DaCosta Lab presents at the MBP Virtual Open House
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On November 5th 2022, the Department of Medical Biophysics held a virtual Open House to students who were interested in enrolling in a Masters or PhD program. Faculty and students across the department showcased their research to prospective students. If you are a student and are interested in joining our lab, refer to our poster talk to learn more about ongoing projects.

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Dr. DaCosta presents at the ‘Future Investment Initiative’ Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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Dr. DaCosta presented at the sixth edition of the Future Investment Initiative held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This conference convened CEOs, policymakers, investors, entrepreneurs and young leaders from around the world. Dr. DaCosta participated in in-depth conversations about new pathways for global investment, analysis of critical industry trends, global energy crisis, and geopolitical conflicts that present profound challenges. He networked with world leaders and experts to shape the future of international investment and the global economy

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Chris Gibson wins the SGS Conference Grant and presents at the WMIC 2022 Conference
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Chris was invited to give an oral presentation at the 2022 WMIC Conference in Miami Beach, Florida. For this trip, Chris won the SGS Conference Grant. At WMIC, he presented “First-in-human intra-cavity imaging of 5-ALA-induced fluorescence during breast cancer surgery.” The purpose of Chris’ talk was to present both the strengths and shortfalls (with potential solutions) of the fluorescence imaging technology that were discovered in a real-world, first-in-human clinical setting. The presentation was very informative to other scientists who were developing similar technology with shared aims to improve clinical care.

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Michael Edson and Emily Chen presents a poster at the WMIC 2022 Conference
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Michael and Emily were invited to present a poster at the WMIC 2022 Conference in Miami Beach, Florida. They presented “Quantitative Intravital Imaging for Real-time Monitoring of Pancreatic Tumor Cell Hypoxia and Stroma in an Orthotopic Mouse Model,” which discussed the investigation of the spatial and temporal influence hypoxia on the pancreatic tumor microenvironment in an in vivo model. The hypothesis is that intravital fluorescence microscopy can be used to directly study the pancreatic tumor microenvironment in vivo at a cellular resolution over several weeks. Their poster presentation was well received.

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Tim Samuel wins the prestigious Walker/Marshall Award
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Tim Samuel, a Ph.D. student in the DaCosta Lab, is the recipient of the 2022 Walker/Marshall Award at the University of Toronto. The Walker/Marshall Award recognizes student in the Department of Medical Biophysics (MBP) whose work and achievements are judged to be both outstanding in their own right and representative of the ideals and culture of the Department. Criteria include: uniqueness and significance of academic work, publication record, and contribution to student life and culture. Throughout his Ph.D., Tim has made significant scientific contributions to the fields of pancreatic cancer research and intravital microscopy. He has also held several leadership…

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Maryam wins first place for her ORT Summer Student Presentation!
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The Office of Research Trainees Research Day provided an opportunity for University Health Network summer students to share their research with the UHN Research Community. Similar to a Three Minute Thesis presentation, each student was given three minutes to present one slide and discuss what they had learnt at University Health Network. Maryam’s presentation highlighted her learning experience with the Window Chamber Model and Fluorescence Intravital Microscopy developed by the DaCosta Lab. She discussed the significance of the imaging technology in cancer research as it allows scientists to observe, track, and record cells in vivo over a biologically-relevant period of time. She…

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Welcome, Maryam!
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We are excited to welcome Maryam Naimi to our lab as a summer student! Maryam will be a first-year student in the Life Sciences Program at the University of Toronto in September. She joins us a member of the University Health Network Summer Student Clinician Scientist Program.  She will be working as part of our Leukemia Program, conducting literature reviews, helping to develop research questions and aims, and assisting with preliminary wet-lab experiments. She will also be working side-by-side with our Research Technicians, learning about cell cultures, gaining experience in Western Blot and microscopy techniques, and observing rodent surgeries.

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Welcome back, Rachel!
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We are excited to welcome back Rachel Jacobson to our lab as a summer student! Rachel Jacobson is a 3rd year student at Wilfred Laurier University returning to the DaCosta lab for her second consecutive summer as a summer student. She is majoring in Health Sciences and minoring in biology and chemistry. Rachel recently returned home from her 7 weeks abroad where she volunteered on Magen David Adam (MDA) ambulances around Israel. After completing her training, Rachel became certified as a First Responder with MDA and spent a total of 5 weeks completing shifts alongside other volunteers, medics, and paramedics.…

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Arcturus Phoon has been accepted into the Materials Science & Engineering, Master of Engineering Program!
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We are extremely happy to announce that Arcturus has been accepted into the Materials Science & Engineering, Masters of Engineering Program at the University of Toronto! Congratulations, Arc!! Arcturus joined the lab as Research Technician in February 2020.  It became immediately apparent that Arcturus’ diverse background and experience in materials science played a vital role in our clinical study.  Our first-in-human phase II clinical trial evaluates a medical imaging device that uses fluorescence image-guided technology to visualize carcinoma in breast tissue in real-time during breast conserving surgery.  Arcturus was responsible for operating the device in the operating room and in…

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Dr. DaCosta contributes to the PMCF “Art of Conquering Cancer” campaign
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The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation ( is featuring “The Art of Conquering Cancer,” which discusses how art and creativity are essential components of science. The feature includes a video where Dr. DaCosta and other renowned researchers express the need to ‘think outside the box’ and explore the unknown in order for cancer research to grow and achieve breakthroughs. In addition, Dr. DaCosta is the featured image on the PMCF site. Finally, the feature includes a series of major breakthroughs that have been “driven by creativity” at the Princess Margaret. “Without new thoughts and free-thinking there would be no new discoveries.”

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