ORT Times features DaCosta lab trainees
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The UHN Office of Research Trainees (ORT) Times is a monthly e-newsletter for UHN trainees that features articles about trainee life, tips on career development, and research training opportunities within and outside of UHN. Partly supported by an ORT Travel Award, Dr. Sara Rapic and Christopher Gibson attended the 12th World Molecular Imaging Conference and 5th Canadian Cancer Research Conference, respectively. Their respective conference reports were featured in the ORT Times’ May and June editions, go and read about their experiences!  

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Research Restart Update
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In alignment with the Government of Ontario’s phased approach for relaxing its emergency measures, the University Health Network has commenced a phased return to research during the coming months in a manner that puts the health and safety of our community at the forefront. UHN’s Research Restart Committe is working within a framework developed by a Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN) Research Committee Working Group to ensure a harmonized approach for restarting research across Toronto-area hospitals and the University of Toronto. At the DaCosta lab, our goal is to resume our suspended onsite research activities to the greatest extent possible,…

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COVID-19 Update
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During the outbreak of COVID-19, the DaCosta lab has temporarily halted research projects. Clinical trials will resume when hospital clinics have resumed normal operation. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the lab at More information on the COVID-19 pandemic at the University Health Network can be found here. Our team will be assisting the amazing UHN hospital staff as much as possible during this time by volunteering for screening and other services. Stay Safe!

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Congratulations to Safa Majeed!
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We would like to congratulate Safa Majeed on her acceptance into the prestigious MD/PhD Program at the University of Toronto. Safa was a devoted summer student in our lab from 2013 all through 2018, joining our research activities with much enthusiasm and dedication. Starting this fall, she will be training to become a physician scientist, which will prepare her for both highly competitive and productive research and clinical practice. We wish Safa much success in her future training and career!

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Collaboration with Dr. Michael Taylor
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Collaborations are a cornerstone of the DaCosta lab. Recently, we have joined forces with Dr. Michael Taylor (SickKids) to study medulloblastoma spread to the brain and spinal cord by providing innovative in vivo optical imaging platforms. Dr. Taylor’s research focuses on the molecular genetics of medulloblastoma and ependymoma, two of the most common malignant paediatric brain tumours. Through a better understanding of the molecular biology of these tumours, his lab has made great strides to devise novel, more effective treatment strategies. We are excited to contribute our intravital imaging expertise to the research of this critical disease affecting children’s health globally.

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Dr. Sara Rapic gives course on In Vivo Optical Imaging at UofOttawa
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Dr. Sara Rapic was invited to the University of Ottawa to teach a 2-day course on In Vivo Optical Imaging. She shared her expertise in optical imaging systems and provided insight into experimental techniques and image analysis required for scientific success.

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Welcome Arcturus Phoon!
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We would like to welcome Arcturus Phoon to the DaCosta Lab. He has joined the lab as part of the clinical research team and will be assisting with the ongoing breast cancer and diabetic foot ulcer clinical trials. He completed his Undergratuate Studies at UofT in 2019 and worked with UHN’s THETA group before joining the DaCosta Lab.

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Best of luck to Kathryn and Anam!
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We would like to congratulate our alumni Dr. Kathryn Ottolino-Perry and Dr. Anam Shahid on their many accomplishments in the DaCosta Lab and we wish them success in their future careers. Thank you both for all of your hard work!

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Dr. Sara Rapic gives rapid-fire talk at Terry Fox Node Symposium
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At the Terry Fox Node Symposium presented by the Terry Fox Research institute, Dr. Sara Rapic gave a rapid-fire talk on her work: Investigating radiation response of pancreatic tumors and their micro-environment using in-vivo optical imaging to identify new treatment strategies. She was selected as one of ten post-docs to showcase her research at the symposium on December 12th 2019.

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DaCosta Lab presents posters at the 2019 Terry Fox Ontario Node Symposium
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The DaCosta Lab attended the Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) Ontario Node Symposium on December 12th, 2019. Several members of the lab presented their research at the poster session, including Brigida DiMatteo: Investigating the Effects of Metformin and Radiation on Pancreatic Tumour Burden and Spread In Vivo Helen Jin: Intravital Imaging of Acute Myeloid Leukemia within the Living Bone Marrow as a Preclinical Model for Evaluating Novel Therapies Dr. Sara Rapic: Investigating Radiation Response of Pancreatic Tumours and Their Microenvironment Using In Vivo Optical Imaging to Identify New Treatment Strategies Timothy Samuel: Overcoming challenges in longitudinal mouse intravital imaging Congratulations…

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