Medical Innovation Fellows together
From left to right: Fatma Hassan, Anastasia Codirenzi, Eaton Asher, Michelle Pryde, Durwesh Kadri, Oleksiy Zaika, Cody Jackson

New Medical Innovation Fellowship cohort begins their journey

on August 10, 2022

Western has recruited a group of skilled scientists, engineers and medical practitioners from around the world to be part of the eighth cohort of its Medical Innovation Fellowship (MIF) program.

The program takes place over 10.5 months where fellows will learn about topics relevant to business and technology commercialization, prior to being immersed in clinics, where they identify market needs. They then develop and prototype solutions by working with researchers, clinicians, and technology transfer offices to generate new intellectual property. Graduates of the program have become leaders in industry, research and health care and have started their own companies.

Starting this August, the fellows will complete a boot camp that lays the groundwork for the rest of the fellowship meeting with academic researchers, clinicians, industry representatives, and venture capitalists that provide training on innovation, prototyping, intellectual property, regulatory affairs, and business strategy.

“A new MIF cohort is coming to our campus, and we are delighted to welcome them to our innovation ecosystem. The fellows begin their journey by team bonding activities that encourages them to build on the wisdom of previous cohorts and dream big as a team,” said Souzan Armstrong, Executive Director for WORLDiscoveries. “The MIF alumni have set a great example of what is possible when you work together, and this year will be no different.”

The program is led by WORLDiscoveries, the business development and technology transfer office for London’s research institutions. Western’s BrainsCAN initiative committed more than $3.5 million over seven years to the program, along with MITACS and the Western Bone and Joint Institute’s Collaborative Training Program in Musculoskeletal Health Research.

This year’s participants include:

Eaton Asher

Eaton Asher

BSc, Medical Sciences and Psychology, Western University

Eaton completed his bachelor of science in medical sciences and psychology at Western University with a special interest in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive ability. He became heavily involved in entrepreneurship before starting his own pharmaceutical technology company developing a stimulus-responsive targeted drug delivery platform alongside Dr. Elizabeth Gillies and colleagues. In 2020-2021, he aided in the design, development, and regulatory approval of the world’s first Mo-99 medical isotope production facility – a next generation medical radioisotope generating facility that will meet and exceed the world’s shortage of nuclear medical isotopes – currently under construction at Darlington Nuclear Power Plant. Eaton is a committed lifelong learner who can identify the practical relevance of theoretical research and has committed himself to mastering this process of knowledge translation.

anastasia codirenzi

Anastasia Codirenzi

HBSc, Integrated Science with Physics, Western University
MESc, Biomedical Engineering, Western University

Anastasia completed her honours bachelor of science in integrated science with physics and her master of engingeering science in biomedical engineering with a collaborative specialization in musculoskeletal health at Western University. Anastasia’s thesis work focused on determining patient and device factors contributing to implant corrosion, as well as automation of corrosion detection. Anastasia is passionate about medical device development, particularly in patient-involved development. In her free time, Anastasia enjoys the outdoors and is an avid rock climber.

Fatma Hassan

Fatma Hassan

BSc, Veterinary Medical Science, Cairo University, Egypt
MSc, Physiology, Veterinary Medical School, Cairo University, Egypt
PhD, Physiology, Veterinary Medical School, Cairo University, Egypt

Working as professor at the Veterinary Medical school in Egypt has satisfied Fatma’s passion for teaching and delivering information in a simplified way. During her master’s degree, she designed an innovative device to facilitate the sampling and delivery of medicine directly to the stomach of ruminant animals. She worked on a novel peptide named Ghrelin peptide and its impacts on the appetite, growth, and endocrine status of birds for her PhD thesis. She decided to continue her postdoctoral studies on Ghrelin peptide and its effect on pregnancy, and reproductive hormones in female rats as an animal model. With an aim to help cancer patients, she collaborated with a research team during her postdoctoral fellowship and afterward during her visiting professorship at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western working on cutaneous squamous carcinoma cells, and other skin-related disorders. Her passion for scientific innovation fuels her work to continuously be a part of making an impact in the scientific field and healthcare system.

Cody Jackson

BSc, Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology, University of Waterloo
MD, University of Ottawa
Family Medicine Residency, Western University
MEd, Health Professions Education

Dr. Cody Jackson is a family physician practicing in London, Ontario. He has a keen interest in digital health, medical education, and medical innovation. Dr. Jackson is an active faculty member at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and has completed a master of education specializing in health professionals. He also holds positions on multiple Ontario Medical Association working groups, is a peer leader with OntarioMD and assists with multiple family physician recruitment projects in Ontario. His research has focused on digital health, infectious disease diagnostic protocols, patient portals, app development, e-handover tools, and electronic resource sharing platforms.

Durwesh Kadri

Bachelor of Dental Surgery, DY Patil University
Master of Public Health, Western University

With speciality training in maxillofacial surgery, medical device innovation has always been Durwesh’s passion. Durwesh has worked on 4+ medical device products and aims to combine his surgery and public health training to frugally innovate in the medical device ecosystem. He was also a Graduate Student Innovation Scholar for the Winter 2022 term.

Michelle Pryde

BScH, Chemistry, Acadia University
MASc, Biomedical Engineering, Dalhousie University

Michelle’s graduate research, in partnership with Toronto’s Synaptive Medical, focused on the clinical application of a novel MR imaging system for accelerating diagnoses of acute stroke in emergency medicine. This experience gave Michelle the ability to collaborate with various stakeholders, including clinical experts, physicians, research scientists, imaging physicists, MRI technologists, as well as undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. Michelle also has work experience as a product development consultant and quality control and assurance technician utilizing her background in chemistry and engineering.

oleksiy zaika

Oleksiy Zaika

BSc, Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph
MSc, Clinical Anatomy, Western University
PhD Candidate, Anatomy and Cell Biology, Western University

Oleksiy’s graduate research has been supported by the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Frederick Banting and Charles Best Doctoral Award through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and international presentation and publication honours. Oleksiy also received training in entrepreneurship through New Venture Creation and Master the Entrepreneur Skillset programs through Ivey. He co-founded and was the President of the Western Chapter at the University Consulting Group, which has excelled at providing pro-bono work for non-profits in Canada in the specialties of medical services, professional development, and social impact. Oleksiy is passionate about the acceleration of individualized medical solutions using artificial intelligence, 3D printing and genomics which aim to improve patient quality of life and decentralize accessibility of care. He is a returning fellow, having participated in the Western Medical Innovation Fellowship in 2021-2022 and is co-founder of Vessl Prosthetics.

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