Vivin Simon is a first-year medical student at the University of Manitoba. He completed a three-year BSc. in Biochemistry at the University of Winnipeg. During his final year, he played for the University of Winnipeg Ultimate team - the Ewoks. In a gap year before medical school, he worked under the supervision of Dr. Athar Ata in natural products research. His research project focused on isolating sesquiterpenoids from bulks extracts of Sphaeranthus indicus and attempted to evaluate their antibacterial activity. Outside of academics, he enjoys volunteering at different community healthcare organizations such as Deer Lodge and the Saul and Claribel Simkin Centre, in addition to keeping active playing Ultimate Frisbee during the summer months. Vivin hopes to become a sports medicine physician one day, based on his interest in athletics and pathologies of the musculoskeletal system
Ifrah Zohair just completed her final year at the University of Manitoba and will be graduating in June with a Bachelor of Science, major in psychology and a minor in biology. Although she started off intending to complete a 3-year general science degree, her interest in psychology led her to pursue it as a major. Throughout her university experience, she has been involved with the University of Manitoba’s Student Leadership Development Program, Volunteer Program, Muslim Students’ Association and served as an UMSU councillor for the Science Students’ Association. Currently, Ifrah works with W.I.S.E. (Women in Science and Engineering) Kidnetic Energy which combines her love for science and teaching. Ifrah has also worked as a research assistant at the Kleyson Institute for Advanced Medicine, with Mini U programs and as a summer intern at the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation. Her goal is to enter the field of medicine and one day become a pediatrician. Passionate about social issues and many recent bills that have either been passed or heavily debated in parliament, she has done various interviews with CBC Radio. Ifrah is currently an orange belt in karate, enjoys reading books and mentoring young girls at the local mosque.
Megha is currently a first year pharmacy student who completed one year of undergrad at the University of Manitoba before being accepted to the College of Pharmacy. She has recently been elected to be the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns (CAPSI) Junior Representative for the U of M on the national CAPSI council for the upcoming school year. She has been interested in a career in Pharmacy since high school when she realized Pharmacy was the perfect field that combined her love for talking to people along with studying the life sciences, especially chemistry. She hopes to work as a hospital pharmacist upon her graduation from the program and wants to pursue a career as a professor later on in her career so she can pass on her knowledge to the future generation of pharmacists. She also plans to attain her PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy) degree at the University of Alberta upon the completion of her B.Sc. (Pharm) at the U of M. In her free time, Megha enjoys finding new music to listen to, watching Bollywood movies, catching up with friends and snuggling up with a good book.
Alayna is a first year dental student who completed two years of undergrad at the University of Winnipeg before being admitted into the College of Dentistry at the University of Manitoba. This summer she will be starting a B.Sc. Dental research project on the Assessment of Maxillary Sinus Lifting Using Different Grafting Materials: Retrospective Study in Manitoba under the supervision of Dr. Reda Elgazzar, from the Department of Oral Surgery. During her undergrad experience, she volunteered at the Health Sciences Centre as well as with Let’s Talk Science. She has continued volunteering while in dentistry as a member of CanU. Alayna decided that she wanted to be a dentist at a young age. Through her undergrad years focusing on sciences, and her volunteer work where she had the opportunity to interact with patients and youth, she decided to pursue a career in dentistry. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, staying active, and spending time with family and friends.
Sachin Katyal, PhD
Sachin Katyal received his B.Sc. (Biochemistry) from the University of Alberta and received his Ph.D. (Oncology) at the Cross Cancer Institute and the University of Alberta. His post-doctoral training, at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in the area of DNA damage and repair in neurodevelopment and neuro-oncology was done in the lab of Dr. Peter McKinnon; work that led to publications in internationally-renowned journals such as Nature, Nature Neuroscience and EMBO J. In 2013, Dr. Katyal began his independent academic research position at the University of Manitoba and CancerCare Manitoba where he is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics (D-PT) and, a Senior Scientist within the Research Institute of Oncology and Hematology (RIOH). Dr. Katyal’s research is CIHR- and TFRI-funded; he is the recipient of the CIHR Institute of Cancer Research 2014 Early Career Award in Cancer Research, a CIHR New Investigator award and a TFRI New Investigator Award. He serves on several scientific review committees for international academic journals and grant review panels. More recently, Sachin established industrial partnerships, which have facilitated the development of innovative technology and methodology to accelerate his DNA damage repair research program. These were instrumental for his recently-funded CFI JELF award to develop a novel high-throughput genotoxicity and drug screening facility to understand and identify new therapies against brain tumours and leukemia. Sachin is also actively involved in trainee development, mentorship and career progression through various University-wide initiatives, courses and workshops.