SURP Research Day 2022

by Akshat Pai & Stacey J Butler

Graphic design by Livia Nguyen

This year, the students in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) showed us just how much you can accomplish in one summer, when they gathered at Hart House on August 10th, 2022, for SURP Research Day. The keynote address entitled “How Do I Plan My Career? From Summer/Medical Student to Clinician-Scientist” was given by Dr. Fei-Fei Liu. The SURP students had the opportunity to share their exciting research with podium and poster presentations. The event concluded with an awards ceremony and remarks from the Director of IMS, Dr. Mingyao Liu. The day was a cause for celebration and the comradery of the students in the program was evident as they eagerly cheered on the award winners. 

Wenzhu Ye and Jasmine Quigley’s family.

Photo provided by Wenzhu Ye

The Jasmine Quigley Memorial Award was given to two students this year, Cherrie Zhu and Wenzhu Ye, who both exemplified Jaz’s devotion to research in neuroscience and mental health. The Quigley family was in attendance to present the award and congratulate Cherrie and Wenzhu on their hard work this summer. We asked Cherrie and Wenzhu to share their thoughts on SURP, winning the Jasmine Quigley Memorial Award, and their time spent in the IMS this summer. 

Wenzhu Ye
Photo provided by Wenzhu

  “I think SURP is a meaningful program and it provides a platform for all of the research-loving students to socialize and share each other’s work.” -Wenzhu Ye

Wenzhu Ye is a 4th year undergraduate student in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program at the University of Toronto.
Their SURP supervisor was Dr. Clement Zai.

Cherrie Zhu
Photo provided by Cherrie

SURP provided me with an amazing summer research experience and helped me narrow down my research interests. I am grateful to the Quigley family and hope that I can continue their legacy in the field of mental health and neuroscience.” -Cherrie Zhu

Cherrie Zhu is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto, majoring in
Neuroscience and Immunology. Their SURP supervisor was Dr. Aristotle

As graduate students in the IMS, we had the unique opportunity to be poster co-judges. It was a surreal experience to be on the other side of the poster competition. We were amazed by how well the undergraduate students in our group presented their research and how much they were able to accomplish in such a short time. Below are our thoughts on the experience. 

Nearly 10 years ago, I had the opportunity to participate in SURP at the University of Guelph. At the 2022 IMS SURP Research Day, I could not help but reflect on my own experiences with this incredible program and how it kick-started my career in research.” -Stacey Butler 

“Being a co-judge was truly an eye-opening experience for me. Aside from being inspired by all students and their research, I enjoyed participating in the adjudication process with a faculty member. This experience was valuable in illustrating the key aspects of a high-calibre research study which I aim to incorporate in my own research.” – Akshat Pai

Overall, the 2022 IMS SURP Research Day was a huge success. It achieved the goal of providing undergraduate and medical students, who are conducting biomedical research projects, an opportunity to present their work to a multi-disciplinary audience of students and faculty members at the University of Toronto. We cannot wait to see the cutting-edge research that will be presented at next year’s SURP Research Day!