We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Ottawa Region Cardiovascular Research Trainee of the Year Award. The awardees are recognized for their outstanding productivity and exceptional leadership in the research community.
Congratulations to the 2023 award recipients!
- Marcelo Muñoz, PhD, Fellow, Basic Science
- Karen Bouchard, PhD, Fellow, Clinical/Bio-behavioural Science
- Sabrina Robichaud, PhD Candidate (Late Stage)
- Nadya Morrow, MSc, PhD Candidate (Early Stage)
Congratulations to Marcelo Muñoz, PhD, who was selected as the Ottawa Region Cardiovascular Research Trainee of the Year, Fellow, Basic Science. Dr. Muñoz’s research (under the supervision of Emilio Alarcón, PhD) focuses on regenerative medicine.
Dr. Muñoz has been recognized with the 2023 CIHR Fellowship for the 3D bioprinting of small blood vessels, the 2022 Top Trainee Award for Biostatistics for Biomedical Research Workshop awarded by the Stem Cell Network, the 2022 Faculty of Medicine’s Michael W. McBurney Postdoctoral Fellow award, the 2021 Ottawa Cardiovascular Research Day Innovation Award, and the 2020 University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) Endowed Fellowship. In recognition of his meaningful contribution to the University of Ottawa’s goal of creating equity, diversity, and inclusion for all, Dr. Muñoz was awarded the EDI Champion recognition in 2022.
Since starting his postdoctoral fellowship in 2018, Dr. Muñoz has made significant contributions to his field of research. He has authored 17 publications in prestigious peer-reviewed journals like ACS Nano, Science, and ACS AMI, to mention a few. In addition, he developed and patented a mask respirator decontamination device (N95 masks) and published this work in Scientific Reports. With the skills acquired both in the academic and private sector, Dr. Muñoz was recently appointed as the manager of the peptide synthesis facility located in Dr. Alarcón’s lab, which has contributed to several high-impact publications.
Dr. Muñoz is recognized for his outstanding leadership in the research and trainee communities. He serves as Chair of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine’s Postdoctoral Association. He is also a member of the UOHI Trainee committee and chairs the weekly Work-In-Progress Trainee Rounds. He is an exceptional mentor and role model to junior trainees and a caring co-worker.
Dr. Muñoz exemplifies the next generation of research leaders.
2023 Ottawa Region Cardiovascular Research Trainee of the Year, Fellow, Clinical/Bio-behavioural Science
Congratulations to Karen Bouchard, PhD, who was selected as the Ottawa Region Cardiovascular Research Trainee of the Year, Fellow, Clinical/Bio-Behavioral Science. Dr. Bouchard’s research (under the supervision of Heather Tulloch, PhD) examines the psychosocial determinants of health among patients with cardiovascular diseases and their family members.
Dr. Bouchard holds an impressive record of laudable awards and accomplishments. She was recently honoured by the Association of Psychological Science as a “Rising Star” – a prestigious award that globally recognizes 40 “top tier early career researchers” in health psychology. In 2022, she was awarded the SSHRC Insight Development Grant as the Nominated Principal Investigator; this is the first SSHRC operating grant to be awarded to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI). Of note, Dr. Bouchard was previously awarded a SSHRC Fellowship that ranked #1 in the competition. Dr. Bouchard is a Co-Investigator on three CIHR Project Grants and (two in 2022 and one in 2021) a Heart and Stroke Foundation Grant-in-Aid (2021). She has authored 23 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, one of which was published in Circulation and wrote a chapter of the book entitled “Biology of Women’s Heart Health” published by Springer-Nature. She has presented at international and national conferences, shared her expertise on caregiving for Wear Red Canada and most recently was invited to speak at the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Summit in Vancouver (2023).
She has demonstrated exceptional leadership in the research community. She established collaborations with the UOHI Patient Alumni Association, patient partners, and caregivers to develop guides provided to patients at hospital discharge. These guides are intended for caregivers and explain how to live well when a loved one has cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as parents with CVD. She is an active member of the UOHI Patient Partnership Council and the Quality-of-Care Committee. Dr. Bouchard provides support to UOHI scientists in mixed methods and qualitative research and patient engagement strategies. She is a highly valued team member and a dedicated mentor to junior trainees.
Dr. Bouchard exemplifies the next generation of research leaders.
Congratulations to Sabrina Robichaud, who was selected as the Ottawa Region Cardiovascular Research Trainee of the Year, PhD Candidate (Late Stage). Sabrina’s research (under the supervision of Mireille Ouimet, PhD) focuses on atherosclerosis and lipid metabolism.
Ms. Robichaud has had immense success in scholarships and awards throughout her training to date. She has been recognized with a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, a CIHR Doctoral Research Award and a CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship - Master’s Award. She has also received a number of accolades including the Faculty of Medicine’s Syed Sattar PhD Student Award and was a finalist for the Emerging Scientist Award for Women (Vascular Discovery 2022).
Sabrina is the first author of four manuscripts published in Circulation Research, Autophagy, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, and Methods in Molecular Biology. Additionally, she has contributed to nine other manuscripts. These are testaments to Ms. Robichaud’s outstanding scientific productivity. In 2023, she delivered an invited talk at the Medical College of Georgia (Augusta, GA, USA).
Sabrina is highly involved in knowledge translation and community outreach. She has served as the Discussion Leader for the Gordon Research Seminar on Atherosclerosis and was an invited panellist for the Circulation Research: 2022 Highlights and Initiative Session. She has been instrumental in organizing several scientific meetings, including the Ottawa Cardiovascular Research Day Organizing Committee 2018-22, the MetabTrainees Symposium 2021, and the Faculty of Medicine Bio-Med Discovery Day 2018-19.
Ms. Robichaud exemplifies the next generation of research leaders.
Congratulations to Nadya Morrow, who was selected as the Ottawa Region Cardiovascular Research Trainee of the Year, PhD Candidate (Early Stage). Nadya’s research (under the supervision of Erin Mulvihill, PhD) focuses on the postprandial regulation of chylomicron secretion.
Ms. Morrow has been awarded a CIHR Doctoral Award and a University of Ottawa Cardiac Endowment Fund at the Heart Institute. She recently was recognized with the Syed Sattar Award for the top PhD Candidate in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology at the University of Ottawa.
Nadya has published eight articles as first author, including in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, Biochem Biophys Acta Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids and Frontiers in Cell and Development Biology. She has additionally contributed as a co-author to a manuscript published in JCI Insight and another with revisions resubmitted to iScience. These are testaments to Nadya’s exceptional productivity at this early career stage.
Ms. Morrow has demonstrated outstanding leadership ability and made significant contributions to the trainee community at the local, regional, and national levels. She is actively involved in several committees, including the UOHI Trainee, UOHI Work in Progress Rounds, the 2022 and 2023 Ottawa Cardiovascular Research Day, and the UOHI Regenerative Medicine Research Day. Nadya has served as VP, Professional Development in the Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology Graduate Student Association. She was instrumental in organizing a national training group for the Canadian Society of Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology/ Canadian Lipoprotein Conference trainees. This initiative provides trainees with a monthly forum to present and discuss their research as well as a SLACK group and has been met with high levels of enthusiasm.
Ms. Morrow exemplifies the next generation of research leaders.