About the Research Training Centre (RTC)

The Research Training Centre (RTC) is part of the larger Research Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital, which is comprised of the Keenan Research Centre for Basic Science (KRCBS) and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute (LKSKI). The RTC seeks to provide a stimulating research training program and to create a nationally and internationally recognized training environment for future scientists. By bringing together expertise in translational scientific and applied health services research, the RTC works with trainees and the broader research community to support and advance their research training experiences. What kind of trainees is the RTC supporting? We provide support for individuals conducting research at St Michael’s Hospital  as a graduate student (at either the Master’s or Doctoral level) or as a Postdoctoral Fellow, and under the supervision of a St. Michael’s Hospital scientist; as well we also provide support to supervisors who participate in research training.

  • A graduate student is an individual enrolled in a graduate program pursuing a Masters or PhD degree which is focused on research.
    • MSc Trainee: any student with a bachelor’s degree, pursuing additional education typically within 2 years.
    • PhD Trainee: any student with a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree pursing additional education typically within 5-7 years.
  • A postdoctoral fellow or PDF: an individual with a PhD or MD degree who is engaged in a temporary (usually 2-3 years) research activity under the mentorship of a scientist. The individual must have obtained either a PhD or Medical degree within the previous six (6) years in order to qualify as a post-doctoral fellow.

The RTC supports graduate students and postdoctoral fellows by:

  • Organizing RTC events such as, workshops, activities, and seminars that will enhance professional training and career development
  • Providing internal scholarships and awards to recognize excellence in research
  • Informs trainees about external funding opportunities
  • Connecting SMH trainees with other hospital-based Research Training Centres across the GTA to share resources and opportunities, and to promote innovative partnerships across specialties, programs, and services
  • Providing a point of contact or office to support trainees in the Research Institute on a day to day basis
  • Maintaining a trainee registry
  • Representing research trainee interests and advocating for research trainees within the institution and beyond.
  • Supporting the SRSA
  • On-board new graduate trainees

Please send your ideas, questions or concerns to rtc@smh.ca. Visit our getting started page for detailed instructions of the registration process.

Director’s Message 

Welcome to the Research Training Centre! Our goal at the RTC is to provide you with an excellent training experience, one where you can reach your full potential as a researcher. Our new website will help you navigate trainee life and has links to numerous resources here at St. Michael’s and beyond. For example, if you’re a basic science trainee housed at the Keenan Research Centre (KRC), check out the many training opportunities offered by the Core Facilities team. If you’re a clinical researcher at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, there are links to resources like the Research Ethics Board, software tutorials, and so forth. If you’re a Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) there are links specific to your unique training needs. Please bookmark our ‘Events and Announcements’ page for updates on trainee-relevant events and other information, such as scholarship deadlines, the trainee seminars series, and workshops. Our site will continue evolve, and it is still under construction – there’s more to come, so please bear with us and check the website regularly for updates. We are happy to provide you with a home where you can find practical information: for those of you who are new to the RTC, those who are looking for funding opportunities, and those of you who are completing your training and are thinking ‘what’s next?’  Finally, while it’s true that research is a lot of work, we’d encourage you to check out the link to SRSA (the St. Michael’s Research Student Association) who organize regular social and career development events, and make it easy for you to find a friendly community. Wishing you every success in your research, Kati and Janet RTC Co-Directors

Our Mission Statement

Creating an outstanding, internationally-recognized training environment for tomorrow’s biomedical and health researchers to flourish.

Our Team

Katalin Szaszi (RTC Co-Director)

Dr. Katalin Szaszi MD, PhD is a scientist at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science of St Michael’s Hospital and a member of iBEST—the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology, that is part of a partnership between St. Michael’s and Ryerson University. She’s also an associate professor with the University of Toronto’s Department of Surgery. She obtained MD and PhD degrees at the Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary and completed postdoctoral trainings at the Hospital for Sick Children and Toronto General Hospital. She was appointed as a scientist with the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science in 2005. Dr. Szaszi is a cell biologist studying epithelial biology and pathophysiology of inflammation and fibrosis. Her lab uses cultured epithelial cells and animal models of kidney disease to explore molecular pathways. They receive funding from CIHR, NSERC and the Kidney Foundation of Canada. She was a recipient of a Krescent New Investigator award from KFoC and CIHR (2007-2010) and an Early Researcher award from the Ontario Ministry of Innovation. She has more than 60 peer-reviewed, well-cited publications. Dr. Szaszi is involved in training undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows as a member of the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. She was a member of the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science’s Research Training Centre committee for nearly 10 years. To learn more, visit: http://bit.ly/KatalinSzaszi

Janet Parsons (RTC Co-Director)

Dr. Janet Parsons (PhD, MSc, BScPT, BA) is a Research Scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital and an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto. She is cross-appointed to the Institute of Medical Science and is an Academic Fellow at the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research, Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She obtained both her PhD and MSc degrees in Medical Science from the University of Toronto. She completed postdoctoral training at the Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital, specializing in urban health and the health of marginalized populations. Dr. Parsons was appointed as a scientist at the LKSKI in 2009, and is based at the Applied Health Research Centre.  A qualitative methodologist, her program of research focuses on the development and application of arts-based visual and narrative methodologies to a wide range of health research topics. Substantive interests are health equity and health services research. She has employed photography, film, drawing and storytelling in her work. Dr. Parsons has authored over 40 peer-reviewed publications, and is involved in training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.


A Brief History of the RTC

The RTC began in 2007 when it was recognized that, as a new Research Institute, we house graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with particular training needs and interests.

Dr. Andras Kapus, Founding Director, 2007-2017

Dr. Kapus obtained his MD (1986) and PhD (1990) in cell physiology at the Semmelweis University, Budapest Hungary. He was postdoctoral fellow at the Division of Cell Biology in the Hospital for Sick Children (1992-1995) in Toronto, and was then recruited as a basic scientist to the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute and Dept. Surgery in 1997. He was a Medical Research Council of Canada Scholar (1999-2004). Since 2005 he works at the St. Michael’s Hospital/Keenan Research Centre (KRC) for Biomedical Research. He is a full professor (Dept. Surgery and Dept. Biochemistry) and the Associate Vice Chair of Research, Department of Surgery, at the University of Toronto, and Director of the Critical Care/Trauma/Inflammation Research Platform at KRC. He was the founding Head of the Research Training Centre, responsible for creating the RTC and establishing its current structure and functions. Read more.

Marianna Betro, RTC Coordinator, 2007-2017

Marianna Betro is a Business Manager in the department of Research and Medical Affairs at St. Michael’s Hospital. As the first RTC coordinator, she was instrumental in creating the organizational structure of the RTC.

Cheryl Pritlove, RTC Coordinator, 2017-2018

Cheryl Pritlove is a Clinical Research Specialist with the Applied Health Research Centre (AHRC). She earned her MSc and PhD from the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University. Her doctoral research was conducted within the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, where she sought to better understand the successes and challenges of cancer care integration. As the RTC coordinator she promoted the transition between the previous and current leaders, and worked to implement changes to address new needs in training.

Sandra Naccarato, RTC Program Administrator, 2009 – 2020

Sandra Naccarato is a Research Administrative Assistant at St. Michael’s Hospital. Sandra has been working at St. Mike’s for 13 years. She is part of the Critical Care Research. Sandra works for several P.I’s on the 6th floor, in the LKSKI Building. Sandra has been working with the Research Training Centre since the start of the program (2009). She coordinates the biweekly presentation seminars. She finds it very rewarding to work with the students and help them with challenges that they might encounter.

Kristine Antony (RTC Program Coordinator), 2018 – 2020

Kristine Antony (BSc) is the Research Training Centre (RTC) Coordinator at St. Michael’s Hospital. She obtained her BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo. Prior to joining the Research Training Centre, Kristine has worked with undergraduate and medical students as the Keenan Research Summer Student (KRSS) Program Coordinator, in the Office of Research Administration at St. Michael’s Hospital.

Sophie Koch (RTC Coordinator), 2021-2022

Sophie is the Research Training Centre (RTC) Coordinator at St. Michael’s Hospital. She obtained her BSc in Animal Biology from the University of Alberta and her MSc in Developmental Biology from McGill University. Prior to joining the Research Training Centre, Sophie worked with undergraduate students as a Teaching Assistant and as a Graduate Teaching Fellow, as well as with graduate students and PDFs as a research technician at UTM.

Annual Reports

2017 – 2018 


2020 – coming soon!