Dean's Alumni Awards

Dean's Alumni Award badge

Our Temerty Medicine alumni network consists of more than 63,000 graduates of our life sciences, rehabilitation sciences, MD and MD/PhD programs, as well as former residents and clinical fellows. Together, they are contributing to better health and health care throughout Toronto, across Canada and around the world. 

Every year we celebrate our Temerty Medicine alumni community's impact with the Dean’s Alumni Awards. We highlight the contributions of our alumni as they advance clinical care, health research, medical education and more.

Recipients of the 2023 Dean's Alumni Awards

Elizabeth Inness

Lifetime Achievement Award

Elizabeth Inness (MSc ’08 RSI, PhD ’15 RSI)

Elizabeth Inness has spent her 34-year career pursuing and achieving excellence in physiotherapy and neurorehabilitation. Her advocacy for patients, connection to clinical care and keen interest in clinical-research partnerships have advanced physiotherapy practice across Canada and around the globe. Among the many innovative developments she’s led or co-developed are the Community Balance & Mobility Scale, which has been adopted worldwide; the Mobility Innovations Centre at Toronto Rehab-University Health Network (UHN), which has set the standard for knowledge translation into practice; the Canadian Stroke Community-based Exercise Recommendations Update 2020; and the Toronto Rehab Telerehab Toolkit, developed during the COVID-19 pandemic that has seen international uptake. Her contributions have been recognized through numerous awards, most recently the Canadian Physiotherapy Association Medal of Distinction.

Shaf Keshavjee

Impact Award

Shaf Keshavjee (MD ’85, MSc ’89 IMS, PGME ’93 Thoracic Surgery)

Chief of innovation at University Health Network (UHN) and Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program, Shaf Keshavjee’s pioneering work in thoracic surgery and lung transplantation has saved countless patients’ lives around the world. He developed the Toronto Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP) system, which has revolutionized global lung transplantation, allowing surgeons to assess and repair donor lungs prior to transplant. At UHN, EVLP use in clinical transplant practice has doubled the number of lung transplants performed. In addition to  Keshavjee’s  outstanding impact as a scientist and surgeon, he has also mentored countless surgeons, graduate students and junior faculty in U of T’s Department of Surgery and Institute of Medical Science. He has been appointed an officer of the Order of Canada and is a member of the Order of Ontario.

Anju Anand

Humanitarian Award

Anju Anand (MD ’03, PGME ’05 Internal Medicine, PGME ’08 Respirology)

Recognizing the need for culturally-appropriate public health messaging early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Anju Anand co-founded the South Asian COVID Task Force (SACTF). Her advocacy directly led to the establishment of a testing centre and vaccination site serving vulnerable populations in the Toronto area. She also co-founded the This is Our Shot (TiOS) COVID-19 vaccination campaign, which gained support from a nationwide volunteer coalition of 500+ health care professionals and influencers. As a cystic fibrosis specialist, Anand has worked diligently to improve the patient experience through the development and use of digital communication tools and channels. Her accomplishments are an example of leadership and volunteerism at their best.

Nir Lipsman

Emerging Leader Award

Nir Lipsman (PHD ’14 IMS, PGME ’16 Surgery)

Nir Lipsman is a leading world expert in focused ultrasound (FUS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS) and their application in the field of psychoneurosurgery. He has developed the world’s largest and most comprehensive focused ultrasound clinical trials program and has led several world-first trials in depression, brain cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. As the director of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s Harquail Centre of Neuromodulation, which he founded with generous philanthropic support, he leads a team of more than 70 local and global collaborators in this pioneering work. He is also the director of the neurosurgery residency program at the University of Toronto, where he oversees one of the largest neurosurgery training programs in the world. In 2020, Dr Lipsman was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40.

Nominee Eligibility and Criteria

Nominations for the 2024 Dean's Alumni Awards will open in early 2024.

  • Individuals who hold a degree or certificate from — or completed their training at — U of T's Faculty of Medicine (now Temerty Faculty of Medicine) are eligible for consideration (including graduates of our graduate and life sciences, rehabilitation sciences, radiation sciences, Physician Assistant, MD and MD/PhD programs, as well as former U of T residents and clinical fellows). Individuals who only completed post-doctoral research fellowships are not eligible for nomination.
  • Nominations may be submitted by any individual, independently or on behalf of a group or institution. Self-nominations will not be accepted. 
  • Nominees can only be nominated in one category per year.
  • Nominees should exemplify professionalism in keeping with Temerty Medicine's core values and must be in good standing with their regulatory body as applicable.

Please be sure to include with your submission:

  • A letter of nomination highlighting the nominee's achievements and explaining why the nominee should receive the award. Maximum 250 words.
  • One letter of support from an individual familiar with the nominee's work (who is not the nominator nor the nominee’s spouse or relative). 
  • A current copy of the nominee's curriculum vitae.
  • Optional: Supplementary documents (maximum two) that convey the importance of the nominee’s work. These can include notices and reviews, media coverage, abstracts, etc.

Please note, nominations will be kept on file for three years for future  consideration.

Selection Committee Eligibility

Each award has its own committee of three to seven alumni who review the nominations and select the award recipient. If space allows, members may choose to serve on more than one award selection committee. Please note, we seek diversity of representation and thought in our selection committees.

If you would like to participate on an awards selection committee, please email Katrina Heisz at

All committee members:

  • Must be part of the U of T Temerty Faculty of Medicine community of alumni, students, faculty or staff.
  • Cannot be nominated in the current award year.
  • Cannot nominate or provide letters of support for current award candidates.
  • Be available to attend virtual committee meeting(s).

Previous Award Winners

Lifetime Achievement Award

Humanitarian Award (formerly Volunteerism)

Emerging Leader Award (formerly Rising Star)

MD 25th Anniversary Award

Insulin 100 Emerging Leader Award (2021)

We seek diversity of representation and thought in our selection committees and, over time, to achieve a balance across disciplines and backgrounds with our Dean’s Alumni Award recipients. For more information about the Dean's Alumni Awards program, please contact Katrina Heisz at