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LMP Q&A BUG: “Favourite animal drawing” edition

February 5, 2016



To celebrate the fact we’ve cured Q&A Bug infection 20 times, we’re showcasing all of our exceptional ‘victims’ in this week’s “Favourite animal drawing” edition of The Bug!

We’ve visited every LMP site, nearly every department, and have had the opportunity to learn about a number of staff whom we may only communicate with through phone or email. It’s been a great opportunity to strengthen the relationships between various areas of LMP, but better than that – The Bug has really showcased the artistic talent of laboratory medicine staff.

That’s why this week’s edition will feature every “favourite animal drawing” we’ve had so far! And to make things a little more interesting we encourage you to vote on your favourite. You can either make your nomination in the comment section or by emailing

The winner’s prize will either be pride or shame… Let the voting begin!


Dr. Runjan Chetty, Acting Medical Director

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Gordon Chin, Lab Technologist, Histopathology

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Judy Torne, Lab Technologist, Immunohistochemistry

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Tom Clancy, Director of Laboratory Operations

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Selene Fernando, Laboratory Technologist, Transfusion Medicine

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Jaimelyn Rara, Laboratory Technologist, Hematology

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Chris Cursio, Manager, Point-of-Care Testing

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Pow-Lee Cheng, Charge Technologist, Core Lab

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Janet Day, Administrative Assistant

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Jared Rosenberg, Senior Business Analyst, Finance

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Roger Boyle, Communications Specialist



Martin Grealish, Pathologist Assistant, Surgical Pathology

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Maria Amenta, Manager, Specimen Management

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David Feng, Senior Laboratory Technologist, Histocompatibility

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Nayana Sondi, Application Specialist, Laboratory Information Systems

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Dr. Ivan Blasutig, Clinical Biochemist and Medical Staff Researcher

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Dr. Stefano Serra, Gastrointestinal Pathologist

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Dr. Rohan John, Renal Pathologist



Melanie Peralta, Research Technician, PRP Laboratory

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Bev Nwachukwu, Charge Technologist, Genome Diagnostics

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Submit your nomination for “best” favourite animal drawing in the comment section below or by emailing

Feel free to nominate more than one drawing, and remember – “best” is subjective.

BUSY Lab: Visualization Meditation

January 29, 2016


(Photo by LMP’s Wellness Ambassador Rachel Whitty, taken in one of her favourite destinations, in both real life and day dreams, Costa Rica!)


Visualization, or guided imagery, is a variation on traditional meditation that requires you to employ not only your visual sense, but also your sense of taste, touch, and smell.  When used as a relaxation technique, visualization involves imagining a scene in which you feel at peace, free to let go of all tension and anxiety.  Choose a setting that is most calming to you, whether it’s a tropical beach or favourite childhood spot.

Find a quiet, relaxed location.  Close your eyes and let your worries drift away.  Imaging your restful place.  Picture it as vividly as you can – everything you can see, hear, smell and feel.

If you are thinking about a dock on a quiet lake, for example:

  • Walk slowly around the dock
  • Spend some time exploring each of your senses
  • See the sun setting over the water
  • Feel the cool water on your bare feet
  • Taste the fresh, clean air

Do not be discouraged if you occasionally zone out or lose track of where you are during a guided imagery session.  When you are ready, gently open your eyes and come back to the present.


Thank to Wellness @ UHN for providing us with this Visualization Meditation information.

Click here to read a UHN Wellness blog post on visualization: Life is But a Day Dream!

LMP Q&A BUG: Bev Nwachukwu

January 29, 2016



This week the LMP Q&A BUG made a visit to the Genome Diagnostics laboratory and ‘infected’ Bev Nwachukwu, Charge Technologist. The nomination came from our previous Q&A BUG ‘victim,’ Melanie Peralta. Check out Melanie’s photo Q&A, HERE.

Our genome diagnostics lab performs genetic testing on clinical samples, such as blood, bone marrow, cytology fluid, and solid tissue. The testing is performed using the latest technology and staff will examine specific genetic biomarkers in a specimen sample that correlate with specific diseases. The genome diagnostics and cytogenetic laboratories at LMP are accredited by several EQA providers including CAP, CLIA, and OLA to ensure top level quality control.

As charge technologist, Bev oversees the day to day operations of the lab, and helps ensure lab results are accurate and reliable. Through her work, and the work of the entire team in LMP’s genome diagnostics laboratory, UHN patients can receive accurate diagnoses, targeted treatments, and recovery monitoring of minimal residual diseases.

To learn more about Bev, check out her photo Q&A below. Make sure to read to the end to find out who’s next to be ‘infected’ by the LMP Q&A BUG. It could be you!


Whereabouts do you live and how do you commute to work?



What was your first job?



Where was your last road trip to?


Read more…

Introducing “The BUSY Lab”

January 29, 2016

The BUSY Lab


Welcome to “The BUSY Lab” – a  new weekly column in the LMP Newsletter and a monthly feature here on the blog. In each edition we will be inviting you to “experiment” with activities and techniques to enhance your own personal wellness – at work, in life, on the subway – anywhere!


We’re all BUSY at UHN LMP.  How often do we answer a colleague’s, “How are you?” with, “Good… busy!”  Or on our worse days, maybe just a straight up, “Busy.”  Period.

But can we find time in all that BUSY-ness to make time for ourselves? To do the things that make us feel we’re at our best?  To relax?  To exercise?  To have fun?  To just be present in the moment without worrying about that monstrous to-do list?


What if we could find a better kind of BUSY?  What if…

B = Bliss What makes us happy?  What brings us joy?  And how can we integrate more of that into our work and home lives?
U= Unwind How can we relax and manage stress?
S = Strength How can we maintain a strong body, and a strong mind?
Y = YOU There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to the BUSY problem – so we’ll try to offer as many different ideas as we can. Because ultimately, it’s about what works for YOU.


So stop by The BUSY Lab and discover new ways to be your best in 2016!


(Sparked your interest?  Check out “The Busy Trap”, a New York Times opinion piece from 2012: Warning: you might find yourself avoiding the B-word altogether after reading!)



Near perfect ASHI accreditation for HLA lab

January 27, 2016



A little over a week ago, inspectors from the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) assessed the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Laboratory at LMP for our 2016-2018 accreditation.

After an extensive day of inspection and review it was determined that the HLA Lab would be successfully accredited with a near perfect conformance rate.

The lab was assessed against more than 600 standards, and received only one minor non-conformance.

Alice van Oosterwijk, HLA supervisor says the results speak to the work done in the lab on a daily basis, adding, “everybody in HLA participates in the process, and the accreditation is a true group effort .”

The ASHI accreditation is a mandatory requirement for LMP’s involvement in UHN bone marrow transplants. For more information on ASHI visit:


Congratulations and well done to everybody involved in the accreditation!

LMP Q&A BUG: Melanie Peralta

January 22, 2016



This week the LMP Q&A BUG made its way to the Pathology Research Program (PRP) and ‘infected’ Melanie Peralta, Research Technician. The nomination came from our previous Q&A BUG ‘victim,’ Dr. Rohan John. Check out Dr. Johns’s photo Q&A, HERE.

The PRP Laboratory is a very unique area of LMP. It operates exclusively for research purposes; there is no automated machinery, meaning all services are administered manually, including immunohistochemistry staining, and lastly; the PRP Laboratory stands out as they handle diverse specimen, including human and animal tissue.

Samples come in through LMP Research and clients will request specific testing to be performed to help advance their studies.  These requests can come from around the world, and due to the PRP’s affiliation in research, it means the lab is included in many different publications.

Melanie is a Level IV Technician and is team leader in the lab. She will perform different histological services daily, and notes, “everyday is a surprise,” as it’s all dependent on the research that comes in.

It’s an area that participates and even enables innovation in medical research, and is a very interesting component of LMP.


To learn a little bit about Melanie’s personal side, check out her photo Q&A below. Make sure to read to the end to find out who’s next to be ‘infected’ by the LMP Q&A BUG. It could be you!


Whereabouts do you live and how do you commute to work?



What was your worst job?



Where was your last road trip to?



Read more…

LMP Q&A BUG: Dr. Rohan John

January 15, 2016



This week the LMP Q&A BUG jumped to a new sub-specialty in Pathology and ‘infected’ Dr. Rohan John, Renal Pathologist. The nomination came from our previous Q&A BUG ‘victim,’ Dr. Stefano Serra. Check out Dr. Serra’s photo Q&A, HERE.


Renal pathology is one of the 13 sub-specialties in anatomical pathology at LMP, and focuses on all things kidney related. On a daily basis Dr. John will be given cases from patients throughout UHN hospitals and our partner sites, and will provide diagnoses and key information that will help develop effective treatment plans for patients. Over the course of the year Dr. John will receive around 600 cases, which will be for either medical kidney biopsies (non-tumour) or transplant kidney biopsies.

When analyzing tissue sample from a transplant kidney biopsy, Dr. John is looking to make sure the recipient is successfully accepting the donor kidney, and analyzing the tissue sample for indications or predictors of graft survival.

For medical kidney biopsies (non-tumour), Dr. John will examine the tissue sample and look for characterization of specific diseases, including lupus nephritis, and kidney related vasculitis. Through methods such as light microscopy, electron microscopy, and immunofluorescence he’s able to make reliable, accurate diagnoses each day.

To learn a little more on the personal side of Dr. John, check out his photo Q&A below. Make sure to read to the end to find out who’s next to be ‘infected’ by the LMP Q&A BUG. It could be you!


Whereabouts do you live and how do you commute to work?



What was your first job?



Describe your ideal vacation?


Read more…


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