Fellowships are a particularly effective way to help postgraduate students and medical graduates launch independent research careers, by providing them with salary support as they develop knowledge and skills alongside senior researchers. The DMRF funds three ongoing fellowships.
William M. Sobey Fellowship in Cardiology
The Sobey Fellowship provides two years of salary support to a cardiology resident upon completion of their clinical training. It is specifically designed to send these clinical specialists to top cardiology research centres, so they can return to Dalhousie with new tools and knowledge to enrich the academic environment and help them launch new clinical research programs in cardiology.
Our newest Sobey Fellow in Cardiology is Dr. Sarah Ramer, who completed six years of residency training in internal medicine and cardiology at Dalhousie Medical School in the spring of 2006. She has since embarked on her Sobey Fellowship training at Mount Sinai Hospital in Montreal, joining a team of specialists in the art of echocardiography, or ‘ultrasound of the heart.’
Dr. Ramer is looking into the role of prolonged high-intensity exercise in cardiac fatigue in older adults. In cardiac fatigue, the main pumping chamber of the heart (the left ventricle) gets tired and pumps smaller and smaller volumes of blood as the exercise continues – a situation that can lead to sudden death. Dr. Ramer will use Mount Sinai’s specialized ‘stress echo’ equipment to monitor how well older subjects’ hearts function during extended periods of running, at varying levels of intensity. Her goal is to help physicians advise older patients wisely when it comes to high-intensity exercise. In addition to the William M. Sobey Research Fellowship in Cardiology, Dr. Ramer is supported in this work by the Division of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. John Sapp spent two years at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, treating post-heart-attack cardiac arrhythmias. Upon his return to Dalhousie and Capital Health in 2003, he began a research program in ‘body-surface mapping.’ This technique pinpoints the location of scar tissue causing the arrhythmia, improving the speed and accuracy of corrective surgery.
DMRF Clinical Research Fellowship
The DMRF Clinical Research Fellowship is designed to encourage Dalhousie medical graduates to include a strong research component in their residency training – and ultimately even to become clinician scientists. Applicants must demonstrate how their work through the fellowship will make a significant ongoing contribution to research within the Faculty of Medicine.
Dr. Karim Mukhida is the current holder of the DMRF Clinical Research Fellowship. A previous recipient of the DMRF Morris Kohler Studentship in Neuroscience, Dr. Mukhida has worked with Dr. Ivar Mendez in the Neural Transplantation Lab throughout his undergraduate medical training. With this fellowship support, he will complete his PhD training under Dr. Mendez’ supervision. His focus is stem cell restoration strategies for brain repair in Parkinson’s disease – work that has the potential to set the scientific basis for stem cell therapy in Parkinson’s. At the same time, he is investigating stem cells' ability to treat neuropathic pain, publishing his findings in the prestigious journal, Stem Cell. Click here to learn more about Dr. Mukhida's stem cell research.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mark Glazebrook is previous holder of the DMRF Clinical Research Fellowship. During his fellowship, he conducted basic research into the impact of mechanical stress and growth factors on collagen production. Now an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, he is pursuing his goal to find a way to stimulate collagen production as a means of healing injuries to the achilles tendon.
A.K. Reynolds Memorial Postdoctoral Fellowship
The Reynolds Fellowship guarantees salary support for postdoctoral trainees in the Department of Pharmacology. It is the legacy of the late Dr. Keith Reynolds, a dedicated professor in the Department for 42 years. His bequest also provides annual cash prizes for best theses at the masters and doctorate levels, and a fund for book purchases by graduate students.
Dr. Ramani Soundararajan is working under the supervision of Dr. George Robertson in the Department of Pharmacology, studying the anti-oxidant and neuroprotective effects of flavonoids derived from apple and blueberry extracts. An award-winning scientist, Dr. Soundararajan completed doctoral studies at the University of Delhi in India, where she studied the anti-cancer effects of various plant extracts.
Dr. Noel DaSilva, a native of Goa, India, is a previous holder of the Reynolds Fellowship. He completed his PhD in cellular and molecular biology in Germany, working with a fly model of vision, before joining Dalhousie’s Neuroscience Institute and Department of Psychology. As Reynolds Fellow, he studied fundamental mechanisms of human vision in the Retina and Optic Nerve Research Laboratory with Dr. Melanie Kelly.
Dr. Gabriel Bertolesi was a previous Reynolds fellow. He also worked in the Retina and Optic Nerve Research Laboratory, testing the effects of various drugs on the proliferation of retinal tumour cells. An Argentinian with a PhD in oncology, he came to Canada to further his studies in cancer cell biology.
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