The Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy is delighted to announce our 2022 Alumni Awards recipients!
As a Faculty, we are committed to exploring and pushing the limits of the profession and the science resulting in better medications, a better health system, and better health. While each of our Alumni Awards recognizes the various achievements of its recipients, the unifying thread of our alumni are their commitment to serving our forward-thinking community and pushing the boundaries of pharmacy and pharmaceutical science to meet the increasingly complex needs of patients and health systems.
Recipients of the awards were chosen by the Selections Committee made up of thirteen volunteer members.
From researchers to pharmacy leaders, we congratulate the following alumni who serve as an inspiration to many.
2022 ALUMNI AWARDs RECIPIENTS
LESLIE DAN FACULTY OF PHARMACY INDIVIDUAL AWARD CATEGORIES
John Wiernikowski is a passionate healthcare practitioner with 35 years of experience working in paediatric haematology and oncology at McMaster Children’s Hospital. His care for his patients and his ability to help children and their families understand the complex nature of their care is an inspiration to his colleagues. John’s work has contributed to clinical trials on neuroblastomas, to the development of guidelines for the treatment of venous thrombo-embolism in children with cancer. Most recently his contributions to the fields of adolescent and young adult oncology and essential medicines were recognized internationally in Milan and Barcelona. John has committed his career to bettering the lives of children with cancer.
Words from John:
"I am profoundly honoured to have been nominated for and receive this award. I have incredibly fond memories of my time at the University of Toronto and SUNY Buffalo. Four plus two years of making friendships and professional relationships that would last a lifetime, and gaining a knowledge base that would become a foundation for an incredibly rewarding career in Pediatric Haematology/Oncology. One of the most rewarding aspects of my career has been the ability to network and collaborate with Oncology Pharmacy colleagues locally, nationally and internationally, and the ability to share knowledge with numerous students/trainees from U of T and all over the world.
I have been fortunate to work with so many incredibly dedicated health professionals caring for children with cancer and their families at McMaster Children’s Hospital/McMaster University and have had the opportunity to learn from and with them for over 35 years. This recognition would not be possible without their incredible support and that of my family, and I share this award with all of them."
Ida-Maisie Famiyeh has committed her career to the advancement of the pharmacy profession. Beginning with a residency at Women’s College Hospital before moving into practicing as a clinical pharmacist, Ida has continued to learn and hone her skills through further education and research. She has successfully authored five research publications (first author of four projects) in peer-reviewed journals and presented her findings at various international and local conferences. Ida is also the founder of I Too Can (ITC), a virtual non-profit mentorship program that supports Black students facing systemic barriers on their professional journey.
Words from Ida-Maisie:
"I am highly honoured to receive this award and grateful for the recognition. This award reaffirms the work I have been doing to help advance the pharmacy profession through clinical practice, research, and education. It has also reinforced my commitment to advocating for inclusion and diversity in pharmacy and health professional education through mentorship and community outreach. I am encouraged to continue positively impacting the pharmacy profession, addressing equity gaps, and inspiring future generations of pharmacists."
Ayman Chit is a trusted leader in the global pharmaceutical industry and academia. His research has provided important information for decision makers in health policy and the pharmaceutical industry. Ayman has published many of the first foundational studies on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the High-Dose influenza vaccine which was administered to more than two-thirds of older adults in the United States who received a vaccine during the 2017/2018 influenza season. His research has been cited by World Health Organization (WHO) member National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) such as the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) at the US Center of Disease Control (CDC). Additionally, his research on the economics of healthcare and drug discovery has been important in influencing policy-making, especially around industrial decisions on vaccine development.
Words from Ayman:
"The Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy has allowed me to access bountiful opportunities throughout my career. I started in the flex time PhD program which allowed me to more than double my output and development by working full time in industry and progressing as a scientist through a PhD program simultaneously. Afterwards I was embraced warmly as a lecturer and then a status only assistant professor, while maintaining my work in industry, which allowed me to develop teaching, communication, and leadership skills underpinning much of my professional and personal growth. To be recognized for this award is a joy and an honor and I hope I am reflecting positively on the faculty and progressing the faculty’s mission and vision."
Livia and Seray took their graduate research to soaring heights, gaining much media attention on their diagnostic low-cost equipment during the Zika virus outbreak. They adapted their technology to low-cost scientific equipment such as gel scanning, starting their own company right out of their Master's degrees. With hard work and effort, they built up their innovative idea gaining investor and grant money, and ultimately selling their company and idea to Nicoya Life Sciences. They then continued to work on their device and adapt it to COVID-19 detection. Their entrepreneurial spirit and tenacity has led to their outstanding success in this area that essentially did not exist before they brought it to fruition. Their early career success is a testament to their ingenuity, creativity, tenacity, and hard work.
Words from Livia:
"This is a huge honor for me to receive this award. It is a great award not only for me but also for the great team that Seray and I have been working with in the past two years. With the tremendous support and recognition we received, I feel encouraged and determined to keep fighting through numerous challenges to bring a good impact out of our work started from Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy!"
Words from Seray:
"I am greatly honored to be selected for this award. This award recognizes the hard work we have put in to build LSK as a team with the beginnings rooted at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. It also encourages us to keep striving for excellence."
During her 35+ years as a pharmacist, Barbara has played integral roles in pharmacy education, pharmacist/physician collaborative practice enhancement, and approaches to managing problematic polypharmacy in older people. Barbara was part of a team that designed and implemented a novel structured practical experience program (SPEP) for pharmacy students at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, that served as the foundation for the APPE rotations completed by the Faculty's PharmD students today. Barbara has developed an internationally recognized clinical practice and research program focused on improving medication-related care for older people. Her practice is a popular host site for visiting scholars and she has secured over $1.6 million in funding as a principal investigator for her research. Barbara is internationally known for her contributions to the field of polypharmacy and deprescribing including developing the world’s first evidence-based deprescribing guidelines and evaluating their implementation.
Words from Barbara:
"My passions for pharmacy, patient care and teaching were ignited at the University of Toronto – first in my undergraduate degree where I became part of an amazing community and then through my Doctor of Pharmacy training and experience working at the Faculty to help develop the practical experience program. Applying my learning in pharmaceutical care, adult education and research skills has enabled me to have an impact for individual patients and more broadly across the profession. I’m grateful and honoured to receive this award and I share it with my many colleagues, students, friends and family who support the goal of optimal medication-related care for older people."
Doret Cheng is an inspiration to the pharmacy community with over 20 years of experience as a pharmacist providing community outreach both locally and internationally. Doret is a clinical pharmacy practitioner at the St. Michael Academic Family Health Team, Unity Health Toronto. She has a keen interest in primary care, global health practice and education and interprofessional collaboration. At the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, Doret coordinates international rotations for pharmacy students and facilitates a course in Global Health. She also supports the Pharmacy Department staff at St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Uganda on strategic planning and quality improvement.
Words from Doret:
"The opportunities I’ve had to volunteer and provide service locally and globally have been rewarding, enriching and transformative. These experiences have deepened my conviction that our profession plays a vital role in facilitating health and health equity across the globe. I'm thankful and so grateful to many at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy for this recognition and for the opportunity to teach and mentor the next generation of pharmacists."
LESLIE DAN FACULTY OF PHARMACY CORPORATE AWARDS CATEGORIES
GSK is a longstanding corporate partner of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. They are a donor and sponsor, supporting students and research at the Faculty since 1999. Over the years they have funded Chairs, Scholarships, Research Symposia, Mental Health Initiatives; sponsored the Student Support Fund, the Career Fair and other student and faculty-led programming.
GSK’s commitment to the Faculty is longstanding and valued deeply. GSK shares a mission similar to our faculty’s, to improve the quality of human health and enable people to live longer.
Words from GSK:
GSK is truly honoured to be receiving this award. Our purpose at GSK is to unite science, technology, and talent to get ahead of disease together and we’re committed to supporting the profession and the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy in this critical role.
We are proud at GSK to be witness to the impact pharmacists have had on patient care, especially during the pandemic.
The talent pipeline this partnership has provided has been invaluable and Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy alumni at GSK have had the opportunity to impact health on a global scale. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Leslie Dan faculty of Pharmacy and the incredibly talented students, faculty and alumni so that we can achieve on our mission of positively impacting the health 2.5 billion people.
Roche has been a partner company of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy's Industrial Residency Program for many years providing opportunities to our students.
Words from Chi-Singh Nip, Director, Roche:
"I am pleased to accept this award on behalf of all the passionate preceptors, phenomenal mentors and most importantly, eager & talented residents at Roche. This is a fantastic recognition of the great partnership between Roche and Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy in continually developing and administering a best in class Industrial Pharmacy Residency Program. This partnership very much aligns with Roche’s goal of 'doing now what patients need next' by providing a comprehensive learning experience through unique development and training opportunities to nurture our future leaders! The success of this program and others across Roche is only possible thanks to the vision, commitment, and hard work of many dedicated people at Roche."
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