A PDF Appreciation Week 2021 poster. Sept 20-24. Wellness Panel Discussion. September 24 10 am - 12 pm. An image of a head with a heart where the brain should be is seen on the right. Two scientists are pictured on the left.

Postdoc Appreciation Week – Wellness Panel Discussion

The ORT and the UHN Postdoc Association invite you to a PDF Appreciation week Wellness Panel Discussion

Join us for a panel discussion with:

  • Assata McKenzie, UHN Wellness Representative;
  • Dr. Slava Epelman, Clinician-Scientist at TGHRI
  • Dr. Husam Abdel-Qadir, Clinician-Scientist at the Women’s College Research Institute
  • Dr. Phyllis Billia, Director of Research at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre
  • Dr. Tracy Lackraj, Postdoctoral Fellow at PMCC

Register for Postdoc Appreciation Week events here.

Calendar link with Zoom information here: Wellness Panel Discussion – Postdoc Appreciation Week.

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Slava Epelman:  Dr. Slava Epelman MD, PhD is a Clinician-Scientist in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at the University Toronto, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, a Senior Scientist and the Cardiovascular Research Group lead at the Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network, and the Loretta Rogers Chair in Immunobioengineering for the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, University of Toronto. Dr. Epelman obtained his MD / PhD (in Immunology) from the University of Calgary and then did his medical residency / clinical fellowships at the Cleveland Clinic, Baylor College of Medicine and Washington University. He is a staff cardiologist in the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at the Toronto General Hospital. His scientific interests focus on the role of macrophages in cardiac tissue injury and regeneration.

Dr. Phyllis Billia: Dr. Billia completed her PhD at the University of Toronto and went on to complete her medical degree, including her Internal Medicine and Cardiology training at the Faculty of Medicine, Toronto. She continued with sub-speciality training in Echocardiography and a Post-doctoral fellowship at the Campbell Family Institute for Cancer Research, in the renowned laboratory of Dr. Tak Mak.

Dr. Billia now works as a Clinician-Scientist at the University Health Network, in the Division of Cardiology. Her practise is focused on the treatment of end-stage Heart Failure, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mechanical Assist Devices and Transplantation. In addition, she is a partner within the Echocardiography department at the University Health Network. Her research is focused on the molecular understanding of cardiac regeneration and developing new therapeutics in the treatment of heart failure.

Dr. Husam Abdel-Qadir: Husam Abdel-Qadir is a cardiologist at Women’s College Hospital and the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, and a scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, and ICES. He graduated from the University of Toronto’s medical school with the Silver Medal and completed residencies in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the University of Toronto. During his training, Dr. Abdel-Qadir became interested in optimizing the cardiovascular health of people who are less likely to be represented in clinical trials. This motivated him to pursue a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research at the Institute for Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation. His PhD thesis focused on the cardiovascular health of women with breast cancer, and this continues to be a focus of his research program. His clinical and research expertise also extends to the cardiovascular health of people with other cancers. He is also developing a research program on the management and outcomes of people with atrial fibrillation. His research is supported by an early career Chair in Heart and Brain Health and the 2020 National New Investigator Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. He has also received the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Young Investigator Award (2021), Atrial Fibrillation Research Award (2017 and 2020), European Society of Cardiology Young Investigator Award (2017), the inaugural Young Investigator Competition of the Global Cardio-Oncology Summit (2017), and the 2018 Polanyi prize in Medicine/ Physiology. Dr. Abdel-Qadir is a board member of the Black Physicians’ Association of Ontario and serves as its Director of Continuing Professional Development. He is also a member of the Advisory Board to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.

Dr. Tracy Lackraj: Dr. Tracy Lackraj is a postdoctoral fellow at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre where she studies personalized cancer care in a lymphoma background. 


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