The goal of the Laurie J. Hendren Opal scholarship is to provide financial support to promising undergraduate students to undertake patient-centered summer research projects with the Opal Health Informatics Group at the Research Institute of the MUHC (RI-MUHC). One or two scholarships are awarded annually.
Prof. Laurie Hendren was a renowned professor of Computer Science at McGill who died from metastatic breast cancer in 2019. As both a breast cancer patient and a computer scientist, Laurie worked tirelessly to improve the Quebec healthcare system by fighting for patients to have full and immediate access to their health data. Through Laurie’s collaboration with Dr. John Kildea (medical physicist) and Dr. Tarek Hijal (radiation oncologist), the Opal patient portal was born. As of February 2022, Opal provides patients with access to some of their health data at the MUHC and it is being continuously developed by the Opal Health Informatics group at the RI-MUHC, that Drs Kildea and Hijal continue to lead.
Each year, the Opal Health Informatics Group will create a list of patient-centered research projects involving the Opal patient portal that undergraduate students can apply to participate in.
In summer 2022, the following four projects are proposed:
|2-way messaging||Integration of 2-way messaging into Opal.|
|OncoBuddy||Integration of peer-support into Opal.|
|3D-RT||Integration of 3D radiotherapy displays in Opal.|
|Cancer events||Integration into Opal of a calendar of cancer-related public events.|
Detailed descriptions of each project are found below. In their statement of interest, candidates should indicate their preferred project and why they believe they are suited to participating in it.
Applications are accepted from strong undergraduate students in any field of study. Students can participate in the design, analysis, programming, project management or any other aspect of the project that fits their experience and interest.
Applications will be judged by a committee of MUHC cancer patients organized by the Cancer Care Mission Patients’ Committee of the MUHC that Laurie was a member of. Members of Laurie’s family and the Opal Health Informatics Group leadership may participate as observers.
Review criteria include:
An individual is limited to one Laurie J. Hendren scholarship during their studies.
Please complete your application online using this Google form. Please note that for security reasons a Google account is required.
You will need to provide 4 things:
All candidates will be notified of the decision by April 1st, 2022.