Mohit Sodhi will be completing his MD at UBC Vancouver. He has 35 peer reviewed publications, some of which have been published in some of the top medical journals in their respective fields including the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Gastroenterology, JAMA Ophthalmology, and Chest. His research has been featured in over 150 prestigious international media outlets including the New York Times, IFL Science, Forbes, Yahoo News, the Times of India, Reuters, Medscape, CNN, and the Daily Mail. Mohit was awarded the Governor General Gold Medal, the most prestigious award a Canadian student can receive as well as UBC’s top leadership award, the Nestor Korchinsky Student Leadership Award.
Mohit has volunteered his time to a number of local and national charitable organizations. He is the CEO and co-founder of the YNOTFORTOTS Society, an acclaimed charity that has donated over $200,000 worth of equipment to dozens of local underfunded elementary schools. He has also served in many roles with STEM Fellowship including CEO, COO, Chief Science Communications Officer, and executive advisor.
In his spare time, Mohit enjoys golfing, weightlifting, and extreme scootering.
"To be awarded by the same organization that has recognized incredible Canadians such as Dr. Salim Yusuf, Dr. Charles Best, Dr. Frederick Banting, Terry Fox, Dr. Wilfred Bigelow, and Dr. Wilder Penfield would be the greatest honour of my life. I will strive to use this opportunity to follow the example of the giants on whose shoulders I stand on and hope to positively impact the lives of millions around the globe."
Inspired by 2014 Laureate Salim Yusuf MBBS DPhil
Chao Chen is a medical student at the University of Alberta with a genuine passion for improving health care through technological innovation and biomedical research. Working with Nobel Laureate Sir Michael Houghton, CMHF Laureate Dr. Lorne Tyrrell and excellent colleagues in the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute, Chao is a co-inventor of a prophylactic vaccine for Hepatitis C virus (HCV). This vaccine is currently entering phase I clinical trials. As a recipient of the 2022 Innovation Awards, he has co-authored over 20 research articles, book chapters, and patent applications in molecular biology, regenerative medicine and vaccinology. In addition to his continued involvement in biomedical research, Chao served as a Board Director and Alberta Regional Chair of Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) Canada, Treasurer of the Board of Cultural Connections Institute – The Learning Exchange (CCI-LEX), and a co-founder of Biggle International Inc.
"I am humbled to be recognized by the CMHF with this award. I am encouraged to continue following my passions for providing excellent patient-centered care through innovation and translational research. I am extremely grateful to my family, mentors, friends, and the University of Alberta for their wonderful support."
Inspired by 2011 Laureate D. Lorne Tyrrell MD PhD
Tharsini Sivananthajothy (she/her) is a racialized woman of Thamil heritage from Scarborough, Ontario in her final year at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine. Guided by her lived experience, Tharsini carries a deep sense of responsibility to create equitable and safe spaces for equity-deserving groups. She co-chaired the “Dismantling Structures of Oppression and Inequity within Medicine” conference to create a platform to learn from Indigenous, Black and racialized scholars, and co-led a national grassroots advocacy initiative to address anti-Indigenous racism within the CFMS.
Locally, Tharsini is heavily involved in her medical school, serving in multiple leadership positions including Vice-President Community and Global Health for the Calgary Medical Students’ Association (CMSA), and Co-Lead for the Students Organised Against Racism initiative. Through these positions, Tharsini and her team advocated for mandatory anti-racism training, and helped apply an anti-racist and anti-colonial lens to the CMSA’s policies and procedures. Currently, Tharsini and a team of medical students are piloting the University of Calgary’s first free MCAT preparation course for applicants from equity-deserving communities.
She is the lead student investigator on a mixed-methods study exploring undergraduate medical students’ sense of belonging, which has been recognized nationally by the Canadian Association of Medical Education.
"As a Thamil woman from Scarborough, who is also a first-generation medical student, I am honored to have been part of teams, collectives and initiatives which aim to ensure both medicine and medical education become anti-racist, anti-oppressive and equitable spaces. I am acutely aware of the privilege and power I hold as I enter this profession and hope to use my voice and actions to create safe spaces for learners, providers, and patients from equity-deserving communities alike. I would like to thank my family, friends, mentors and colleagues for their continuous support and the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for this recognition."
Inspired by 2018 Laureate Emily Stowe MD
Emma Yanko is a third-year medical student at the University of Saskatchewan having completed her undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Minnesota Duluth (where she played on the NCAA Division I Women’s Hockey Team and served as captain in her final year). Emma enjoys collaborating with colleagues and faculty on research projects resulting in peer-reviewed publications and national/international research conference presentations. She recently published an article on outcomes of patients with small intestine adenocarcinoma in Saskatchewan. Emma’s extracurricular activities align with her passions: mentoring, medical student wellness and surgery. As Vice-President of the Student Surgical Society, she promoted various surgical disciplines to her fellow students. Emma stood on the Canadian Federation of Medical Students Wellness Roundtable and served as the Wellness Representative for the Student Medical Society of Saskatchewan. In this role, she spearheaded initiatives to make wellness resources more accessible and convenient for medical students. Emma has served for several years as a mentor and coach to youth hockey players and currently mentors marginalized youth, pre-medicine students and medical students in pre-clerkship. She hopes to continue innovating ways to promote medical student wellness and contribute to her community through mentorship and research.
"I am so grateful and honoured to be one of the recipients of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award for Medical Students. A tremendous amount of thanks goes to the University of Saskatchewan, College of Medicine for the nomination and Dr. Calvin R. Stiller for his contribution. Thank you to my family, friends, mentors, and colleagues for their unwavering support."
Inspired by 2020 Laureate Jean Gray MD
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Emelissa Valcourt is a medical student at the University of Manitoba with a passion for innovation and advocacy. Completing her MSc in Immunology during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Emelissa designed a dual-acting vaccine for cost-effective protection against HIV and Ebola. Her research received several awards, including a CIHR Canada Graduate Student Scholarship. As a biologist at the Public Health Agency of Canada, Emelissa implemented the first protocol to quantify protective antibodies and trained a diagnostic team during the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interested in understanding the intricate balance between viral pathogenesis and host immunity, she has published over 24 peer-reviewed articles, including 11 first-author publications. Her passion for scientific discovery continues through her current research, which aims to use whole body impedance cardiography-derived hemodynamic parameters for earlier identification of high-risk heart failure patients. Committed to harm reduction and community empowerment, Emelissa co-chairs the Winnipeg Interprofessional Student-run Health Clinic. Emelissa is the Founder and President of the Filipino Association of Medical Students at the University of Manitoba, aiming to increase Filipino representation in medicine and advocate health disparities faced by the community. She hopes to continue advancing medical knowledge to improve outcomes for populations experiencing socioeconomic barriers to health.
"I am incredibly honoured to receive the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award, which is a testament to the ongoing support I have received from my mentors, family, and friends. Given the groundbreaking accomplishments of the Laureates of the CMHF, this recognition inspires me to continue along the path towards scientific discovery."
Inspired by 1994 Laureate Maude Abbott MD
Nusha Ramsoondar is a medical student at NOSM University, Class of 2024. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, she has resided in Northern Ontario since 2008. She completed her Bachelor of Business Administration (Economics) at Nipissing University, followed by her Master of Public Health degree at the University of Saskatchewan where she focused primarily on Indigenous health. She has spent time working in health promotion roles at non-profit organizations and has experience as an administrative assistant to healthcare providers, all of which furthered her desire to pursue medicine. She is interested in rural medicine, particularly in supporting marginalized populations through patient-centered care. In the future, Nusha hopes to practice in Northern Ontario where she can support the health of rural and underserved communities while embracing the beauty that Northern Ontario has to offer. She is passionate about equity, diversity, and inclusion in medicine, and is currently part of a research project aiming to sustainably enhance social accountability in medical institutions. In her spare time, Nusha enjoys art, carpentry, and reading.
"To be granted this award is a wonderful honour! I am so grateful for the support of my peers, my school, and now CMHF as I continue my medical education. I hope to continue to be able to push for positive, sustainable change within the medical industry while upholding the values and principles which are important to me, so that those who follow can benefit from an even better environment - one that values equity, diversity, and inclusion, and one which places social accountability at the forefront of medical education."
Inspired by 2013 Laureate Bette Stephenson MD
Gavin Raner (he/they) is the first non-binary medical student registered with the OMA, having had to begin their medical career by carving a space for TGNB medical students in Ontario. But as part of a first-generation immigrant family, they are no stranger to the practice of navigating new sociocultural frontiers. Elected to Schulich Medicine’s student council as an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization (EDID) representative and Co-VP EDID shortly thereafter, they were able to implement structural and curricular changes for EDID at Schulich. This included helping to lead a student-organized report to highlight the deficits in the current curriculum, inspiring similar projects at other schools. Having begun transition after starting medical school, the unique barriers they face continue to spur their drive for making medicine a safer space for other TGNB people. Raner’s extensive research involvement includes various projects in collaboration with researchers across Canada to help improve medical curricula on 2SLGBTQ+ health education, reduce barriers faced by patients seeking gender affirming top surgery, and to qualify gender affirming facial surgery as a medical necessity to improve accessibility. In their free time, they enjoy countryside rides on their motorcycle and performing rock music with their class band.
"I feel incredibly honoured and humbled to be the first transgender and non-binary (TGNB) medical student to be recognized by the Canadian Hall of Fame for this award. I would like to thank my friends and mentors who made this possible, and Schulich Medicine for my nomination. To me, it means more visibility for people like myself in medical professions and hopefully better transgender health curricula for medical undergraduates. For so long and even now, TGNB individuals in professional spaces and medicine especially feel unsafe and unwelcome. I hope to inspire other TGNB students to pursue medicine and increase our presence in the field."
Inspired by 2007 Laureate Elizabeth Bagshaw MD
Surabhi Sivaratnam is a Sri Lankan-Canadian, first-generation immigrant, who grew up in a community of low socioeconomic status in which she often saw friends endure food insecurity and witnessed their families unable to afford non-OHIP-covered health expenses. Fueled by a desire to address such health inequities, she pursued a Bachelor of Health Sciences as well as engaging in open global health courses through Yale University. Surabhi then went on to pursue her medical education while working part-time as a Clinical Research Assistant at SickKids Hospital. In this role, she collaborated with researchers at the University of California Irvine to continue the development of a smartphone application for parents and caregivers of children with cancer. She also served as the Co-Director and Primary Organizer of the Hamilton TEDx Conference in which she created space for speakers who navigate everyday life in the face of adversity; these speakers powerfully shared their lived experiences with millions across the globe. Surabhi was nationally appointed by the Canadian Government’s Office of International Affairs to serve as the youth delegate for the Canadian delegation to the World Health Assembly in which she collaborated with world leaders and Health Ministers to finalize a policy on responding to and preventing violence against women and children, successfully approved at the WHA by 194 member state countries.
"I am incredibly humbled to be selected for this honour and I am beyond grateful for the support of my mentors, friends, and family. The Laureates of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame continue to inspire me to navigate the field of medicine not only aware of the great privilege it is to be a health care provider, but also to be aware of the responsibility that comes with it. This award fuels my commitment to utilizing such privilege to facilitate safer spaces in healthcare."
Inspired by 2016 Laureate May Cohen MD
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Kramay Patel is an MD/PhD Candidate at Temerty Faculty of Medicine. He completed his PhD thesis in the field of neural engineering where he developed brain-machine interfaces to explore how the brain learns. Kramay has published peer-reviewed articles and textbook chapters on various topics including spinal cord injury, epilepsy, deep brain stimulation, neurofeedback, memory, cognition, and pedagogical research. Along with his love for science, Kramay is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. Most recently, Kramay has taken on the role of Chief Platform Officer at a top Canadian neurotechnology startup: Novela Neurotechnologies Inc. where he is leading the development of AI-powered remote patient monitoring technologies to bring chronic epilepsy care into the 21st century. Kramay is also passionate about knowledge dissemination and community engagement. He has led the organization of several academic conferences including the inaugural CRANIA conference in 2019 and the Toronto Biomedical Engineering Conference in 2020. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kramay launched the Stitch4Corona initiative which mobilized the GTA community to stitch 15,000+ face masks to protect the City’s most vulnerable populations. Kramay hopes to make a lasting impact on the field of medicine through his contributions as a physician, scientist, and innovator.
"I have always looked up to the incredible physicians, scientists and innovators that are part of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, including legends such as Herbert Jasper and Wilder Penfield. These personalities have inspired my young journey on the physician-scientist-innovator pathway. Being recognized by the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame with this award provides affirmation that I am on the correct path towards making a lasting impact on science, medicine and the world."
Inspired by 1995 Laureate Herbert Jasper MD PhD and 1994 Wilder Penfield MD
A medical student at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Peter Feige completed his Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine. Supervised by Dr. Michael Rudnicki, he explored the molecular events governing muscle stem cell activity and developing novel means to accelerate pre-clinical testing of therapeutics targeting muscle disease. Peter contributed to 7 research publications, national outreach with the Stem Cell Network and locally through multiple leadership roles. He was recognized nationally, ranking in the top 99.71 percentile for the Canada Graduate Scholarship and received the Best Thesis Award at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine for his Ph.D. defence. He is currently developing resources with the Ontario Medical Student Association to help improve the literacy of adjunct and alternative careers in Medicine. Peter has a keen interest in endogenous repair mechanisms in both cardiac and skeletal muscle and is excited for his future Internal Medicine training. He looks forward to developing and bringing evidence-based medicine to bear to help our sickest patients.
"It is an honour to be recognized by the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Recognition from the Hall and generous donations from MD Financial Management encourage innovation from future physicians and helps establish future health leaders to improve diverse health outcomes. I am humbled to be selected, grateful for the laurel and aim to redouble my efforts in improving health outcomes for my future patients."
Inspired by 2004 Laureates James Till PhD and Ernest McCulloch MD
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Kylee Hunter has a passion to promote health equity for underserved populations and a keen interest in global health. After graduating from Brock University with an Honours B.Sc. in Medical Sciences, Kylee worked for two years as a Community Health Worker at a Community Health Centre (CHC), where she organized and delivered accessible health clinics for seasonal agricultural workers. In pursuit of stronger global leadership and advocacy skills, she attained an MSc in Global Health at McMaster University where she focused her scholarly work on survivors of sex trafficking. Additionally, Kylee has served as a Board Member at Niagara Falls CHC since 2019, where she provides leadership, strategic planning, and expertise. Since starting medical school at the University of Ottawa, Kylee has continued in social accountability work, such as leading NORTH (Navigating Ottawa Resources to Improve Health), an interdisciplinary clinic where student navigators explore the social and health needs of underserved clients in Ottawa and connect them with community-based resources. She is also involved in a global health research project describing the surgical follow-up patterns of refugees in Ottawa to better address their surgical care outcomes. Outside of medicine, Kylee enjoys spending time with family and friends (especially her nieces!), attending spin classes, and reading.
"I am truly humbled and honoured to be one of the recipients of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award for Medical Students. This award encourages me on my journey as I continue promoting health equity and finding innovative solutions to address barriers to care. I’m so thankful for my loved ones and mentors who have supported and encouraged me along the way."
Inspired by 2016 Laureate May Cohen MD
Abed Baiad is a third-year medical student at McGill University. He has been serving as the Class of 2024 President for the past two years, where he is committed to supporting his class and continuously advocating for their needs. He finds innovative and efficient tools for handling feedback and dealing with urgent academic difficulties, such as creating a central feedback platform that addresses hundreds of student concerns, facilitating deadline extensions and exam accommodations, and co-working on improved observerships, absences and workload policies. Through the pandemic, he remains adaptive in collaborating with the faculty with the best interests of his classmates in mind while hoping they continue to trust that he will take every concern seriously. In addition to his student leadership involvement, he is passionate about supporting refugees, by helping many navigate the path to continuing their education, accessing healthcare, and providing free tutoring and translation services. Having grown up in Syria and coming to Canada only after graduating high school less than 7 years ago, he seeks to use his own experiences to help navigate the needs of the community. In the future, he hopes to dedicate part of his future practice to treating underserved populations and advocating for those excluded from the healthcare system.
"I feel incredibly thankful and privileged to receive the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Leadership Award. I see this as a humbling renewal of my commitment to help my classmates and community, and I am beyond grateful for everyone who supported me."
Inspired by 2018 Laureate Philip Berger MD
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Anton Volniansky began a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering with the desire to help design the future, but working at Emergo, a respite center for people on the autism spectrum, convinced him to trade his calculator for a stethoscope.
During his medical studies, Anton became involved with the Choosing Wisely movement which advocates for the judicious use of medical resources. This cause is recognized by CanMEDS, but its integration remains irregular in medical training depending on the teaching environment. With his colleague David Houle, Anton has notably implemented a student initiative drawing up the framework for including Choosing Wisely in Quebec physician training, surveying nearly a quarter of medical students in Quebec. Anton presented the findings at the annual Choosing Wisely Canada Conference and the Centre de pédagogie appliquée aux sciences de la santé (CPASS) education day, demonstrating the willingness of medical students to learn the benefits of healthy prescribing habits to reduce harmful effects on patients.
Anton immigrated to Canada in 2008. His hard work learning the French language earned him the publication of his French test by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. He also received the Governor General's Academic Medal and more than ten scholarships/prizes. Anton has collaborated on research projects in cardiology, psychiatry and radiology. Working with radiologist Dr. An Tang is an incredible inspiration for him and the research allowed him to become familiar with artificial intelligence, a powerful tool which he intends to integrate into his future work.
"Words fail me to express my gratitude to my parents, my mentors and my friends who believed in me and supported me through my journey."
Inspired by 1998 Laureate Roberta Bondar MD PhD
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Run Zhou Ye is currently completing an MD and a PhD in physiology and endocrinology at the University of Sherbrooke, under the supervision of Dr. André Carpentier. His doctoral research is focused on understanding the role of adipose tissue dysmetabolism in the development of type 2 diabetes using multicompartmental modelling of PET/CT (positron emission tomography/computed tomography) molecular imaging, convolutional neural networks, and single-cell RNA sequencing. During his doctoral training, Run Zhou has presented in numerous national and international conferences and has published many first-author papers in high impact journals, including a meta-analysis in the prestigious journal Endocrine Reviews. He has also led a research interest group during his preclinical years and served in his graduate student association as VP communications. Run Zhou was also the instigator of the Virtual Conference on Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Disorders, a CMDO-FRQS-funded congress that brought together speakers and presenters from across Canada, France, and the US. He has received several awards for his research and community work and was twice the recipient of both the FRQS and CIHR graduate funding.
"I am very humbled and honored to receive the CMHF Award and extremely grateful to the donor for sponsoring this award. I would like to thank the Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé of the Université de Sherbrooke for my nomination, as well as the support from Dr. André Carpentier, my mentors, colleagues, collaborators, friends and my family."
Inspired by 1994 Laureate Sir Frederick Banting MD
Born in Prishtina, Kosovo, Qendresa Sahiti is passionate about health equity, community involvement and advocacy, and improving the post-secondary environment. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Neuroscience and a Certificate in Science Leadership & Communication from Dalhousie University. She has published and presented research in trauma and antecedents to mental illness, medical education and the learning environment, and the intersection of art and science. As an immigrant and former refugee, she is particularly interested in newcomer health. Qendresa has been heavily involved in organizations that advocate for the wellbeing of marginalized populations, such as the Walk in Our Shoes Foot Clinic, where she works to increase access to basic foot care and health supplies. She has also held leadership positions in non-profit organizations, including the Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia and the Board of Doctors Nova Scotia. She is a recipient of the 3M National Student Fellowship and the TD Scholarship for Community Leadership. As a 3M Fellow, she helped create CANnect, a national online student advocacy resource hub. Beyond academics, Qendresa finds joy in spending time with friends and family, cooking, reading, and, most recently, playing tennis and boxing (not simultaneously).
"It is an incredible honour to be counted among so many inspiring leaders creating positive change in medicine and beyond. I am inspired and motivated by their contributions and look forward to the unique opportunities for connection and mentorship presented by this award. I am so grateful and humbled to be recognized for my work and hope to use this award not as a trophy, but as a source of motivation to continue the work of using our privilege to lift others up."
Inspired by 2018 Laureate Philip Berger MD
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Aileen Feschuk completed her BSc and honors research in molecular genetics at Acadia University. There, she was a varsity athlete and U-Sport Academic All-Canadian, and sang in the university choir. She also volunteered with individuals with special needs and with Women in Science initiatives. During medical school at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Aileen has fostered a passion for medical education. She co-founded the medical education podcast, “The Oto Approach” which is available on Spotify, Apple, and Amazon and is promoted as a learning tool by the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Aileen is also a National Lead of the medical education application, “LearnENT” which involves coordinating a 40-medical-student ambassador program. Aileen enjoys research and currently has twelve peer-reviewed publications. Aileen has presented her research at Harvard University, and national conferences, including those held by the Canadian Dermatology Association, American Academy of Dermatology, and the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery (scored in the Top-10 posters). Aileen is the lead author and editor of a dermatology book in the production phase of publication with Springer Nature. Aileen looks forward to continuing to facilitate educational opportunities for others, engage in lifelong learning, and evoke innovative positive change in medicine.
"I am humbled and honoured to be a recipient of the prestigious Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award for Medical Students. I would not be in this position without the incredible support and guidance from mentors, family and friends. I believe this award will help open doors that allow me to continue to pursue my passion for medical education, research, and support of women in medicine, in addition to creating positive innovative change within healthcare."
Inspired by 1998 Laureate Maud Menten MD