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VHRN Student Committee

The Student Committee (StC) comprises a broad spectrum of trainees: summer interns, undergraduate and graduate students, medical students, residents and postdoctoral fellows. Our student members must be under the supervision of a researcher who is a regular or associate member of the Network. The executive team of the StC is devoted to organize scientific and educational events, to advocate for student members, and to facilitate their career development. The executive team consists of the following members: the President, four (4) Vice-Presidents (VP) (who also serves as Institutional Representatives [iRep] of their home school), and iReps.

The President of the StC:

  • Serves as the direct link with the Board of Direction and participates in board meetings
  • Coordinates VHRN activities
  • Coordinates a team of VPs and iReps

VP Finance: to be determined (TBD)

  • Management of the StC Budget
  • Preparation of reports on committee expenses and claims

VP Communications: TBD

  • Social media management, including the committee’s Facebook page / Instagram / Twitter
  • Publicizing events organized by the StC

VP Organization: TBD (2 positions)

  • Management of the organization of scientific events, scientific cafés, etc.
  • Establishment of the team of volunteers during the annual network day)

iRep serves as a link between the StC, the Network and schools.

StC members will have the opportunity to:

  • participate in board meetings
  • participate in the promotion of scientific discoveries of the network via the website
  • participate in the organization of the annual meeting
  • interact with their student peers

Note that the StC is not an independent committee and shall report to the Board of Directors on the same basis as other VHRN committees. Decisions made by the StC need to be approved by the Board of Directors. The StC meetings should have an agenda which needs to be reported to the Board of Directors. The StC has the responsibility to follow through their objectives and activities.




Ellen Zhou_180612

Tianwei (Ellen) Zhou

VHRN Student Committee president
MD PhD Candidate, McGill University


Tianwei (Ellen) Zhou is in her final year of McGill’s MD-PhD program. Ellen’s path to date is an exciting blend of medical research, clinical service, advocacy and community engagement. Her PhD thesis, supervised by Dr Sylvain Chemtob, focused on Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), a blinding eye disease that affects many premature infants worldwide. Ellen’s studies revealed, for the first time, that ROP is not a static disease but a dynamic progression with detrimental impact on patients’ vision. This notion highlights the importance of longitudinal follow-ups for ROP patients.

Ellen has been a long-time executive member of the Clinician-Investigator Trainee Association of Canada (CITAC). During her tenure, she advocated for the reinstatement of MD-PhD grants from the Canadian federal government. Fueled by her passion for humanity, Ellen and her colleagues launched the innovative “Journeys Through Health” Art Exhibition at the new McGill University Health Centre in 2017. It was the first time in Montreal that a student group had collaborated with a healthcare institution to organize a patient-centre art exhibition. This Exhibition was a proud finalist in the prestigious Forces AVENIR award. Based on her contributions, Ellen received the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award in 2017 and was inducted to the McGill Scarlet Key Society. As the President of the Student Committee, she is dedicated to working with peers to promote career development in the field of ophthalmology.

Tableau EN


  • January 2019 : Training on ‘’Science Popularization’’ « A wink at my research »
  • March/April 2019: the Career Day
  • Pizza-lunch with mentors