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Current Award Recipients

2023 Award Recipients

CLF-CASL Gold Medal Award (awarded to an exceptional individual in hepatology, who has made outstanding contributions to liver research):

Dr. Marc Bilodeau has an extensive record of service to the profession of hepatology, with over 20 years of volunteer service to CASL on our Research and Education Committees, as a Board Councillor, most recently on the CASL Executive and as President from 2018-2020.  Dr. Bilodeau is currently Director of the Department of Medicine, at Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), and has previously taken on numerous administrative roles to provide leadership for the healthcare community.  Dr. Bilodeau has also provided long-term service to the CLF, as recognized by his receipt of a CLF 50th Anniversary Medal.

Distinguished Service Award (awarded to a CASL member in recognition of their outstanding contributions to CASL and to the field of liver disease in Canada):

Dr. Naglaa Shoukry obtained her Pharmacy degree from Cairo University and Ph.D. in Immunology from McGill University. Her postdoctoral research has established the essential and complementary roles of CD8 and CD4 T lymphocytes in resolution and protection from hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. She has published over 80 articles in high impact journals. In 2019, she was selected as Professor of the Year by the Department of Medicine, University of Montreal and was awarded the CLF 50th Anniversary Recognition Medal. She is the recipient of an inaugural Rosalind Franklin Award in Science (2021) that recognizes outstanding contributions from women and minorities.

Since 2015 she has been the Director of the Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (CanHepC), federally funded network with over 100 investigators, trainees and knowledge users working towards establishing a pipeline from research to implementation and to improve the lives of Canadians living with hepatitis C and to work towards the eradication of HCV.

Visiting Professorship Award

Dr. Christopher Rose is currently Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Université de Montréal. He is director of the Hepato-Neuro laboratory which is located at University Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM). Dr. Rose received his PhD (Neuroscience/Biomedical Sciences) from the Université de Montréal in 2000. He continued his research interests in Europe by pursuing post-doctoral studies in Germany (Prof. Kettenmann, Berlin), Spain (Prof. Felipo, Valencia and Prof. Cordoba, Barcelona) and Norway (Dr. Ytrebo, Tromso). In doing so, he was the recipient of 3 prestigious post-doctoral fellowship awards from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany), Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) and the European Association for the Study of the Liver (Europe).
Dr. Rose’s research interests lie within the area of hepatic encephalopathy (HE), a field in which he has been researching for over 25 years. HE, a major neuropsychiatric complication of liver disease, touches close to 80% of patients with cirrhosis affecting their quality of life and resulting in significant socioeconomic burden, morbidity and mortality both pre and post-liver transplant. Translational research is the primary objective of Dr. Rose’s laboratory and, therefore, his research program is based on a bench-to-bedside concept. Dr. Rose has a vested interest in deciphering the role of ammonia and the pathophysiological pathways involved in the development of cerebral complications associated with liver disease which ultimately will lead to novel therapeutic approaches, improving the management of patients with liver disease as well as neurological outcome post-liver transplantation.
Dr. Rose is an expert and internationally recognized researcher in the field of hepatic encephalopathy. His research implicates both cellular models, animal models and patients. Dr. Rose has the ability to mobilize his research and communicate his knowledge and findings to basic scientists, clinical scientists and treating physicians as well as to patients.
Dr. Rose is currently president elect for International Society for Hepatic Encephalopathy and Nitrogen Metabolism. He is co-chair of the Research Committee of the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver (CASL) and sits on the advisory board to the Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Disease of CIHR. In 2022, Dr. Rose received the CASL Distinctive Service Award as well as the CASL Visiting Professor Award.
Over 75 students at all levels throughout the world have trained in Hepato-Neuro laboratory. Dr. Rose has published over 100 scientific articles and was co-author on the recent Expert Opinion titled “Heretical Thoughts into Hepatic Encephalopathy” published in J Hepatology 2022.

Education Excellence Award (recognizes a CASL member who demonstrates exceptional scholarly activities, leadership in medical education, significant involvement in the development and/or implementation of educational programs and innovations, excellence in teaching, and a commitment to administrative duties relating to medical education):

Dr. Winnie Wong, now retired, most recently held the position of Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta. Her academic journey began with studies at the University of Manitoba followed by a residency in Clinical Gastroenterology at the University of Toronto, followed by specialty fellowship training, before she joined the University of Alberta faculty of medicine. Dr. Wong served on several Committees for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), including as a member of the Area of Focused Competence (AFC) Committee that establishes standards for hepatology education; she also volunteered as a member of the CASL Education Committee, and then was a member of the CASL Board and Executive Committee including a term as President from 2010-2012. Dr. Wong has received numerous awards and honors including the Gastroenterology Teaching Award for Excellence in Hepatology Teaching, presented by GI subspecialty residents; the Medical Students Association Teaching Excellence Award; the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal; and the Alberta Society of Gastroenterology Distinguished Educator Award. 

CIHR-INMD-CASL Early Career Research Partnership Prize (The CIHR-INMD-CASL Early Career Researcher Partnership Prize (“the Partnership Prize”) is designed to recognize exceptional young investigators with an interest specifically in some aspect of liver disease, and who are a member of the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver)

Dr. Amine Benmassaoud completed his medical training and specialty training in Gastroenterology at McGill University. He then pursued a fellowship in hepatology at the Sheila Sherlock Liver Centre, Royal Free Hospital, London England thanks to the support of the CASL Clinical Fellowship award. He is currently an assistant professor of medicine, member of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at McGill University Health Centre in Montreal. He is completing his Master’s in Experimental Medicine at McGill University. He has received the Young Investigator Bursary given by EASL, as well as a New Investigator Scholarship by the CROI organisation. He is currently also receiving bridging support through the Department of Medicine of McGill University.

CASL Research Excellence Award (This award is given to a CASL member who demonstrates research excellence and was lead author of a high-impact research article published during the last calendar year.):

Dr. Aldo Montano-Loza received his MD from the University of Guadalajara, followed by advanced training in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. He also holds a master’s degree and PhD in Medical Science.  Dr. Montano-Loza has published over 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts and authored over 20 book chapters. He is an active member of various professional committees, including the Canada Liver Transplant Network and the International Autoimmune Hepatitis Group, a past member of the CASL Research Committee and current CASL Education Committee Chair. He was awarded fellow designations from the AASLD and the ACG and is currently Professor at the University of Alberta Division of Gastroenterology. His research interests focus on autoimmune liver diseases, body composition in cirrhosis, and liver transplantation.

CASL PSC Partners Seeking a Cure Award (This award recognizes the best abstract on primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) presented at the Canadian Liver Meeting, and is made possible by a generous donation from PSC Partners Seeking a Cure Canada):

Dr. Diana Nakib

Diana Nakib (University of Toronto) is a Department of Immunology PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Sonya MacParland at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. Through multi-disciplinary collaborations and employing multi-omic technologies, Diana is interested in spatially and temporally mapping the cellular landscape of the PSC liver to uncover potential immunotherapeutic drug candidates. Diana won this year’s award with the abstract Examining the Modified Cellular Ecosystems Underlying Inflammation in the Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.

CASL-CLF Clinical Hepatology Fellowships

Dr. Alexandra Frolkis
Dr. Matthew Smith