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Congratulations goes to Dr. Weiang Yan, who has been awarded a CIHR fellowship ($50,000 /year for 2 years) in the category of Health Professionals. Dr. Yan’s research work includes the investigation of a immunosuppressive biomaterials based approach as a possible treatment to prevent tissue rejection in patients with heart and vascular transplants.

Dr. Yan is supervised by Dr. Sanjiv Dhingra, Principal Investigator, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St. Boniface Hospital Research. Dhingra’s Regenerative Medicine Program includes a focus on cardiac tissue engineering which recently reported the synthesis and characterization of novel carbon based nanosheets which they believe are able to suppress immune cells.

The fellowship awarded to Dr. Yan will help him take this study to next level and may help bridge the translational gap in biomaterials-based therapies for cardiovascular diseases.

“I would like to congratulate Dr. Yan on receiving this highly competitive fellowship from CIHR. I believe this fellowship will further help him to achieve his career goals as a clinician scientist,” said Dr. Dhingra.

Dr. Yan also works under the co-supervision of Dr. Rakesh Arora, Principal Investigator Heart Failure Therapy, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St. Boniface Hospital Research.

In other news, Dr. Dhingra’s team also set a digital ‘first’ recently during the COVID-19 lockdown. PhD student from Dhingra lab, Ejlal Abu-El Rub, successfully defended her PhD thesis on April 15, conducted entirely online using BlueJeans virtual conferencing software. The defence exam was chaired by Dr. Saeid Ghavami from the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science and attended by examination committee members Drs. Lorrie Kirshenbaum, Pawan Singal and Jeff Wigle.

“I think this was the first PhD defence exam conducted online and we are pleased Dr. Abu-El Rub was able to successfully complete her doctorate, despite the challenging environment created by the pandemic,” said Dr. Dhingra.

Congratulations Dr. Abu-El Rub!