McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

McMaster medical student wins international hematology award

Published: July 11, 2018
McMaster University medical student Nicholas Jackson Chornenki at the Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute.

McMaster University medical student Nicholas Jackson Chornenki at the Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute.

Nicholas Jackson Chornenki is someone who always puts his best foot forward.

The second-year student of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine knew the other nominees would be top-notch as he assembled his application for the physician-scientist career development award from the American Society of Hematology (ASH), but he wouldn't let it deter him.

A few weeks later, a congratulatory letter from the society arrived.

"You can't win if you don't apply, so I decided to go for it," he said. "You have nothing to lose when it comes to putting yourself out there for awards."

The Physician-Scientist Career Development Award provides an opportunity for medical students to gain experience in hematology research under the mentorship of an ASH member.

Awardees must agree to spend more than 80 percent of their time during the immersive, year-long project conducting laboratory, translational, or clinical hematology research. The award provides $42,000 of funding.

The award allows Jackson Chornenki to continue his research under mentor Patricia Liaw, a professor in the Department of Medicine and member of the Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute (TaARI).

His research project focuses on learning more about the causes of disseminated intravascular coagulation, the deadly widespread activation of coagulation, in sepsis and trauma. He also hopes to identify early indicators of the condition that could be used to identify patients at risk upon admission to the intensive care unit.

Constantine Samaan, director of research and scholarship at the medical school, said the recognition is further confirmation of the calibre of the university's medical students. 

"This prestigious award highlights the ability and talent of our medical students to compete and win international awards," said Samaan. "We are proud of Nicholas and his accomplishments."

Jackson Chornenki credits his McMaster mentors, including Liaw and Alison Fox-Robichaud of the Department of Medicine, and Christopher Hillis the Department of Oncology, for his success.

"I am indebted to the people who got me to this place," he said. "My mentors have been great at encouraging me on this path and allowing me to take the driver's seat on projects."

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