March & April 2015

Chief Operating Officer

Dwayne Martins

  • Congratulations to all of those who made the Undergraduate Medical Education Accreditation visit run so smoothly. After two long years of preparation and dedication, we were very well prepared for the meetings with the reviewers. This was an excellent example of our capacity to perform at the highest levels.
  • Congratulations to the Communications and Marketing Team and Department of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs who worked in conjunction with Lawson Health Research Institute to make London Health Research Day (LHRD) a great success. LHRD is another excellent example of our high performing teams working optimally.

Media Relations

Tristan Joseph

  • Matthew Piaseczny, a MSc Candidate working with Dr. Alison Allan in the Anatomy and Cell Biology Program, is researching the role of 3D imaging in studying the progression of breast cancer. CTV London covered his research.
  • Schulich Dentistry students and Faculty from Western University partnered with Community Living London for the sixth annual Sharing Smiles Day on April 21, garnering local coverage with London Community News.
  • Seven discoveries made at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry are being recognized as life-changing breakthroughs by the Game-Changing Research at Ontario’s Universities initiative. The Toronto Star and Hamilton Spectator covered Dr. David Bailey’s breakthrough findings about the interaction between grapefruit and certain medications.
  • Dale Laird, PhD, Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Canada Research Chair in Gap Junctions and Disease, co-authored an article in the May issue of Scientific American about research into gap junctions. CTV London and the London Free Press covered his research.

Human Resources

Betty Holme

  • We are thrilled to announce the launch of Schulich Medicine & Dentistry’s new Wellness Committee. The goal of the committee is to create a work environment that promotes improved well-being for all faculty and staff. The Wellness Committee will be organizing programs that enrich our physical, mental, emotional, occupational and spiritual well-being. We are looking to dovetail with other wellness providers (ie. hospitals, and Western University) to enhance the number of wellness opportunities available on and off campus. Western University is holding the 20th Annual Peter A. Rechnitzer Lecture on May 4, 2015. Dr. Stuart Phillips will speak on “A mantra for active aging: Eat well, move lots, be strong, live long.” Click here for more details.
  • The Wellness Committee is currently investigating The Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) Get the World Moving initiative. This program was piloted by Western University last year and received very positive feedback. GCC provides a simple and engaging way to create a culture of health and wellness. For a period of 100 days, beginning on May 27, 2015, hundreds of thousands of employees around the world will compete in teams of seven as the GCC takes them on a journey that will increase their physical activity levels and improve their diet and quality of sleep. Beyond the 100 days, the GCC provides a 12-month platform to ensure that learning forms lasting habits. Visit their website for additional details. The cost to participate is dependent upon the number of registrants. If you are interested in participating, please click here to register.
  • The HR team has created on-boarding checklists for staff, faculty and chairs. Administrator checklists for new hires are also available on our website. These checklists can be found under the New Hire Orientation icon, under the Faculty and Staff headings.


Mady Hymowitz

  • Dr. Jane Aubin, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Chief Scientific Officer and Vice-President, Research and Knowledge Translation, and Ethics, will hold an open Town Hall meeting at Western University on Monday, May 11, 2015, from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. The Town Hall will be held at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) – University Hospital, Auditorium A, with videoconference to Victoria Hospital, room B1-124. 
  • In conjunction with Research Western, Lawson Health Research Institute, and other Western University faculties, we are starting to gear up for CIHR's 2015 2nd Foundation Pilot. CIHR's Registration Deadline for this competition is July 27, 2015. 

Basic Medical Sciences

Basic Medical Sciences Undergraduate Education (BMSUE)
Dr. Candace Gibson

  • During the Intent to Register (ITR) period in February and March, 626 students requested progression into Basic Medical Sciences Year 2, 533 requested Year 3, and 511 requested Year 4 of the BMSc program for 2015/2016. Requests for Honors Specialization in Neuroscience are also on target with 81 students requesting progression to Year 2, 30 requesting Year 3, and 24 requesting Year 4.
  • Adjudication will be the major focus for the Basic Medical Sciences Undergraduate Education (BMSUE) office in May. In addition to determining the eligibility for ITR choices for 1,800 progressing students, approximately 400 BMSc students will be adjudicated for graduation and the winners of Gold Medals and Named Awards will be finalized.
  • During the final exam period in April, which marked the end of the 2014/2015 undergraduate academic term, over 5,900 students wrote exams in 45 different Basic Medical Science courses.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Dr. Andrew Watson

  • The planning for the first event in the Milestone Series for new graduate students is underway. "Introduction to Biomedical Research" will kick off the series on September 8, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. with a reception to follow.
  • We are now accepting applications for the Dean's Graduate Stipend Awards. There will be two Dean's PhD Graduate Stipends, valued at $25,000 for four years, and two Dean's MSc to PhD transfer stipends, valued at $5,000 for up to three years. Applications are due by midnight on July 30, 2015.
  • The Dean has offered the Schulich Graduate Scholarship (SGS) for one additional year to incoming domestic PhD students. The SGS will be offered for the current year and for all new domestic PhD students in all Schulich Graduate programs who will begin their studies from May 1, 2015 until January 1, 2016.

Communications and Events

Jennifer Parraga

  • The Communications and Marketing Team recently completed the internal sign re-brand project. All internal and departmental Schulich Medicine & Dentistry signs have been replaced or updated with the properly branded logos as of April 9, 2015.
  • We are wrapping up the Website Redevelopment Stakeholder Meetings with all Phase 3 representatives that will review: website design templates, basic navigation concepts, clinical information on Western University websites and next steps.
  • The Communications and Marketing Team Provided support for two of the School's internationalization projects: The West China-Kilborn Surgical Symposium, which took place in Chengdu, China, and the Second Annual Western University-Nanjing Medical University Research Symposium, which took place at Western University.
  • The Communications and Marketing Team successfully hosted the Dentistry live Twitter chat for prospective students on April 13. Seven current Schulich Dentistry students participated as guest tweeters.
  • The Team created a new Learner Equity & Wellness brochure, delivered in time for UME Accreditation and a one-page promotional piece for the Imaging Research group at Robarts Research Institute.
  • The Events Team completed a number of successful events this past month including London Health Research Day, Discover Robarts, the Windsor Program Celebration of Excellence and the CCME Reception.  The team is currently preparing for the upcoming Celebration of Excellence Dinner on May 20. Work is also underway for the 3rd Annual See the Line event,  including logistics planning and development of a sponsorship proposal. A significant focus for the events team is sponsorship planning and prospecting for both Homecoming and Leaders in Innovation Dinner.

Information Services

Sergio Rodriguez

  • The Schulich IS Software Development team, in collaboration with Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) and the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), has recently launched a new process that facilitates the import of visiting student elective data from the new national student portal into our Schulich Administrative System (SAS). A new Undergraduate Visiting Student view has been created in SAS to accommodate this new data, and we are currently in the process of providing access to administrative staff.
  • All Schulich Medicine & Dentistry classroom and meeting room computers have been upgraded with new hard drives which takes login times on those machines from three to five minutes to less than one minute. 
  • All design and customer input/feedback sessions have been completed for a technology upgrade in the Drimmer lab (MSB113-117); IS will be working with procurement and facilities management in the next few months to implement the necessary upgrades. Thanks to all that participated.

Project Management Office/Strategic Technology Commons

Dale Shelley

  • We are pleased to announce that Susan Morgan, Instructional Trainer, has extended her contract until May 6, 2016, as Deb Tieszer has extended her secondment with Financial Services until April 30, 2016. Congratulations to you both. The Project Management Office (PMO) has: 
    • Completed a Change Management Coaching workshop for the Managers involved with the Distributed Education Network project and will implementing the Change Management Employee Orientation to the Education employees over the next several months.
    • Scheduled the next 2-Day Focus workshop on “Process Improvement & Management Methodology & Tools” for June 29-30.  Please email to register.
    • Updated our website with a new heading for “Our Services”.
  • Strategic Technology Commons (STC) is working with the Department of Biochemistry to develop learning resources to support a grant-funded project between Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and McMaster University for Undergrad Education. STC is actively assisting in the design and redesign of UME and BMSc courses by implementing a standardized procedure. Congratulations to Dr. Jay Loftus as he was asked to speak at Penn State College of Medicine regarding educational technology for Medical Education, and also co-presented with Dr. Anita Woods to a group at North Carolina State University regarding the Peer Wise project.


John Ruicci

  • Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) Accreditation came to a close on April 15.  The final report with observations and recommendations will be received in October.  UME was pleased with the visit and grateful to all who participated.
  • The second iteration of CaRMS was held on April 14, 2015. The Postgraduate Medical Education Program reports that Schulich Medicine & Dentistry matched all 14 previously unfilled positions, four by Western University grads.
  • UME students Dani Cadieux and Daniella Kwiatkowski from the Medicine Class of 2016 were recognized by the Quality Committee for their outstanding work and support of the UME Accreditation process, in addition to the commitment they bring to Undergraduate Medical Education in their medical student leadership roles. They have contributed to the curriculum, attended educational conferences to share their research and they fully integrate across the curriculum in terms of their active roles on various committees.
  • The Medicine Class of 2015 will convocate on Friday, May 15. If you would like to be part of the academic procession, register on the website by May 1, 2015.
    If you have any questions, please contact Learner Equity & Wellness at 519-661-4234.

Medical Council of Canada (MCC)

  • Final stages of planning are underway for the upcoming MCC QEII OSCE (10 tracks of 10 stations with 3 candidate intakes) on May 2-3 at St Joseph’s Hospital.
  • 160 SPs have been recruited for the exam. Training sessions began evenings and weekends in the Clinical Skills Building in mid-March.
  • 100 Staff have been recruited to facilitate the exam.
  • Planning is also underway for the MCC QEI computerized exam running for eight days out of the Labatt Health Science Building (April 27 - May 1 and May 5-7).

Alumni Relations and Development

Tracey Rutledge

  • We recently welcomed Kristen Lesko to our team. Kristen joins us as a Senior Development Officer and brings with her a wealth of fundraising and health care experience. We are thrilled to have her on board.
  • We are still in the hiring process for our other vacancies but are making progress and hope to announce a few more additions to our team soon.

Recent Gift Highlights:

  • A $25,000 pledge has been directed to the History of Medicine. This gift is designed to support medical history activities at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and to encourage medical students to study the history of medicine as part of their medical education.