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Cool Summer Science

Sep 17, 2007

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Student poster event fosters friendly competition and idea exchange.

By Jim Oldfield

Forty students entered Sunnybrook Research Institute’s (SRI’s) annual best summer research project competition, held in McLaughlin auditorium on August 22, 2007. The event allows students to present and defend scientific results from 12 weeks’ collaboration with SRI scientists, during which time they learn new research skills and explore research as a career.

Panels of judges comprised of scientists, postdocs and graduate students chose a winner from each research discipline. After the event, Jennifer Lee, one of SRI’s 110 summer students and award winner in molecular and cellular biology, spoke about her experience: “It’s a very good opportunity. I was able to learn quite a bit, to analyze data, get a taste of various techniques . . . [and] scientific thought—how to approach a problem and figure things out.” Lee completed her project, The study of S. purpuratus RNFII in urchin development and in the mammalian TGF-beta signaling pathway, with Drs. Arun Seth and Jonathan Rast.

Other award winners were Bennett Haynen (Dr. Mina Madan, clinical epidemiology), for his poster, Evaluation of clinical outcomes and resource utilization associated with the performance of ad hoc percutaneous coronary interventions: a Sunnybrook quality assurance initiative, and Timur Rvachov (Dr. John Rowlands, imaging), Improving PET detectors using Geiger mode silicon photomultipliers.

Clinical integrative biology students had 20 competition entries, so received three prizes: first—Minhui Kim (Dr. Miles Johnston), A new conceptual foundation for ventricular expansion in the development of hydrocephalus; second—Gregory Szilagyi (Dr. Sandra Black), Dataprocessing toolkit for neuroimaging; and third—Andrew Dick (Dr. Robert Jankov), Stretch stimulates NAD/PSH-oxidase derived reactive oxygen species production by neonatal rat pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells.

First-place winners receive $500, individualized plaques and certificates of excellence, and their names are added to discipline display plaques outside the S wing lecture theatre, on the ground floor of the research institute.

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