H2i would like to congratulate Nabanita Nawar, for being selected as one of two PhD student awardees of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) Rising Stars Awards!

Every year, six OICR Rising Stars Awards are granted at three levels; Master’s students, PhD students, and post-doctoral fellows. The award recognizes world-class trainees and students throughout Ontario, and individuals selected for the award have shown scientific potential and a high standard of scholarly achievement in cancer research, in addition to strong community engagement and leadership.

Nabanita Nawar, PhD Candidate & Co-Founder of HDAX-Therapeutics

Nawar is a current PhD candidate in Medicinal Chemistry at the Gunning Group (University of Toronto), and is also part of the H2i network as the co-founder of HDAX Therapeutics, which is a venture focused on the development of safe and effective therapies for disease treatment.

I am so humbled to be recognized as a Rising Star by OICR! Being one of the only two awardees of this highly competitive award across all of Ontario feels surreal. Huge shoutout to the amazing group of mentors, friends and colleagues who have helped me in my academic and entrepreneurial journey- this wouldn’t have been possible without you all!

Nabanita Nawar

She is a Gordon Cressy award laureate for her exemplary contributions to science and campus, and the sole graduate student leadership awardee of 2021 at UTM. She is also an Associate Editor for Canadian Science Policy Centre, and the Journal of Science Policy and Governance. With 7 impressive publications, 2 patents and over 20 awards, Nawar also has held a spot in the Top 60 most outstanding students across all three UofT campuses for two years in a row, and has also received The Society of Chemical Industry Merit Award, and Canadian Silver Medal from the Chemical Institute of Canada. To top it off, HDAX Therapeutics has gained lots of momentum within a few months of its launch thanks to Nawar’s leadership, leading the company to win multiple notable awards across Canada.

Nawar continues to focus her research on a multi-disciplinary drug discovery approach for therapeutic intervention of HDAC6 to explain its numerous roles in diseases, and design small molecules that can inhibit HDAC6 activity and alleviate disease phenotypes.