Nolan E Hill, Don Lapierre, Taylor Randall, William Osbourne-Sorrell, Sheila O’Brien, Joanne Otis, Mark Greaves, Taim Bilal Al-Bakri, Maximilian Labrecque, Marc Germain, Shane Orvis, Andrew Clapperton, Dana Devine, Justin Presseau

1st: Marie Marotel (Michele Ardolino group) Role of LAG3 in Natural Killer cells.Co-authors: Cynthia Chan, Maria Park, Valeria Vasilyeva, Christiano Tanese de Souza, Ayad Ali, Jonathan Hodgins, Olivia Makinson, Shaad Hasim, S.H. Lee, Stephen Waggoner, Michele Ardolino

2nd: Nicholas Cober (Duncan Stewart group) Single-cell transcriptomic analysis implicates a novel arterial endothelial cell population in development of obliterative arterial remodeling and severe pulmonary arterial hypertension.Co-authors: Emma McCourt, Rafael Soares Godoy, Yupu Deng, Ken Schlosser, David P Cook, Liyuan Wang, and Duncan J Stewart

3rd: Robert Myette (Dylan Burger group) Increased mitochondrial DNA in urinary large extracellular vesicles in children with idiopathic nephrotic syndrome: a new disease biomarker? Co-authors: Fengxia Xiao, Chris Kennedy & Dylan Burger

Postdoctoral and Clinical Fellow Poster Competition

Clinical: Shelley Vanderhout (Dean Fergusson group) Patient and public involvement in pragmatic trials: Online survey of corresponding authors of published trials. Co-authors: Pascale Nevins, Stuart G. Nicholls, Colin Macarthur, Jamie C Brehaut, Beth Potter, Kate Gillies, Beatriz Goulao, Maureen Smith, Alicia Hilderley, Kelly Carroll, Anne Spinewine, Charles Weijer, Dean A. Fergusson, Monica Taljaard

1st: Bahareh Hekmatnejad (Michael Rudnicki group) Single-cell transcriptional and chromatin accessibility profiling of satellite cells lacking MyoD. Co-authors: Bahareh Hekmatnejad, Michael Rudnicki

2nd: Meshach Asare-Werehene (Benjamin Tsang group) Ovarian cancer chemoresistance: biosensor detection of biological drones exporting drugs. Co-authors: Rob Hunter, Emma Gerber, Arkadiy Reunov, Isaiah Brine, Chia-Yu Chang, Chia-Ching Chang, Dar-Bin Shieh, Dylan Burger, Hanan Anis, Benjamin K. Tsang

3rd: Alex Lin (Michael Rudnicki group) A muscle stem cell subpopulation is determined by mitochondrial potential. Co-authors: Morten Ritso, Marie Esper, J. Manuel Hernández-Hernández, M.A. Rudnicki

PhD Student Poster Competition

Clinical: Alexa Keeshan (Curtis Cooper group) Immunogenicity of COVID-19 vaccines: Initial findings from a prospective longitudinal cohort study. Co-authors: Corey Arnold, Yannick Galipeau, Martin Pelchat, Angela Crawley, Marc-Andre Langlois, Curtis Cooper

1st (tie): Rayanna Birtch (Carolina Ilkow group) Development of an RNAi-oncolytic virotherapy for KRAS mutated cancers. Co-authors: Hoskin, V; Salama, A; Bell, J; Ilkow, C

1st (tie): Samuel Delisle (Luc Sabourin group) The accelerated initiation of HER2-positive mammary tumors in SLK-deficient mice is not driven by the loss of its kinase-dependent functions. Co-authors: Samuel Delisle, Luc Sabourin

2nd: Marlena Scaffidi (Rebecca Auer group) Characterizing the relationship between natural killer cell function and metabolism in the postoperative period. Co-authors: Marisa Market, Gayashan Tennakoon, Leonard Angka, David Cook, Christiano Tanese de Souza, Rebecca Auer

3rd: Henna Mistry (Rebecca Auer group) Evidence of surgery-induced epigenetic modifications to explain postoperative natural killer cell dysfunction. Co-authors: Taylor Dion, Rafeah Alam, Rebecca C. Auer

4th: Edward (Yiren) Sun (Jing Wang group) Monoacylglycerol lipase from hypothalamic appetite control neurons regulate regionally distinct subventricular zone neural stem cell development to modulate olfactory function. Co-authors: Nina Chen, Nazia Hassan, Robert Zimmermann, Jing Wang

Master’s Student and Poster Competition

Clinical: Sanghamithra Ramani (Lisa Walker group) Social cognition and information processing speed in individuals with multiple sclerosis and co-morbid diabetes: An interim analysis. Co-authors: Pumphrey, J.D., Berard, J.A., Wang, J., Walker, L.A.S

1st: Andre Raffla (Edward Lemaire group) Development of Transtibial Prosthesis Inserts to Accommodate Residual Limb Volume Change. Co-authors: Natalie Baddour, Edward Lemaire

2nd: Eva Kuhar (Manoj Lalu group) Investigating Biological Sex Differences in a Preclinical Acute Lung Injury Model of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Co-authors: Damian Chwastek, Doreen Engelberts, Duncan J Stewart, Manoj Lalu

3rd: Skyra Cheng (Catherine Tsilfidis group) Assessment of Visual Function in a Snf2h Knockout Mouse Model of Retinal Degeneration.Co-authors: Pamela Lagali, Adam Baker, Catherine Tsilfidis

4th: Sydney Vallati (John Bell group) Development of novel oncolytic viruses encoding therapeutic payloads for the treatment of RET-positive pancreatic cancers. Co-authors: Mathieu J. F. Crupi, Zaid Taha, Taylor Jamieson-Datzwik, Jack Whelan, Emily Lee, Betty Huang, John C. Bell

Undergraduate poster competition

Stephanie Lofaro (Michael Rudnicki group) Investigating the role of regulatory factor Myf5 during muscle regeneration.Co-authors: Bahareh Hekmatnejad, Michael A. Rudnicki


Elevator Pitch Competition

1st: Rebecca Lau (Donna Maziak group) This cut or that cut? --> choosing the right surgery

2nd: Ragav Chona (Jing Wang group) A regeneration sensation! Helping the brain repair itself

People’s Choice Poster Awards

Skyra Cheng (Catherine Tsilfidis group) Assessment of Visual Function in a Snf2h Knockout Mouse Model of Retinal Degeneration, Co-authors: Pamela Lagali, Adam Baker, Catherine Tsilfidis

Yvonne Lunn (Nongnuj Tanphaichitr group) Development of delivery system of an engineered cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, 17BIPHE2, into a vaginal multipurpose prevention technology agent: Selection of an appropriate excipient. Co-authors: Seung Gee Lee, Jonathan B. Angel, Nongnuj Tanphaichitr

Rachel Friesen (Jing Wang group) Retrograde tracing using modified rabies virus to track distinct brain regions innervating distinct SVZ subdomains. Co-authors: Edward (Yiren) Sun, Jing Wang

Goodman Cohen Summer Student Awards

Senior: Rebecca Lau (Donna Maziak group) Comparing the safety and effectiveness of different surgical approaches in thymectomy: subxiphoid VATS, lateral Intercostal VATS, open median sternotomy or thoracotomy. Co-authors: Katherine Aw, Sami Aftab Abdul, Caitlin Anstee, Sebastien Gilbert, Susan D. Moffatt-Bruce, Andrew J.E. Seely, Sudhir R. Sundaresan, Patrick J. Villeneuve, Donna E. Maziak

Junior: Valeria Vasilyeva (Michele Ardolino group) LAG3 marks a subset of exhausted Natural Killer cells in cancer. Co-authors: Marie Marotel, Michele Ardolino

Research Day Committee 

Dr. Paul Albert (Co-chair), Dr. Justin Presseau (Co-chair), Dr. Jay Baltz, Amelia Buchanan, Dr. Angela Crawley, Chanèle Cyr Depauw, Jaahnavi Dave, Jenn Ganton, Leah Labib, Dr. Ian Lorimer, Dr. Tim Ramsay, Dr. Luc Sabourin, Dr. Duncan Stewart, Jennifer Valentino

Volunteers: Nicol Lum, Lucy Sangani