Redefining Education for Transplant Research Students

The Toronto Transplant Institute (TTI) hosted its first annual Student Research Day.  This also saw the inception of the Summer Student Program (also known as the TTI-SSP).TTI Pic 2

 Photo : The Toronto Transplant Institute, Summer Student Program Annual Research Day

The program was conceived out of a desire to instill a greater and more diverse comprehension of the field of transplantation and regenerative medicine among student researchers. Specifically, it is intended to expose students to topics that they would otherwise not encounter in their day-to-day research. Once a week, in addition to their various investigative responsibilities, students attended an educational activity highlighting some aspect within the field of transplantation. These ranged from statistics and the use of statistical analysis software to advanced concepts in scientific writing as well as bioethics and translational medicine. Students also had the chance to explore different occupations in medicine and healthcare during a career seminar where they could speak to experts from government, industry and academia in a small group setting. Many students described this as a highlight of the program.

The research day itself was the capstone of the summer program where collective achievements of  students were showcased. Dr. Atul Humar, Director of TTI began the day with a riveting look at what the future of transplantation holds. Next, six students who demonstrated exemplary work in the TTI Abstract Competition were given the opportunity to present their findings over the summer. All of the students demonstrated outstanding research encompassing a wide range of topics and methodologies. However, the work of Farid Foroutan examining the ‘Applicability of the INTERMACS score in the Heart Transplant Population’ was noted with exception and was awarded first place in the abstract completion. The day also saw a fascinating debate hosted by Dr. Daniel Buchman of the department of Bioethics – taking a critical look at the ethics of online solicitation for organ donation.  The annual research day was a profound, and enriching educational endeavor for all who attended, including many of the seasoned Multi-Organ Transplant faculty.

TTI pic1Photo: Farid Foroutan, winner of the Toronto Transplant Institute Abstract Competition

As the TTI is looking forward to the 2016 session of the summer program, it can be proud of this latest addition to its educational roster. A special note of thanks must be given to Dr. Michael MacDonald, Anna Cocco and Segun Famure for their work in initiating this program.

For inquiries on the upcoming summer session please contact Segun Famure at segun.famure@uhn.ca

Article written by: Segun Famure, Research Associate, Multi-Organ Transplant Program

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