Manitoba Student Health Research Forum, June 17 to 19, 2024. Celebrating excellence in health research.

Key dates

The MSHRF will include many familiar elements previously included in the annual Canadian Student Health Research Forum such as the research poster competition, professional development workshop, Drewry Lecture, and graduate student awards.

The event now also features:

  • A lecture session and luncheon celebrating the work of the Manitoba Medical Service Foundation, in partnership with the Manitoba Blue Cross
  • Talks from nine early career researcher (ECRs), emphasizing the path each took to get here and showcasing the breadth and depth of our growing research community
  • A lecture by the 2024 winner of the Prowse Prize for Clinical Reseach
  • A networking and mentorship session with many of our tremendous Manitoba-based alumni and employers.

Information on the trainee career development workshop, meet the professionals networking event, scientific symposium, and the Drewry and Prowse Memorial Lectures will be announced shortly — be sure to check back.

MSHRF schedule of events

Monday, June 17 

Time Event Location
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Poster competition Brodie Centre atrium
2:30 - 4:00 p.m. Networking workshop 050 Apotex Centre

Tuesday, June 18

Time Event Location
9:00 - 10:30 a.m. Early career researcher symposium I 050 Apotex Centre
  9:00 a.m. — Dr. Barbara Nery Porto  
  9:30 a.m. — Dr. Susan Logue  
  10:00 a.m. — Dr. Meaghan Jones  
  10:30 a.m. Coffee break  
  11:00 a.m. — Dr. Alex Aregbesola  
  11:30 a.m. — Dr. Cara Brown  
  12:00 p.m. — Dr. Cedric Tremblay  
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Drewry Memorial Luncheon
(pre-registration required)

Apotex Centre, second floor atrium

1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Drewry Memorial Lecture
Dr. Arun Surendran, Winner of the 2023 E.L. Drewry Major Award
050 Apotex Centre
3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Meet the professionals networking event 050 Apotex Centre

Wednesday, June 19

Time Event Location
9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Prowse Memorial Lecture and breakfast
Presenter: Winner of the 2024 Prowse Prize for Clinical Research
050 Apotex Centre
  10:00 a.m. Coffee break
Sponsored by the Prowse Prize Fund 
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. MMSF showcase session 050 Apotex Centre
  Theme: Innovative career trajectories in the health sciences 
Dr. Laura Saward, ADVA Diagnostics and UM
Dr. Paul Fernyhough, UM and WinSanTor Inc.
  12:00 p.m. MMSF/MBC luncheon
Sponsored by the Manitoba Blue Cross
1:30 - 3:00 p.m. Early Career Researcher Symposium II 050 Apotex Centre
  1:30 p.m. — Dr. Linda Diffey  
  2:00 p.m. — Dr. Henry Dunn  
  2:30 p.m.  — Dr. Tanveer Sharif  
3:15 - 5:15 p.m. Awards ceremony and reception Brodie Centre atrium

Scientific symposium

Manitoba Medical Service Foundation (MMSF) presents Innovative Career Trajectories in the Health Sciences.

Manitoba Medical Service Foundation (MMSF), in partnership with the Manitoba Blue Cross, provides funding to new Manitoba Researchers and students to improve the health and well-being of Manitobans.

  • Manitoba Medical Service Foundation logo
  • Manitoba Blue Cross logo
  • Manitoba Student Health Research Forum logo


  • portrait of Laura Saward
  • Dr. Laura Saward
    Executive Vice President of Health And Medical, AdvaDiagnostics Inc.

    Presentation title
    Insights into career opportunities in industry and building transferable skills for success


With over 30 years of experience in pharmaceutical development and executive leadership, Dr. Saward has led R&D, clinical, regulatory, and medical affairs teams, advancing multiple biodefense and commercial programs through all stages of development and successful licensure of seven drugs.

She has held various roles in both start-up and large pharma companies including chief scientific officer, business unit head and R&D, and innovation head.

Her passion for science and innovation contributes to industry and academia and she is a professor in medical microbiology and infectious diseases and several pandemic preparedness initiatives. Dr. Saward received her BSc from University of Guelph and PhD from the UM Faculty of Medicine (now known as the Max Rady College of Medicine).

She currently serves on the MMSF board of directors and contributes to other initiatives including Women In Science: Development, Outreach and Mentorship (WISDOM)North Forge Technology Exchange and Next Great Big Ideas. Recently she received a lifetime achievement award from the Pharmaceuticals Science Group to acknowledge her contributions to the industry.

  • portrait of Paul Fernyhough
  • Dr. Paul Fernyhough
    Professor, UM Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics

    Presentation title
    A journey from preclinical research to clinical trials and a disease-modifying therapy


Dr. Fernyhough performed BSc in Biological Science at University of Essex and PhD in Biochemistry in the department of Biochemistry at University of Sheffield. Then carried out postdoctoral research at Colorado State University, Kings College London and as a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow at St Bartholomew’s Medical College.

He subsequently worked as a tenured lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Manchester. Dr. Fernyhough moved to University of Manitoba in Winnipeg in 2004 and helped to set up a neuroscience research group at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre with links to UM Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Dr. Fernyhough’s research interest is in the cell biology underlying neurodegenerative disorders of the peripheral nervous system with a focus on the impact of diabetes. A biotech start-up, WinSanTor Inc, has been established and phase 2 clinical trials in diabetic neuropathy and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy are being performed.

For his sins he is a life-long supporter of West Ham United football club.

  • Group photo of Drs. Waylon Hunt, Jon-Jon Santiago and Ryan Mitchell, the Executive Team at Intrinsic Analytics Inc.
  • (L-R) Drs. Waylon Hunt, Jon-Jon Santiago and Ryan Mitchell
    Executive Team, Intrinsic Analytics Inc.

    Presentation title
    Intrinsic Analytics Journey


Intrinsic Analytics (IA) was founded in 2012 by three UM graduates, Drs. Hunt, Mitchell, and Santiago.

The company's mission is to provide bioinformation services that improve medical advocacy and the health and safety of individuals, employees, and enterprises.

IA has since grown into a national network of clinics, offering a full suite of occupational health testing programs and services. During the pandemic, IA contributed to Manitoba’s COVID-19 response by implementing a comprehensive workplace testing/screening program to deliver fast and accurate results.

Special lectures

  • Drewry memorial Lecture

    Dr. Arun Surendran
    Senior manager, Mass Spectrometry Core Facility at Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology

  • portrait of arun surendran


Dr. Surendran holds the position of senior manager at the Mass Spectrometry Core Facility at Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) in Kerala, India.

Recently, he earned his PhD from UM, specializing in Physiology and Pathophysiology, under the guidance of Dr. Amir Ravandi and Dr. Michel Aliani. During his PhD, Dr. Surendran developed and published a comprehensive lipidomics approach that enables profiling a broad range of lipid metabolites in human plasma at high throughput. This innovative platform was subsequently employed to analyse lipid signatures associated with conditions such as myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury, human aortic valve stenosis, and stroke.

Currently, Dr. Surendran's research is centred around the application and advancement of mass spectrometry techniques to explore the involvement of lipids in cardiometabolic diseases. His ongoing work involves the continual enhancement and management of the existing omics platform, covering proteomics, metabolomics, and lipidomics, within the core facility.

  • Prowse memorial lecture

    Dr. Ricky Muller Moran
    Cardiac surgeon, Northwestern Memorial Hospital

  • portrait of Ricky Muller Moran


Dr. Muller Moran is a cardiac surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, where he is completing an Advanced Adult Cardiac Surgery Fellowship. He completed his medical training in 2016 at UM and received a Master's of Science in Experimental Surgery (surgical education stream) from McGill University in 2021. He completed his residency in cardiac surgery at UM in 2023.

His research interests include surgical education and simulation, curriculum development, surgical outcomes research and intensive care outcomes research.

Early career research faculty

Dr. Alex Aregbesola, Pediatric and Child Health
Presentation title: Early career in research: a journey and not a destination

Dr. Cara Brown, Department of Occupational Therapy
Presentation title: Contributing to Community Health as a Rehabilitation Researcher

Dr. Linda Diffey, Community Health Sciences
Presentation title: Paths of Resistance: Decolonizing Health Systems through Indigenous Research

Dr. Henry Dunn, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Presentation title: Atypical neuronal communication mechanisms disrupted in neurodevelopmental disease

Dr. Meaghan Jones, Biochemistry and Medical Genetics
Presentation Title: Epigenetic marks linking early life inhaled pollution to lifelong lung health

Dr. Susan Logue, Human anatomy and cell science
Presentation Title: Navigating Cellular Stress: Insights into Health and Disease
Dr. Barbara Nery Porto, Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Presentation Title: Inflammatory cell death: an emerging therapeutic opportunity for respiratory viral infections
Dr. Tanveer Sharif, Pathology
Presentation title: The Role of Metabolism in brain tumor cells lineage identity

Dr. Cedric Tremblay, Immunology
Presentation title: Unravelling stress response and tumour heterogeneity to identify novel therapeutic strategies for acute leukemia

Manitoba poster competition


The Manitoba Poster Competition will take place on Monday, June 17, 2024 in the Brodie Centre Atrium at the University of Manitoba Bannatyne campus.

The deadline for abstract submission is April 15, 2024(midnight, central time).



This competition is open to Manitoba graduate students and postdoctoral fellows undertaking research in the health sciences.

Consideration will be given to students who:

  • Have registered by the registration deadline
  • Have submitted their abstract by the registration deadline

Note: We welcome posters from across the breadth of the CIHR mandate.

How to register

To register, follow the steps below. 

Step 1: Fill out and submit our Abstract Submission Form.

Step 2: Check your email frequently for updates including judging schedule.

Important: please add to your spam filters to ensure they do not end up in your junk folder.


This event has been planned to take place in person.

New this year: Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will be judged as separate categories.

Participants will present a poster (no larger than 4 feet wide) to showcase their research. Recommended templates are available.

Poster numbers will be assigned to participants once registration has closed. Participants are invited to mount their poster at their corresponding number upon arrival to the forum and orally present their research to the judges at the scheduled judging time.

Each participant will be assigned a 15-minute judging slot – 10 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for a question/answer period. Please be sure not to exceed your 10 minutes of presentation time as the judging schedule is very tight.

Judging criteria

Please keep in mind, the judges are most likely not experts in your specific area of research. The topics covered in this competition are very broad and logistically it would be impossible to provide close expertise for all presenters. However, the judges have been selected based on their success as scientists in their respective fields and their broader knowledge of science. As with any presentation, the audience must be taken into account and the information delivered accordingly.

Participants will be judged on:

  • Organization
  • Clarity of presentation, including:
    • background
    • hypothesis/research question(s)
    • methods (eg. study design and analysis technique)
    • results
    • conclusion
  • Visual appearance of your presentation
  • Defense of results

2024 Sponsors

Thank you to our generous sponsors.

2023 Award winners

We recognize and congratulate past award winners in the following five categories:

Dr. Forough Khadem memorial awards

  • MSc award: Larissa Bubnowicz 
  • PhD award: Laila Aboulatta

Faculty awards

  • Aubie Angel Young Investigator Award: Dr. Zulma Rueda
  • Dr. Edwin Kroeger Mentorship award: Dr. Sherif Eltonsy
  • Kenneth Hughes Award: Dr. Peter Thompson
  • Prowse Prize for Clinical Research: Dr. Garrett Johnson

Major awards

  • CHRIM Award: Emma Martell 
  • Emergent Award: Hana Zegallai
  • HSC Foundation Award: Seyed Mojtaba Hosseini
  • MMSF MSc award: Essence Perera 
  • MMSF PhD award: Javad Alizadeh 
  • MMSF PhD award: Titus Olukitibi
  • SBH Foundation Award: Arun Surendran
  • Drewry Award: Arun Surendran

Oncology awards

  • Caroline A. Cope award: Ally Farrell 
  • Caroline A. Cope award: Emma Martell
  • Emil and Lynette Hain award: Emma Martell 
  • Right Honourable Don Mazankowsk award: Emma Martell

Other awards

Graduate Student Excellence Award

  • Saeid Maghsoudi (PhD)
  • Seyed Mojtaba Hosseini (PhD)
  • Vanessa Schulz (Masters)

Graduate Student Merit Award

  • Laila Aboulatta (PhD)
  • Keshav Narayan Alagarsamy (PhD)
  • Maria Baranowski (PhD)
  • Shifa Fatima Mohideen (Masters)
  • Ally Farrell (Masters)
  • Abdul Aziz (Masters)

Karol D. McNeill Research Technician Award

  • Agnes L. Fresnoza, Central Animal Care Services 

Outstanding Contribution to Research 

  • Manitoba Medical Service Foundation (accepted by Dr. Greg Hammond – Executive Director, MMSF)

Poster awards

Bioscience Association Manitoba (BAM) Poster Award

  • Keshav Alagarsamy

Dean of Graduate Studies Poster Awards

  • Seyyed Mohyeddin Ziaee
  • Jarrad Perron

Dean of RFHS Poster Awards 

  • Student award - Akshi Malik
  • Postdoc award - Abhay Srivastava

HSGSA Poster Awards

  • Mohd Wasif Khan
  • Shakila Sultana
  • Kristi Loeb
  • Danish Malhotra
  • Seyed Hosseini
  • Padmanie Ramotar
  • Liujun Chen
  • Rubi Campos
  • Kayla Kostal

MMSF Poster Awards

  • Monika Kowatsch
  • Olamide Ogungbola
  • Marina Costa Fujishima
  • Kailee Rutherford
  • Testimony Olumade
  • Emma Martell
  • Zachary Schiffman
  • Manik Chhabra
  • Jennifer Myskiw

Honourable mentions

  • Billy Vuong
  • Camila Chacon
  • Gabriella Yakemow
  • Jigneshkumar Vaghasiya
  • John Paul Aguilar
  • Niketa Sareen
  • Rose Chan
  • Simone da Silva Rosa
  • Spencer Ames
  • Titus Olukitibi

Travel awards

Dr. Ed Kroeger Travel Award

  • Emma Martell
  • Jennifer Myskiw
  • Kailee Rutherford
  • Keshav Alagarsamy
  • Manik Chhabra
  • Marina Costa Fujishima
  • Mohd Wasif Khan
  • Monika Kowatsch
  • Seyyed Mohyeddin Ziaee
  • Zachary Schiffman

MMCF – Graduate Student Travel Award 

  • Akshi Malik
  • Alekhya Lavu
  • Danish Malhotra
  • Kayla Kostal
  • Kristi Loeb
  • Liujun Chen  
  • Padmanie Ramotar 
  • Rubi Campos Gudiño
  • Seyed Hosseini
  • Shakila Sultana

Contact us

MSHRF planning team
A202 Chown Building, 753 Mcdermot Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg MB R3E 0T6