Macallum & FIP Highlights

May 23, 2019

Message from Dr. Scott Heximer, Interim Chair

It was really wonderful to see so many people at the Macallum Lecture and FIP.  Our sincere thanks again to Dr. Richard Palmiter for visiting us and delivering two superb lectures. His visit was the highlight of our academic year!

Special thanks and acknowledgement is owed to Ms. Elizabeth Eng, Ms. Bona Kim, and Mr. Scott Frendo-Cumbo, FIP co-Chairs and Vice-Presidents of the Graduate Association of Students in Physiology (GASP).  Elizabeth, Bona, Scott and their team did a brilliant job in spearheading the process to ensure the success of the day.  A special thank you also to Mr. Sammy Cai, President of GASP, and to everyone who helped make this year’s FIP Research Day possible.  


Message from the FIP Co-Chairs

Hello Faculty, Students & Staff,

Thank you to all of those who attended Frontiers in Physiology (FIP) 2019! This year, FIP was held on May 2nd, 2019 at Mount Sinai. The event was a great success, due in no small part to all of you. Congratulations to all of the oral and poster presenters, who gave exciting and interesting presentations. The work showcased by our department highlighted the diverse and high caliber research that Physiology has to offer.

Poster winners:

Shahin Khodaei (Orser Lab), Collin Wilson (Tweed Lab), Haisam Shah (Heximer Lab), Winston Li (Orser Lab), Alexandre Martchenko (Brubaker Lab), Amin Kamaleddin (Prescott Lab), Lu Wang (Belsham Lab), Sridevi Venkatesan (Lambe Lab), Rasa Volianskis (Collingridge Lab), Megan Drupals (Salter Lab), Ryungrae Kim (Zhang Lab), Yasaman Badakhshi (Jin Lab)

Oral winners:

Farwah Iqbal (Librach Lab), Jhenielle Campbell (Brubaker Lab), Neemat Mahmud (Miller Lab)

Thank you to Dr. Palmiter for sharing his research, engaging with students and … with Research Radio. Thank you to all of our sponsors for their support of this event. Last but certainly not least, we would like to thank everyone involved in the planning and setup of FIP, without whom this day would not have been possible. The FIP Committee is made up of graduate students within the department, who volunteer their time to acquire sponsorship, develop the conference schedule and organize everything from registration to catering.

FIP Committee 2018-2019:

Yasaman Badakhshi
Sara Bober
Shelly Chauhan
Megan Drupals
Niloofar Ganji
Manroop Khroud
Yasaman Mostafaie
Tina Nguyen
Peter Park
Sydney Rivers
Haisam Shah
Vivian Szeto
Theresa Tam
Andy Tran
Sridevi Venkatesan

A special thank you to Frankie Poon for taking photos throughout the day (photos can be found at Also, thank you to Marc Manzo for creating the FIP 2019 website (

Thank you all again for attending, we hope that everyone was able to gain from the experience of FIP 2019, through networking, collaboration or simply learning something new from your colleagues in the Department of Physiology.


Scott Frendo-Cumbo, Bona Kim & Elizabeth Eng
FIP 2019 Co-Chairs & GASP Co-Vice Presidents


Message from the GASP President

I would like to thank GASP’s VPs, Bona Kim, Liz Eng and Scott Frendo-Cumbo, for their hard work in planning and running FIP 2019. Leading their committee, they procured sponsorships, found a venue, reviewed student abstracts, recruited judges, and organized all of the logistics. Although the FIP committee played a pivotal role in planning FIP, without the great leadership from the VPs, the day would not have been as successful as it was. Due to their hard work and dedication, FIP 2019 was phenomenal. Thank you again Liz, Bona and Scott, and congratulations for organizing such a great event.

I would also like to thank the members of the GASP council for all their help in the set-up, cleanup and day-of support for FIP 2019.

Sammy Cai
GASP President


Carin Wittnich Award of Excellence for Teaching Assistants

Congratulations to Ankur Bodalia (PhD trainee, Wang lab) on receiving the TA Award which was presented by Dr. Michelle French


Dr. French and Ankur