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MedAlumni - Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Department of Surgery Alumni Newsletter

Welcome to the fall 2021 edition of Alumni Ties, the Department of Surgery’s alumni newsletter!

Not soon after I started writing this edition of Alumni Ties, Times Higher Education released its World University Rankings 2022 by subject – and for the first-time the University of Toronto was ranked #5 globally in the clinical and health category. This is a powerful recognition of Temerty Medicine’s research, education and patient care expertise.

I had initially planned to discuss other matters, but I was reminded of the conversation I had with Dean Catharine Whiteside upon my appointment to Chair, when I shared my ambitious goal of the Department of Surgery achieving a global top-ten ranking. The department had been built on decades of hard work and careful attention to the academic mission by my predecessors, and our network of world-class hospital partners is unmatched.

Most importantly, I was surrounded by the best and brightest surgeons, researchers and innovators who were willing to work assiduously to get us to this coveted position.

I will always remember the day our department first achieved this prestigious recognition, and the commemorative note I received from Dean Whiteside all those years later. Today, I wish to extend my sincere congratulations to our entire Temerty Medicine community on this remarkable achievement.

As I enter my final academic year as Chair, I remain encouraged by the depth and breadth of the Department of Surgery’s impact on surgical education, research and patient care. I am also eternally grateful to you — our esteemed alumni and friends — who play an important role in our success as an institution as champions, collaborators, donors, and volunteers.

U of T is poised to take its place among the handful of institutions associated with medical greatness — those best equipped to lead life-changing improvements in health and health care. I am optimistic that we will continue to rise in the world rankings given the historic tradition of excellence that rests at the U of T, and the community that lifts it up.


Dr. James Rutka, OC, O Ont, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS, FAANS
R.S. McLaughlin Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery


Dr. James Rutka

Department of Surgery Annual Address 2021: A 10 Year Retrospective

Dr. James T. Rutka looks back on his ten years as the R.S. McLaughlin Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery in his 2021 Annual Address.

Dr. Amanpreet Brar

On Using Our Voices to Empower the Vulnerable

Dr. Amanpreet Brar (BSc ’13, MD ’18), a third-year general surgery resident, shares her experiences advocating for her patients and community.

Dr. James Waddell

New Award Established in Honour of Dr. James Waddell

Named after the former chair of U of T’s Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Dr. James Waddell Surgeon Scientist Trainee Award will support new generations of budding surgeon-scientists.

Collage TCAIREM Grants

Temerty Centre for AI Research and Education in Medicine (T-CAIREM) Announces Grant Recipients

Inaugural recipients of the Temerty Innovation and Catalyst Grants for AI in Medicine include surgery alumni Dr. Shaf Keshavjee (MD ‘85, MSc ’90, PGME ’93), Vice Chair of Innovation, and Dr. Mojgan Hodaie (MSc ’94, PGME ’04), Director of Postgraduate Medical Education.

Collage Study Authors

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Researchers Expand Understanding of Brain Tumour Biology

Dr. Farshad Nassiri (BSc ’10, MD ’14), chief neurosurgery resident and Dr. Gelareh Zadeh (PhD ’07, PGME ’06), Dan Family Chair in Neurosurgery, are authors of the study aiming to help unlock treatment options for patients, which has been published in Nature.

Collage Medicine by Design

Medicine by Design’s Pivotal Experiment Fund Invests $1 Million to Bridge the “Valley of Death” Funding Gap

The four research teams receiving funding include surgeon-scientists Shaf Keshavjee (MD ’85, MSc ’90, PGME ’93), Cindi Morshead (BSc ’86, PhD ’94), Ian McGilvray (PhD ’00, PGME ’03), Mingyao Liu and Michael Fehlings (MD ’83, PhD ’89, PGME ’90).

Dept. of Surgery

Philanthropists Dr. Neville and the Hon. Dr. Vivienne Poy Establish Fund

The new fund in aesthetic plastic surgery will enable new generations of early-career plastic surgeons to pursue the specialized training they need to successfully treat patients in this demanding field.


2021 W.G. Bigelow Lecture – Distortion of Clinical Practice by Randomized Trials: Inadvertent or Intentional? By Dr. David P. Taggart, Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Oxford
View the recording

Temerty Medicine Talks — Towards Hope: New Frontiers in Neurodegenerative Disease Research
View the recording

Division of Orthopaedic Surgery Research Day
November 19, 2021

The 2022 Bigelow Cardiac Surgery Resident Research Competition
February 26, 2022
Open to all Canadian cardiac surgery residents — alumni practicing at Canadian institutions are welcome to invite their residents to participate.

Temerty University of Toronto

Congratulations, alumni! Times Higher Education (London, UK) ranks your Temerty Faculty of Medicine #5 in the world for clinical and health.

The Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s Advancement Office connects our community of alumni, volunteers and donors to meaningful and transformative initiatives advancing health and health care.

Temerty University of Toronto

Temerty Faculty of Medicine Advancement Office
6 Queen's Park Crescent West / Toronto, ON Canada M5S 3H2

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