Scrabble tiles spelling out "Be the Change"

Our Mission

We provide University of Toronto Temerty Faculty of Medicine graduate students with mental health and wellness support and resources via educational seminars and peer mentorship. There are three pillars to our mission:

1. Peer Mentorship: GPSN aims to provide graduate students (mentees) with mental wellness-oriented, on-demand peer mentorship to help mentees navigate their wellness concerns and relevant mental health resources available at the University of Toronto. GPSN recruits and trains a directory of volunteer graduate students equipped to provide safe, reliable and non-judgemental support. Mentors are matched with mentees on the basis of mentor areas of expertise/training and mentee requests submitted through a secure intake website. It should be noted that peer mentors are not counsellors or health care providers, but are a source of emotional support for mentees and a bridge to gaining professional and academic support when needed.

2. Graduate Student Life Seminar Series: GPSN aims to provide graduate students with perspectives and tools to overcome tentative challenges through a formal seminar series. The series comprises of monthly seminars in which the foci will alternate between (i) graduate life and (ii) physical exercise.

3. Research and Advocacy: GPSN collaborates with University of Toronto Faculty, academic programs and non-academic groups to survey the mental health and wellness needs of graduate students and advocate for any associated changes at the administrative level. GPSN will also disseminate mental health and wellness resources widely to Faculty of Medicine graduate students un-contingent on student participation in the GPSN Peer Mentorship or Seminar Series programming.

Our Team

Our leadership team features Master’s and PhD students from across 7 Temerty Faculty of Medicine departments. We also could not do our work without our 21 volunteer peer-mentors and departmental liaisons. For those interested in joining us, please see the link below and keep an eye out for our annual fall elections.

Maneesha Rajora Maneesha Rajora
Program Co-Coordinator

Department
Institute of Biomedical Engineering, MD/PhD Program

Research Topic
Drug delivery to brain tumours

Bio
I am an MD/PhD candidate, originally from the East Coast, in the final year of my PhD program in the Zheng lab. When I’m not in the lab or studying, I enjoy dancing, choreographing and exploring the city with friends.

Maneesha Rajora
Program Co-Coordinator

Ling Ling T

Siu Ling Tai

Graduate Life Seminar Co-Lead

 

Department

Immunology

 

Research Topic

Crohn's disease

 

Bio

Ling Ling is a first year PhD student in the Immunology department, studying autoantibodies in Crohn's disease. When not running around the lab, you can find her biking, looking up recipes (but rarely making them), or binging TV shows.

Siu Ling Tai
Program Co-Coordinator

Mashiat Mimosa

Mashiat Mimosa

Research and Advocacy Co-Lead

 

Department

Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology

 

Research Topic

Neuro-Oncology and Genomics

 

Bio

I joined GPSN to help improving mental health of graduate students bridging the gap between graduate students and faculty. I want to achieve this goal by researching about challenges faced by graduate students that affect their mental health and raising awareness among faculty to advocate for the students. Research and Advocacy Co-Lead I am a first-generation immigrant from Bangladesh and currently a 1st year master’s student at University of Toronto Laboratory medicine and Pathobiology dept. My research is focused on neuro-oncology and genomics. I joined GPSN as a research and advocacy co-lead to help improving mental health of graduate students bridging the gap between graduate students and faculty. Outside of academics and community involvement, I also enjoy baking, solving math and word puzzles.

Mashiat Mimosa
Research and Advocacy Co-Lead

Yan Wong

Yuen Yan Wong (Yan)

Sunnybrook Lead, Research and Advocacy Ambassador

 

Department

Pharmacology and Toxicology

 

Research Topic

Genetic and Imaging Biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease

 

Bio

I'm a third-year PhD student in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, based in Sunnybrook (Bayview Campus). I study genetic and imaging biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease patients, and I have a strong passion for neuroscience. On my own time, I enjoy listening to music, trying new food, learning languages, and spending quality time with my family and friends.

Yuen Yan Wong (Yan)
Research and Advocacy Co-Lead

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Anglin Dent

Mentorship Co-Lead

 

Department

Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology

 

Research Topic

Examining the use of AI tools for the analysis of heterogeneous Glioblastoma brain tumors

 

Bio

Hi! I'm a second year master's student in the Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology department. Outside of the lab, I am passionate about mental health advocacy and support on campus, and am so excited to be actively involved in the promotion of these services through the GPSN! I am a firm believer in achieving a work-life balance and practicing self-care, so when I need time to de-stress I enjoy baking, listening to podcasts, exercising, and seeing friends.

Anglin Dent
Mentorship Co-Lead

Fatemeh Mirshafiei

Fatemeh Mirshafiei

Mentorship Co-Lead

 

Department

Biochemistry

 

Research Topic

Cardiac Regeneration

 

Bio

I am a second year PhD student in the Biochemistry department. I have been involved in various mentorship programs and I am hoping to make a positive impact in the mentorship program at GPSN.

Fatemeh Mirshafiei
Mentorship Co-Lead

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Christina Ji

External Affairs Co-Lead

 

Department

Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology

 

Research Topic

Connective tissue remodeling

 

Bio

I recently completed my Master’s thesis (Dept. LMP) and I am currently a research assistant working on furthering my project. When not in the lab, I enjoy exploring trails, exercising, and learning about watercolour painting.

Christina Ji
External Affairs Co-Lead

Presley MacMillan

Presley MacMillan

External Affairs Co-Lead & Ethics Officer

 

Department

Chemistry

 

Research Topic

Nanoparticle delivery to tumours

 

Bio

A 5th year PhD student in Warren Chan's lab. My research is focused on understanding nanoparticle delivery in tumours.

Presley MacMillan
External Affairs Co-Lead & Ethics Officer

Tory Coward

Tory Coward

Lead Fitness Coordinator

 

Department

Molecular Genetics

 

Research Topic

Sarcoma Biology

 

Bio

I am a 4th year PhD student in the Andrulis-Wunder Lab at LTRI. My research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms operating within the tumour-immune microenvironment of a subtype of sarcoma called undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma. When I'm not trying to read the papers opened eons ago in the tabs on my laptop, I enjoy running, biking, baking, seeing friends and reading!

Tory Coward
Lead Fitness Coordinator

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Stefanie-Grace Sbergio

Social Media Manager

 

Department

Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology

 

Research Topic

Cell Biology

 

Bio

I am a graduate student at the University of Toronto in LMP completing my Masters degree. I study pediatric Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma at the Hospital for Sick Children in Dr. Cynthia Hawkins Lab. My project investigates novel treatment options for this rare and aggressive pediatric brain tumour. As part of the Graduate Peer Support Network I hope to encourage fellow graduate students to participate on campus and maintain positive attitudes to help them fulfill their goals in their graduate program.

Stefanie-Grace Sbergio
Social Media Manager

Join our Team!

We are looking for creative and dedicated candidates to join our team for the following positions:

  • Ambassadors to support our Research & Advocacy efforts, and our Mentorship Program
  • Treasurer

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Apply here!