ASTRO 2018

UTDRO Alumni Reception - October 22, 2018, San Antonio, Texas

Over a hundred alumni, friends and family from around the globe attended the 9th Annual UTDRO Alumni Reception at ASTRO in San Antonio, Texas, on October 22, 2018.

Voices from Chile, Canada, Switzerland, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Vienna, and more were heard throughout the evening. The energy, the conversations, and the connections remain a pivotal draw for the UTDRO Alumni Reception year over year.

In addition to reconnecting, “[this] is an important event for us to recognize your achievements,” said Dr. Fei-Fei Liu, Professor and Chair of UTDRO. “We take great pride in the talented trainees we attract to our field, the journey you have experienced while in our program, and your many accomplishments following graduation.”

At this year’s event, the department launched the inaugural UTDRO Alumni Award to recognize excellence in professional creativity, education, research and global health in individuals following their graduation from UTDRO.

Dr. Liu, along with Dr. Rebecca Wong, Professor and Vice Chair of Education at UTDRO, announced this year’s award recipient: Dr. Mei Ling Yap.

Dr. Yap is a Staff Specialist Radiation Oncologist at the Liverpool and Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre in Sydney, Australia, who has been heavily involved in international initiatives through her role as Co-chair of APROSIG (Asia-Pacific Radiation Oncology Special Interest Group) and through her collaborations with UTDRO.

“The two years I spent as a Fellow at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre were the highlight of my career,” said Dr. Yap. “The exposure to a dynamic research environment and inspirational mentors was instrumental in shaping my career to where I am now: a Radiation Oncologist at Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre in Sydney, Australia, with an academic and global health focus.”

Learn more about Dr. Yap in our Alumni Spotlight.

Dr. Liu, along with Dr. Michael Milosevic, Professor and Vice Chair of Research at UTDRO, announced the recipient of the Rising Star Award: Dr. Alejandro Berlin, Assistant Professor and Staff Radiation Oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. This award recognizes a faculty member within the first five years of appointment to the department, who has demonstrated outstanding ability, innovation, and originality in research and the potential for sustained excellence in radiation oncology research.

Dr. Berlin’s clinical focus is in the treatment of central nervous system and genitourinary malignancies with personalized approaches combining systemic, external beam radiation and brachytherapy treatments. His main research interests are in innovativeASTRO Alumni Reception Rising Star Award clinical trial design, novel imaging methods and MR-guided therapeutics. We look forward to seeing the continued excellence in research from Dr. Berlin.

Following the Rising Star Award presentation, Dr. Liu announced the recipient of the Pamela Catton Award for Inter-Professional Education and Care: Dr. Ewa Szumacher, Associate Professor and Co-Director, Continuing Education and Professional Development at UTDRO. This award recognizes a faculty member or trainee who has demonstrated significant innovations in inter-professional education and clinical care.

Dr. Szumacher is a Radiation Oncologist at the Odette Cancer Centre specializing in radiation treatment of breast and genitourinary malignancies. Her research aims to advance cancer care delivery by understanding the needs and challenges of healthcare providers and patients. This understanding has led to a body of research to strengthen the partnership between healthcare providers and patients through the use of sustainable education interventions. She is also the President-Elect for the American Association of Cancer Education.

Finally, the BJ Cummings Award for Research Excellence was presented to Dr. Rachel Glicksman by Dr. Liu and Dr. Bernard J. Cummings, the inaugural Chair of UTDRO. Dr. Glicksman is a fourth year Radiation Oncology Resident at UTDRO. This award recognizes a trainee who demonstrates sustained excellence in research, with potential for strong impact in the field of radiation medicine. Dr. Glicksman is interested in translational and clinical research, as well as health services research. She is also completing her Master’s of Science in System Leadership and Innovation at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation.

In addition to announcing the recipients of the four awards, Dr. Liu took a moment to acknowledge some of the outstanding achievements that have taken place during the past year including the honorable recognition of Dr. David Jaffray, UTDRO Professor and Head of the Department of Medical Physics in the Radiation Medicine Program at Princess Margaret, who received the ASTRO Gold Medal Award. Professor and Staff Radiation Oncologist at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre Dr. Eileen Rakovitch received the 2018 Israel Cancer Research Fund Women of Action Award. Professor and Staff Radiation Oncologist at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre Dr. Andrew Loblaw was honoured as a Fellow by the American Society of Clinical Oncology(ASCO) in recognition of his extraordinary volunteer service, and dedication and commitment to ASCO. Assistant Professor and Radiation Oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Dr. Barbara-Ann Millar was the recipient of the Colin Woolf Award for Excellence in Teaching offered through the Faculty of Medicine’s Continuing Professional Development Office.

The10th Annual UTDTRO Alumni Reception will take place on September 16, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.