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Congratulations to Dr. Raghu Nagalingam, formerly with the Czubryt lab, for receiving UM’s Distinguished Dissertation Award.  Every year the Faculty of Graduate Studies offers five Doctoral Distinguished Dissertation Awards to graduating students in each of the following categories: applied sciences, health sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Nagalingam’s research studied the role of scleraxis in making the heart muscle stiff, a condition called fibrosis, and how it can lead to heart failure. “When we removed scleraxis from a failing heart in animal models, we could prevent the buildup of proteins that cause this fibrosis.”  Nagalingam’s dissertation indicated how targeting scleraxis this way could be a promising approach for developing new drugs to treat heart muscle fibrosis.

“The Distinguished Dissertation Awards recognize truly exceptional doctoral research,” said Dr. Michael Czubryt, Executive Director St. Boniface Hospital Research and himself a recipient of this award in 2001.  “This is one of the top awards for doctoral recipients and it’s a testament to St. Boniface Hospital Research that we’ve had more than a few who’ve claimed this prize.”

“I was surprised and delighted to receive the Distinguished Dissertation Award – it’s a huge honour from the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Manitoba,” he said.  Nagalingam credits many people with supporting his career thus far, but in particular his doctoral supervisor, “Professor Czubryt has played a significant role in shaping me and my research career so far. I’m sincerely thankful to him and all the Czubryt lab members for their support during my Ph.D. Special thanks to David Cheung from Dr. Jassal’s lab for performing mouse echocardiography,” he added. 

Nagalingam is now a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Glen Tibbits’s laboratory at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Simon Fraser University. His Postdoctoral position is funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) and Michael Smith Health Research BC (MSHRF) fellowships.”

“I am interested in wound healing and cardiac regeneration to build upon the skills acquired during my doctoral studies at St. Boniface,” he shared. “I am determined to reach my next goal of becoming an independent research scientist and teaching faculty in the field of cardiac pathophysiology.”

Congratulations again from everyone here at St. Boniface Hospital Research.