Memorial University researchers awarded more than $9.1-million in federal investment

Forty-five Memorial University researchers spanning 16 disciplines have received more than $9.1 million in federal funding.

In the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Touati Benoukraf, Division of BioMedical Sciences, has been renewed as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Bioinformatics for Personalized Medicine. The award is valued at $500,000 over five years.

Drs. Craig Moore, Michelle Plougman, Tevye Stachniak and Jessica Esseltine, all with the Division of BioMedical Sciences, will also split more than $875,000 in Discovery Grants, Discovery Launch Supplements and Research Tools and Instruments funding. 

National recognition for Faculty of Medicine's rural education - for three years running

Memorial University’s medical school has once again been recognized for its significant contributions to rural medicine in Canada.

For the third year in a row, the Faculty of Medicine has been awarded the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada’s Rural Medical Education Award.

It is presented annually to the program matching the most graduates to rural family medicine residencies.

Faculty of Medicine learners recognized with top convocation awards

Three learners in the Faculty of Medicine picked up a little something extra when they crossed the stage during convocation ceremonies last week.

Drs. Christie Costello, Lisa Fang and Alison Haynes are being recognized for their leadership and academic excellence with three of the university’s highest convocation honours.


MD spring graduate inspired by physician parents to help others

Memorial University spring graduate Dr. Adil Al-Mehiawi was inspired to help people from an early age.

Originally from Iraq, his family moved to Libya in 1998 shortly after his birth to escape war. In 2010 they moved to Ontario, but returned the following year at the start of the Libyan civil war and revolution.

Spring graduate grateful for opportunities, support system at Memorial

Coming to Memorial was a leap of faith for Ellis Lakhani.

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in public health in South Africa in 2019, she was preparing to move to Canada for her master’s degree when the pandemic put an end to those plans.

Meet some of N.L.'s primary care providers and patients

A photojournalism project created by two Corner Brook doctors is highlighting the positive impacts of primary care.

Inspired by Humans of New York, Drs. Alicia Roy and Kristen Peckford interviewed patients, physicians and administrative staff across Newfoundland and Labrador, all of whom shared their life-changing experiences with the discipline.

Public-scientist partnership taking precise aim at cancer in Atlantic Canada

Dr. Sevtap Savas, lead of the Patient Advisory Committee and a professor in the Division of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, and Aaron Curtis, co-ordinator of the Patient Advisory Committee of the Atlantic Cancer Consortium, have written an article about their new public-scientist partnership.

Their team is supporting cancer research and public engagement with the Patient Advisory Committee of the Atlantic Cancer Consortium.


Documentary screening, panel discussion on transgender individuals and cancer

Cancer can affect any of us.

However, some groups of folks experience extra hardship or barriers. The LGBTQ community is among them.


More than $6-million federal investment for Memorial University research and discovery

From critical games and waste management to soil health and climate change, Memorial University scholars and scientists now have more than $6 million to delve deeper into their research.

It’s part of a significant investment announced by the Government of Canada on March 13 by Pablo Rodriguez, minister of Transport of Canada and Quebec lieutenant, on behalf of François-Philippe Champagne, minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and Mark Holland, minister of Health.

Teaching resident doctors to be critical appraisers and consumers of research

A recent Faculty of Medicine event showcased the extensive clinical research taking place in Memorial University’s medical school.

Resident doctors presented the on research work they are undertaking during the faculty’s third annual Resident Research Symposium.


Black excellence: celebration of our trailblazers must include opportunities to cultivate future ones

Examples of Black excellence, within our Canadian borders are abundant, illustrious and longstanding.

However, they also remain largely unknown.

Bridging the gap

Queen Jacques is working to improve cannabis literacy in Canada and around the world. And she's sharing the secrets to her success with great advice for incoming grad students.

Faculty of Medicine scientists included in top 10 arthritis research advances

Dr. Guangju Zhai, university research professor, human genetics and genomics, Division of Biomedical Sciences, and Dr. Christie Costello, B.Sc.(Hons.)’17, PhD’23, are included on the Arthritis Society of Canada’s Top 10 list of research advancements for 2023.

Much to see and do as Memorial celebrates International Development Week

Memorial University, including the Faculty of Medicine, is recognizing International Development Week with a series of enlightening and impactful activities.

Led by Global Affairs Canada and observed since 1991, International Development Week, which takes place from Feb. 4-10, highlights Canadian contributions to eradicating global poverty and inequality.

Memorial, led by the Internationalization Office, is planning in-person, virtual and hybrid activities around the over-arching theme, Go for the Goals.


Dialogue and Debate enhances Memorial University and The Rooms' partnership

A new experience, Dialogue and Debate with Memorial University at The Rooms, will launch Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m.

It will feature Dr. Jennifer Dyer, head of the Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Dr. Mike Wahl, assistant professor, Faculty of Medicine, in a wide-ranging conversation inspired by Kim Morgan’s exhibition Blood and Breath, Skin and Dust.

National honours for medical student working with vulnerable populations

A Memorial University medical student is the 2023 recipient of the MD Financial Management Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award for Medical Students.

Lauren Law is a student in the Doctor of Medicine Program in the Faculty of Medicine.



Faculty of Medicine honours 2023 President's Awards recipients

The Faculty of Medicine is recognizing recent 2023 President’s Awards Recipients. The awards were handed out at an event at the Signal Hill Campus on Dec. 8.

Those honoured include Amy Carroll (B.Comm.’02), Office of Research and Graduate Studies; Dr. Proton Rahman (B.Med.Sci.’88, MD’90), Discipline of Medicine; Dr. Guangju Zhai, Division of BioMedical Sciences and Dr. Sukhinder Cheema, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science (cross-appointed to BioMedical Sciences).


Faculty of Medicine graduate recognized with public health convocation award

When Shianne Combden began a master’s in public health (MPH) degree in the fall of 2019, she had no idea she would get a front-row seat to the professional and educational opportunity of a lifetime.

Faculty of Medicine celebrates 50th anniversary of first MD graduates

Memorial University awarded its first doctor of medicine degrees in 1973.

Recently, 16 members of that original class of 24, many of whom are still actively practising physicians, gathered together to celebrate their class’s 50th anniversary and to give back to their alma mater.

Medicine researcher receives $345,000 to study multiple sclerosis progression

According to the U.S. National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, approximately 70,000 U.S. veterans live with MS.

Of those, 20,000 receive care through the Veterans Health Administration each year and approximately 12,000 have been diagnosed with MS that was deemed ‘service-connected.’

Dr. Deepak Kaushik is an MS researcher in the Faculty of Medicine. He has received funding through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) of the United States Department of Defense (DoD).


Dr. Preston Smith named inaugural dean, Faculty of Medicine, PEI

Dr. Preston Smith has been appointed inaugural dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) for a five-year term, effective April 1, 2024. 

Fall graduate inspired to focus research on community health

Jennifer Bent’s thesis is much more than a book on a shelf.

While at Memorial University, the master of science in medicine fall graduate had the opportunity to travel to Labrador and meet some of the patients impacted by her research project: Courage, Compassion and Connection: Exploring Cancer Pre-diagnosis for Nunatsiavut Inuit.

Brain inflammation can cause weight loss or gain, say researchers

Researchers in the Faculty of Medicine have determined why inflammation in the hypothalamus can cause excess weight gain.

Dr. Michiru Hirasawa is a professor of neurosciences in the Division of BioMedical Sciences at Memorial University.

She is interested in how the brain controls appetite and body weight.

Dr. Pat Parfrey receives Order of N.L.

An investiture ceremony on Oct. 4, 2023 at Government House, saw seven people named to the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.

One of those was Dr. Patrick Parfrey, O.C., Distinguished University Professor, Faculty of Medicine.­

Memorial University professors, alumni lauded at N.L. Book Awards

Writers N.L. has announced the 2023 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards award winners.

Dr. Pam Hall (PhD’13), a former artist-in-residence at the Faculty of Medicine, and Jerry Evans (B.Ed.’92) are the winners of the Power Family Non-Fiction Award for Towards an Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge, Chapter III: Miawpukek – The Middle River.


Dr. Danielle O'Keefe announced incoming acting Vice Dean, Education and Faculty Affairs

Dr. Danielle O’Keefe is the new acting Vice Dean, Education and Faculty Affairs in the Faculty of Medicine, effective Oct. 1.

Dr. O’Keefe is a family physician who joined the Discipline of Family Medicine in 2011. 

Faculty of Medicine annual report 2022-2023

The Faculty of Medicine's 2022/2023 annual report highlights many achievements and advancements in medical education, research and social accountability from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023. 

Combatting diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver and cardiovascular diseases

A recent federal investment will allow Memorial to acquire high-tech research equipment and create a unique facility to study chronic diseases affecting Canadians.

Dr. Shyamchand Mayengbam and Dr. Kapil Tahlan, Facult of Science, and Dr. Guangju Zhai, Division of BioMedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, received $459,701 for the project, Multidisciplinary Systems Metabolomics Research Laboratory.

Using advanced robotics for personalized stroke rehabilitation

Cutting-edge robotics to facilitate and measure recovery from neurological disease conditions, such as stroke.

That’s the groundbreaking research graduate student Michael Babalola is leading in Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine.

Memorial researchers receive $11.5 million in federal funding to explore diverse ideas

Memorial’s research is expanding and accelerating in a big way thanks to a significant investment from the Government of Canada.

More than $11.5 million was announced on Aug. 29 for state-of-the-art research infrastructure and leading-edge studies focused on global issues.


Dr. Rodney Russell announced incoming Vice Dean, Research and Graduate Studies

Dr. Rodney Russell is the newest Vice Dean, Research and Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Medicine.

A Professor of virology and immunology in the Division of BioMedical Sciences, Dr. Russell obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry and a Master’s Degree in Medicine studying HIV under the supervision of Dr. Michael Grant at Memorial. Following that, he completed a PhD at McGill University with Drs. Mark Wainberg and Chen Liang, also in the field of HIV research.

Dr. Dolores McKeen appointed interim dean of Medicine

Dr. Dolores McKeen has been appointed interim dean of the Faculty of Medicine. 

The appointment is effective Aug. 1, 2023 until July 31, 2024, or until the search for the permanent role is complete, whichever occurs first.


'Impossible to heave a healthy body without a healthy mind': diabetes researchers

The mind-body connection is a regular topic of conversation, as seen on bestseller lists and social media — and in health-related research.

Dr. Cindy Whitten, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, describes herself as a scholar/practitioner. She engages in research that explores how societal factors affect health.

Most recently, she has been part of a partnership lead by Dr. Sahar Iqbal, Faculty of Medicine, focuses on aging populations in NL with type 2 diabetes. 


Quality of Care N.L. releases 10th volume of health care findings

Health outcomes in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The residents of this province often top lists of negative indicators or outcomes and appear near the bottom of lists ranking positive ones, when ranked among Canadian provinces in the category.

Quality of Care N.L. aims to change this reality.

Prescribing green: integrating environmental responsibility into medical practice

A cornerstone of medicine is to do no harm, yet Canada’s health-care system is among one of the most harmful sectors to the environment in terms of carbon emissions, waste production and pollution.

As the nexus between planetary health and human health becomes more evident, there is growing apprehension about the potential consequences of unsustainable health-care practices on the future well-being of patients.

Misconceptions can burden individuals living with cancer, researchers say

A team of Memorial University researchers have published their findings on how misconceptions about cancer affect individuals with a history of the disease in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Cancer is a common disease in the province — the current estimates suggest 2 in 5 residents will be diagnosed with cancer.

Advancing research: CIHR president visits Faculty of Medicine

Earlier this year, Canadian Institutes of Health Research President Dr. Michael Strong provided a keynote address at the Faculty of Medicine Resident Research Symposium.

Memorial has a longstanding relationship with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada’s major federal funding agency for health research.


Multiple national awards for Faculty of Medicine program, MDs

Dr. Cody Diamond always knew he would choose the Faculty of Medicine’s Central Newfoundland stream when it came time to apply for his family medicine residency.

The Memorial alumnus grew up in Botwood, N.L.. He knew he wanted to return to the area to begin practising medicine.

Now, as he completes his training in Twillingate, he plans to stay there as a family physician starting in July.

Faculty of Medicine researcher a finalist in national photo contest

A Memorial researcher’s image is among the 20 finalists for this year’s Science Exposed contest.

Science Exposed is a contest organized by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and devoted exclusively to images of scientific research, in all fields of study.

The image, submitted by Dr. Janna M. Andronowski, assistant professor of biomedical sciences, Faculty of Medicine, is titled A Living Record.

Collegial governance starts with engagement, says professor of biosciences

If nothing else, the recent labour action emphasized the disparity between the aspirational goals of the faculty and the current direction of Memorial University.

Is this surprising?

Strategic direction at Memorial, for the most part, has been initiated by senior administrators.

Memorial University researchers benefit from historic research investment

Memorial is supporting Arctic Inuit communities’ needs for safe and cost-efficient shipping while helping to make Canada a global leader in climate science, innovation and solutions.

Thanks to the largest research grant it’s received in its history, the university is playing a major role as co-leader and collaborator on two research projects receiving unprecedented federal support.

Tumour 'fingerprints' just one part of promising cancer research

The leading-edge work of a Memorial researcher is providing new insight into a devastating disease.

Dr. Thomas Belbin, GlaxoSmithKline Chair in Oncology Research, Discipline of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, is also an associate member of the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute.


Memorial University's MD program receives full accreditation

Memorial University’s doctor of medicine (MD) program continues to show its success in medical education by receiving a full eight-year accreditation – the longest term possible.

GivingTuesday matching donors literally double support for Memorial students

Every year on GivingTuesday, the Memorial University community jumps into big-hearted action.

On the most recent global day of giving, Nov. 29, 2022, alumni, faculty, staff, students and community members raised $157,048 — an amount earmarked entirely for student support.

A very special aspect of 2022’s GivingTuesday was Memorial’s matching donors.

Making space for safe use in Newfoundland and Labrador

Non-medical cannabis has been legal in Canada for five years now.

But what impact has it had on the health and safety of Newfoundland and Labrador?


N.L. must expand interpretation services to improve newcomer health say MD students

Newcomers to Newfoundland and Labrador bring with them many strengths and assets.

However, our province’s health-care services are not adequately equipped to support them.

Pairing tangible goals with the potential for action, Memorial University medical students are asking the provincial government to reduce the barriers newcomers face when accessing primary care services.

Resident Research Day 2023

On Jan. 30, 2023, the Faculty of Medicine hosted a Resident Research Symposium. Dr. Michael Strong, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), visited Memorial University's Faculty of Medicine in person and provided a keynote address for the symposium.


Order of Canada appointments include several connections to Memorial

A number of members of the Memorial University community were appointed to the Order of Canada in 2022.

The recipients included Dr. Conor Maguire, an associate professor of radiology with Memorial University’s medical program. He was recognized for his contributions to nuclear medicine and radiology and for improving health care for patients in Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador.



Take time for yourself — you deserve it

Running gives these two medical learners an opportunity for goal setting outside of academics, a way to make dedicated time for themselves and their friends friends, and a chance to be part of a wonderful community.

An eye-opening experience

Resident doctors share their experiences of practicing medicine in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.


Dr. Rod Russell interviews Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Rod Russell of the Division of BioMedical Sciences interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci of the U.S. National Institutes of Health about his career in virology and immunology, including his work on COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS.

‘Good marriage’

A multi-use, multi-functional space that brings students, entrepreneurs and people in the medical field, computer sciences, engineering and tech together under one roof.


2022 Strategic Planning Half-Days

Registration is now open to all the Faculty of Medicine’s faculty, staff, and learners for the 2022 Destination Excellence update and planning half-days.

Passion and commitment

Faculty of Medicine names 2022 honorary white coat recipient

All roads lead to MUN

Lisa Barrett (B.Sc.(Hons.)’98, MD’05, PhD’09) has created a legacy of selflessness through her trailblazing work with infectious disease, thus making her an ideal choice for the 2022 Alumna of the Year.