EPIC supports 16 outstanding young researchers through its Doctoral Awards
A smiling woman with a grey sweater and a smiling man wearing a toque and blue coat

Top row (l-r): Anson Lau, Diana Yang, Jiazhen Jin, Karla Ghartey, Marry Nissan. Middle row (l-r): Oliver Gatalo, Priyal Shah, Ruikai Wu, Saba Ale Ebrahim, Saeedeh Moayedi Nia. Bottom row (l-r): Vajini Atukorale, Victoria Taylor, Viplav Agarwal, Yaejin Lee, Youngseo Jeong.

January 9, 2023

By Betty Zou

The Emerging and Pandemic Infections Consortium (EPIC) is fostering the next generation of infectious disease research leaders through its Doctoral Awards.

This year’s 16 recipients come from two University of Toronto campuses, including five faculties and eight departments, as well as four hospital partner research institutes. With topics ranging from a point-of-care test for tick-borne diseases to Epstein-Barr virus biology to real-world vaccine effectiveness during the global mpox outbreak, these PhD students are tackling important questions that will improve our ability to respond to infectious diseases in Canada and around the world.

“In many ways, graduate trainees are the engine that drives innovative research forward,” says Scott Gray-Owen, academic director of EPIC and a professor of molecular genetics in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine.

“This year’s Doctoral Award winners capture the breadth and depth of infectious disease research taking place at U of T and EPIC’s hospital partners. We are excited to support this talented and diverse group of trainees as they advance their projects and develop the skills they need to lead the fight against infectious diseases in the future.”

EPIC Doctoral Awards provide $10,000 in stipend support over one year to outstanding students who successfully achieved PhD candidacy in the previous calendar year. The students must be pursuing an infectious disease-focused research project and have a supervisor whose primary affiliation is at one of EPIC’s partner institutions (Hospital for Sick Children, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Unity Health Toronto, University Health Network and University of Toronto).

Learn more about the 2024 Doctoral Awards recipients on our funding results page.