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Media Release

Medical Students Receive Research Awards Totaling $96,000

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) has awarded sixteen medical students with NOSM Dean's Summer Medical Student Research Awards, valued at $6,000 each. This is the eighth year that NOSM has awarded this grant to qualifying MD students.

"Education and research are equally important in improving the health of the people of Northern Ontario," explained Dr. Roger Strasser, NOSM Dean. "We are excited to nurture in our students an interest in scholarly activity, and support projects that are directly relevant to the health issues impacting the people and communities of Northern Ontario."

Unique this year is the volume of grants awarded. In previous years, eight Dean's Summer Student Awards were available each summer. In order to provide more opportunities for students to engage with the School's knowledgeable faculty and partake in scholarly activity, the number of NOSM's 2013 Dean's Summer Medical Student Research Awards is double the amount of awards available in 2012.

"Weencourage opportunities for medical students to conduct research projects atthe Northern Ontario School of Medicine," explained Dr. Greg Ross, NOSM's Associate Dean of Research. "These awards benefit three distinct populations: students, who are able to partake in research and engage with faculty; faculty, who often identify that they enjoy the fresh perspective and varied opportunity for teaching; and the people of Northern Ontario, for whom our research is intended."

Research Projects Undertaken

The following research projects, carried out across Northern Ontario, provide medical students with the opportunity to conduct hands-on research on a broad range of biological and social research topics while working with an established NOSM researcher.


  • Award recipient Hillary Bohler (from Thunder Bay) is investigating Mental Health in University Students with supervision from NOSM's Division Head of Human Sciences, Dr. Elizabeth Levin.
  • The project How Northern Ontario Family Physicians Use PSA as a Screening Tool for Carcinoma of the Prostate is being undertaken by award recipient Derek Bos (from Timmins) and supervised by NOSM Associate Professor of Surgery, Dr. Jacques Abourbih.
  • Supervised by NOSM Assistant Professor of Surgery, Dr. Mark Thibert, award recipient Tessa Boyer is conducting her research on the pivotal role of the Canadian military in the development of the field of plastic surgery in Canada. Boyer's research project is entitled Contributions of Pioneering Plastic and Reconstructive Military Innovators from 1920 to 2012 .
  • Award recipient John Coccimiglio (from Thunder Bay) is investigating Biological Effects of Phenolic Isomers, Carvacrol and Thymol . Coccimiglio's project will be supervised by NOSM Associate Professor in Medical Sciences, Dr. Zach Suntres.
  • Entitled Developing LGBTQ Health Education at NOSM: Needs Assessment of NOSM Faculty, Residents and Students is being undertaken by award recipient Cara Collins (from North Bay), and is being supervised by Dr. Stacey Ritz, Associate Professor in Medical Sciences.
  • Supervised by Assistant Professor in Clinical Sciences, Dr. Mark Thibert, award recipient Robyn Duffus (from Longlac/Greenstone) is undertaking a project entitled, How Did the Events of World War I Shape the Field of Plastic Surgery in Canada?
  • Graham Gaylord (from Fort Frances) is undertaking a project entitled Introducing SMHC in Northwestern Ontario: An Analysis of Changing Referral Patterns of Primary Care Providers with the supervision of Associate Professor in Clinical Sciences Dr. John Haggarty.
  • Award recipient Martha DiGiuseppe is working on a research project entitled A Pilot Study of the Lived Experience of Patients with Back Pain Receiving "Endoskopia," Conservative Spinal Therapy Treatment at the Alfen Spinal Clinic in Wurzburg, Germany . NOSM Associate Professor in Human Sciences, Dr. Marion Maar, is supervising this project.
  • Award recipient Jesse Gordon (originally from Schreiber) is working with Associate Professor in Human Sciences Dr. Geoff Hudson on a project entitled Nursing Before Nightingale in Eighteenth-Century England .
  • Supervised by Associate Professor Dr. T.C. Tai, Kelly Graff (from Hanmer) is researching Epigenetic Regulation of the PNMT Gene in Hypertension .
  • Award recipient Valerie Nicholls (from Thunder Bay) is collaborating with Assistant Professor Dr. David Kisselgoff on the project Patient Satisfaction Following Ultrasound-Guided Calcific Tendinosis Rotator Cuff Treatment .
  • The project entitled Clinical Evaluation of CT-Based Ventilation Imaging for Early Lung Cancer is being undertaken by award recipient Derek Paradiso (from Sault Ste. Marie), and will be supervised by Dr. Michael Oliver, Assistant Professor in the division of Medical Sciences.
  • Originally from Kapuskasing, award recipient Amanda Richer's project entitled "NOAT" - Neurons, Opiates and THC is being supervised by Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences, Dr. Sandra Stewart.
  • Award recipient Tracy Sarmiento (from Thunder Bay) is working with Associate Professor of Human Sciences Dr. Geoff Hudson on a project entitled The History of Seniors' Health in Ontario, 1974-1996 .
  • Working with Associate Professor in Human Sciences Dr. Marion Maar, award recipient Heather Anne Smith's project is entitled Impact of Non-Traditional, Wilderness-Based Educational Platform/Model on Interprofessional Collaboration .
  • Supervised by Dr. Marion Maar, Associate Professor in Human Sciences, award recipient Zsolt Toth's project is entitled DREAM GLOBAL - Interventions for Hypertension in First Nation and Low-Income Countries.


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The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is committed to the education of high quality physicians and health professionals, and to international recognition as a leader in distributed, learning-centered, community-engaged education and research. 

Kimberley Larkin
Communications Officer
Phone: 705-662-7243
Email: klarkin@nosm.ca 


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