Siraj Zahr - President

I completed my undergraduate degree in Honours Biochemistry at McGill before joining the MD/PhD program at the University of Toronto. I am currently pursuing my graduate studies at the SickKids Research Institute where I work in the laboratory of Dr. Freda Miller and Dr. David Kaplan exploring how intrinsic and extrinsic cues interact to ensure the appropriate development of the central nervous system. My work aims to shed light on critical processes that, when gone awry, can result in congenital brain defects and developmental disorders.

Tina Binesh - VP Finance

I obtained my Hon. BSc. degree in Biochemistry and Physiology and my MSc. degree in cardiovascular sciences from University of Toronto. I am currently a MD/PhD candidate at University of Toronto where I study medicine and am also researching the role of human bone marrow derived stem cells to prevent heart failure in cardiac patients. Through collaborating with clinicians and basic scientists, I aim to uncover the effects of aging and cardiac disease on the ability of these cells to regenerate cardiac tissue post-injury and to rejuvenate aged cell for improved cardiac cell therapy of the elderly population. Ultimately my interests are translational research and improved application of cell-based therapy for cardiac patients.

Rob Civitarese - Secretary

Growing up in a small town in Hamilton, completing my B.Kin and M.Sc. training at the University of Toronto has been an amazing journey. I have had the opportunity to participate in diverse research areas with multiple supervisors, gaining tremendous insight into scientific discovery. My education has also allowed me to glimpse into the clinical world, through both clinical placements and course work concerning human biology. These vastly different, yet essentially intertwined, areas of study have stimulated my passion and determination to enter the MD / PhD program here at the University of Toronto, training that will be fundamental for future success and development as a clinician scientist. I am excited to be a part of the Apollo team to continue to emphasize the importance of translational research and to learn more about how to turn research discoveries into clinical outcomes.

Salwa Farooqi - Communications

Salwa Farooqi is a first year medical student at the University of Toronto and is a graduate from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) degree in the Global Health specialization, and a Masters in Science and Clinical Epidemiology from the Health Research Methodology Program. Salwa has advanced her scholarly pursuits by travelling to Cape Town, Mexico City, and around Canada to present her research findings. She aspires to be a clinical researcher, which will serve to complement her additional role as a future physician. Salwa is passionate about social justice and seeks to use her platform as a healthcare provider for advocacy both in and outside the confinements of formal institutional boundaries. Salwa’s introspective nature has led her to utilize her spare time to publish a book titled ‘Yours in Writing’, which serves as a creative avenue to externalize her lived experiences and emotions.