Dal Med PhD student receives Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation

- December 3, 2018

Denis Therien, VP Research Partnerships of Element AI, presents Lyna Kamintsky with the Mitacs Award for Outstandng Innovation - PhD alongside her supervisor, Professor Steven Beyea. (Photo: Mitacs Canada).
Denis Therien, VP Research Partnerships of Element AI, presents Lyna Kamintsky with the Mitacs Award for Outstandng Innovation - PhD alongside her supervisor, Professor Steven Beyea. (Photo: Mitacs Canada).

Dalhousie University's Lyna Kamintsky was among the winners at the 2018 Mitacs Awards, where members of the innovation community convened to recognize five researchers for their ground-breaking work. Their innovations advance fuel cells, mental health and medical diagnosis, work-site safety, and improve quality-of-life for persons with spinal-cord injuries.

The annual ceremony honours the work of outstanding participants in Mitacs’ collaborative research internship programs. Three leaders in the academic and business communities were also recognized for their contributions to a more sustainable and prosperous Canada.

Kamintsky received the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation - PhD.

A PhD student in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Kamintsky developed a technology to more accurately diagnose brain and eye-vein injuries. This technology, developed in partnership with Halifax start-up Emagix, could ultimately lead to more targeted, personalized treatments for preventing sight loss in people with diabetes as well as new therapies to treat traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other neurological conditions.  

Technology to help patients  


“This award is a huge honour,” Kamintsky said. “I’m extremely grateful for Mitacs’ support, as it has enabled my collaboration with Emagix. Together, we accelerate the translation of laboratory findings into diagnostic tools that can be readily used by doctors.”

“I feel fortunate to get to work on technology that is already benefitting patients. To our surprise, even just showing patients suffering from brain trauma or psychiatric illnesses that there are abnormalities in their brains brings them the comfort that they are not just imagining their symptoms. We are confident that this technology can become routine medical practice, and help predict post-concussion complications and better diagnose psychiatric disorders.”

Kamintsky made sure to thank others for her success.

“This work would not have been possible without the brilliant minds of Alon Friedman, Steven Beyea, Chris Bowen, Cynthia Calkin, Kathleen Cairns and Ronel Veksler,” she said. “I’m also very grateful to the Department of Medical Neuroscience and its great leadership and staff.”

Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that works with more than 60 universities, thousands of companies and federal and provincial governments to foster growth and innovation in Canada for business and academia. Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada and each of the provinces, as well as Canadian universities and international partners.

This year’s event marked the start of the organization’s 20th anniversary.

For more information about Mitacs and the other award recipients, please visit mitacs.ca.


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