Past Award Recipients

Top undergrad student presenter

Xiu Xia Sherry Tan, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), Natasha Kekre’s Lab
Treatment of CD19 positive hematologic malignancies with CAR-T cells manufactured in academic versus commercial settings: The CLIC experience

Top graduate student presenters (MSc and PhD)

Allyson Moore, PhD student, McMaster University, Dr. Jonathan Bramson’s Lab
Development of an off-the-shelf engineered γδ T cell therapy for glioblastoma

Jaahnavi Dave, PhD student, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), Dr. John Bell’s Lab
Engineering oncolytic vaccinia virus to express retroviral particles for cancer therapy

Yara Haddad, Master's student, University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre, Dr. Simon Turcotte’s Lab
Modulation by PCSK9 of the immune recognition of colorectal cancer liver metastasis

Top post-doctoral fellow/Research Associate presenter

Tyler Dyer, Research Assistant, BC Cancer, Julie Nielsen’s Lab
Potency Assays for Clinical CD19 CAR-T Cell Products

Top speed poster presenter

Gillian Carleton, PhD student, Deeley Research Centre, Dr. Julian Lum’s Lab
RISPR-Cas9 genome editing of the autophagy pathway for enhanced CAR-T efficacy in solid tumors

Zaid Taha, PhD student Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Dr. Jean-Simon Diallo’s Lab
Targeting the tumour to the therapy: Oncolytic rhabdovirus drives expression of target antigen in solid tumours and sensitizes to antibody-based immunotherapeutic strategies

Top Oral Award

Rebecca Burchett, PhD student McMaster University, Jonathan Bramson’s Lab
Evaluating a paired universal synthetic receptor-rhabdovirus vaccine system to boost adoptive T-cell therapies for cancer

Plain Language Talk Award

Shannon Snelling, PhD student, University of Calgary, Dr. Jennifer Chan and Dr. Douglas Mahoney Labs
Chimeric antigen receptor macrophages (CAR-M) influence immunosuppression in syngeneic models of glioblastoma

Top undergrad student presenter

Breeze Gladwin, Deeley Research Centre, Brad Nelson’s Lab
Discovering the clonal evolution and antigen reactivity of tumour infiltrating B cells in ovarian cancer
Poster #23

Top graduate student presenters (MSc and PhD)

Sydney Vallati, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, John Bell’s Lab
Development of novel oncolytic viruses encoding therapeutic payloads for the treatment of RET-positive pancreatic cancers
Poster #70

Lily Chan, University of Guelph, Sarah Wootton’s Lab
Neutrophil responses to dendritic cell-based vaccines: potential for modulation of natural killer cells and CD8+T cell responses
Poster #69

Rebecca Burchett, McMaster University, Jonathan Bramson’s Lab
Putting oncolytic virus vaccines in the driver’s seat: evaluating CARs as a universal boosting platform in adoptive T cell therapies.
Poster #110

Top post-doctoral fellow/Research Associate presenter

Courtney Mowat, University of Alberta, Kristi Baker’s Lab
Activation of Sting and Nlrp3 in colorectal cancer enhances the anti-tumour immune response
Poster #40

Top speed poster presenter

Brian Laight, Queen’s University, Peter Greer’s Lab
Enhancing Anti-Cancer Immunotherapy by Disruption of the non-Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Fes
Poster #11

Plain Language Talk Award

Zaid Taha, University of Ottawa, Diallo Lab
Evaluation of viral sensitizing antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) and oncolytic virus combination regimen in novel murine models of HER2+ cancer
Poster #128

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