2022 Michelle Harkness Mentorship Award winners announced

2022 Michelle Harkness Mentorship Award winners announced

L to R: Dr. Teresa To, Dr. Padmaja Subbarao, Dr. Min Hyung Ryu, Joy Ramielle Lachica Santos

AllerGen Inc. is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Michelle Harkness Mentorship Awards (MHMA). Three exemplars of mentorship excellence are being recognized with MHMA recognition awards, and one mentor-in-development is being supported by an MHMA mentorship development grant.

In terms of recognition awards, the 2022 MHMA Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to Dr. Teresa To. Dr. To is a Senior Scientist in Child Health Evaluative Sciences at The Hospital for Sick Kids (SickKids) and a Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health of the University of Toronto. Her nominees attested to her commitment to others:


Throughout her academic career, Teresa has always made the effort to support those around her in any way that she could. She helps all her students, research staff and peers in their academic pursuits, whether it be through publishing, grant writing, providing supervision or co-investigation expertise in studies, connecting individuals, or securing new employment. Teresa sets her mentees up for success by encouraging them to take advantage of any opportunity that will foster individual development of technical or professional competencies. She is always happy to sit down and share her knowledge and life lessons.

The 2022 MHMA Mentorship Excellence Award for an established academic researcher is awarded to Dr. Padmaja (PJ) Subbarao. Dr. Subbarao is a Clinician-Scientist in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine at SickKids; holds appointments at the University of Toronto in the Departments of Paediatrics and Physiology and in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health; and is Director of AllerGen’s CHILD Cohort Study. Her nominators stated:


Despite being a senior researcher and clinical leader at SickKids, PJ is selfless and facilitates the success of others. In return she does not expect anything for her time or commitment; she considers the opportunity of shaping the next generation of scientists as one of her biggest rewards. Behind her research excellence and clinical brilliance, PJ is a humble and compassionate person. She is deeply motivated to help others…

The 2021 MHMA Mentorship Excellence Award for a researcher-in-training, research support staff, practitioner or advocate goes to Dr. Min Hyung Ryu, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ryu is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He is also a former AllerGen trainee in the labs of AllerGen Investigators Dr. Andrew Halayko (University of Manitoba) and Dr. Christopher Carlsten (The University of British Columbia). In their nomination testimonials, his mentees stated:


Min is a hard-working, natural-born leader who brings remarkable charisma and insight into all of his work… Min is undeniably driven to positively impact everyone he encounters, especially his mentees. His dedication, adaptability and genuine care for his mentees in an environment of comaraderie sets them up for personal growth and excellence… Min’s mentorship style is characterized by approachability and a passion for constant learning, both driven by a sincere desire to help others thrive.

Joy Ramille Lachica Santos, University of Alberta, is the recipient of the 2022 MHMA Mentorship Development Grant. Joy is a Graduate Research Assistant.

The MHMA Mentorship Development Grant does not recognize past mentoring achievements but rather supports activities by which applicants seek to strengthen their mentoring skills. The 2022 grant will facilitate Joys’ participation in a Coaching and Mentoring Course and in a Women in STEM Leadership Summit. It will also support her effort to create a new online resource for women in STEM.


I hope to develop an accessible, web-based resource for other like-minded women, where they can read empowering stories of successful women in the industry, and participate in support groups with their peers… The site will also feature advice from other volunteer mentors, and serve as a centralized repository of scholarships, grants and other opportunities available specifically for women in STEM.

“Once again, the MHMA awards shine a spotlight on the vital importance of mentorship, modeling collegiality, and nurturing the personal growth and professional development of those around us,” observes AllerGen’s President & CEO, Dr. Diana Royce.

“As in past years, these MHMA recipients would make Michelle proud. We congratulate and commend this year’s winners, and encourage them to further their mentoring efforts.”

MHMA recognition awards are bestowed annually upon Canadian allergy and immunology researchers, practitioners and advocates who are nominated by their peers and/or mentees, and whose mentorship contributions are adjudicated by mentorship practitioners. MHMA mentorship development grants support relevant training or experiential activities undertaken by aspiring mentors in the Canadian allergy and immunology community.