Karina Gasbarrino and Iulia Iatan received 2023 Trainee Research Awards

Two former trainees with ties to the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) received the prestigious 2023 Trainee Research Awards from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) at its annual meeting last fall, Vascular 2023. Karina Gasbarrino, PhD, winner of the Basic Science Award, was then completing her postdoctoral fellowship at the RI-MUHC under the supervision of Dr. Stella Daskalopoulou. Iulia Iatan, MD, PhD, FRCPC, winner of the Clinical Research Award, had recently completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and prior to that, her doctorate as an RI-MUHC trainee.

“We are very proud that both of these high-profile national awards went to candidates associated with the Cardiovascular Health Across the Lifespan (CHAL) Program at the RI-MUHC,” says Dr. Ariane Marelli, leader of the CHAL Program at the time of the award presentations. “Throughout her doctoral and postdoctoral studies with Dr. Stella Daskalopoulou, Karina Gasbarrino has received well-deserved recognition. We look forward to welcoming Iulia Iatan back to the CHAL Program this spring as a clinician investigator with expertise in vascular and cardiometabolic health, as well as cardiovascular genetics.”

Karina Gasbarrino
CCS Trainee Research Award – Basic Science Winner
Abstract Title: Circulating Sex-Specific Immune and Hormone Markers of Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaque Instability

Iulia Iatan
CCS Trainee Research Award – Clinical Science Winner
Abstract Title: Familial Hypercholesterolemia in Canada: Investigating Management Patterns and Clinical Outcomes from the FH Canada Registry

“The work performed during my postdoctoral studies with Dr. Daskalopoulou … was a collaborative effort dedicated to raising awareness about sex differences in carotid atherosclerosis,” says Karina Gasbarrino, “as well as advocating for a transformative shift in recognizing and integrating these sex-specific factors into the broader framework of disease management and treatment.” Her research was supported by a CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship Award.

Dr. Iatan spearheads the multicentre study on Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) in Canada. Her presentations at several national and international meetings, most recently on her Late-breaking Clinical Trial at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions, showcase her dedication to advancing cardiovascular health. ‘’This work was started as part of my Fellowship in UBC and is the largest Canadian study performed in FH patients to date,’’ she says. ‘’It represents a tight collaboration between UBC and McGill, as well as 19 academic centres across the country, to help improve detection and management of one of the most common genetic diseases in humans, and one of the leading causes of premature cardiovascular disease.’’

The CCS Training Awards recognize the scientific merit and excellence of presentation and research work done by a resident, research fellow, or graduate student in a training program.

Congratulations to both recipients!