Dr. Ralph DaCosta joins UHN’s DORA Advisory Group
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In January, the Research Institutes at UHN signed the  San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), joining more than 1,500 institutions worldwide. DORA is a set of recommendations developed in 2012 by a group of editors and publishers of scholarly journals and is aimed at creating an improved and robust evaluation of the science and research impact of individuals and institutions. The UHN DORA Advisory Group was assembled to guide the implementation of these principles at the Research Institutes. This group is composed of a diverse group of PIs from across the seven UHN Research Institutes and will develop guidance…

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DaCosta Lab presents at MBP’s Virtual Open House
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Even through a pandemic, the DaCosta Lab is always looking to recruit new students! On November 7th, the Department of Medical Biophysics (University of Toronto) held a Virtual Open House to students looking to enrol in a Masters or PhD program. Faculty and students across the department showcased their amazing research to over 730 prospective students. If you are a student interested in joining our lab, check out our Voice Thread to learn more about ongoing projects.

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Welcome Stephen Petropoulos!
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We would like to welcome Stephen Petropoulos 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 clinical trial. He completed his undergraduate degree at Queen’s University in 2020.

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Helen Jin awarded best abstract at the Virtual EuroLeuk 2020 conference
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MSc candidate, Helen Jin, attended the 2020 Euroleuk Conference on behalf of the DaCosta lab this October 28-29. The meeting provided clinicians and biologists with state-of-the-art recommendations regarding patient care and insights into controversies and new therapeutic perspectives in the field of leukemia. Helen presented a poster and an oral presentation entitled “Preclinical Evaluation of a Novel Cell-Based IL12 Immunotherapy for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia”. Her outstanding abstract was judged to be one of the top three best abstracts submitted!

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DaCosta Lab attends WMIC 2020 virtually
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The DaCosta lab attended this year’s World Molecular Imaging Conference from October 6-9, 2020, held virtually. Each year, the WMIC bridges a range of disciplines including biology, chemistry, physics and engineering. This year WMIC focused on bridging the core disciplines of Molecular Imaging and Biology. The outcome was a cutting-edge program that merged early discovery with clinical translation. Albeit virtual, the program included not only presentations from scientists around the world showcasing how their programs pushed the boundaries of science to advance new discoveries in healthcare (with Plenary Sessions, Spotlight Sessions, Workshops and over 400 poster presentation), but also several…

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Helen Jin receives the Women in Molecular Imaging Network (WIMIN) Scholar’s Award
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Master’s student Helen Jin takes home the Women in Molecular Imaging Network (WIMIN) Scholar’s Award this year at the World Molecular Imaging Congress. She was selected for this award based on the scientific merit of her submitted abstract on “Elucidating the Role of Hypoxia and CXCR4 on Acute Myeloid Leukemia Pathogenicity Using Intravital Imaging“. Well done, Helen!

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DaCosta and Minden Labs Awarded CIHR Grant
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Drs. Ralph DaCosta and Mark Minden have been awarded a 4-year CIHR Project Grant to identify new treatment options for acute myeloid leukemia (AML).   AML is a disease of the bone marrow (BM) that spreads throughout the bones of affected patients. Interactions between AML cells and its surroundings play important protective and promotive functions in leukemia growth, maintenance, and spread. Current laboratory experimental systems are not yet able to recapitulate this dynamic relationship outside of the body, and animal studies cannot visualize the changes in AML progression until death of the animal. Such methodologies are blind to important aspects…

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Thesis animation on the Femur Window Chamber method
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Su Min Suh, a candidate of the MScBMC program at UofT, has completed her Masters’ Research Project on the window chamber method as a novel intravital approach of cellular imaging. The animation was created to spread awareness of the window chamber method and to provide a new, effective mode of communication to describe the CXCR4/SDF1 axis in Acute Myeloid Leukemia. To complete this project, Su performed literature reviews and media audits on the topic. She then proceeded to script, storyboard, and animate 2D motion graphics and 3D visualizations to effectively communicate the story. Su’s animation includes high-end 3D visualizations, using…

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Helen Jin awarded Ontario-wide and University of Toronto scholarships
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Congratulations to Helen Jin, who was recently awarded with the prestigious Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), valued at $15,000 and spread over 3 sessions. She has additionally been awarded the following two University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine awards: 1) The David RAE Graduate Student Scholarship, awarded to one student from the Faculty of Medicine studying in the areas of leukemia and lymphoma. The award totals $5,900 for one year. 2) The Sona Naran PANCHA Graduate Award in Leukemia Research, awarded to one student from the Faculty of Medicine demonstrates excellence and outstanding achievement in the area of leukemia research. The…

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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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