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10th annual WCRI summer student research day highlights experiences across the institute

August 6, 2013

Since 2004, Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI) and the department of medicine at the University of Toronto have enhanced student experiences in women’s health research by offering the summer student program. Hosted by WCRI, the program is designed for undergraduate students considering research as a career choice. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the program’s Summer Student Research Day.

“One of the most rewarding parts of the summer program was presenting my hard work in front of fellow students and top researchers in their fields,” said Robert Mosley, a 2013 summer student who worked in the clinical setting of the Women’s Cardiovascular Health Initiative. “I think we all immediately felt a part of a professional environment where we had different areas of expertise to talk about.”

At this year’s event, 20 students presented on 18 different topics and shared their research results thus far with other students and WCH and WCRI staff. Working closely with a scientist or clinician researcher, summer students spend 12 to 16 weeks developing skills necessary for successful research.

Thirty-nine students enrolled in the summer program this year and over the past 10 years, more than 100 students have furthered their educational experience with the help of WCRI mentorship and research practice.

“The program at WCRI has given us all we need to know about research to further our careers,” said Dominika Bhatia, a 2013 summer program student working alongside Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe. “My research project has taught me about specific areas of maternal and fetal health and diabetes prevention with lifestyle modifications as opposed to medications. The lifestyle modifications make patients feel proactive and in charge of their lives.”

Other research topics included BRCA mutations, cancer screenings, HIV, obstructive sleep apnea, exploring patient care models, among others. The Summer Student Research Day gave students an opportunity to present their research and to add content to their education portfolios.

“Summer Student Research Day is a wonderful culmination of all the hard work that our summer students do, and year after year it amazes me to see just how much is accomplished over a few short months,” said Dr. Paula Rochon, vice-president, research at WCH and senior scientist, WCRI.

The program provides practical research knowledge to help prepare students for postgraduate work and careers. As the summer continues, students will still have opportunities to meet scientists, learn from them and make interdisciplinary connections.

For more information on the summer student program at WCRI, click here.

2013 summer students
2013 summer students with Dr. Paula Rochon (far left) and Cynthia Uy (far right). From left to right: Morvarid Sanandaji, Marym Abdelmaseh, Abtin Jafroodifar, Julia Romanski, Pinky Gaidhu, Susan Truong, Robert Mosley, Alexandra Pearce, Christine Edwards, Rachelle Rodin, Stephanie Klein, Alexa Fine, Malcolm Chan, Elinor Keshet, Eric Coomes, Meaghan Morris, Kaitlyn Whelan, Dilshaan Panjwani, Dominika Bhatia, Abinaya Balasubramaniam, Angela Arisz and Melissa Baranski.


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