RK Smiley Research Grant Program


RK SmileyThe RK Smiley Research Grant program provides start up grants aimed at pilot projects expected to lead to larger follow-up studies funded by CIHR or other grant funding agencies.

Established in 2011 to mark the Fortieth Anniversary of the Canadian Hematology Society’s service and to support hematology practitioners in Canada, this award is named in honour of the CHS Founding President, Dr. R. Kennedy Smiley, who was also instrumental in founding the University of Ottawa’s medical school.   Many impressive submissions from across Canada have been received in response to the announcement of this new research grant program since its inception.

The annual invitation for submissions, is typically announced in late fall, the deadline is usually in mid-February, and the winners announced in April.

Eligibility Criteria: Applicants may be clinicians or scientists with a project relevant to the field of hematology and must be members of the Canadian Hematology Society.  Preference will be given to groups who will benefit maximally from the limited start up funds.


RK Smiley Award Winners



Name: Christine Cserti-Gazdewich

Project: The Monocyte Monolayer Assay: Enhancing Care for the Untrasfusables

Centre: Blood Transfusion Medicine, Toronto General Hospital

Name: Robert Kridel

Project: Identifying new therapeutic targets for double-hit lymphoma using CRISPR-Cas screens

Centre: Medical Oncology & Hematology Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto



Name: Steven Chan

Project: Genome-Wide Identification of Synthetic Lethal Genes against TET2 Mutations in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

Centre: Princess Margaret, University Health Network, Toronto

Name: Bertrand Routy

Project: Influence of gut microbiota on anticancer activity of immuno-therapeutic strategies in patients with multiple myeloma

Centre: McGill University, Montreal


Name: Dr. Signy Chow

Project: Next Generation Sequencing of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) for Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) and Monitoring of Clonal Evolution in Multiple Myeloma (MM).

Centre: University Health Network, Toronto

Name: Dr. Ziad Solh

Project: Neonatal Outcomes after Transfusion of ABO Non-Identical Blood (Neo-ABO)

Centre: McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario


Name: Dr. Yulia Lin

Project: Setting the benchmark metric for red blood cell transfusion (RBC) to allow for assessment of optimal transfusion care: A pilot quality project at 10 hospitals.

Centre: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and University Health Network, Toronto

Name: Dr. Ana Nijnik

Project: Genome-wide Identification of p53-Regulated Genes in Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells

Centre:  McGill University, Montreal




Name: Geerte van Sluis

Project: A Pilot Study Investigating the Significance of Novel Factor Xa Inhibitor Interactions with Dexamethasone-Containing Regimens for Multiple Myeloma

Centre: University of British Columbia

Name: Paul Spagnuolo

Project: Mitophagy in the development of leukemia stem cell mitochondrial phenotype

Centre: University Waterloo, School of Pharmacy



Name: Brent Williams

Project: Treatment of AML xenografted mice with CD16+NK-92 and anti-CD123 antibody

Centre: Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto

Name: Isaac Odame

Project: White matter integrity and neurocognition in sickle cell patients

Centre: University of Toronto

Name: Nathalie A. Johnson

Project: The role of FAZ mutations in chemotherapy-resistant lymphomas

Centre: McGill University, Montreal


Name: Hubert Tsui

Project: “Sensing” Hematopoiesis

Centre: University of Toronto

Name: Christian Steidl

Project: Prognostic markers in relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma

Centre: BC Cancer Centre

Name: Michael Rauh

Project: Myeloid-derived suppressor cells as potential novel mediators of Factor VIII tolerance in Hemophilia A

Centre: Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario