9th Annual iBEST Symposium

June 14, 2019

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9th Annual iBEST Symposium

June 14, 2019


An annual research conference jointly organized by St. Michael’s Hospital and Ryerson University featuring keynote lectures, presentations from our researchers, a trainee design competition and more.

Friday, June 14, 2019
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
209 Victoria St, Toronto, ON


For more information about the Symposium, please contact the iBEST Coordinator, Imran Sheikh, at ibest@ryerson.ca.

Past Symposia


Keynote Speakers

Dr. Marzyeh Ghassemi

  • Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Visiting Researcher, Verily/Google
  • Faculty Member, Vector Institute
  • Canada CIFAR Artificial Intelligence Chair
"Learning Healthy Models in Machine Learning for Health"

Dr. Marzyeh Ghassemi's keynote presentation at the 2019 iBEST Symposium


Professor Ghassemi has a well-established academic track record in personal research contributions across computer science and clinical venues, including KDD, AAAI, MLHC, JAMIA, JMIR, JMLR, AMIA-CRI, EMBC, Nature Translational Psychiatry, Critical Care, and IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. She is an active member of the scientific community, reviewing for NIPS, ICML, KDD, MLHC, AAAI, AMIA/AMIA-CRI, and JMLR. She has co-organized the 2016/2017/2018 NIPS Workshop on Machine Learning for Health (ML4H), been 2018 Area Chair for MLHC, and served as an Academic Guest Editor on the 2018 PLoS ONE call on Machine Learning in Health and Biomedicine.

Professor Ghassemi's PhD research at MIT focused on creating and applying machine learning algorithms towards improved prediction and stratification of relevant human risks with clinical collaborations at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital, encompassing unsupervised learning, supervised learning, and structured prediction. Her work has been applied to estimating the physiological state of patients during critical illnesses, modeling the need for a clinical intervention, and diagnosing phonotraumatic voice disorders from wearable sensor data. Prior to MIT, Marzyeh received an MSc. degree in biomedical engineering from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar, and B.S. degrees in computer science and electrical engineering as a Goldwater Scholar at New Mexico State University.



Health is important, and improvements in health improve lives. However, we still don’t fundamentally understand what it means to be healthy, and the same patient may receive different treatments across different hospitals or clinicians as new evidence is discovered, or individual illness is interpreted.
Health is unlike many success stories in machine learning so far – games like Go and self-driving cars – because we do not have well-defined goals that can be used to learn rules. The nuance of health also requires that we keep machine learning models “healthy” – working to ensure that they do not learn biased rules or detrimental recommendations.
In this talk, Dr. Ghassemi covered some of the many novel technical opportunities for machine learning to tackle that stem from health challenges, and important progress to be made with careful application to domain.

Dr. Michelle Khine

  • Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine
  • Director of Faculty Innovation, Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  • Director of BioENGINE
  • Fellow at AIMBE and NAI
"Play Science!"

Dr. Michelle Khine's ketnote presentation at the 2019 iBEST Symposium


Michelle Khine was an Assistant and Founding Professor of the School of Engineering at UC Merced. She received her BS ('99) and MS ('01, under Dennis Lieu) in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and her PhD ('05, under Luke P Lee) in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley and UCSF. While in graduate school, she worked at Sandia National Labs as a MESA Fellow as well as co-founded Fluxion Biosciences (San Francisco, Ca), which was based on her dissertation work. Michelle joined UC Irvine in 2009 and co-founded Novoheart and TinyKicks.



The challenge of micro- and nano-fabrication lies in the difficulties and costs associated with patterning at such high resolution. To make such promising technology – which could enable pervasive health monitoring and disease detection/surveillance - more accessible and pervasive, there is a critical need to develop a manufacturing approach such that prototypes as well as complete manufactured devices cost only pennies. To accomplish this, instead of relying on traditional fabrication techniques largely inherited from the semiconductor industry, we have developed  a radically different approach. Leveraging the inherent heat-induced relaxation of pre-stressed thermoplastic sheets – commodity shrink-wrap film - we pattern in a variety of ways at the large scale and achieve desired structures by controlled shrinking down to 5% of the original, patterned sizes. The entire process takes only seconds yet enables us to ‘beat’ the limit inherent to traditional ‘top-down’ manufacturing approaches. With these tunable shape memory polymers, compatible with roll-to-roll as well as lithographic processing, we can robustly integrate various materials from thin metal films to various nanomaterials in order to achieve extremely high surface area, densified, and high aspect ratio nanostructures directly into our microsystems for conformal wearable sensors as well as other applications. We have started 5 (currently working on the 6th) start-up companies to translate our inventions to serve patients. 



Dr. David Cramb iBEST

Dr. David Cramb

Dean, Faculty of Science, Ryerson University

Dr. Ori Rotstein iBEST

Dr. Ori Rotstein

Vice-President of Research and Innovation, St. Michael’s Hospital


Dr. Michael Kolios

Associate Dean, Faculty of Science, Ryerson University

Paul Chipperton iBEST 2019

Paul Chipperton

Member Board of Directors, Angel Investors Ontario

Ozzy Mermut iBEST

Dr. Ozzy Mermut

Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy, York University

Tony Orsi iBEST

Tony Orsi

Partner, Bereskin & Parr LLP

Josh Garbe iBEST

Josh Garbe

Associate, Ripple Ventures

Dr. Stephen Waldman iBEST

Dr. Stephen Waldman

Graduate Program Director, Biomedical Engineering, Ryerson University

Dr. Yenni Yucel iBEST

Dr. Yeni Yucel

Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science

Raffi Karshafian iBEST

Dr. Raffi Karshafian

Graduate Program Director, Department of Physics, Ryerson University


The application of ultrasound and microbubbles (USMB), micrometer size gas-core shell-encapsulated agent, has been shown to improve the efficacy of drug-based treatments in various diseases. USMB has been shown to enhance chemotherapy and radiotherapy through enhanced drug delivery and anti-vascular bioeffects. In addition, USMB has been shown to enhance treatment of ARDS. The research group and collaborations collectively has expertise in bubble manufacturing, ultrasound therapy device design and manufacturing, and translational applications in imaging and therapy.

Dafna Sussman iBEST

Dr. Dafna Sussman

Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering, Ryerson University


Dr. Sussman, the director of the maternal-fetal imaging lab at iBEST, will discuss the new approaches, tools, and applications of fetal Magnetic Resonance Imaging. She will discuss her ongoing work on creating non-invasive MR-based approaches to imaging fetal metabolism, on using deep-learning to automatically segment fetal images and identify abnormalities, and on utilizing these techniques to conduct clinical studies that investigate fetal development.

Gaspard Montandon iBEST

Dr. Gaspard Montandon

Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science


An opioid epidemic is currently ravaging North America with millions of opioid overdoses occurring every year resulting in over 60,000 overdose deaths. Despite these staggering numbers, adequate research is lacking to address, understand, and find solutions to the opioid crisis. Several technological challenges associated with opioid research are currently preventing us to find solutions. (1) Novel drug therapies. New animal models and drug screening techniques are critical to identify safe pain therapies to reduce opioid overdoses. (2) Brain imaging in animals and humans. Imaging tools are currently limited to explore brain damage and brain changes associated with opioid overdoses? (3) Advanced big data analytics to track and understand opioid overdose distribution and risks. The current opioid crisis is a multi-faceted health issue involving drug discovery, biomedical research, human studies, and technology development. A collaborative effort is critical to advance research and find solutions to reduce the impact of opioids. More information can be found at www.gasplab.com

Muhammad Mandani iBEST

Dr. Muhammad Mandani

Director, Li Ka Shing Centre for Healthcare Analytics Research and Training (CHART)


Advanced analytics, including machine learning, holds great potential to transform healthcare but also poses considerable challenges in its application. This presentation will review the experience of an applied advanced analytics research centre at Unity Health Toronto in developing and implementing advanced analytics initiatives into clinical practice and management decision-making.


Dr. Scott Tsai

Associate Professor, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University

Dr. Alireza Sadeghian iBEST

Dr. Alireza Sadeghian

Professor, Computer Science, Ryerson University

Dr Miranda Kirby iBEST

Dr. Miranda Kirby

Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Ryerson University

Dr. Haibo Zhang iBEST

Dr. Haibo Zhang

Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science

Noel Courage, Bereskin & Parr LLP iBEST 2019

Noel Courage

Partner, Bereskin & Parr LLP

2019 Symposium Agenda

June 14th, 2019


8:45 to 9:00 am

Registration & Breakfast
The Bernie and Mildred Syron Exhibit Hall

9:00 to 9:30 am

Welcome and Introductions
LKSKI Allan Waters Family Auditorium

9:30 to 10:30 am

Keynote Presentation: Dr Marzyeh Ghassemi

10:30 to 10:45 am

Coffee & Tea Break
Tea Sponsored by DAVIDsTEA

10:45 am to 12:00 pm

Design Competition: Innovation Showcase
LKSKI Allan Waters Family Auditorium

Trainee team finalists will pitch their designed, biomedical-related solutions to our judges and the audience for multiple prizes and incubation opportunities. Moderator: Selena Osman

Judges Panel

12:00 to 1:30 pm

iBEST Expo
Tony & Anne Arrell Classrooms 240/241 | The Bernie and Mildred Syron Exhibit Hall

Scientists and staff from both institutions will present their research programs, highlight their research capacity and will be available for discussion to enhance collaborative activities. Industry, government and community partners will also participate in the exhibition.

*Lunch will be served*

1:30 to 2:45 pm

Research Theme Presentations
Investigators from each iBEST research theme will present their research and explore opportunities for collaboration and knowledge translation, followed by a panel discussion and audience feedback. Session chairs: Dr. Stephen Waldman and Dr. Yeni Yucel



2:45 to 3:00 pm

Coffee & Tea Break
Tea Sponsored by DAVIDsTEA

3:00 to 4:00 pm

Keynote Presentation: Dr. Michelle Khine

4:00 to 4:15 pm

Announcement of Contest Winners and Closing Remarks
LKSKI Allan Waters Family Auditorium

4:15 to 6:00 pm

Speed Networking Social & Mixer
LKS 136 Multipurpose Room

Join us for a social co-hosted by The Biomedical Zone and The St. Michaels Research Student Association (SRSA).