Oct 5, 2023

Charles H. Best Foundation, Temerty Faculty of Medicine and Donnelly Centre Celebrate a Legacy of Supporting Postdoctoral Fellows

Awards, Research Funding, Trainees
Woman speaking to audience in front of Temerty Faculty of Medicine branded backdrop
Darina Landa, Executive Director of Advancement at Temerty Faculty of Medicine, addressing the audience at Charles H. Best Foundation celebration
By Anika Hazra

The Temerty Faculty of Medicine and the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research held a special celebration the evening of September 28 for The Dr. Charles H. Best Foundation. The event marked a milestone for the foundation with the stewardship of its fellowship program being transferred to the Donnelly Centre and Temerty Medicine.

The Charles H. Best Postdoctoral Fellowship was created in 1960; the foundation has collaborated with the University of Toronto to award the fellowship to postdoctoral researchers for more than six decades. Both the fellowship and the foundation are named after Dr. Charles H. Best, who co-discovered insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921.

Having previously supported research conducted at the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research at U of T, the fellowship has been supporting postdoctoral fellows at the Donnelly Centre since 2006.

The speakers for the evening celebration were:

  • Darina Landa, Executive Director of Advancement at Temerty Medicine and the University of Toronto’s Assistant Vice President for Advancement Relations with Health Care Institutions
  • Justin Nodwell, Vice Dean of Research & Health Science Education at Temerty Medicine
  • Stephane Angers, Director of the Donnelly Centre and Charles H. Best Chair of Medical Research
  • Lucie Wolf, 2023 Charles H. Best Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Peter Lewis, Board Chair of The Dr. Charles H. Best Foundation and Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at U of T
Composite image of four speakers (clockwise from top-left): Justin Nodwell, Lucie Wolf, Stephane Angers and Peter Lewis
Clockwise from top-left: Justin Nodwell, Lucie Wolf, Stephane Angers, Peter Lewis

The Donnelly Centre launches a competition for the Charles H. Best Fellowship each year to attract the most promising postdoctoral fellows in biomedical research from around the world. A focus on technological innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration has earned the Donnelly Centre a reputation for being on the cutting edge of research in medicine and health.

“The Donnelly Centre and the Charles H. Best Foundation have been working together to find and financially support talented researchers, with the shared goal of training the next generation of scientists in medicine and health,” said Angers.

As the current Charles H. Best Postdoctoral Fellow, Wolf was invited to speak at the celebration about her research.

“The goal is to develop new treatment options for patients with colorectal cancer based on exciting discoveries in the emerging field of targeted protein regulation,” said Wolf. “I’m very proud to be a Best Fellow and to be able to work with such exceptionally talented scientists. This is truly a project I could not conduct anywhere else in the world.”

Group photo of six people standing in front of Temerty Faculty of Medicine branded backdrop
Left to right: Justin Nodwell, Peter Lewis, Patricia Brubaker (Charles H. Best Foundation Board Vice Chair), Lawrence Filler (Charles H. Best Foundation Treasurer), Linda Godel (Charles H. Best Foundation Legal Counsel) and Stephane Angers

The Charles H. Best Fellowship will continue to support postdoctoral fellows like Wolf in their research pursuits at the Donnelly Centre. The past fellows share an impressive history, with many of them going on to join other top research institutions, organizations and companies. The Donnelly Centre and Temerty plan to continue the fellowship's legacy of launching the careers of changemakers in health and medicine.

“It has been a rewarding and fulfilling experience overseeing the fellowship program and witnessing the impact of its support,” said Lewis. “I’ve met so many wonderful people through the foundation, including my colleagues on the Board and at U of T, and of course the researchers who have received funding through the fellowship program.”