2021 awards

2021 Dean's Excellence Awards

Community Member Health Champion Award – Daniel Rubin
Dan Rubin is a retired educator, gardener, professional musician and arts manager.  Since arriving in Newfoundland & Labrador he has developed techniques for extending the growing season using simple, inexpensive and recycled materials.  As well as founding a heritage seed company, Perfectly Perennial Herbs and Seeds, he presented workshops on: Creating the Year Round Garden, attended so far by more than 1,200 people.  Dan has become deeply involved in efforts to restore food security and community health.  As Chairperson of Food Producers Forum, a new provincial non-profit organization, he is leading ten projects supporting local food production across our province.  The overall goal is to produce and gather more of our own food, restoring community health and local resilience, while decreasing the impact of our food on global climate change and loss of biodiversity.  Dan works tirelessly so that such initiatives can improve the health and well-being of the people of this province.  He has a great desire to help individuals to improve their everyday lives.
Service Award – Managerial: Angela Dunn
Angela Dunn is the Research Manager for the Faculty of Medicine. She completed a Joint Honours in Biology and Behavioural Neuroscience Science and her Master of Science (Medicine) in Human Genetics.  Angela started her career in industry as the Head of Genomics at a local Genomics Research company for 6 years before transitioning to the public sector. In her current role at Memorial University, she is responsible for overseeing the administration of grants, contracts, and awards for all faculty members in Medicine as well as managing several Medicine internal funding opportunities.  Angela is passionate about research and committed to building an environment where researchers are engaged, motivated and have the necessary resources to succeed. She takes pride in ensuring that RGS provides the best possible support to foster research excellence within the faculty.
Service Award – Administrative: Caitlin Power
Caitlin Power grew up in Conception Harbour, Newfoundland & Labrador.  She has a Diploma in Office Administration from College of the North Atlantic.  Caitlin began her career with Memorial University in 2012.  She is currently the Academic Program Assistant (Undergraduate Programs) in the Division of BioMedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine.  In this role, Caitlin provides administrative support to the courses, and co-ordinates all undergraduate student employment within the Division.  Before that, she worked as a secretary to the graduate programs in the Faculty of Education where her primary capacity was to support students enrolled in the doctoral program.  Caitlin takes immense pride in supporting students pursuing their education.  She is known as a hardworking and dedicated individual by faculty members.  Caitlin’s kindness, willingness and commitments to the task at hand are widely recognized by faculty members in the Division, and her collaborative nature as an administrative assistant is outstanding.
Senior Teaching Award:  Jill Barter
Dr. Jill Barter is native to Newfoundland & Labrador and completed Medical School at Memorial University.  Following this, she completed her Pediatrics Residency and Pediatric Critical Care Subspecialty at McGill University and returned to the province in 1995.  Dr. Barter is the Division Chief of the PICU at the Janeway; Associate Professor of Pediatrics at MUN and is the Atlantic Canada Representative for Critical Care Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.  She has been teaching ever since her arrival back to the province in 1995.  Aside from caring for the province’s critically ill children, teaching and passing on her knowledge and experience to trainees at all levels is Jill’s deepest and truest passion.  When Jill is not busy looking after her patients, running the PICU, directing simulations, running Mock Codes or teaching, you will find her hiking the East Coast Trails, reading, travelling (pre COVID!!), whale watching, boating or just spending time with her husband Joe, her son Frank and their two Portuguese Water Dogs Pluto and Cosmo.
Max House Teaching Award for CME/CPD: Shabnam Asghari
Dr. Shabnam Asghari is a Professor with the Discipline of Family Medicine.  She leads a rural health research capacity-building program at the Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University. This novel, socially accountable program fosters innovation through partnerships with patients, communities, and decision-makers.  One of the main components of this program is a training program for physicians (6for6) that has successfully integrated a new model of learning for health research activities in rural and remote areas.  Dr. Asghari’s efforts toward developing, and delivering the 6for6 curriculum have led to accreditation from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.  Another integral part of her rural health research capacity-building program is a research incubator called Rural360 to help fund rural research ideas led by rural physicians.  Dr. Asghari has worked tirelessly to advance CME/CPD planning, teaching and scholarly research for physicians and health professionals provincially and nationally.
Junior Faculty Award – Non-Clinical: Touati Benoukraf
Dr. Touati Benoukraf obtained his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics, Biochemistry, and Structural Genomics at the Immunology Center of Marseille-Luminy, Aix-Marseille University in 2010. After two years of postdoctoral training, he gained his scientific independence by being awarded a "Special Fellowship" at the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, followed by a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Bioinformatics for Personalized Medicine at MUN in 2018.  His scientific productions range from the discovery of novel epigenetic mechanisms that regulate gene expression, to the development of bioinformatics tools and databases for pan-omics datasets analysis derived from the latest sequencing technologies. To date, he has published 43 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has accumulated around C$2M in research funding in Canada, France, and Singapore.  Dr. Benoukraf is currently a member of the BMC Medical Genomics Editorial Board.
Senior Faculty Award – Non-Clinical: Qi Yuan
Dr. Qi Yuan obtained her PhD at Memorial University in 2003, followed by post-doctoral research at Riken Brain Science Institute and University of California at San Diego.  She established her independent research laboratory at Memorial University in 2009 and became a Professor in 2020.  Her lab uses a combination of long-standing and novel techniques to explore the processes underlying learning and memory, as well as its decline with age and Alzheimer’s disease.  Dr. Yuan has distinguished herself as a brilliant scientist and supervisor in the Faculty of Medicine since her initial appointment.  She has trained many undergraduate, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are part of her research program.  Her dedication and commitment to the training of each individual trainees is tremendous.  Dr. Yuan’s work is supported by Canadian Institute of Health Research and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Senior Faculty Award – Clinical: Joan Crane
Dr. Joan Crane is a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist and Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Memorial University.  She completed a Fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine and a Masters in Community Health and Epidemiology from Dalhousie University.  She has over 150 peer reviewed publications with over 9,000 citations, is the principal author of 13 (and co-author of 15) national Obstetric guidelines. She has received 33 national/international research presentation awards, including the Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC), the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine.  Dr. Crane received the Memorial University President’s Award for Outstanding Research in 2004 and the Association of Professionals in Obstetrics & Gynecology National Excellence in Research Award in 2010.  She has received national/international teaching awards from SOGC, ACOG, the American Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics & Gynecology and the American Association of Professors in Obstetrics & Gynecology.