CHEO Research Institute 2023 Awards of Excellence


Ottawa, Ontario — Wednesday December 20, 2023

The CHEO Research Institute celebrated a year of research excellence and recognized seven individuals for their accomplishments and contributions at the Awards of Excellence held Dec. 20, 2023.

“Building a health care system that meets the needs of kids today and in the future requires a strong foundation in research. At the CHEO Research Institute, we have more than 250 researchers, supported by incredible research staff, who are all dedicated to making discoveries that inspire the best life for children and youth. Today, we recognized seven individuals for their impactful accomplishments and contributions to research at CHEO and around the world.  Congratulations to the 2023 award winners and thank you to the entire CHEO Research Institute for an incredible year.”

Dr. Jason Berman, Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Director, CHEO Research Institute, and Vice-President of Research, CHEO.

The Research Institute 2023 award recipients are:

Outstanding Investigator

Presented to a researcher for their outstanding achievements over the past few years as evidenced by funding, publications, national or international reputation and discoveries that have the potential to impact healthcare at CHEO and around the world.

Awarded to: Nicole Obeid

Dr. Obeid is a Scientist and Lead for the Eating Disorder Research Lab at CHEO Research Institute. Research in her lab is focused on a number of pillars to help drive new understanding, evidence and innovation in the field of eating disorders for young people. Her team is conducting epidemiological research to understand risk factors that lead to eating disorders and associated mental health symptoms; clinical studies to learn how to provide more tailored treatment for young people with eating disorders; and health systems research to provide innovative solutions to current gaps in our eating disorder system of care. Dr. Obeid was awarded a $2 million THINC Implementation Science Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for a study looking to implement an adapted, evidence-based early intervention for eating disorders model in integrated community-based settings.

Outstanding Research Coordinator

Presented to a research coordinator for their outstanding contribution towards the conduct of research at the CHEO Research Institute. This person embodies the CHEO Research Institute’s core values of being curious, nimble, passionate and equitable. This person’s project management skills are essential to the success of each research project from inception through to publication.

Awarded to: Jenna Yaraskavitch


Outstanding Trainee

Presented to recognize a trainee’s outstanding achievements in research. This is based on high academic achievement (including publications, presentations and awards), personal leadership qualities and demonstrated research ability. Submissions can be for either bench or bedside research. All levels of trainees may be nominated including Undergraduate and Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows.

Awarded to: Valeria Dimitrova

Outstanding Research Mentor

Presented to an individual who provides outstanding research mentorship and has the ability to inspire others. This person coaches and encourages others to succeed in fulfilling the CHEO Research Institute’s mission of connecting exceptional talent and technology in pursuit of life-changing research for every child, youth and family in our community and beyond.

Awarded to: Martine St.Jean

Sandy Boehmer Spirit of the RI (Individual or Team)

One award presented to an individual or team at the CHEO Research Institute who best exemplifies our core values of being curious, nimble, passionate and equitable.

Awarded to: Allan Humphrey

Osmond Impact Award

One award presented to an individual who is seen as having had a significant impact on the growth and/or leadership positioning of the CHEO Research Institute in the past year. The impact could be in the area of significant discoveries over the year, or leadership positioning for the CHEO Research Institute.

Awarded to: Magda Price


Rhonda Correll Leadership Award (New in 2023)

One award presented to an individual at the CHEO RI for their outstanding ability to lead people, projects, programs and/or teams. The recipient of this award, leads by example, motivates others, and works to advance improvements that shape the Research Institute- All things Rhonda has done so well throughout her time here at the RI.

Awarded to: Melissa Bellocchi

Congratulations to this year’s award recipients!

Areas of Research