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HQP Program Testimonials

NMIN’s Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) Program seeks to cultivate the next generation of nanomedicine scientists and entrepreneurs, and to train the skilled workforce required by the growing nanomedicines industry in Canada.

The following testimonials, grouped by category of impact, attest to the Program’s contributions to the career development of NMIN trainees.

Multidisciplinary learning opportunities

The development of soft skills, the sharing of ideas in seminars, and the acquisition of deep knowledge in high-impact topics are the most remarkable benefits of Network membership. Thanks to the diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise of network researchers, I have become aware of how there can be different approaches to solving the same problem.

NMIN Trainee, Polytechnique Montréal

NMIN has given me the chance to hear wonderful presentations by great researchers like Dr. Pieter Cullis and Dr. Warren Chan. The presentations were of much help and would have been difficult to access otherwise.

NMIN Trainee, University of Toronto

I connected with another trainee through the NMIN HQP program who I likely would not have met otherwise. This person was able to answer key questions I had regarding protocol for an LNP study. I’ve also connected with a number of NMIN leaders and researchers who have similarly been able to provide valuable advice on study design. Networking within NMIN has been especially beneficial for me as a trainee in a lab that is new to the lipid nanoparticles field.

NMIN Trainee, The University of British Columbia

NMIN is a critical part of the Canadian nanomedicine community. In academia, we frequently feel as though we may be competing with other labs to be the first to publish exciting research, but NMIN has reinforced the idea that, as healthcare scientists, we should be working together to foster productive collaborations for the greater good of the community. It is often the case that individual labs are very specialised, and so by combining these specialised skillsets we are able to fast-track new research prospects. I know that if my work ever required a piece of equipment or an analysis that my lab is not familiar with, I could always reach out to the Network for help and advice, and I’m certain I would receive lots of interest in collaborating. This sense of community and support is really uplifting at a time when we are all struggling, and throughout the pandemic NMIN has continued to provide capacity-building opportunities.

NMIN Trainee, University of Toronto

My formal research and training have been mainly in materials science and chemistry, so my knowledge of nanomedicine and biochemistry are still limited. NMIN’s scientific webinars with different experts from across Canada have been super beneficial to me. I am learning a lot and am better able to understand how my own research applies to different fields.

NMIN Trainee, University of Victoria

From my participation in different NMIN events/workshops and seminars, I have been in contact with people of different backgrounds. This has had an impact on my perspective on research, commercialization and societal benefit. It is important to know different ways of applying engineering to different problems in medicine.

NMIN Trainee, Polytechnique Montréal

Research Acceleration

Cuprous has been grateful for the support of NMIN and Mitacs. We have been able to work with great talents from academia and bridge them with the industrial setting at Cuprous. With the support of various workshops, training sessions, and webinars from both NMIN and Mitacs, we believe our HQPs are making great progress in their career development which ultimately benefits Cuprous as well.

Cuprous Pharmaceuticals Inc., Industry Partner

The support from Mitacs and NMIN has enabled us to hire trainees to tackle some of the biggest challenges in hemorrhage and trauma research and product development.

NMIN Investigator, The University of British Columbia

Recognition of Excellence

Being an NMIN HQP has brought me unmatched recognition in the field of nanomedicine drug delivery and vastly influenced my professional network. I received the inaugural NMIN Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, which gave me the exceptional opportunity to add momentum to my research and develop professional partnerships with other organizations. NMIN has helped promote my PDF Award and my research in different ways, such as such on social media, which has allowed me to connect with other academic research and industry professionals. Due to NMIN, I am able get in touch with other professionals not only in a collaborative capacity but also to resolve any technical difficulties that I face during my research activities.

NMIN Trainee, University of Saskatchewan

Commercialization and IP protection capacity-building

Our interactions, through NMIN, with Christine Charette have been highly beneficial in helping us design a proper Proof-of-Concept Study for our technology. Through her workshops, we introduced some major improvements to the formulation of our Proof-of-Concept Study, which was originally too technology oriented. We also received advice about assessing market size that helped us to better set the boundaries of our project.

NMIN Trainee, Polytechnique Montréal

Christine Charette’s Commercialization workshop series has given me and my trainees new approaches for translating our work that I think will be invaluable.

NMIN Investigator, The University of British Columbia

I really appreciated Christine Charette’s Commercialization series. It really helped me to relate the process of establishing a Proof-of-Concept plan to determining the go/no-go steps of our research project. She also very kindly provided specific advice for the project we are developing in our group. Thank you, Christine. Great workshop!

NMIN Investigator, Polytechnique Montréal

NMIN’s IP workshops have broadened my knowledge about translating pre-clinical research into the marketplace.

NMIN Trainee, University of Toronto

Leadership Development

I am currently serving as Regional Director of Ontario on the NHN Executive Committee. This has been a great experience for me, as I had previously not sat on any executive committees during my undergraduate training. My organizational and directive skills have improved; serving on the NHN Executive Committee has forced me to think ahead about the utility of new programs, and to spot areas of improvement while these programs are being developed.

– NMIN Trainee, University of Toronto

I have become a known face to experts in the NMIN network through serving as an NHN Executive Committee and Research Management Committee member.

NMIN Trainee, University of Alberta

Benefits to Canada

These training opportunities have catapulted us from answering basic biological questions to creating products that will improve the health of Canadians.

– NMIN Investigator, The University of British Columbia

Soft-skill and personal development opportunities

NMIN’s workshops on presenting research efficiently to a wide range of audiences have equipped us with tools to boost our careers. Especially beneficial from the C3 workshop series were “Top Ten TED Talk Tips” and “Present with Impact,” as they were focused on research presentation needs. The “Present with Impact” session was very interesting and engaging. The presenter gave us ample opportunity to participate and look at our research from a very fresh presenter-audience relationship point of view.

– NMIN Trainee, University of Saskatchewan

I participated in the NMIN C3 Communications program where I learned how to present like a TED Talks presenter, how to speak effectively during a presentation, and how to use graphic design to structure presentation slides. Although I have presentation experience already, I found this series to be very helpful as both a refresher and a conduit for new ideas that I am putting into practice now.

NMIN Trainee, University of Saskatchewan

NMIN’s C3 workshop series was outstanding: these talks were of such high quality, and I learned so much about creating a “bulletproof,” well-designed presentation.

NMIN Trainee, University of Toronto

NMIN’s training programs have not only focused on my scientific growth but also on my personal growth as an individual. One of the most beneficial training programs was the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training. It introduced me to unconscious bias and the need to include and be sympathetic towards all kinds of people in a work environment. This training was an eye opener; I would recommend it for every scientific and professional work setting.

NMIN Trainee, University of Saskatchewan

NMIN has provided an alternative platform [the NMIN HQP Research Presentations Series] for me to connect with fellow researchers and present my work during this COVID pandemic, when in-person conferences are no longer possible. It not only enabled me to present my work to a wider audience, it also allowed me to hone my presentation skills.

NMIN Trainee, Princess Margret Cancer Centre

[Through my participation in the NMIN HQP Research Presentations Series,] I learned how to create an engaging, informative, and clear presentation on the importance of my research. This process helped me become more confident about my public speaking skills; I feel I have a good foundation to build upon as I continue in my career. The preparatory workshops helped me develop a professional demeanor, which has been very valuable to me as an undergraduate student. I connected with other HQP presenters, and representatives from companies have been introducing themselves to see if they can supply us with certain machines to aid our research. I found working with the other presenters and receiving informed feedback was critical to my delivering a great presentation. This opportunity will help propel me in my future endeavors and will be an important experience that I will reference on my CV.

NMIN Trainee, University of Alberta