Hannah Kozlowski leans against a window, capturing her reflection.

(photo supplied)

Hannah Kozlowski awarded Future Leaders Prize from the Emerging and Pandemic Infections Consortium

Hannah Kozlowski, an MD/PhD student at the University of Toronto, is the inaugural recipient of the Future Leaders Prize from the Emerging and Pandemic Infections Consortium (EPIC), a U of T Institutional Strategic Initiative.

The prize, to be awarded annually, recognizes outstanding PhD graduates who have completed an excellent infectious disease-focused thesis and demonstrated leadership beyond their studies.

Working with Warren Chan, a professor in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Kozlowski was part of a team that developed a portable smartphone device that could diagnose COVID-19 and other infections in less than one hour. She then started a new research project with Shaun Morris, a clinician-scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children and assistant professor of paediatrics in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, to improve public health surveillance for dengue.

Supported by an EPIC Researcher Mobility Award, Kozlowski is in Thailand working this summer with researchers at the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit to co-develop a protocol using Nanopore sequencing, a type of genome sequencing, to diagnose dengue infections in patient blood samples.

“The power of an MD/PhD is that you understand these two different worlds and you can help close that gap between them,” Kozlowski says. “It’s quite powerful to be able to do that.”

Kozlowski has been highly involved in the MD/PhD program, helping to create an innovative competency-based curriculum and serving as her class president and on the Temerty Faculty of Medicine Strategic Plan Working Group.

Read the EPIC story