Sep 29, 2021

2021 MBP Virtual Geneva Park Retreat a Success

Paige Smith Zoom Meeting
A screenshot from the PhD exit talk delivered by Paige Smith

The annual Medical Biophysics (MBP) retreat looked a little different this year. Typically, the Department hosts a three-day event at Geneva Park near Orillia, ON, but in light of ongoing pandemic concerns, a large in-person gathering of this nature was not possible for the 2021 retreat.

Hosted through Zoom Meeting on Monday, September 27th and Tuesday, September 28th, the modified two-day virtual program brought MBP students and faculty members together remotely to engage in meaningful knowledge-sharing activities.

Approximately 120 MBP graduate students and 30 MBP faculty participated in the 2021 event, which featured opportunities for MBP students and faculty to network, share exciting MBP research and discuss issues related to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in scientific research.

Seminar Presentations

A keynote presentation was delivered by special guest Dr. Sheila Singh titled 'Targeting clonal heterogeneity in treatment-refractory Glioblastoma with novel and empiric immunotherapies’.

Throughout the two-day event, MBP-focused research presentations were provided by:

PhD exit talks were given by:

  • Ryan Oglesby
  • Meghan Lambie
  • Paige Smith

In addition, a special session about Equity, Diversity and Includision (EDI) initiatives within the Department was delivered by EDI Committee Chair Dr. Bojana Stefanovic.

Networking Opportunities

Early on day two, new MBP students had the opportunity to network with recruiting labs at a special virtual rotations market hosted through a platform called Gather. In the evening, a special in-person event was organized for first and second year MBP students to meet up and network in a social setting.


The Virtual Geneva Park Retreat featured a very special awards ceremony to recognize the hard work and dedication of our faculty and students.

Walker-Marshall Prize

The award is given to a student who has completed a PhD in the Department during the past year or is expected to have completed the PhD by December of this year. It recognizes a combination of academic excellence, scientific impact from thesis work and participation in and contribution to the culture, student life and student welfare in the Department.

The 2021 Walker-Marshall award was awarded to Dr. Kathleen Houlahan.

MBP Achievement Award

These awards recognize three PhD students (applied, basic and translational) for outstanding academic achievements, annually. Selection criteria are based on the overall quality of students’ PhD theses, with a specific focus on publications, patents, development of devices/methods, contributions to clinical practice and knowledge translation.

The 2021 MBP Achievement Award recipients:

  • Dr. Carly Pellow (Applied)
  • Dr. Sujun Chen (Basic)
  • Dr. Valentin Demidov (Translational)

Education Awards

As part of a recent student-led initiative, two special awards were presented to outstanding MBP faculty as selected by MBP students.

Dr. Courtney Jones received the Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition of her significant contributions to graduate student education within the Department.

Dr. Shane Harding was awarded the Excellence in Mentorship Award in recognition of his exceptional dedication to graduate student development & continued commitment to mentorship within the Department.

Special thanks to all participants and event organizers for making the 2021 Virtual Geneva Park Retreat a success!

Learn more about the Geneva Park retreat.