Past Award Recipients

Top undergrad poster

Ashley Hagerman, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Michele Ardolino’s Lab
PD-L1 boosts Warburg metabolism

Elena Moss, BC Cancer Research Institute, Brad Nelson’s Lab
The spatial architecture of PD-1 and PD-L1 in high grade serous ovarian cancer

Top Master's posters

Soraya Benhaddou, Centre de recherche CHU Sainte Justine, Ellie Haddad’s Lab
Engineering of NK cells as a new targeted immunnotherapy for rhabdomyosarcoma

Top PhD and PDF posters

Steven Gamerio, McMaster University, Brian Lichty’s Lab
Bioengineered extracellular vesicles specifically target dendritic cells in vitro and activate the pro-inflammatory STING pathway

Clara Soulard, Centre de recherche CHU Sainte Justine, Ellie Haddad’s Lab
New cell type-specific promoters enable innovative immunotherapy approach against acute lymphoblastic leukemia using chimeric antigen receptor in hematopoietic stem cells

Plain Language Talk Award

Torin Halvorson, BC Cancer Research Institute, Julian Lum's Lab
Overcoming metabolic competition in tumor microenvironment: fructose as an alternative carbon source for chimeric antigen receptor T cells

Top undergrad poster

Sarah Keyes, BC Cancer Deeley Research Centre, Dr. Julian Lum Lab
Metabolic optimization of T cells during CAR-T cell manufacturing

Top graduate posters

Allyson Banville, BC Cancer Agency, Dr. Brad Nelson Lab
Mutual Antibody T cell Engagers (MATEs): Steering Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) towards improved safety and flexibility

Nader El-Sayes, McMaster University, Dr. Karen Mossman Lab
Targeting Tumor Heterogeneity with Combination Immunotherapy

Madison Turk, University of Calgary, Dr. Doug Mahoney/Craig Jenne Labs
Investigating non-tumour cell infection in the tumour microenvironment in Oncolytic Viral Therapy

Top PDF posters

Li Deng, McMaster University, Dr. Yonghong Wan Lab
Therapeutic effects of oncolytic virus vaccine targeting tumor neoantigens

Stephen Tully, University of Waterloo, Dr. William Wong
Impact of increasing wait times on overall mortality of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell therapy in large B-cell lymphoma: A discrete event simulation model

Top Speed Posters

Jahanara Rajwani, PhD student, University of Calgary, Dr. Doug Mahoney Lab
Characterizing the role of cancer cell infection in oncolytic rhabdovirus therapy

Leonard Angka, PhD student, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Dr. Rebecca Auer Lab
A small molecule screen identifies antagonists of Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells to prevent post-operative Natural Killer Cell dysfunction and metastases.

Top oral plenary

Julian Smazynski, PhD student, BC Cancer Deeley Research Centre, Dr. Brad Nelson
The TIGIT:CD155 axis as a potential checkpoint pathway in immunologically cold cancers.

Imagine Award Recipient

Brittany Umer, PhD student, University of Alberta, Dr. David Evans

Imagine Award Runners-up

Brian Keller, Medical Resident, University of Ottawa

Alyssa Vito, PhD student, McMaster University, Dr. Karen Mossman Lab

Top oral plenary presentation (adjudicated by technical experts)

Abera Surendran, PhD. Student, University of Ottawa
Understanding the role of adipose tissue and fat cells in the tumour microenvironment and its impact on the oncolytic virus therapy responses

Top oral plenary presentation (adjudicated by the Cancer Stakeholder Alliance Working Group)

Adam Nelson, Post Doctoral Fellow, Dalhousie University
Natural killer T cell activation in combination with oncolytic vesicular stomatitis virus expressing IL-15 induces pancreatic tumor regression in syngeneic mice

Top speed-poster presenters

Christopher May, PhD Student, BC Cancer Agency
Overcoming immune suppression mediated by indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase in adoptive cell therapies

Julian Smazynski, PhD Student, BC Cancer Agency – Trev and Joyce Deeley Research Centre
The TIGIT:CD155 axis as a potential checkpoint pathway in immunologically cold ovarian cancers.

Top undergraduate poster presenter

Analyssa Cardenas, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Identifying barriers and facilitators to improving reporting and reducing risk of bias in preclinical studies

Top 3 graduate student poster presenters

Adrian Pelin, PhD Student, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Poxvirus genome editing in the development of a safe and efficient oncolytic platform

Israel Matos, PhD Student, University of British Columbia
Systems level mass cytometry reveals that tumour-derived G-CSF induces immunosuppression and poses a barrier to immunotherapy

Katherine MacDonald, PhD Student, University of British Columbia
Expansion of thymus-derived regulatory T cells using GMP-compatible reagents

Top 2 post-doctoral fellow or research associate poster presenters

Mathias Leber, PhD, Post Doctoral Fellow, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Genetic Alterations Acquired by Oncolytic Measles Virus During Extended Replication

Scott Walsh, PhD, Post Doctoral Fellow, McMaster University
Endogenous T cells prevent tumor escape due to antigen loss following adoptive T cell therapy

Top undergrad poster

Mankerat Singht, University of Guelph
“Differentiating dendritic cells in the presence of interleukin-4 enhances their potential as vaccines”

Top graduate posters

Rachelle Davis, University of Calgary
Visualization of vascular collapse reveals a key mechanism behind oncolytic virus therapy

Allison McNamara, University of Alberta
Role of phospholipid targeting antibodies in anti-tumor mediated immunity in colorectal cancer

Vivian Lau, McMaster University
Comparative biological studies of current and next-generation chimeric T cell receptors for cancer immunotherapy

Top PDF posters

Ryan Noyce, University of Alberta
Construction of infectious orthopoxviruses from chemically synthesized DNA fragments for use as novel oncolytic viruses

Scott Walsh, McMaster University
Uncoupling of immunotherapy-induced tumor regression and on-target, off-tumor toxicity via type 1 IFN inhibition

Top Speed Posters

Rebecca Foley, University of Alberta
Fighting for the “right to try”: An evaluation of right to try legislation in the US and potential applications in Canada

Xining Yang, University of British Columbia
IA1: a novel pro-inflammatory bioreactor cancer immunotherapy

Top oral plenary

Julie Nielsen, BC Cancer Agency
Expanding and enriching driver mutation-reactive T cells for adoptive cell therapy of lymphoma

Top posters

Andrew Nguyen, Wan Lab, McMaster University
Histone deacetylase inhibition promotes sustained tumor regression in the context of boosting oncolytic immunotherapy

Carole Bonkoungou, Melichar Lab, HMR
CD271-mediated immunomodulation

Kwame Twumasi-Boateng, Nelson Lab, BCCA
Exploring the molecular mechanisms underlying therapeutic efficacy of a recombinant oncolytic virus expressing the B cell chemokine CXCL13

Larissa Pikor, Bell Lab, OHRI
A genome wide CRISPR screen identifies genes and pathways that underlie cancer cell susceptibility to oncolytic virus infection and killing

SeongJun Han, Ohashi Lab, UHN
The Role of Cbl-b in CD4+ T Cell Resistance to Regulatory T Cell Suppression

Simon Gebremeskel, Johnston Lab, Dalhousie University
CXCL16-positive dendritic cells enhance invariant natural killer T cell-dependent IFN-γ production and tumor control

Top Speed Posters

Laila-Aicha Hanafi, Turtle Lab, Fred Hutch Cancer Research Centre
TCR sequencing and transcriptional diversity analysis of infused CD19-specific CAR-T cells after in vitro and in vivo expansion

Sandy Pelletier, Turcotte Lab, CRCHUM
Tumor-reactive CD4 T cells in metastatic gastrointestinal cancer refractory to chemotherapy

Top oral plenary

Victor Naumenko, Mahoney Lab, University of Calgary
Intravital microscopy reveals novel interactions between oncolytic viruses and intravascular leukocytes that are critical for delivery, infection and T cell recruitment