Jamie Wu receives 2019 Cecil Yip Award


Originally by Jovana Drinjakovic

Eight students in their first year of graduate studies pursuing research in artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and bioengineering have been awarded the 2019 Cecil Yip Graduate Research Award.

With bachelor degrees in life sciences, math, physics, and engineering, and enrolled in graduate programs at U of T Departments of Molecular Genetics (MoGen), Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry (ChemE), Computer Science (CS) and the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), the 2019 winning cohort embodies the mandate of the Donnelly Centre as an interdisciplinary research institute at the forefront of biomedicine.

Established as a tribute to Cecil Yip, former Vice-Dean of research in the Faculty of Medicine and a co-founder of the Donnelly Centre, the award recognizes students at the beginning of their graduate program whose collaborative research in one of the Centre’s labs has the potential to lead to tangible advances in medicine.

“This year’s applicants reflect how the world-class collaborative interdisciplinary research environment of the Donnelly Centre has become a magnet for top scholars and trainees,” says Christopher Yip, Chair of the award committee, Dean of U of T’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering and Principal Investigator in the Donnelly Centre.

“While the review committee was impressed and excited by all of the applicants and their innovative and ambitious research projects, the awardees were selected based on the compelling translational aspects of their proposals and the catalytic role played by the Donnelly Centre.”

A promising strategy for treating cancer more precisely in a way that avoids damage to healthy tissue is to deliver drug-filled nanoparticles directly into tumours. However, only a tiny fraction of these particles actually reach tumours for reasons that aren’t clear. Jamie (Liu Yi) Wu, (Chan lab, IBBME) is researching how nanoparticles interact with proteins in the blood and with the tumour vasculature to find out how this affects their transport and improve targeting.