CDTRP 10th Annual Scientific Meeting

Tue, Dec 5, 2023 - Thu, Dec 7, 2023

From 12:45 PM to 11:59 PM EDT

Please take a moment to give us your opinion on the Meeting in this short survey!

Location details

The Delta Hotel in downtown Montréal is located at 475 President-Kennedy Avenue, in the heart of the vibrant Quartier des spectacles. This neighborhood is known for its cultural and artistic events, making it the perfect place for visitors who want to experience the culture and energy of Montréal. The hotel is conveniently located near the Place-des-Arts metro station, as well as several bus lines, making it easy to explore all that Montréal has to offer. 

Address: 475 Avenue du Président-Kennedy, Montréal, QC H3A 1J7, Canada


We are happy to welcome you at the Delta Hotel in downtown Montréal, located at 475 President-Kennedy Avenue, in the heart of the vibrant Quartier des spectacles. This neighbourhood is known for its cultural and artistic events, making it the perfect place for visitors who want to experience the culture and energy of Montréal. The hotel is conveniently located near the Place-des-Arts metro station, as well as several bus lines, making it easy to explore all that Montréal has to offer. 

If you wish to book a room, please send an email to: [email protected]

Delta Hotel, Montréal, Qc

475 Avenue du Président-Kennedy, Montréal, QC H3A 1J7, Canada

Delta Hotel | 475 President-Kennedy Avenue, Montréal

We are happy to welcome you at the Delta Hotel in downtown Montréal, located at 475 President-Kennedy Avenue, in the heart of the vibrant Quartier des spectacles. This neighbourhood is known for its cultural and artistic events, making it the perfect place for visitors who want to experience the culture and energy of Montréal. The hotel is conveniently located near the Place-des-Arts metro station, as well as several bus lines, making it easy to explore all that Montréal has to offer. 


The program has been developed by the CDTRP Annual Scientific Meeting Planning Committee, co-chaired by Dr. Siba Haykal and Dr. Vanessa Silva e Silva. Other members of the Planning Committee are listed below (in alphabetical order):

  • Dr. Amine Benmassaou (Theme 5, McGill University)
  • Dr. Suze Berkhout (Theme 5, University Health Network)
  • Jorge Castillo-Prado (Theme 3, Trainee, University of Toronto)
  • Charles Cook (Theme 1, Patient Partner)
  • Sean Delaney (Theme 5, Patient Partner)
  • Dr. Esme Dijke (Theme 4, University of Alberta)
  • Dr. Mingyao Liu (Theme 3, University Health Network)
  • Dr. Francis Migneault (Theme 3, CHUM Research Centre)
  • Amy Thachil (Theme 4, Trainee, University of British Columbia)

Great Actions Leave a Mark Photobooth & Living Transplant Podcast

Great Actions Leave a Mark Photobooth

Come snap a photo, share your story and be part of a National movement to raise awareness, provide education about living organ donation and provide hope to the many waiting for a lifesaving organ.

Living Transplant Podcast

Join our host Candice Coghlan, a kidney transplant recipient and Education & Outreach Coordinator at the Centre for Living Organ Donation. Each episode she is joined by a guest host with lived transplant experience to interview an expert in the field of transplant. Candice and her guest hosts will tell the incredible stories of transplant recipients, donors and caregivers, and together, they will explore transplantation through the perspective of frontline staff, researchers, innovators and transplant pioneers. Want to be a part of it? We are going Behind the Scenes at the CDTRP’s 10th Annual Scientific Meeting and would love to showcase your work. We are looking for presenters who would be interested in sharing their work for 5-10 minutes on a behind the scenes bonus episode. Please reach out to Candice Coghlan at [email protected] to schedule a time to record over Zoom. Thank you!

Curating Critical Futurities in Transplant Medicine: Arts Practices as New Knowledge

Curating Critical Futurities in Transplant Medicine is a pop-up art installation that showcases visual, sonic, and multimedia artistic works created to explore the complexities, unknowns, and lived experiences of solid organ transplantation. The pieces presented have been developed as part of the Frictions of Futurity and Cure in Transplant Medicine Project, a multi-year, research-creation study that unabashedly sits at the convergence of crip technoscience, feminist science and technology studies, and arts-based research engaged with disability arts and artists. The impetus for the project comes, in part, from an understanding that artistic practices can generate “speculative frames through which to defamiliarize and reorganize the local” (Loveless 2019). By transporting art out of the gallery and into a national transplant conference, we invite a reconsideration of art: as intervention, as a way to generate, reveal, name, alter and engage with the multiplicity of experiences within transplantation. The pop-up installation persuades us to know differently, so as to materialize liveability and thriving in a transplantation lifeworld as political, creative acts.

Frictions of Futurity Project Arts-Mobilization Team

  • Dr. Suze Berkhout
  • Dr. Kelly Fritsch
  • Ms. Eva-Marie Stern
  • Chloe Wong-Mersereau
  • Alexandra Frankel

Guest Curator

  • Ms. Élise Desaulniers

Testing the Health Education & Learning Platform (HELP) Prototype: A Mobile Application to Improve the Transplant Journey

A group of researchers, healthcare providers, and patients are co-developing a new mobile health technology called the Health Education and Learning Platform (HELP). This mobile application (app) is designed to support people along their transplant journey with tailored education and tools for managing their health and wellbeing. The app is currently in the prototype phase. Potential users are invited to visit the HELP Prototype kiosk between sessions to view the prototype and complete a research questionnaire. Our goal is to learn about whether patients and care partners plan to use the app and to explore how participants might use the app in managing their health and wellness. The feedback gathered will help researchers and developers ensure that HELP meets the needs and expectations of future users.

CDTRP 10 Years in 10 Minutes

Evaluating CDTRP's Patient, Family and Donor Impact Sponsored by Canadian Blood Services

This interactive workshop builds on CDTRP’s 2023 ASM Session, Developing a Framework for Evaluating PFD Impact within CDTRP. Led by Dr. Audrey L'Espérance, Sandra Holdsworth, Ke Fan Bei, and Manuel Escoto, this team has utilized indicators from the Learning Together: An Evaluation Framework for Patients and Public Engagement in Research to develop a CDTRP Evaluation Framework relevant to PFD partners, researchers, and trainee. These indicators will support data collection and build an evaluation dashboard for activities involving CDTRP PFD Partners. This workshop will introduce the priority indicator, engaging participants in a discussion to build consensus so evaluation metrics are relevant to CDTRP’s research community. 

This session is sponsored by Canadian Blood Services.

This session is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Advancing a more inclusive blood and transplant system for donors from marginalized groups

This session will focus on the need for diverse donors across donation products, underrepresentation of racialized and LGBTQ+ donors across donor pools, unique barriers to donation impacting these groups, structural racism and discrimination in donation policy (past and present) which needs to be overcome, and solutions to advance a more inclusive blood and transplant system for donors from underserved/ historically excluded populations (focusing on how partnership with patient/family/donor/community advocates is critical to address disparities). Afterwards, there will be a series of facilitated discussion groups where participants will breakout into small groups to discuss issues highlighted in the presentation. Groups will be given a series of questions to spark discussion. Experts in DEI in donation and transplantation will be invited as facilitators. Finally, the presenters (Dr. Warren Fingrut and Sylvia Okonofua) and the expert facilitators will form a panel, and will invite representatives of each breakout group to share a summary of their learnings for discussion with the panel.

This session is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).


Lori West

The Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program

Scientific Director

Dr. Lori West is a Professor of Pediatrics, Surgery, Medical Microbiology/Immunology and Laboratory Medicine/Pathology at the University of Alberta and Director of the Alberta Transplant Institute. A clinician-scientist, she has longstanding interest and expertise in pediatric heart transplantation and transplant immunology, particularly related to ABO glycoimmunology. Her pioneering work on crossing ABO-barriers led to global impact on infant heart transplantation. Dr. West is also the founding Director of the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program, a national research coalition funded since 2013 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Together with founding co-Director Dr. Marie-Josée Hébert, the CDTRP framework has grown to encompass collaborations in all streams of research with hundreds of investigators at 37 sites across Canada. Dr. West previously held the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Heart Transplantation, is past-president of the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation and the Canadian Society of Transplantation, and immediate past-chair of the Women in Transplantation international initiative of The Transplantation Society. A Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, Dr. West was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2020.

Patricia Gongal

The Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program

Executive Director

Dr. Patricia Gongal is the Executive Director of the CDTRP. She completed her PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Alberta in 2009, and a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental biology at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in France. She has worked in a variety of roles supporting researchers and research programs, including as an independent scientific writing consultant, as a Research Development Officer at Aberystwyth University, UK, and as Director of Major Grants at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, where she developed, implemented and managed the strategy for large-scale research funding initiatives. She has been with CDTRP since 2020.

Sonny Dhanani

Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)


Dr. Dhanani is the chief of the pediatric intensive care unit at the Children’sHospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa and Professor (Pediatrics) at the University of Ottawa. He is now the Chair of the Canadian Donation Physician Network, Chair of Canadian Blood Services’ national Deceased Donation Advisory Committee, and steering committee member of Health Canada’s Organ Donation and Transplantation Collaborative. Dr. Dhanani is Associate Director for donation research for the Canadian Donation and Transplant Research Program. His own area of focus is leading international research pertaining to practices and standards for determining death after cardiac arrest for the purposes of donation.

Siba Haykal

University Health Network

Assistant Professor

Dr. Haykal graduated from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine in 2007 as class valedictorian and silver medalist, and subsequently completed her residency training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Toronto in 2016. During her residency, she completed a four-year Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and immunology with a focus on tracheal reconstruction. She obtained numerous grants and awards including a CIHR Vanier Scholarship. Dr. Haykal then pursued fellowship training in microsurgical reconstruction at the Albany Medical Centre in New York.

Dr. Haykal joined the University Health Network and the Toronto General Hospital in 2018. Her clinical focus is on complex oncological reconstruction and microsurgical reconstruction of the breast, head and neck and extremity. She started a lymphedema program in 2019 where she offers microsurgical techniques for the treatment of lymphedema. Her research focuses on tissue-engineered techniques for tracheal reconstruction and the immunology of vascularized composite allotransplantation as well as long term outcomes of lymphedema surgery.

Dr. Haykal has been the recipient of numerous grants (most recently NFRF and CIHR) and awards for her clinical, academic and research work, and is the author of several peer-reviewed publications. In 2021, Dr. Haykal was named as an honoree of Canada's Top 40 under 40. She was also recently awarded Top 40 under 40 by the Association of Women Surgeons.

Sylvia Okonofua

The Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program


Sylvia Okonofua is Founder and Executive Director of Black Donors Save Lives, a federal non profit organization that works to engage Black peoples to donation of blood, stem cells, and organs and tissues. She is also a donor recruiter with Stem Cell Club. In these roles, Sylvia has worked for the past 7 years to overcome unique barriers to donation impacting African, Caribbean, and Black communities in Canada, and advocate for Black patients in need of lifesaving donation products. Through her work with Black Donors Save Lives, she also educates healthcare professionals and students about structural barriers to donation impacting Black peoples, and how the healthcare community can help overcome these critical challenges.

Golnaz Karoubi

University of Toronto

Assistant Professor

Dr. Golnaz Karoubi is Assistant Scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute and principal investigator in the Latner Thoracic Research Labs. She currently holds an Assistant Professor appointment in the department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology and a cross-appointment in the department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. Dr. Karoubi received her PhD in Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto and joined the Lung Regenerative Medicine Program in the Department of Clinical Research in Berne University, Switzerland for a post-doctoral research fellowship. She stayed on as a Group Leader in 2008 to direct the basic and transitional science as related to Cancer Stem Cell and Lung Regenerative Medicine in the Department of Biomedical Research at the University of Berne until 2012. In early 2012, she joined the team of Dr. Tom Waddell at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute as a Senior Scientific Associate and was appointed to Assistant Scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (University Health Network) in November 2019 and to Assistant Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology in July 2020.

Her research interests include development of practical approaches for treatment of lung and airway disease. Studies focus on: (1) Lung, tracheal and airway regeneration; (2) Use of pluripotent derived airway epithelial cells for tissue engineering applications; and (3) cell-based therapeutic approaches for end-stage lung disease.

Ke Fan Bei

The Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program

Patient Partner & Trainee

Ke Fan Bei is a third year PhD student at the University of Toronto in the Department of Immunology working under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Juvet. Her graduate project focuses on understanding the role of intragraft regulatory T cells, a type of immune cell that maintains homeostasis, in the driving chronic lung allograft dysfunction/function. Her research seeks to improve long-term allograft survival to provide better quality of life for transplant recipients. A goal that was influenced by her early childhood. In 1999 Ke received news that she has chronic kidney disease. She clearly remembers spending days to weeks in the maze of hallways and playrooms of Sick Children Hospital, making colorful beaded artworks as cartoons played in the background on small corner mounted TVs. After the many years, nurses and physicians became her friends and her inspiration and support, answering the curiosities of a child and the challenging questioning of a teenager. In 2011, Ke started dialysis and in 2014 she received her transplant from a close family member. Ke was exposed to scientific literature and encouraged to make a presentation on dialysis disequilibrium. Inspired, perhaps more so encouraged by the gift of her transplant, Ke is now pursuing her research in transplant immunology.

Manuel Escoto

The Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program

Patient, Family, Donor Partnerships & Education Manager

Manuel Escoto joins us from Edmonton, Alberta. He completed his Master of Public Health from the University of Alberta and has received training in patient-oriented research through the University of Calgary’s PACER (Patient and Community Engagement Research) Program. He is the Patient, Family, and Donor Partnerships & Education Manager with the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program. In this role, Manuel builds relationships patient partners with investigators and strengthens capacity among CDTRP patient partners. As a kidney transplant recipient, Manuel has been a patient partner in various initiatives, including collaboration with the CAN-SOLVE CKD Network, The Kidney Foundation, Alberta Health Services, and other project focused on the health and well-being of kidney and transplant recipients.

Linda Powell

The Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program

Caregiver Partner

Linda's initial career started as a physiotherapist, graduating from McGill University. Her career path led to a 25-year involvement with the development of STARS Air Ambulance in western Canada. Community engagement has included governance on charitable boards and she holds the director certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors. She retired from her management role with STARS with the start of her caregiver journey for a family member who faced rapidly evolving end-stage liver disease. Linda is a PFD Partner participant in the International Donation and Transplantation Legislative and Policy Forum and is currently the Chair, Alberta ORGANization Group, a community collaborative to advocate for organ donation in Alberta.

Heather Badenoch

Village PR

Communications strategist & Living Donor

Heather Badenoch is a non-directed living liver donor and communications strategist. As the president of Village PR, she provides strategic communications direction and training to not-for-profit clients in community and health. An active transplant volunteer, Heather helps transplant candidates find living donors by running their public appeals, small and large, pro-bono. She also mentors potential living donors on the path to living donation. Heather is a volunteer with the UHN Centre for Living Organ Donation and the Canadian Donation and Transplant Research Program. She and her spouse adopt rescue dogs and volunteer together with Community Veterinary Outreach, a group providing free veterinary care to the pets of people who are homeless.

Elaine Yong

BC Transplant

Manager of Communications & Caregiver Partner

Elaine Yong is a CDTRP patient partner, Manager of Communications and Community Engagement at BC Transplant, and caregiver to a pediatric heart transplant recipient. Elaine graduated from the Journalism program at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, now Toronto Metropolitan University, and worked in newsrooms across the country for more than two decades before moving into healthcare communications in 2015. Her daughter Addison was the first infant to receive a heart transplant at BC Children’s Hospital in 2011. Along with her involvement as a patient partner in several research projects, Elaine sits on the board of the Transplant Research Foundation of BC. In 2013, she and her family launched the Addison Fund to support pediatric transplant research.

Chantal Bémeur

Université de Montréal

Associate Professor

Chantal Bémeur is a nutrition specialist in relation to liver disease and its many complications. Professor Bémeur trained as a dietitian/nutritionist and completed her graduate studies and two post-doctoral fellowships in nutrition, focusing on conditions affecting the hepatic and nervous systems, such as hepatic encephalopathy and lactic acidosis in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. Professor Bémeur's research activities are generally of a fundamental and clinical nature, including a collaboration with CHUM's Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology. As an expert member of the International Society on Hepatic Encephalopathy and Nitrogen Metabolism, Dr. Bémeur has participated in the development of guidelines on nutrition and liver disease. She is also part of a team of Canadian experts who developed an evidence-based nutritional education guide collaborating with people with chronic liver disease and their caregivers in Alberta. She received an award from the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec in 2018 for her work on this guide. Dr. Bémeur has published several book chapters, 30 scientific articles and over 100 scientific abstracts. Dr. Bémeur's laboratory co-directs the HepatoNeuro Laboratory in the Cardiometabolic Axis of the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CRCHUM). Several organizations, including the Donation and Transplantation Research Program of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research fund Dr. Bémeur's research.

Sherrie Logan

The Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program

Caregiver Partner

Sherrie Logan is a caregiver of a pediatric liver transplant recipient. She is also finishing her first year of a full-time distance MPH Health Promotion program at the University of Alberta while working part-time as a Research Assistant at the University of Toronto. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from York University in Kinesiology. Over the last fourteen years, she has committed her time and energy to improve the quality and quantity of life years restored by transplantation through the development of a grassroots peer support group (Patients and Family Engaged Partners), fundraising (Co-Founder, Ashley's Angels) in support of The Transplant Centre at The Hospital for Sick Children, and co-leading (Exercise Hub) and engaging in research opportunities within the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program. Sherrie also holds an external advisory board position with Starzl Network and a patient engagement research position with the Society of Pediatric Liver Transplantation and the Canadian Institute of Health Research. During her free time, Sherrie enjoys spending time with her family, running and teaching yoga.

Rienk de Vries

The Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program

Patient Partner

Rienk de Vries lives in Oakville and runs a consulting firm that has provided services in the water industry for more than 15 years in Canada, the US and the Caribbean. Rienk has been a patient researcher and Patient, Family and Donor (PFD) representative on CDTRP Theme 5: Restoring Long-Term Health for a little more than a year. He had a heart transplant in December 2012 and has been involved in a number of transplantation related research projects over the past 10 years.

Mai Duong

Swab The World


Mai Duong is an accomplished advertising strategist and co-founder of Swab The World. With over 20 years of experience in communications and media strategy with top advertising agencies in Canada, Mai has led groups of talented strategists on clients such as Red Bull, General Motors, Coke, and many others. In 2014, Mai was diagnosed with leukemia for a second time, and a stem cell transplant was her only cure. She’d never heard of the procedure, but she quickly learned that her odds of finding a compatible match in time were incredibly low. Why? Because she’s Vietnamese. Thanks to her connections in advertising, Mai’s story was shared widely on social media, billboard ads and radio spots. The “Save Mai Duong” campaign was so successful that 20,000 new stem cell donors signed up with her local registry that year, compared to 3,000 in a typical year. After receiving a stem cell transplant, Mai decided to combine her personal and professional experience to help other patients and get more people registered as donors. In 2018, Swab The World – a Canadian start-up charity working hard to fight racial inequality in the niche field of blood cancer and stem cell donation – was born. Swab The World’s mission is to increase awareness of stem cell donation, diversify the international database of registered donors, and help patients find stem cell donors. In just a few years, Swab The World has established a network of over 150 student volunteers across 9 universities in Canada.

Simon Keith

The Simon Keith Foundation


Simon Keith (CM) holds the distinction of being the first athlete in the world to play a professional sport after undergoing a heart transplant. Keith was just 21 when, in July of 1986, he received the heart of a 17 year-old boy from Wales, who ironically died while playing soccer. Keith, a world-class soccer player prior to the operation, was determined to return to “his normal” and made his return to competitive soccer playing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). After playing two seasons with the Rebels, Keith garnered many honors including being named the Student-Athlete of Year for the Conference as well as voted as USA’s Most Courageous Athlete. After his senior season Keith named the Most Valuable Player at the Senior Bowl and was drafted number 1 overall into the Major Indoor Soccer League just three years after his surgery. In 2011, he founded The Simon Keith Foundation, an organization dedicated to increasing organ donor awareness and educating transplant recipients: Keith has recently published his biography detailing this most unique journey. Heart for the Game. Keith uses proceeds from both his book and speaking engagements to provide athletic training for other transplant recipients who choose to return to an active and healthy lifestyle.

Nicholas Bourgeois

McGill University


Nicholas Bourgeois is a physiotherapist at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) and he has been working in the Lung Transplant Program for over 12 years with lung transplant candidates and recipients. He completed his master’s degree at the University of Montreal and he is currently a PhD candidate in rehabilitation sciences at McGill University with a research focus on pre-habilitation in lung transplant candidates. He is also a course instructor in cardiorespiratory physiotherapy at McGill University and a teaching assistant at the University of Montreal. He is a steering committee member of the Canadian Network for Rehabilitation and Exercise for Solid Organ Transplant Optimal Recovery (CAN-RESTORE), a member of the research committee of the Canadian Society of Transplantation and a CDTRP trainee.

Aisha Adil

University of Toronto


Aisha is an MSc graduate student through Institute of Medical Science at University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Siba Haykal and Dr. Golnaz Karoubi. Her research location is in Latner Thoracic Surgical Research Laboratories at University Health Network. Aisha previously obtained an Honours Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto, with a specialization in Health and Disease before proceeding to graduate studies. Her research focuses on tissue engineering composite rat hindlimbs using tissue de- and recellularization for vascular composite allotransplantation (VCA). She has published her work on decellularization of the rat hindlimb and is currently assessing recellularization strategies. She is a recipient of numerous awards including the Banting and Best Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS-M). She has presented her graduate work at various conferences locally and nationally. She aspires to continue in academia medicine by pursuing further doctorate training through a clinician-scientist pathway.

Chelsea Lanos


Chelsea is a working Ontario Paramedic who is currently completing a MSc Critical Care thesis on Organ Donation.

Javairia Rahim

Simon Fraser University


Javairia Rahim is a MSc candidate in Dr. Jonathan Choy’s Lab at Simon Fraser University studying the role of Cell Surface Engineering in the prevention of transplant rejection. She has been a CDTRP member since Summer 2021 and is also a member of the Society of Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST).

Shiyuan Bian

University of Toronto


Shiyuan Bian is a dynamic individual who is currently embarking on a remarkable journey as a second-year PhD candidate in the esteemed Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. His insatiable thirst for knowledge has led him to explore diverse research avenues during his undergraduate years, collaborating with esteemed professors from both UofT and MIT. In 2021, Shiyuan proudly completed his Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Science degree with honors at the University of Toronto, a testament to his dedication and intellectual prowess. Presently, Shiyuan has the privilege of working within the prestigious Latner Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratories in PMCRT, where he is under the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Thomas Waddell and Dr. Golnaz Karoubi. Within the captivating realm of his research, Shiyuan passionately delves into the intricate interplay between physical and mechanical cues and their profound impact on lung scaffolds and lung epithelial cells. By unraveling these intricacies, his work holds the potential to unlock groundbreaking insights and pave the way for revolutionary advancements in tissue regeneration. In essence,Shiyuan is an ardent researcher driven by the pursuit of scientific excellence and the desire to make meaningful contributions to the world of medical science.

Audrey L'Espérance

École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP)

Assistant Professor

Audrey L’Espérance, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in health and social services management at École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP) in Montréal. Audrey completed a PhD in political science at the University of Ottawa and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto. Her work focuses on patient and public partnership in the health ecosystem as well as the mobilization and integration of experiential knowledge and expertise in policy-making processes in the health sector. Over the years, she developed an expertise in program evaluation, public policy analysis and project management in various academic and public-health settings.

Holly Mansell

University of Saskatchewan

Associate Professor of Pharmacy

Holly Mansell is an Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan and a clinical pharmacist who specializes in transplantation. She completed her pharmacy training at the University of Saskatchewan and University of Washington, and her PhD in Health Sciences through the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. Holly has a broad range of research interests which include solid organ transplantation, cannabis and youth, patient education, patient-oriented research, and issues related to pharmacy practice. She has been the Primary Investigator on a variety of studies, ranging from randomized controlled trials and interventional drug studies to qualitative research.

Sandra Holdsworth

The Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program

Patient Partner

Sandra Holdsworth worked in banking for 30 years before, she received a liver transplant in 1997, following years of undiagnosed rare liver disease and Crohn’s disease. She now lives with a permanent ostomy, chronic kidney disease, and PTSD. Sandra is a Patient Partner co-lead with the Canadian Donation Transplantation Research Program (CDTRP), focusing on long term outcomes, including, exercise, nutrition, and mental health. She is also an advocate for organ and tissue donation, mentoring others on their healthcare journeys.

Sylvain Bédard

The Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program

Patient Partner

Sylvain Bédard first heard of the word transplant in 1980 when he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart disease that had taken the life of his 18-year-old sister. Sylvain fought for 20 years before finally receiving the gift of life. Involved with the transplant community (CEPPP) and patient partner with the CDTRP, Sylvain shares his life with Charlie, his dog who has been providing him with motivation and comfort for many years.

Tom Blydt-Hansen

BC Children's Hospital

Director, Pediatric Multi Organ Transplant Program

Dr. Tom Blydt-Hansen completed his MD at McGill University, and his Pediatric and Nephrology specialization at the Montreal Children's Hospital, followed by further specialization in transplantation at the University of California, Los Angeles. He began his Nephrology career at the University of Manitoba in 2001, where he was Division Head of Nephrology from 2005-2014. He then moved to BC Children’s Hospital in 2014, where he is Director of the Multi Organ Transplant Program and Senior Scientist at the BCCH Research Institute. He is a past-President of the Canadian Society of Transplantation, a Board member of the NAPRTCS Registry, and collaborating with Canadian Blood Services to establish national Class II matching for pediatric transplant recipients. His research program is focused on identification and development of relevant non-invasive urine biomarkers of allograft injury in pediatric kidney transplant recipients using metabolomic and proteomic methods. He is also engaged in several collaborations to identify urinary biomarkers (metabolomics) associated with chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, cisplatin toxicity, type 2 diabetes and cisplatin nephrotoxicity.

Suze Berkhout

University Health Network


Suze Berkhout is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and an affiliate of the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto. She is an early career clinician-investigator and practicing psychiatrist. Her program of research in feminist Science and Technology Studies (STS) utilizes ethnographic, narrative and arts-based methods to explore social and cultural issues impacting access and navigation through health care systems. She loves coffee and thinking about how to complicate the narratives we share with each other in medicine.

Warren Fingrut

University of British Columbia

Transplant Hematologist

Dr. Warren Fingrut is a Transplant Hematologist, currently in his second year of Fellowship in Adult Bone Marrow Transplantation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He is also an MPH Candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Prior to starting at MSKCC, he completed medical school at University of British Columbia, Internal Medicine Residency Training at University of Toronto, and Hematology Fellowship at University of British Columbia. Dr. Fingrut is also founder and Director of Stem Cell Club, a national not-for-profit organization in Canada which works to address racial disparity in access to matched unrelated stem cell donors. His work with Stem Cell Club includes advocating for a more inclusive unrelated donor registry and blood system.

Braulio Marfil-Garza

Tecnologico de Monterrey

Director of Pancreatic Islet Transplantation

Braulio Marfil-Garza was born in Monterrey, Mexico. He graduated from the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León and then completed a residency program in internal medicine at the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition in Mexico City. The last year of his residency, he served as Chief Resident in the hospital. During this time, he developed an interest in translational research. He spent a year as a research fellow working on the molecular interactions between obesity and hypertension under the supervision of Prof. Gerardo Gamba. While working on these endeavors, he found a research platform that encompassed both his clinical and experimental research interests, pancreatic islet transplantation. He completed a PhD in Surgery from the University of Alberta under the supervision of Prof. James Shapiro in 2022 developing strategies to optimize pancreatic islet transplantation, mainly through generating data to inform clinical shared-decision making and by working on enabling immunosuppression-free pancreatic islet transplantation. He then complemented his training with a Clinical Fellowship in Islet Transplantation at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada under the supervision of Prof. Peter A. Senior. Braulio Marfil-Garza is working on extending his research into patient-centered outcomes and understanding how the lives of people undergoing pancreatic islet transplantation and whole pancreas transplantation are affected in collaboration with the University of Alberta. He is now the Director of Pancreatic Islet Transplantation of the first clinical transplant program in Mexico at the Tecnologico de Monterrey.

Isabelle Doré

Université de Montréal

Assistant Professor

Initially trained in sociology, Isabelle Doré holds a Ph.D. in public health and epidemiology and a postdoctoral fellowship in kinesiology. She is an assistant professor at the School of Kinesiology and Physical Activity Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal and in the School of Public Health of the Université de Montréal. She is a regular researcher at the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM). Her research focuses on physical activity as a strategy to promote mental health and reduce the risk of anxiety and depressive disorders and aims to understand the mechanisms that may explain the benefits of physical activity on these mental health indicators. Her research focuses on adolescents and young adults in the general population, individuals diagnosed with cancer, and immunosuppressed populations.

Héloïse Cardinal

CHUM Research Centre


Dr. Héloïse Cardinal completed her undergraduate training at the Université de Sherbrooke. She completed her training in nephrology at the Université de Montréal and subsequently a master's and doctorate in epidemiology and biostatistics at McGill University. Dr. Cardinal is interested in biomarkers of vascular insult and their clinical utility in nephrology and transplantation. She has been actively involved in the characterization of anti-LG3 antibodies and their role in transplant patients. She is now focusing on characterizing the clinical utility of anti-LG3 in post-renal transplantation and on better understanding the permissive factors of the impact of anti-LG3 on blood vessels. She is also interested in mathematical models to help transplant physicians better inform patients about the pros and cons of accepting or rejecting offers of kidneys from expanded criteria donors. In addition to the Chair, her research program is or has been supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec - santé, the Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the CHUM Research Centre.

Marie-Chantal Fortin

CHUM Research Centre

Assistant Clinical Professor

Marie-Chantal Fortin, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P.(c) is a transplant nephrologist at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), a researcher at the Research Center of the CHUM and a professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal. She received her medical degree from the Université de Sherbrooke. She completed her nephrology residency at the Université de Montréal. She has completed a PhD in bioethics in 2008 at the Université de Montréal. She is a researcher within the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program (CDTRP) and the co-leader of the Patient-Researcher Partnership Platform. Her research interests are related to transplantation ethics and patient and researcher partnership in research and clinical care. She is a member of the ethics committee of Transplant Québec, the Canadian Blood Services and the Collège des médecins du Québec. Finally, she is also a research scholar of the FRQS.

Sean Delaney

Alberta Transplant Insititute

Patient Partner & Research and Education Program Manager

Sean Delaney is based in Edmonton, Alberta and has worked as a senior health policy and management professional in the OTDT ecosystem for the past 20 years. His career spans work in hospitals, health regions, provincial government and nationally with Canadian Blood Services for 16 years. Most recently, Sean has joined the Alberta Transplant Institute (ATI) as a leader where he supports researchers and decision makers in driving innovation in Alberta to benefit the care for patients, families/caregivers, and donors. He is also a lifelong kidney patient and 2-time kidney transplant recipient, receiving his most recent transplant from a generous living donor in October 2020.

Ian Rogers

University of Toronto


Dr. Rogers is a Professor at the University of Toronto (Dept of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dept of Physiology) and Scientist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. He graduated with his PhD from the University of Toronto. His thesis focused on early embryo development and did a Post Doc. with Robert Casper (University of Toronto) developing cell therapies using umbilical cord blood cells to treat spinal cord injury, peripheral vascular disease and diabetic skin wounds. He started at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute , Mt. Sinai Hospital in 2004 with a research focus on Stem Cells. Dr. Rogers’ lab is focused on developing therapies three dimensional tissue culture systems to improve stem cell therapies. By combining stem cells with decellularized organs his aim is to advance studies on stem cell differentiation, cell-cell signaling and understanding the complex three-dimensional organization of cells into functional organs and tissues. He is also the Scientific Founder of Insception Lifebank, a Stem Cell Bank Company.

Taylor Raiche

University of Saskatchewan

Masters Student

Taylor has been a pharmacist since 2018. She completed an Ambulatory Pharmacy Practice Residency at Women's College Hospital in Toronto in 2019 and has since practiced in rural community pharmacy, urban acute care, and ambulatory care, including Family Medicine and interdisciplinary chronic pain management. In 2022, Taylor started an academic career in the PharmD Experiential Learning Program at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) where she currently works as an Assessment and Program Development Specialist. Taylor is also a graduate student at USask where she is pursing a Masters of Science in Pharmacy in the areas of patient education and co-designing mobile health technologies.

Chloe Wong-Mersereau

Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program


Chloe Wong-Mersereau (she/her) completed her master’s in social cultural anthropology at the University of Toronto. She is currently a research trainee with the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program and a research assistant on the Frictions of Futurity and Cure in Transplant Medicine project. Her research interests include patient engagement in research; aging and temporality; diaspora studies; mental health and psychosocial challenges among marginalized peoples. Methodologically Wong-Mersereau engages with a layered approach to critical discourse analysis, multimodal sensory ethnography, and digital storytelling. Over the pandemic, she worked with the Canadian Red Cross in long term care homes, COVID-testing clinics, homeless shelters, and on the housing crisis project.

Élise Desaulniers

Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program


 Élise Desaulniers currently serves as the Executive Director of the Fondation Dépendances Montréal, where she leads efforts to support individuals undergoing addiction rehabilitation within Montreal's public health network. From 2017 to 2022, she held the position of Executive Director at the Montreal SPCA, one of Canada's largest and most influential animal protection organizations. Beyond her executive roles, Élise is recognized as an independent researcher and accomplished author. Her thought-provoking essays and articles explore subjects such as food ethics, feminism, and animal rights, emphasizing the intersection of social justice in her work. Her writings have received numerous prizes and have been translated into several languages. Élise anonymously donated her kidney in 2022 and has been involved in promoting living organ donation ever since.

Marie-Josée Hébert

Université de Montréal


Marie-Josée Hébert is a nephrologist-transplanter and researcher at the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM), a professor in the Faculty of Medicine and the Shire Chair in Nephrology and Renal Transplantation and Regeneration. She is one of the founders of the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Program (CDTRP - formerly known as the Canadian National Transplant Research Program), which she co-directed until 2022. Her work has led to the discovery of new mechanisms involved in organ transplant rejection and chronic kidney disease. A Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, she won the Dr. John B. Dossetor Award (2015) and the Medal for Research Excellence (2016) from the Kidney Foundation of Canada in recognition of her outstanding contribution to nephrology research. Since November 2015, she has been Vice-Rector for Research, Discovery, Creation and Innovation at the University of Montreal. In this capacity, she has played a central role in the development of major cross-sectoral research and knowledge mobilization initiatives including the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO), Mila, the Digital Health Consortium, and the Montreal Declaration for Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence.

She was appointed Chair of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Governing Council in September 2022.

Candice Coghlan

University Health Network

Education & Outreach Coordinator

Candice has worked in the world of chronic disease for many non-profits for over 14 years, she has done everything from fundraising and major gifts/grants to patient education and peer support. She has a deep understanding of the Canadian transplant system from both a patient perspective and from her work. She now works as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Centre for Living Organ Donation at UHN. Candice believes she has a unique perspective in working and living through the Canadian transplant world.

Dima Kabbani

University of Alberta

Assistant Professor

Dr. Dima Kabbani is an Assistant Professor in the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alberta. Her clinical focus is infections in the immunocompromised host. She is the education lead for the transplant Infectious diseases fellowship program at the University of Alberta. Her research areas include the epidemiology and outcomes of infections in organ transplant recipients and more recently response to COVID-19 vaccines in organ transplant.


Accelerating Clinical Trials Consortium
Alberta Transplant Institute
Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc.
Canadian Blood Services
Paladin Labs Inc.
UHN Ajmera Transplant Center


What are the dates of the CDTRP Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM)?

The CDTRP Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) is scheduled to take place on December 5-7, 2023 at the Delta Hotel in Montréal, QC. The meeting will be held in a hybrid format, which means that participants will have the option to attend in person or virtually.

Will CDTRP provide a hybrid component?



We are excited to hold our 10th Annual Scientific Meeting in Montréal, QC! The ASM Program Planning Committee has built a robust program that maximizes interaction with past, present, and future collaborators.

Nous sommes très heureux de vous accueillir dans la Métropole francophone des Amériques !

Virtual Only

For those attendees unable to join us in Montréal, we are running most sessions in an interactive hybrid format (Zoom) allowing virtual attendees the opportunity to ask questions and fully participate in sessions in real-time. We will also be offering a virtual social event – stay tuned for more details.

When does the meeting officially begin and end?

The meeting officially begins at 1 pm on Tuesday, December 5th and will run for three days, culminating in a 10th Anniversary Celebration Banquet & Networking event on Thursday, December 7th

What are the Health & Safety Protocols for in-person in Montréal?

The health and well-being of our attendees remain our foremost priority. We are committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all participants. This is why we have developed a COVID-19 policy that you can access here. If you have any questions, you can contact [email protected].

Where is the hotel?

The Delta Hotel in downtown Montréal is located at 475 President-Kennedy Avenue, in the heart of the vibrant Quartier des spectacles. This neighborhood is known for its cultural and artistic events, making it the perfect place for visitors who want to experience the culture and energy of Montréal. The hotel is conveniently located near the Place-des-Arts metro station, as well as several bus lines, making it easy to explore all that Montréal has to offer. 

Is there a parking lot on-site?

Yes, there is parking available at the Delta Hotel on 475 President-Kennedy Avenue. The hotel offers self-parking at a special price of $22.00 per vehicle per day + taxes.

When is the discounted hotel reservation deadline?

The deadline to get the discounted rate for hotel reservations is November 20th, 2023. Be sure to book your hotel room before this date to take advantage of the savings!

What support does CDTRP provide to PFDs to attend the ASM?

Patients, family and donor partners invited to the ASM on the basis of their CDTRP leadership roles will receive compensation for their time at a rate of $250 per day and will receive travel support covering meeting registration, the flight (if applicable), ground transportation and hotel accommodation.

Patient, family, and donor partner presenters not covered in the above policy will receive an honorarium of $150 to compensate for their time preparing and delivering their presentation.

All PFD partners receive complimentary registration to attend the ASM. 

Who is responsible for booking my travel and accommodation?

All participants are responsible for booking their own travel (plane, train, car) and accommodation using the link provided, unless they have been directly contacted. This means that it is your own responsibility to use the provided link to book your accommodation. If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected].

Can I bring someone with me?

Absolutely! However, please keep in mind that your guest will be responsible for booking their own accommodation and registering in order to participate in the event.

I have questions about sponsorship opportunities for the CDTRP ASM. How do I get more information?

Please direct any questions concerning sponsorship to CDTRP Director of Partnerships, Katie Bain at [email protected].  

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellation, Change and Refund Policy

To cancel your registration and receive a refund, a written request must be submitted to the Registration Coordinator at [email protected] on or before November 27, 2023. Cancellation requests received on or before this date will be refunded less $25 CA of the cost of the registration.

Any cancellations after November 27, 2023 will be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine the refund amount. The refund will be processed after the ASM. 

Please make sure you have carefully reviewed the registration categories before you register. Requests to change a registration category must be submitted via email to [email protected] by November 27, 2023. We are not able to change your registration after this date.

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