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First Rady Faculty graduate studentship awardees grateful, honoured

April 27, 2022 — 

Over 30 graduate students from the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences have been awarded graduate studentships, a new scholarship offered to RFHS graduate students enrolled in their first or second year of a thesis-based master’s or doctoral program.

“These new studentships provide important support to graduate students who have displayed excellent academic achievement and pursue vital research endeavours,” said Dr. Brian Postl, dean, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and vice-provost (health sciences). “Congratulations to all recipients on this well-deserved recognition and we look forward to seeing your impact as researchers in the years to come.”

Studentships for master’s students are valued at $14,000 per annum and studentships for PhDs are valued at $18,000 per annum.

The deadline to apply for the next round of graduate studentships is September 15, 2022. Other eligibility requirements and application forms can be found on the Student Experience section of the UM website.

Featured graduate studentship awardees:

Ariyan Alaei

Ariyan Alaei

Ariyan Alaei

Ariysn Alaei is an international master’s student in the department of oral biology, Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry. Alaei started a M.Sc. in September 2021 under Dr.Kangmin Duan’s supervision.

“My M.Sc. research project is in the area of new antipathogenic agents against bacterial pathogens. The spread of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens leaves us a very vulnerable line of defense against some of the most formidable human pathogens. There is an urgent need to develop new effective drugs to counter antibiotic resistance.

“My project aims to identify and characterize active antipathogenic compounds from natural sources that potentially treat infectious diseases but also avoid the rise of resistance in pathogens. So, the results of the project can lay some basis for the development of arsenals against antibiotic resistance and infectious diseases.”

What does it mean to you to receive the graduate studentship?

”I feel honoured to be considered for this graduate studentship which means my studies are meaningful and valuable and can be an encouragement to work even harder! Furthermore, as an international student, it is hard to live and study in a foreign country without any financial support, so receiving a studentship could help me to focus on my research with peace of mind without worries of financial issues.”

Meher Kantoo

Meher Kantoo

Meher Kantoo

Meher Kantoo is pursuing a M.Sc. at the College of Pharmacy and joined the University of Manitoba in the fall of 2021. Currently, Kantoo is working in Dr. Jillian Stobart’s lab on his master’s thesis.

“My project involves using mouse as a model system to study the functions of astrocytes, a type of brain cell. Recent studies have shown that astrocytes can influence that activity of brain by releasing certain molecules. However, it is now known how these cells modulate brain activity. I will be using experimental techniques like two-photon calcium imaging, lentivirus induced astrocyte cultures, biosensor probes to investigate the contribution of astrocyte N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors to calcium physiology and behavior.”

What does it mean to you to receive the graduate studentship?

“I feel extremely honoured and excited to receive the graduate studentship. Apart from the financial support, this studentship is important to me as it has also recognized my hard work towards academics and research work. I hope to continue working diligently in my research as well as course work and make a worthwhile contribution to my field.

“I am grateful to my advisor Dr. Stobart for her guidance and I am excited to continue working on my thesis project and uncover some interesting mechanisms about the role of astrocytes in brain function.”

Julie-Anne McCarthy

Julie-Anne McCarthy

Julie-Anne McCarthy

Julie-Anne McCarthy a first-year PhD student in community health sciences at the Max Rady College of Medicine. McCarthy has a M.Sc. in community psychology and interests in population health, mental health promotion and mental illness prevention. McCarthy’s current research focuses on factors that contribute to promoting and protecting child and youth mental health and overall well-being.

What does it mean to you to receive the graduate studentship?

“It is both humbling and an honour to receive a graduate studentship. This represents invaluable protected time to work on research- that’s the dream! Furthermore, the community health sciences program is filled with incredibly high calibre educators and students. I see the studentship as a responsibility to meet the high standards set by my peers and mentors.

“I am grateful to the CHS program and to my supervisor Dr. Tracie Afifi for the support in my graduate studies so far. I am also very cognizant of past mentors who have helped me get to this point in my career. There is so much to learn about doing mental health research equitably and this is something that is very front of mind as I continue down this path.

“As a Franco-Manitoban, I also hope to represent my community through my work. Merci beaucoup pour cette merveilleuse opportunité.”

Carly Proctor

Carly Proctor

Carly Proctor

Carly Proctor is a master of science student in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences. Proctor’s research project is focused on physical activity interventions for diabetes management and is under the supervision of Dr. Cara Brown.

“I have worked as a physiotherapist clinician for 15 years and have always been passionate about how physical activity is not only important in disease prevention but also is an effective treatment for many chronic diseases. In diabetes care, physical activity is an underutilized intervention and I wanted to understand the role that exercise specialists like physiotherapists and kinesiologists could play in this area of clinical practice and support their work with interprofessional teams.

“The outcome of this study will be a referral pathway tool that will help primary care teams work effectively with exercise professionals in diabetes care by clarifying how physiotherapists and kinesiologists are similar and how they are distinct.”

What does it mean to you to receive a graduate studentship?

“I am very grateful and honoured to have been awarded a RFHS graduate studentship. I am thankful for the opportunity to perform research and for the support of my advisor Dr. Cara Brown and my committee members. As a working clinician and mom of small children, this studentship goes a long way to support my academic journey.“

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