September kicked off a new school year and we’re off to a great start. I hope you are all enjoying the change of seasons and the renewed energy on campus. This is a great time of year to be in Halifax.
Here’s what we have been up to so far this term:
Dean’s Welcome and First Light ceremonies
We recently held our annual Dean’s Welcome and Hippocratic Oath Ceremony in Halifax and First Light ceremony in Saint John to welcome our first-year med students to Dalhousie Medical School and to the practice of medicine.
At the Dean’s Welcome Ceremony, students collectively read their code of conduct, listened to the Hippocratic Oath, and enjoyed musical tributes by members of our humanities program. At both events it was wonderful to meet many of our incoming students and your families.
Welcome also to our new post-graduate students in Halifax and Saint John. Best of luck with your studies as well.
Recognizing world-class Researchers
I am very proud to announce that nine of Dalhousie’s outstanding researchers have been recognized by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), including three from the Faculty of Medicine, for their outstanding scholarly, scientific and artistic achievement. The group is the largest cohort from Dalhousie to ever be inducted into the RSC.
Congratulations to Dr. Anna MacLeod (Medical Education), Dr. Janice Graham (Pediatrics) and Dr. Sherry Stewart (Psychology and Neuroscience). Drs. Graham and Stewart became Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada and Dr. MacLeod was appointed to the Royal College of New Scholars.
Canada150 Research Chair
At the end of the month, we received unfortunate news that Dr. Kate O’Brien will be declining the Canada 150 Chair in Global Health and Vaccinology at Dalhousie. She will be taking on a position as Director of Vaccines for the World Health Organization in Switzerland.
This is an incredible opportunity for Kate and the position she has accepted is absolutely one of the most important positions in her field in the world. We wish her nothing but the best in this role. Although it is a loss to Dalhousie and the medical school, it reflects the incredibly high calibre of leaders and scientists that are looking for careers at Dalhousie.
Molly Appeal 2018
The Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation’s 2018-19 Molly Appeal, launched earlier this month, will provide matching funds to allow Dalhousie Medical School to acquire a very important new piece of equipment that will be used by researchers in dozens of labs at our school.
The equipment, called the Image Stream X Mark II, will benefit of both the I3V (Infection, Immunology, Inflammation and Virology) and Genomics in Medicine WAVE 1 teams. It This instrument combines the ability to separate single cells in a stream of fluid with a high resolution microscope to capture the architecture and composition of each individual cell rapidly as it flows through the visual field. Thousands of individual cells can be analyzed per second with this technology. The Molly Appeal will also provide support for a graduate student training program in bioinformatics.
Ours is the only medical school in Canada that is served by an independent charitable organization. DMRF’s purpose is to support Dalhousie Medical School scientists and their research activities. Though the Molly Appeal is just one of many ways the Foundation helps advance health research in our region, its legacy has contributed to the success and excellence of our researchers and the science they do for more than 35 years.
I am proud to be a member of DMRF’s board of directors, and I wish the Molly Appeal team much luck with this year’s campaign.
September’s Dal Med Innovator
In honour of Dalhousie Community Day held on September 9th, our September Dal Med Innovator is Dr. Margaret Casey – a leader in serving marginalized communities.
Dr. Casey grew up in Toronto but lived in Halifax during the Second World War. She returned to Halifax in 1963 to go to Dalhousie Medical School and chose the path of general practice. Dr. Casey was a driving force in the establishment of the North End Clinic in Halifax.
Dalhousie has been a constant in Dr. Casey’s life throughout her North End Clinic years and beyond. She has mentored medical students and residents at the clinic, helping them see and appreciate the complex struggles of people living on the margins. She credits the connections she made at the medical school with helping her link patients to specialist care.
She is well known by Dalhousie medical alumni from the six years she spent as the medical school’s director of admissions; later, she served as president of the Dalhousie Medical Alumni Association.
Read more about Dr. Casey and our Dal Med Innovators here.
Head of the Department of Pharmacology
I’m happy to announce that Dr. Christopher J. Sinal has been appointed the new Head of the Department of Pharmacology. Dr. Sinal joined the Department of Pharmacology at Dalhousie University in 2002 and established an independent research program in adipocyte biology funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. The findings from his research program have provided important advances to our understanding of obesity, type 2 diabetes and chronic bone loss disorders such as osteoporosis.
Recognition must be given to Dr. Chris McMaster, who has served as Department Head since 2012. Under Dr. McMaster’s leadership over the past six years, the Department has greatly advanced its academic contributions and strategic goals. Dr. McMaster has been appointed as scientific director of the CIHR Institute of Genetics, the first CIHR Institute in Atlantic Canada. The office will employ a small staff of six people and is now housed in the former DMRF space on the ground floor of the Tupper Building. Congratulations to Dr. McMaster. Having such an institute in Halifax will be helpful for our entire research community.
Upcoming Town Halls
In follow up to the implementation of our Faculty of Medicine strategic plan #DalMedForward we will be hosting three town halls this academic year, each one dedicated to one of three pillars of the plan. The first town hall will update faculty, students and staff on the progress made on the Education Pillar of #DalMedForward. This town hall will be co-hosted by our Education strategic plan lead, Dr. Jennifer Hall on Tuesday, October 30th from 5PM to 6 PM in Theatre A of the Tupper Building. The event will provide a forum for discussion of current or anticipated influencers on the education in the Faculty of Medicine over the next three years.
2018 is flying by, but we still have plenty of anniversary celebrations left with a series of faculty and department events, lectures, and activities taking place in Halifax – both internally at Dalhousie and within our local community – in addition to satellite hosts within the Maritimes.
In September Med150 events were hosted by the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry. As well, the much anticipated Global Health Day, hosted by the Global Health Office. Celebrating eight years, this annual event highlighted the variety of global health activities taking place at Dalhousie, including International Education, Service Learning, Promoting Leadership in health for African Nova Scotians (PLANS), and Indigenous Health in Medicine.
Save the Date! Our DalMed150 Gala Celebration Weekend is just around the corner!
We will kick off on November 1 with the Inaugural Immuno-Oncology Conference hosted by the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation. The event will take place at the Prince George Hotel in downtown Halifax from 8:30AM to 1PM and will provide attendees with leading-edge information about immunotherapies and how these progressive research modalities promote anti-cancer immunity.
This will be followed by a symposium on November 2, 2018 on addressing the health care needs of the next generation which will take place between 8AM and 12 PM at the Nova Centre. This symposium is open to all students, staff and faculty and will feature talks from Dr. Lindsay Peach, VP Integrated Health Services Community Support and Management, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Mr. Andre Picard, National Health Reporter and Columnist, Globe and Mail, and Ms. Maureen MacDonald, Canadian academic and politician. Guest presentations will be followed by a Speaker Panel with facilitated questions from Dr. Richard Florizone, President, Dalhousie University; as well as open questions from the audience.
In the afternoon of November 2, 2018 at 3PM, I invite you to a take a guided tour of our research and education labs and facilities at the Tupper Building. This tour will be followed by a welcome reception in the Tupper Foyer at 5PM open to all alumni, faculty, staff and students. Later that evening a number of alumni gatherings will be taking place in Halifax.
On the morning of November 3, 2018, there will be a fun run/walk from the Tupper Building with registration beginning at 7AM (runs begins at 8:30AM). At 11AM, I will be hosting a luncheon to honour our twelve Dal Med Innovators in the CHEB building. Again, these events are open to all alumni, students, staff and faculty and we would love to see you there. The weekend will wind down with a breakfast hosted by Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation and even more alumni events.
On the evening of November 3, 2018 we will be having our gala dinner and dance at the Nova Centre beginning at 6PM. The gala on Saturday, November 3rd is sold out, but you can request to add your name to our waitlist by emailing us at email@example.com. There are still spots open for other weekend activities, so mark your calendars, gather your family and friends and don’t forget to register here!
For a full list of events and schedules, check out our Med150 events page.
I wish all of our incoming students, the Class of 2022, as well as our returning students a safe and happy Fall!