2002 Winner: Leaders of Tomorrow
Talib Rajwani has displayed outstanding qualities in science and research, as well as leadership qualities within Alberta, nationally and with additional influence around the world. Rajwani is looking for the cause of scoliosis, a spinal disorder, in adolescents. In December 2001, after completing two years in Honors Physiology with a perfect 9.0 GPA, Rajwani received his BSc Medical Sciences and was admitted into medical school at the University of Alberta. Rajwani is studying for his Master’s Degree in Radiology at the University of Alberta and is currently engaged in a comprehensive research project that examines a potential cause of scoliosis.
Although research has determined the cause of about 20 per cent of the cases of scoliosis in adolescents, 80 per cent of cases remain unexplained. Rajwani is determining if unequal growth of the neurocentral junction – a growth plate in the spine – may be a cause of scoliosis. If the neurocentral junction is linked to scoliosis, this would revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Within the last year, Rajwani has had a paper accepted by the Journal of Pediatric Radiology and two accepted by the Journal of the International Research Society of Spinal Deformities.
Over the past 12 months, his research has been presented to the International Student Research Conference in Kiev, the International Research Society of Spinal Deformities in Athens, the Worldwide Orthopedics Research Group in St. Lucia, the Western Perinatal Research Conference in Banff and the Canadian/American Orthopedic Association in Victoria. As the youngest presenter, Rajwani received the 2002 CORS Founder’s Medal for the best research paper presented at the Canadian/American Orthopedic Association Meeting.
In May 2002, Rajwani was one of 12 students in the world that was awarded the Golden Key Scholar Award, an annual scholarship with applicants from over 300 universities worldwide. In the summer of 1998, Rajwani was involved in a research project on the computer-aided diagnosis of interstitial lung disease in the Department of Radiology at the University of Alberta Hospital. The results of his work were incorporated in the MedImage 98 software. Strongly committed to science and research, and a brilliant academic, Rajwani has received numerous scholarships and awards, and is a leader in both his professional and extracurricular activities.