PaLM Faculty Award Recipients


In April, four faculty members in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine were recognized for their outstanding contributions to education, leadership, research, and service.

It is with great pride that we honour their achievements and extend our congratulations.

Dr. Bertha Garcia

Honorary Fellow of the American College of Dentists

Dr. Bertha Garcia was named an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Dentists for her exceptional contributions as a leader in dentistry education. An Honorary Fellowship is the College’s highest honour that can be presented to an individual who is not a dentist but who has significantly impacted dentistry through their work in leadership, education, research or public health. Dr. Garcia was appointed Acting Vice Dean and Director of Dentistry in June 2019.

Dr. Aaron Haig

Schulich Excellence in Education (Postgraduate) Leader Award

Dr. Aaron Haig received a Schulich Excellence in Education Leader Award for his contributions to postgraduate medical education. The Leader Award recognizes extensive involvement in postgraduate curriculum development and impact at the provincial and national level. Dr. Haig’s work in planning and implementing competency-based medical education for the Anatomical Pathology Residency Program was highlighted as was the "positive environment he creates for residents to learn and thrive."

Dr. Bekim Sadikovic

Children’s Health Foundation CHRI Scientist of the Year Award

Dr. Bekim Sadikovic was named Children’s Health Foundation CHRI Scientist of the Year. This award is for the project entitled "Identification of structural signatures in the genome to diagnose childhood diseases."

Project Summary
Current genetic testing approaches are limited in diagnosing pediatric patients with developmental delay, intellectual disability, or congenital abnormalities. These mutations cause wide-scale disruptions in the structure that alter gene expression across the genome creating a distinct signature or "episignature". Dr. Bekim Sadikovic of London Health Science Centre led a team of Canadian and American scientists to develop a computational tool that can diagnose several rare, hereditary childhood disorders based on pediatric patient episignatures. This first-of-a-kind technology allows for the ability to identify novel genetic mutations associated with pediatric diseases and to diagnose patients for whom previous genetic testing has resulted in inconclusive results. This work has resulted in a global first Canadian national clinical trial currently using this technology to assess the health system impact in 4,000 patients, and development of the LHSC-led clinical diagnostic network of labs providing “EpiSign” testing to patients with genetic disorders globally.

Dr. Michele Weir

Edward G. Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching

Dr. Michele Weir received the prestigious Edward G. Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching. This award recognizes Western University’s top educators and celebrates excellence in teaching, mentorship, educational leadership, and curricular innovation. The award citation reads: Dr. Michele Weir is lauded for being "thoughtful and humble," and recognized as an "amazing mentor and leader in education." Through her award-winning teaching, major curriculum development and educational leadership, Dr. Weir has made countless contributions at Western and beyond. Her engaging teaching style has been recognized through many honours, including the Hippocratic Undergraduate Medical Education Committee Award and the Canadian Association for Medical Education Certificate of Merit, a national award for peer recognition for contributions to undergraduate medical education. With her compassion and open-door policy, she helps many people through challenging times, sharing her own experiences, and offering practical advice. Dr. Weir has been at the forefront of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry renewal and has contributed significantly to the new competence-based undergraduate medical curriculum. She is a strong advocate for introducing Indigenous health and cultural competencies into the field of care. 

A thank you is extended to all the faculty, staff, residents, and learners who led the award nomination efforts or who provided supporting letters. Your participation is appreciated.