Fiera Capital and the MUHC Foundation announce the winners of new awards for academic excellence in health care research

21 March 2023

Five recipients received the inaugural Fiera Capital Awards for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Health Care, which recognize the academic excellence of medical and health science students from racialized groups

MONTREAL, March 21, 2023 /CNW/ - Historically, scientific funding has not always been equitable. Certain groups have been underfunded or overlooked, including researchers from Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities. Fiera Capital Corporation ("Fiera Capital") and the McGill University Health Centre Foundation ("MUHC Foundation"), in partnership with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre ("RI-MUHC"), have created new awards to help close this gap.

Launched in Fall 2022, the Fiera Capital Awards for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Health Care Research ("the Fiera Capital Awards") provide critical funding to MSc and PhD students who have great potential to advance medical research based on the excellence of their academic record, and who belong to a racialized group. Fiera Capital has committed $120,000 over three years to fund these important awards.

"What these young scientists are doing through their research – pushing the boundaries of health care – is both impressive and critical to foster an equitable health care system and healthier communities. Our unique perspectives fuel our ability to innovate, and we are proud to support the next generation of innovators through the Fiera Capital Awards. We look forward to seeing our partnership with the MUHC Foundation and the RI-MUHC unfold in the next years."

—Lyne Lamothe, Global Chief Human Resources Officer, Fiera Capital

"The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre is committed to inclusivity and welcomes researchers from all background. We believe that diversity strengthens creativity, enriches scientific discovery and contributes to world-class research. We are grateful to Fiera Capital for recognizing the need to support our DE&I mission, and so pleased to see the first five award recipients being honoured for their research excellence."

—Dr. Rhian Touyz, Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer, RI-MUHC

The inaugural Fiera Capital Awards recipients are:

Shawniya Alageswaran, a PhD student in the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program who studies synaptic plasticity in the cerebellum—that is, the way the brain can change and adapt to new information.

Sayed Azher, a PhD student in experimental surgery who is finding ways to integrate technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality simulations into medical education.

Yasmine Benslimane, a MSc student in the Cancer Research Program studying how biological sex can affect cancer growth and treatment response.

Annabel Wing-Yan Fan, a PhD student in neuroscience who studies how visual information processing changes with age.

Misghana Kassa, a MSc student in experimental medicine who is testing the efficacy of antimicrobial coatings that could safeguard replacement joints (i.e., hips, knees) against infection.

"The Fiera Capital Awards signify a large stride towards inclusiveness and equity in the research space that I'm in. I'm absolutely delighted to not only win the award, but to also know that this award will exist for the next few years for other deserving applicants that are dedicated to advancing medical research."

—Sayed Azher, a PhD student in experimental surgery & 2022 Fiera Capital Award recipient

The five awardees were chosen by an interdisciplinary evaluation committee that focused on the candidates' academic quality, on their self-reflexivity on the systemic barriers they have faced to do research, and on their potential to impact other members of racialized groups. 

Early-career funding is essential to a researcher's future success. If scientists from Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities don't receive grants early on, it can affect the trajectories of their entire careers. The new awards hope to help address this shortfall. All five recipients, who are training at the RI-MUHC, also benefit from the supervision of expert medical researchers.

"The MUHC Foundation is thrilled to partner with Fiera Capital to uplift diverse voices and advance the careers of these brilliant young scientists. I look forward to watching each of our young award winners' careers grow and flourish."

—Julie Quenneville, President and CEO, MUHC Foundation

About the McGill University Health Centre Foundation

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation raises funds to support excellence in patient care, research and teaching at the McGill University Health Centre, one of the top university hospitals in Canada. Our Dream Big Campaign to change the course of lives and medicine is raising millions of dollars to solve humanity's deadliest puzzles: infectious diseases; end cancer as a life-threatening illness; fix broken hearts through innovative cardiac care; detect the silent killers—ovarian and endometrial cancers—early; create the best skilled health care teams in Canada; and much more. We are rallying our entire community to solve the world's most complex health care challenges.

About the RI-MUHC

The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) is a world-renowned biomedical and healthcare research centre. The institute, which is affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University, is the research arm of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) – an academic health centre located in Montreal, Canada, that has a mandate to focus on complex care within its community. The RI-MUHC supports over 450 researchers and around 1,200 research trainees devoted to a broad spectrum of fundamental, clinical and health outcomes research at the Glen and the Montreal General Hospital sites of the MUHC. Its research facilities offer a dynamic multidisciplinary environment that fosters collaboration and leverages discovery aimed at improving the health of individual patients across their lifespan. The RI-MUHC is supported in part by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS).

About Fiera Capital Corporation 

Fiera Capital is a leading independent asset management firm with a growing global presence and approximately C$158.5 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2022. The Company delivers customized and multi-asset solutions across public and private market asset classes to institutional, financial intermediary and private wealth clients across North America, Europe and key markets in Asia. Fiera Capital's depth of expertise, diversified investment platform and commitment to delivering outstanding service are core to Fiera Capital's mission of being at the forefront of the investment management science to foster sustainable prosperity for all our stakeholders. Fiera Capital trades under the ticker FSZ on the Toronto Stock Exchange. 

Headquartered in Montreal, Fiera Capital, with its affiliates in various jurisdictions, has offices in over a dozen cities around the world, including New York (U.S.), London (UK), and Hong Kong (SAR). 

Each affiliated entity (each an "Affiliate") of Fiera Capital only provides investment advisory or investment management services or offers investment funds in the jurisdictions where the Affiliate and/or the relevant product is registered or authorized to provide services pursuant to an exemption from registration. 

In the U.S., asset management services are provided by Fiera Capital's Affiliates who are investment advisers that are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") or exempt from registration. Registration with the SEC does not imply a certain level of skill or training. For details on the particular registration of, or exemptions therefrom relied upon by, any Fiera Capital entity, please consult this webpage

Additional information about Fiera Capital, including the Company's annual information form, is available on SEDAR at  

SOURCE Fiera Capital Corporation

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