Faculty member receives teaching awards, research grant

A faculty member with the Island Medical Program (IMP) and the Division of Medical Sciences (DMS) has recently been recognized for her teaching skills and research acumen.

Dr. Joana Gil-Mohapel, Assistant Teaching Professor, was chosen for the Bruce Crawford Award of Excellence on September 10. On September 19, she was selected for the Oscar G. Casiro Teaching Award in Medical Science.

The Bruce Crawford Award is voted on and presented by third-year IMP students to the teacher, preceptor, or tutor who’s made the biggest impact on their first two years of medical training. The Oscar G. Casiro Award, adjudicated by a committee, recognizes teaching excellence of a faculty member who’s completed two consecutive years of teaching at the IMP or DMS.

“I feel honoured and humbled to be chosen for these awards,” said Gil-Mohapel. “It’s a privilege to teach these students during their pre-clinical years, and very rewarding to know I’ve made a positive impact on their medical training.”

Gil-Mohapel also received a research grant from the University of Victoria. The award, worth $20,000, will fund her travel to the Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São Paulo, a higher education institution in São Paulo, Brazil, where she’ll work part-time with colleagues on a new research project. Her Brazilian peers, in return, were awarded a matching grant from the São Paulo Research Foundation to fund their trips to UVic.

“This grant will be the foundation of a new collaboration between the DMS and our research colleagues in Sao Paulo, Brazil,” said Gil-Mohapel. “It will allow for the mobility of researchers and the interchange of knowledge and expertise between the two institutions and hopefully promote a long-lasting working relationship.”

Dr. Gil-Mohapel and her colleagues are studying mechanisms of neuronal dysfunction in schizophrenia. Their goal is to better understand these mechanisms, which could lead to improved treatments for those suffering from the neuropsychiatric disorder, estimated to affect 1% of Canadians.