HQP Development Day

HQP Development Day will be taking place on Saturday, November 19, 2022.

HQP Development Day is an excellent opportunity to learn from inspiring leaders, connect with a variety of experts to discuss career and professional development, and win some exciting prizes.

This year, HQP Development Day will include a HQP networking session, industry talks, a panel discussion on career insights as an early career researcher, and breakout sessions on commercialization, data visualization, failure in academia, and grant/scholarship writing.

HQP Development Day Agenda – Saturday November 19th

12:00pm-12:05pm Opening Remarks
12:05pm-12:40pm HQP Networking Session
12:40pm-1:15pm Lunch
1:15pm-1:45pm Industry Talks
1:45pm-1:50pm Break
1:50pm-2:25pm Breakout Session
2:25pm-2:30pm Travel
2:30pm-3:05pm Breakout Session
3:05pm-3:30pm Break
3:30pm-4:20pm Career Insights Panel: Early Career Research
4:20pm-4:25pm Conclusion
All times displayed are in EST.

Session Descriptions

HQP Networking Session

HQP will have the opportunity to meet each other and engage in informal conversation at the beginning of the scheduled HQP development day events. This “Speed Networking” session will be a 30-minute station-based activity. Participants will go to 5 different stations and meet other HQP in groups of 2-3 during the session. During the 5 minutes allotted for each station, HQP will introduce themselves and engage in conversation.

Career Insights Panel: Early Career Research

In this panel, HQP will have the opportunity to learn about different career paths from 3 panelists with a focus on the early career stage and transitioning from academia into career. This event will have panelists from academia, the clinic, as well as industry. The goal of this session is to encourage HQP to explore various career paths and understand the diversity in career paths to hopefully help guide them on their own path.

Break out Session – Data Visualization

This session will give HQP a quick primer on the best ways to present a given data set (i.e. bar graphs, dot plots, heat maps, t-SNE). Sarah Nersesian will provide an overview of the pros and cons of the different ways to present data, with a focus on identifying when to use certain data visualization tools, as well as considering accessibility. As the ways to present data are becoming more varied and complex, this session will give attendees a starting point to understanding what to look for when choosing which system/tool to use.

Break out Session – Commercialization

This session will provide an overview of the process behind commercializing a research lab discovery and starting a spin-off company. Dr. Sheila Singh will give a presentation on her experience establishing a company based on her academic research, covering topics such as: establishing intellectual property (ie. filing patents), drafting a business plan, how to go about gathering capital, gaining industry partners etc. Through this session trainees will gain a better understanding of the path from discovery to commercialization and offer insights/resources as to how they could also bridge academia and entrepreneurship during their training.

Break out Session – Failure in Academia

This session revolves around failure in academia and looking at ways to cope and deal with that failure in a healthy way. The success rate of fellowships is often very low, approximately 15%. Often, it's easy to feel dejected and alone when only success is shared publicly instead of both the success and failures everyone experiences. CV's often only highlight the great success and accomplishments one goes through but don't capture all the hardships, failures, and rejections it took. In this session Dr. Jeanette Boudreau will talk about the need for more transparency about failing within academia and how this can be accomplished with things such as failure CVs.

Break out Session – Grant/Scholarship Writing

This session will provide an overview on Grant application and Scholarship writing. HQP will learn how to best communicate their research by identifying the overall goal/problem their proposal will address, how to identify clear performance objectives for their proposal, and how to develop a proposal narrative. Dr. Carolina Ilkow will provide HQP with the tools on how to sell yourself and your experience as well as common mistakes to avoid in writing.

Please note speakers will be added as they are confirmed.

Jeanette Boudreau

Jeanette Boudreau

The Boudreau laboratory investigates the immunology of natural killer cells, with a special focus on their role in cancer and cancer immunotherapy. We focus on inter-individual variation and the impact of immunogenetics and functional training of NK cells. We employ analysis of primary samples from patients and a state-of-the-art humanized mouse model to understand the features of NK cells that impact NK-mediated control of disease, to inform novel immunotherapies.

Laura Evgin

Laura Evgin

Dr. Laura Evgin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia and a Scientist in the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at BC Cancer. She received her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Ottawa under the mentorship of Dr. John Bell and completed her post-doctoral fellowship training at Mayo Clinic with Dr. Richard Vile. Dr. Evgin started her own group at BC Cancer in 2020 with the goal of developing novel immune-oncology combinatorial approaches. Her research program uses immune competent mouse models of lymphoma to try to better understand the biological mechanisms underlying CD19 CAR T cell treatment failure in the context of a normal immune system. Using these preclinical models, her group is evaluating how to engineer cell therapies to be more fit in the relevant microenvironments, and how to use oncolytic viruses and vaccines to overcome barriers to effective therapy.

Kevin Hay

Kevin Hay

Dr. Kevin Hay is a Clinician Scientist at the Terry Fox Laboratory and Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC in Vancouver. Dr. Hay received a Master of Science in Immunology at the University of Manitoba (2008), followed by an MD (2011). After completing residency in Internal Medicine (2014) and a clinical fellowship in Haematology (2016) at the University of British Columbia, he was awarded a scholarship through the Clinician Investigator Program of UBC to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in cellular immunotherapy which he completed at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle Washington under the mentorship of Dr. Cameron Turtle. Dr. Hay’s research focuses on the clinical translation and pre-clinical development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells. He is Director of the BC Cancer Clinical Cellular Therapy Laboratory where he oversees the processing of cells for hematopoietic cell transplantation, and also serves as Medical Director of the Conconi Family Immunotherapy Laboratory, a facility in British Columbia dedicated to the manufacturing of cellular immunotherapies.

Carolina Ilkow

Carolina Ilkow

Dr. Carolina Ilkow is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina where she obtained her Bachelor's degree in Science. After working for two year in outreach projects aiming to address the unmet health care needs of the Indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest, Carolina decided to move to Edmonton, Canada to continue her graduate studies at the University of Alberta. Carolina obtained her PhD in cell biology and virology under the supervisor of Dr. Tom Hobman, after which she joined Dr. John Bell's lab as a post-doctoral fellow. Carolina's work in the Bell lab aimed at developing novel and tailored virotherapies to fight Pancreatic cancer.

In 2016, Carolina was recruited as a Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and an Assistant Professor in the department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa. Her research is focused on developing novel biotherapeutics for cancer treatment. Carolina is also committed to educate the next generation of scientists and to address the critical need of High Qualified Personnel in the rapidly growing field of biomanufacturing in Canada. Carolina is a member of both the High Qualified personnel training committee for BioCanRx and the Canadian Partnership for Research in Immunotherapy Manufacturing Excellence (CanPRIME) program.

Sheila Singh

Sheila Singh

Dr. Sheila Singh is a professor of surgery and biochemistry, chief pediatric neurosurgeon at McMaster Children’s Hospital, Division Head of Neurosurgery at Hamilton Health Sciences, and inaugural director of the new Centre for Discovery in Cancer Research (CDCR) at McMaster University. She holds a Tier 1/ Senior Canada Research Chair in Human Brain Cancer Stem Cell Biology, and is the founding Director of the McMaster Surgeon Scientist Program. Her PhD thesis described the novel identification of a population of cancer stem cells that exclusively drive the formation of brain tumours. Since 2007, Dr. Singh's lab applies a developmental neurobiology framework to the study of brain tumorigenesis. Building upon previous cell culture techniques developed for the isolation of normal neural stem cells (NSC) and applying them to brain tumours, and through development of a xenograft model to efficiently study brain tumour initiating cell (BTIC) activity, Dr. Singh's lab aims to understand the molecular mechanisms that govern BTIC self- renewal. Dr. Singh is currently studying the regulation of BTIC signaling pathways in glioblastoma, brain metastases and childhood medulloblastoma, with an ultimate goal of selectively targeting the BTIC with appropriately tailored drug and molecular therapies. Her laboratory is funded by CCSRI, CIHR, TFRI, CRS, the Stem Cell Network, McMaster Surgical Associates, Brain Canada and the Boris Family Fund. She is scientific founder and prior CEO of a start-up company, Empirica Therapeutics, a brain cancer therapeutics company that is seeking new, data-driven and polytherapeutic treatment options for patients with Glioblastoma and brain metastases. Empirica was acquired by Century Therapeutics Inc (Philadelphia) in June 2020, resulting in the creation of a Canadian subsidiary, Century Canada, based in the McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton.

Other HQP Activities at the Summit4CI

Meet the Experts

The Meet the Experts is a speed networking event where HQP will have the opportunity to speak with various experts representing different sectors, such as government, industry, academia, and other NGOs, and expertise, such as policy, science, regulatory, commercialization, etc.

This event will be held Sunday November 20th from 12:15 – 2:30pm in the Av. Van Horne Room.

Please note experts will be added as they are confirmed.