Michelle Harkness Mentorship Awards (MHMA) Awardees


Lifetime Mentoring Achievement

Recognizing a sustained, career-spanning commitment to excellence in mentoring in allergic disease research and education.

Wendy Lou (2024)

Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

“Wendy is more than a traditional mentor as she goes above and beyond the expectations of a supervisor. She inspires us with her work and infuses in us a passion for learning, critical thinking, and the discovery of our own professional and academic path. Wendy is very intentionally inclusive, and strongly committed to building a diverse and inclusive work and learning environment based on principles of fairness, respect, dignity, and autonomy. She holds mentees to high standards and has left an invaluable mark as a mentor for many trainees over the years. Like Michelle, Wendy generously gives her time, energy, experience and advice for the benefit of her trainees”

Paul O’Byrne (2023)

Dean and Vice-President, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University

“Dr. O’Byrne has been mentoring trainees since 1988. Over the past 30 years he has directly supervised 21 graduate students and 55 post-doctoral fellows. In his professional conduct, scientific knowledge, excellence in research, and true collaborative spirit, Dr. O’Byrne provides a model of leadership. Dr. O’Byrne also models collegiality and mutual respect in all his endeavors. Superior mentoring, training and advising by Dr. O’Byrne have directly led to the success of his mentees, many of whom are now in leadership positions in academia and industry.”

Teresa To (2022)

Senior Scientist, The Hospital for Sick Children

“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.”

Dean Befus (2021)

Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and Co-director of Alberta Respiratory Centre, University of Alberta

“Dean acts as a beacon, a guide in the scientific world, and a key player in the development of our character. He promotes honesty, empathy, and humility… He shows how through collaboration we can achieve so much more than through isolation and fosters an environment where teamwork can flourish. What’s more, he stresses the importance of mindfulness and wellbeing in our everyday life, of honesty, respect and togetherness with our team and our families… He is absolutely my role model not only as a scientist but also as a citizen.”

David Proud (2020)

Professor, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

“Dr. Proud has frequently stated that he believes he will have a greater impact on science because of the combined accomplishments of those whom he has trained, rather than by his own individual efforts, and he takes enormous pride and pleasure in seeing former mentees achieve success and recognition, and in knowing that they are fulfilled in their professional and personal lives.”

Manel Jordana flanked by Kasey (L) & Glenn (R) Harkness

Manel Jordana (2019)

Professor, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University

“He strives to create strong leaders in the scientific community and takes pride in the people that they become.”

“He tailored his mentorship to give me the best experience… and instilled a love for science that I will carry through my career.”


Mentoring Excellence – Investigator

Recognizing outstanding mentoring by investigators in allergic disease research and education, at any career stage or in any discipline (including senior or junior University-based faculty or clinician scientists).

Tillie Hackett (2024)

Professor & Vice-Chair of Research, Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, University of British Columbia

“Dr. Hackett’s approach to mentoring goes far beyond traditional academic boundaries. She cultivates an environment where critical thinking, creativity, and independent research are not just encouraged but are the foundation of daily practice. Her ability to inspire confidence and foster a sense of belonging within her team is remarkable. A quality that is consistently echoed by Dr. Hackett’s mentees is her dedication to creating a positive learning environment where everyone feels heard. She never fails to support her trainees who collectively represent different cultural backgrounds at all levels of training.”

Meghan Jones (2024)

Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba

“One of the best things about Dr. Jones is the support she provides to ensure the mental wellbeing and resilience of her trainees. She strongly encourages trainees to adapt healthy work-life balances and fully acknowledges people work better when they can also have fun. Dr. Jones also makes her students feel capable and confident in their skills as scientists, supporting the development of foundational knowledge relevant to each trainee. As they progress, Dr. Jones encourages them to become more independent in exploring new ideas and techniques and helps them develop networks to support their career aspirations.”

Theo Moraes (2024)

Division Head, Respiratory Medicine, SickKids; Associate Professor, Paediatrics, University of Toronto

“Theo’s altruistic investment in us exceeds expectations for many reasons. He not only supports and motivates his mentees professionally, but he also prioritizes our mental and physical well-being. Theo constantly checks on us to ensure we are not feeling burnt out or overwhelmed with our projects. He often goes out of his way to offer support and is always happy to help in any way he can. Theo makes sure his office is a safe and comfortable space for all his mentees and staff. Anyone that comes in to meet Theo leaves his office with clarity, motivation, and drive.”

Anne Ellis (2023)

Chair of Allergy & Immunology, Kingston General Hospital & Queen’s University

“Dr. Ellis exemplifies the altruistic investment in trainees that Michelle Harkness was famous for… Dr. Ellis ‘knows the way, shows the way, and goes the way’ and consistently exceeds her trainee’s expectations of a mentor. She wholeheartedly supports her mentees and their personal development and well-being. Dr. Ellis leads by example and is a powerful advocate for her career, family, and patients. Dr. Ellis regularly shows uncommon generosity in time and attention and offers incredible support, especially concerning career development, and especially towards women in research and medicine.”

Padmaja (PJ) Subbarao (2022)

Senior Scientist, Co-Lead of Precision Child Health, The Hospital for Sick Children; Director, CHILD Cohort Study

“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…”

Kelly McNagny (2021)

Professor, Department of Medical Genetics; Senior Scholar of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, The University of British Columbia

“Besides science, Kelly prioritizes his students’ success by continuously supporting them to attend conferences, to publish, and to pursue any feasible idea… He takes great care when looking at students’ written work and does not just brush over a thesis… Undergraduates seek out a research position in Kelly’s lab after experiencing his passionate class lectures. Everyone wants to be in an environment where their work is valued… I don’t think I could find a more supportive, creative or fulfilling environment than in his lab.”   Read the UBC announcement

Del Dorscheid (2020)

Associate Professor of Medicine, The University of British Columbia

“Dr. Del Dorscheid is an exemplary mentor who not only cares about his students’ research achievements, but actively encourages their personal growth. He consistently takes a keen interest in the lives of those he mentors and always has valuable advice, kind words and support to offer, no matter the student’s aspirations. Even in times of experimental failures, he uplifts his students when they become discouraged and works with them to overcome hurdles.”

Susan Elliott (2020)

Professor, Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo

“One of Susan’s most appreciated efforts is her active role in creating a sense of community among her students that goes beyond degree requirements… She shares in the personal milestones and hardships of her students, and is willing to lend a compassionate hand if needed.”

Andrew Halayko (2020)

Professor, Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba

“Dr. Halayko enjoys seeing his mentees succeed. He is never afraid to lets them step into the spotlight in his place. He understands very well the difference between being a mentor and a leader instead of a boss.”

“He fosters innovation, creativity and critical thinking in all his trainees and team members, and encourages and supports them to explore new research avenues.”

Meghan Azad flanked by Kasey (L) & Glenn (R) Harkness

Meghan Azad (2019)

 Associate Professor, Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba

“What sets Meghan apart is her unwavering dedication to the growth of her trainees… She is always enthusiastic about learning and has become a champion for us to continually learn and take up experiences outside of the lab.”

“Overall, she is a role model of professionalism, collegiality and strategic career visioning for long-term professional success in academia and beyond.”

Christopher Carlsten (2019)

Professor of Medicine, The University of British Columbia

“The defining characteristic of Chris’ mentorship is his genuine concern for his trainees’ personal and career goals… He fosters a family-like and yet collegial environment where every member respects, collaborates, and cares for each other’s success.”

“His ambition, passion, and drive for excellence provides an example for his mentees to do the best they can.”

Jeremy Hirota flanked by Kasey (L) & Glenn (R) Harkness

Jeremy Hirota (2019)

Assistant Professor of Medicine, McMaster University

“I always look forward to discussing my results with Jay because of his genuine passion for discovery; I come away from these discussions motivated and excited to plan new experiments.”

“Jay leads by example of what a successful academic life can be – he demonstrated the unique ability to maintain an infectious positive attitude, collaborate with diverse research groups, publish prolifically, all while having fun!”

Paige Lacy flanked by Kasey (L) & Glenn (R) Harkness

Paige Lacy (2019)

Professor, Medicine & Dentistry-Medicine, University of Alberta

“Dr. Lacy is a kind, brilliant, yet humble woman who encourages all of our questions (even the most trivial), critical thinking, and pursuit of lifelong learning. Somehow, she manages everything on her plate while ensuring all her students have a rich experience under her mentorship. She connects new trainees with past and invites us to family gatherings to build a friendly and cohesive team.”


Mentoring Excellence – Non-Investigator

Recognizing outstanding mentoring by non-investigators in allergic disease research and education, at any career stage or in any sector (including students, post-doctoral fellows, research staff, technical staff, administrative staff, or not-for-profit or industry representatives).

Natalie Rodriguez (2023)

Co-Director, THRiVE Discovery Lab, University of Manitoba

“Natalie is incredibly generous with her time and expertise and consistently goes above and beyond one’s expectations of a mentor. She demonstrates great sensitivity to her mentee’s well-being, and goes to extraordiarly lengths to support her colleagues – especially in times of need, or when they face a dilemma or challenging decision. She has a unique skillset that is both extremely valuable and extremely rare in an academic team. She has mentored trainees, staff, colleagues and collaborators in a concerted and sustained manner since joining our team.”

Min Hyung Ryu (2022)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School

“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.”

Jenny Thiele (2021)

Lab Manager, Anne Ellis Lab, Queen’s University

“Jenny devotes all her time to improving Dr. Anne Ellis’ students’ learning experience… her goal is to ensure each student is comfortable in the laboratory and takes autonomy for their experiments and role in the team. Any new student is welcomed with open arms and provided a positive environment to succeed… Jenny treats all students as family and always goes above and beyond to ensure that students are supported, even outside of the lab ”

Kyle Dine flanked by Epiman (L) & Epiman Jr. (R)

See Kyle’s award acceptance video

Kyle Dine (2020)

Musician & Educator, Food Allergy Canada

“Kyle is passionate about living well with food allergy and inspires others to do the same. Kyle has mentored hundreds of Canadian youth with food allergy. He has facilitated their participation in media interviews, surveys and focus groups to share their perspectives. He has provided consistent guidance and support to young people at risk… ”

Kozeta Miliku (2020)

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba

“Kozeta has mentored countless members of the Azad lab… She creates a safe and supportive environment for trainees to ask questions and learn new skills. She is patient and approachable and is truly dedicated to the growth of her colleagues and trainees. Kozeta invests the time to help trainees feel more competent.”

Loubna Akhabir flanked by Kasey (L) & Glenn (R) Harkness

Loubna Akhabir (2019)

Post-Doctoral Fellow, McMaster University

“Loubna’s guidance with how to self-study and dedication to my progress were instrumental… She offered me invaluable career advice and steered me towards personal growth and success. Loubna never fails to take time for her mentees, and is genuinely proud and happy for us when we succeed.”

John-Paul OIiveria flanked by Kasey (L) & Glenn (R) Harkness

John-Paul Oliveria (2019)

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Stanford University

“I have truly never met someone so dedicated to teaching and making sure his students reached their potential. JP is a true model of giving people opportunity to thrive and excel in what they love to do. JP values creating a team of people he enjoys working with, not only as colleagues but also as friends.”

Gurpreet Singhera flanked by Kasey (L) & Glenn (R) Harkness

Gurpreet Singhera (2019)

Research Associate, University of British Columbia

“Gurpreet is a committed mentor and selfless educator who goes above and beyond to help and support our laboratory and many others… Her obvious passion for research and energetic spirit for learning are both infectious and inspirational. She is the wise, approachable, motherly figure who warmly nurtures us and patiently teaches us all the necessary technical and research skills to succeed.”


Mentorship Development Grants

Providing support to individuals from the Canadian allergic disease research, education, practice and/or advocacy communities seeking to enhance their mentoring skills.

April O’Connell (2022)

Volunteer, Human Resources Professionals Association & Canadian Association of Research Administrators


  • Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring from Schulich School of Business at York University

Joy Ramielle Lachica Santos (2022)

Graduate Research Assistant, University of Alberta


  • Coaching and Mentoring course at the University of Alberta
  • Women in STEM Leadership Summit 2022, conference
  • Women in STEM online resource: domain registration & hosting fees

Lori Connors (2021)

Clinical immunologist and allergist; Associate Professor, Dalhousie University


  • Canadian Women in Medicine Leaders Course, a three-month longitudinal course aimed at developing leadership and mentorship skills for women in medicine.
  • Canadian Women in Medicine Annual Conference, including mentorship meet-ups and workshops on mentoring

Jennifer Protudjer (2020)

Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba


  • Global Mentorship Conference hosted by the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC), with both regular sessions and “masterclasses” that focus on professional mentorship skills such as empowerment, reciprocal mentoring, transforming bias, diversity and inclusion and intergenerational mentorship.

Neeloffer Mookherjee (2019)

Associate Professor, University of Manitoba


  • Women in Academic Leadership program, offered by the Center for Higher Education Research and Development (CHERD) at the University of Manitoba.

Sue Keller-Olaman flanked by Kasey (L) & Glenn (R) Harkness

Sue Keller-Olaman (2019)

Manager, Public Health Ontario


  • National Mentorship Program of the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL).
  • McMaster Leadership Essentials courses: Coaching and Mentoring; Art of Active Listening; Creative and Critical Thinking; Leading Millenials; Delivering Powerful Presentations; Supervision Essentials.

Mary-Ellen Rayner flanked by Kasey (L) & Glenn (R) Harkness

Mary-Ellen Rayner (2019)

Chief Partnerships & Communications Officer, The Sandbox Project


  • Mentoring Individuals and Teams course, York University.
  • Mentorship Roundtable at the 2019 Sandbox Summit with members of the Young Canadians Roundtable on Health.

Lianne Soller flanked by Kasey (L) & Glenn (R) Harkness

Lianne Soller (2019)

Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of British Columbia


  • Coaching and Mentoring course, Sauder Executive Education, The University of British Columbia.

2019 MHMA awardees with Harkness family members – L to R: Min Hyung Ryu (representing Dr. Chris Carlsten); Loubna Akhabir; Lianne Soller; Mary-Ellen Rayner; Kasey Harkness; Manel Jordana; Gurpreet Singhera; Glenn Harkness; Meghan Azad; Jeremy Hirota; Sue Keller-Olaman; Paige Lacy. (Not pictured: Chris Carlsten and Neeloffer Mookherjee.)