Help our Clinician-Scientists Discover the Next Health Care Breakthrough



Banting and BestBefore insulin, children diagnosed with diabetes faced death. Prior to penicillin, minor infections quickly became life-threatening. Dramatic, life-saving discoveries like these highlight the tremendous impact of knowledge and understanding — and the importance of pushing beyond standard practice.

The discovery of insulin depended on physician Dr. Frederick Banting dedicating himself and resources made available to him — including U of T laboratory facilities and student research assistant Charles Best — to test a hypothesis. The discovery of insulin a century ago has saved countless lives. Now, 100 years later, clinician-scientists at U of T continue to make medical advances that are saving and transforming lives.

Clinician-Scientists are Uniquely Positioned to Advance Health Care

The Eliot Phillipson Clinician Scientist Training Program in the Department of Medicine is investing in the future of clinician-scientists, ensuring the highest level of education and mentorship for Canada's most talented and dedicated medical trainees. Situated at the University of Toronto in the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network (TAHSN), a research and educational hub of world-leading hospitals and health care sites, the program is uniquely positioned to generate and translate new knowledge to impact health.

Our trainees are able to tap into Toronto's leading expertise in health policy and management, huge strengths in computational research, excellent technological infrastructure, broad and deep health data sets, strong history of cross-disciplinary collaboration and a remarkably diverse population.

The best research questions come from interactions with patients. Clinician-scientists are at the interface between clinical care and research. Unlike PhD scientists, clinician-scientists are physicians. They have regular interactions with patients in their clinical area, which provides them with an understanding of the important issues that patients face in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of their conditions. They are then able to take this 'insider info' to the lab for investigation, before translating research findings seamlessly back into the clinic to improve patient outcomes.

The Department of Medicine: A Century of Lifesaving Discoveries


Meet a Few of the Clinician-Scientist Training Program Alumni

Amol Verma CSTP

When trainee Dr. Amol Verma realised as an internal medicine resident that his ageing patients with multiple chronic diseases were not reflected in the medical literature, which focused on younger patients with a single condition, he set out to change that. Along with fellow medical school graduate Dr. Fahad Razak and other collaborators, he integrating general medicine clinical data from seven University of Toronto-affiliated hospital sites, enabling research on current patients, their treatments and health outcomes.

Mona Loutfy portrait

For Dr. Mona Loutfy, the experiences of women and vulnerable populations with HIV has inspired her research. Dr. Loutfy examines the impact of HIV on the quality of life and health care outcomes of women and margalized populations. She has highlighted the negative impact of gender bias and HIV-associated stigma on Canadian women seeking fertility services and care for HIV/AIDS. Dr. Loutfy has been an Advisor to the World Health Organization on guidelines for Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights for Women Living with HIV. Dr. Loutfy has shown that among heterosexual couples with mixed HIV status, the risk of sexual HIV transmission is minimal when the HIV-positive partner has full viral suppression on combination antiretroviral therapy. These findings are transformational for women living with HIV and have significantly informed health policy.

Lee, Warren

As a clinician-scientist trainee, Dr. Warren Lee sought to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying endothelial leak in order to develop better tools to block it. Dr. Lee’s fundamental question explored why blood vessels leak at the setting of infections caused by the flu and how we prevent leakage (which can lead to acute lung injury caused by viral pneumonia.) Dr. Lee’s research led to an application for a patent for a novel drug, a Tie2 agonist that prevents vascular leak from influenza infection without impairing leukocyte emigration.


Dr. Mario Masellis is working to identify and develop biomarkers using brain imagining and genetics that can identify the earliest stateless of neurodegenerative diseases before symptoms develop. Dr. Masellis focuses on rarer forms of cognitive and movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, and early-onset dementia. His research has lead to important discoveries, including provisional patents on genetic markers that have been shown to predict a stable response to a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease. He has also been the co-lead of the Ontario Brain Institute, Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative since July 2016, and is the Canadian lead for several major international research consortia.

Dr. Susanna Mak

Dr. Susanna Mak’s research focus is on ventricular and pulmonary vascular function in humans. She oversees a unique research laboratory, one of only two in the world, which carries out studies on human heart physiology. Dr. Mak has translated her understanding of cardiovascular physiology into innovations in care for patients with advanced congestive advanced heart failure patients at end of life which resulted in the creation of a guide for primary care physicians.




  • Fellowships and Graduate Awards for clinician-scientists provide the protected time needed to pursue questions that often lead to life-long careers as researchers.

  • Clinician-Scientist Start-Up Funding and Early Career Professorships allow us to retain and recruit the world’s most promising clinicians and researchers who will be future leaders in their field.

  • Named Chairs are among the highest honours that can be bestowed upon a university faculty member.

To discuss these opportunities, contact:

Tyler Small
Senior Development Officer
Office of Advancement
Temerty Faculty of Medicine, U of T
Mobile: 416.659.5761 |


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