Dr. Robert Zhong Department of Surgery Research Day

General Information

The Department of Surgery Research Day is held annually in mid-late June and was renamed the Dr. Robert Zhong Department of Surgery Research Day, in honour of Dr. Robert Zhong, a brilliant scientist and colleague who passed away in London, Ontario on September 8, 2006.

The event hosts world-class guest speakers and provides a sought-after opportunity for trainees, faculty, and guest-speakers to share exciting new developments that span disciplines and roles in our Academic Health Science Centre.

Our next Dr. Robert Zhong Department of Surgery Research Day will be held on June 5, 2024 in the St. James Auditorium at Brescia University College.

Call for Abstracts for Poster Presentations
***The deadline to submit an abstract has passed***


Schedule at a Glance:

10:45 AM Registration 
11:00 AM Poster Sessions
12:00 PM Opening Remarks
12:15 PM Resident Platform Presentations
1:15 PM BREAK (30 minutes)
1:45 PM MSc in Surgery Platform Presentation
2:00 PM Keynote Address: Dr. Jason Frank, MD, MA(Ed), FRCPC, Professor, University of Ottawa
2:45 PM Faculty Presentations
3:45 PM Award Presentation & Closing Remarks


Past Research Days

Research Day 2023

The 2023 Dr. Robert Zhong Department of Surgery Research Day was held on Friday, June 9, 2023 at King’s University College, London.


8:30 a.m.   Opening Remarks
8:45 a.m.   Award Winning Resident Platform Presentations
10:00 a.m. MSc Platform Presentation
10:10 a.m. Scilley Scholar Presentation
10:30 a.m. Keynote Address:
                   Applying Engineering Principles to Surgical Innovation
                   Dr. Victor Yang, Professor of Neurosurgery
11:15 a.m. Panel discussion: Innovation in Surgery
1:00 p.m.   Node speakers
2:00 p.m.   Award Presentation & Closing Remarks

Award Winners

Walker Research Day Award
Sasha Letourneau – “Augmented Reality Hand-tracking: An Accessible Solution for Accurate and Reliable Remote Finder Joint Range of Motion Measurement”

Big Data/ICES Node:
Mohamed Aly – “Early Outcomes and Risk Factors for Complications Following Pediatric Neurogenic Bladder Reconstruction: A Secondary Analysis of the Pediatric NSQIP database (2015-2020)”

Surgical Education Node:
Qian Wang – “Early Exposure to Surgery: Under-represented Students in Medicine”

QI & Patient Centered Node:
Taha Ismail – “Investigating the Outcomes of a Top-Down Versus Bottom-Up Approach to Safely Minimize Need for Further Investigations for Children with Urinary Tract Infections”

Fundamental Sciences & Surgical Innovation Node:
Harjot Athwal – “Studying the Anticancer Effects of Radiation Therapy and Polo-Like Kinase 4 (PLK4) Inhibitor, CFI-400945 in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer”

Research Day 2022

The Dr. Robert Zhong Department of Surgery Research Day 2022 took place in person on June 24, 2022 at the Darryl J. King Student Life Centre in King's University College.


Program (PDF, 624KB)
Poster Session:
7:45 AM 
Opening Remarks: 9:00 AM
Closing Remarks: 12:20 PM
Node breakout meetings: 2:00 pm via Zoom

Highlights of Research Day 2022

  • Poster Session
  • Award Winning Resident Research Presentations
  • Invited Speaker: Dr. Najma Ahmed
  • Acknowledgement of Graduating Residents

Guest Speaker: Najma Ahmed, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS

Dr. Ahmed completed Medical School and General Surgery Residency at McGill University. She holds a PhD in Surgical Infections and Sepsis. Following Residency, Najma pursued fellowship training in Trauma Surgery and Critical Care at the University of Michigan and the University of Toronto. Najma holds the positions of Vice Chair of education, Department of Surgery at University of Toronto and Professor of Surgery. Her contributions to post graduate surgical education have been recognized by numerous awards, including the prestigious Royal College AMS/Donald Richards Wilson Award in 2016. Her scholarly activities relate to Resident duty hours, Resident wellness, the application of a competency based framework to surgical training and gun violence prevention. Dr. Ahmed has been an Examiner as well as a Clinician-Educator at the Royal College.

Dr. Ahmed is a member of the Board of a grass roots organization called Canadian Doctors for Protection from Gun. She recently was awarded the CMA Canadian Medical Association, Sir Charles Tupper Award for her work on physician advocacy related to gun violence prevention. Najma has provided trusted leadership as Surgeon-in-Chief at St. Michael’s Hospital over the last many months, and especially during the unprecedented period of the COVID19 pandemic.

Research Day 2021

The Dr. Robert Zhong Department of Surgery Research Day was held virtually on the afternoon of November 11, 2021.

Opening Remarks

Attached is a PDF of the opening presentation given by Dr. Emil Schemitsch, Professor & Chair/Chief, Department of Surgery.  Please note there was an error in the live slideshow.  A corrected version has been posted below.

Guest Speaker

Dr. Chad Ball, associate professor of surgery and oncology at the University of Calgary. He currently practices Hepatobiliary, Pancreas, Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at the Foothills Medical Centre (quaternary care regional referral facility). 

Award Winners 

Best Resident/Fellow Research Oral Poster presentation 

Dr. Ge Shi, PGY 2, Division of General Surgery, — The Development and Validation of a Mixed Reality Thoracic Surgery Anatomy Atlas

Walker Research Day Award

Dr. Noah Stern, PGY 4, Division of Urology — A CUSUM Analysis of Operative Times and Complications for a Surgeon Initiating Robot Assisted Pyeloplasty - a Predictable Decrease in Operative Time is Possible by Case 30


Research Day 2020

The Dr. Robert Zhong Department of Surgery Research Day was held virtually on November 11, 2020.

Walker Resident Research Day Award

Congratulations to Dr. Farhad Ghasemi (General Surgery) on receiving the Walker Resident Research Day Award for his paper: “High Levels of Class I Major Histocompatibility Complex mRNA are Present in Epstein-Barr Virus Associated Gastric Adenocarcinomas”.


  • Resident Research Paper Presentations
  • Node Updates and Faculty Presentations
  • Faculty & Resident Dragon’s Den Sessions


Research Day 2019

The Dr. Robert Zhong Department of Surgery Research Day was held at the Joanne and Peter Kenny Theatre in King's University College on June 24, 2019.

Guest Speaker

Dr. Toni Zhong, Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery and the inaugural Belinda Stronach Chair in Breast Cancer Reconstruction at University Health Network (UHN)

Award Winners

Best Poster Presentation
Node 1: Big Data/ICES
Dr. Jeffrey Law

Node 2: Surgical Education Research
Dr. George Pang

Node 3: Fundamental Sciences and Surgical Innovation
Dr. Supriya Singh

Node 4: Patient Centered Research
Dr. Michaela Fernandes

Best Resident Paper Presentation
Dr. Kitty Wu

Surgical Dragon’s Den Winners
Node 1: Big Data/ICES
Dr. Chris Bailey

Node 2: Surgical Education Research
Dr. Peter Wang

Node 3: Fundamental Sciences and Surgical Innovation
Dr. Nicholas Power

Node 4: Patient Centered Research
Dr. Parham Rasoulinejad