connor charton

After graduating with a BMSc from Western University, I began researching glioblastoma under the supervision of Dr. Dirks at SickKids. This is when I realized I had a passion for research and am now beginning my graduate studies in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. 

luke chung

Luke received an Honours Bachelor of Science in Biophysics from York University in 2013, and has recently finished his MSc in the Sled lab at the Mouse Imaging Centre. His research focused on exploring the relationship between brain temperature and temperature of arterial blood. Using magnetic resonance imaging, he developed a non-invasive brain temperature measurement technique to be used in mice. Luke is currently working at SickKids as a Clinical Research Project Assistant for Dr. Giulia Longoni. Luke also has a deep interest in cancer research which he hopes to pursue through clinical training in oncology and radiology.

biren dave

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, where I study a pediatric brain tumour called medulloblastoma. In my previous two years with RIOT, I enjoyed introducing high school students to cancer research and helping out with Let’s Talk Cancer. I’m excited to continue with RIOT this year. Outside of my research I enjoy running and watching sports.

roshane francis

A 2nd year postdoctoral fellow passionate about science communication and studying gut diseases using synthetic biology approaches 🙂 For fun, I like to try new ice cream spots, check out amateur comedy shows and bike around the city on a bright, summer day! 

cindy ha

Cindy (she/her) is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. She studies how radiation therapy can be used with immune checkpoint blockade to induce systemic anti-tumour immunity in those with late-stage solid cancers. Prior to her time at U of T, Cindy completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph with Drs. Alicia Viloria-Petit and Lorraine Jadeski. In her free time, Cindy enjoys trying new recipes, weightlifting, longboarding and marathoning reality TV.

asa lau

Hello! I’m currently a second year MSc student with the LMP department and will be taking the transfer exam to the PhD stream early 2023. My lab is located at the Keenan Research Center within St. Michael’s Hospital and I work under the supervision of Dr. Kelsie Thu. My work aims to understand how CD47, an innate immune checkpoint, can be targeted in the clinic for patients diagnosed with lung adenocarcinoma. Prior to moving to Toronto, I completed my BSc in Health Sciences with a Minor in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. Through the Cooperative Program there, I discovered an interest for working in the biopharmaceutical industry so that’s where I’m hoping to head after graduate school!

cornelia redel

connyCornelia obtained a BSc and MSc from the University of Würzburg, Germany, where she studied Biochemistry with a focus on molecular and structural biology. During this time, she first worked on the oncogene MYC, a protein that has functions in tumour development, progression, and severity across many human cancer types. Her fascination with this protein continues in her PhD research at the University of Toronto, where she works on ways to inhibit MYC in breast cancer. Cornelia has always been interested in communicating research and inspiring others with the fascinating world of molecular biology. Joining Toronto RIOT in January 2020 helped her to fulfill this passion. When she is not in the lab, she plays volleyball, goes hiking, bakes and travels the world.

cory richman

patty sachamitr

Patty received her Doctorate in Stem Cell Biology and Immunology from the University of Oxford in 2016, where she investigated the differentiation of immune cells from stem cells for Immunotherapy.  She then moved from the UK to Toronto to pursue a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Dr Peter Dirks’ laboratory at the Hospital for Sick Children, where she was engaged in the discovery and validation of drugs for the treatment of  Glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive brain cancer in adults. She currently works as a Scientist in the Translation Immunology group at Bluerock Therapeutics, a Toronto-based cell therapy company. During her Masters and PhD, Patty was actively involved in organizing conferences, networking events and communicating research. She believes that scientific outreach is key to increasing public awareness of the importance of scientific research and is essential to inspire young students to pursue STEM careers. Patty is currently one of the two coordinators of RIOT Toronto. Outside the lab, Patty is passionate about yoga, scuba diving, travelling and cooking.

léa sharifi

Léa recently joined RIOT and completed her master’s degree at the University of Toronto in the Department of Medical Biophysics (MBP). She has been studying colorectal cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy and trying to find new ways to target them therapeutically. She has also been involved in her school community by being the MBP Social Committee Co-Lead and being involved in the MBP Community Outreach Program. She is excited to be starting in the MD program at the University of Toronto in the fall. Léa is looking forward to educating high school students and members of the community on current cancer research and opening up meaningful conversations about this disease that affects millions of people every year.