Click on the Tabs to Find Out Who I Am and What I Do!
I acknowledge that the Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University are located on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Chonnonton Nations, on lands connected with the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum and the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796. The Wampum is an agreement between the Anishinaabek and Haudenosaunee nations to share the land and resources for mutual benefit. The Treaties were negotiated between the Deshkan Ziibiing Anishinaabek and the British Crown, and have been used to justify the surrender of both the land and the rights of Indigenous people to self-determination. As the daughter of immigrants, I have benefitted from the settler-colonial interpretation of these Treaties. As a scientist, I acknowledge that medical research has excluded and exploited Indigenous people. It is with humility that I accept the responsibility of engaging with Indigenous knowledge keepers so that we can build trusting relationships between local Indigenous communities and health researchers.
The TRC Calls to Action 18-24 refer specifically to the area of Health: https://ehprnh2mwo3.exactdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf
- Postdoctoral Training: National Institutes of Health, USA 1997- 2002.
- PhD, University of Toronto, Department of Physiology, 1993-1997. Thesis title: “The Role of Prohormone Convertases in the Post-Translational Processing of Intestinal Proglucagon”.
- MSc, University of Western Ontario, Department of Zoology, 1989-1992. Thesis title: “Mechanisms of Action of the 3a-hydroxy-4-pregnen-20-one (3aHP) in the Suppression of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) from Rat Anterior Pituitary Cells.”
- BSc (Hons), University of Guelph, 1984-1988
ACADEMIC / EMPLOYMENT HISTORY:
- Associate Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics, Western University, 2020-present
- Associate Professor (cross-appointed), Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Western University, 2020-present
- Director, Biomedical Imaging Research Centre, 2018-2021
- Director, Collaborative Graduate Program in Molecular Imaging, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, 2009-2019
- Assistant Professor (cross-appointed), Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Western University, 2007-2019
- Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics, Western University, 2004-2019
- Scientist, Imaging Program, Lawson Health Research Institute, 2003-present
- Scientist, Program in Metabolism and Diabetes, Lawson Health Research Institute, 2002-present
I am a cell biologist who uses fluorescence microscopy and PET molecular imaging to track the mechanisms underlying chronic metabolic disease. My lab has:
- Developed PET molecular imaging methods to determine how beta cell mass changes during the development of diabetes
- Collaborated with synthetic and radiochemists to develop targeted molecular imaging strategies to image heart disease
- Used quantitative fluorescence microscopy to investigate the biology of the pancreatic alpha cell in health and diabetes
In the slideshow below, I have highlighted some of our publications that best showcase my research programs.
Molecular Imaging Curriculum
I have developed undergraduate and graduate courses in Molecular Imaging in the Department of Medical Biophysics at Western University, and a graduate educational program in Molecular Imaging.
- Course Co-Director and Instructor, MedBio 3518B, "Introduction to Molecular Imaging"
- Past Course Director and Instructor, MBP 9518B, "Advanced Molecular Imaging"
- Founding Director, Collaborative Graduate Specialization in Molecular Imaging
- Medical Biophysics courses: https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/biophysics/undergraduate/course_information.html
Collaborative Graduate Specialization in Molecular Imaging
The Collaborative Graduate Specialization in Molecular Imaging provides an organized forum for graduate students to be trained in a multidisciplinary environment, thus being able to access the diverse areas of expertise of research teams in London. This common and collaborative environment adds value to the graduate experience of our students in the following ways:
- Conducting research within a well-funded, active research team.
- Participating in monthly journal club meetings to discuss the current literature in molecular imaging.
- Opportunities to interact with nuclear medicine and radiology residents
- A regular seminar series to meet and interact with scientists outside the University who are leaders in the field of molecular imaging.
- Presenting their work at an international conference that recognizes molecular imaging as a key field of interest.
My Diversity Statement
My vision for Lawson and Schulich includes a commitment to integrating Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as core values that will restructure how we teach and do research. As an academic leader, I commit to enacting policy that fearlessly and intentionally seeks out diverse voices that challenge conventional hypotheses, criticize traditional academic structures and have a global worldview. Scientists and clinicians must be representative of the societies they serve if medical research and practice is to work towards improving the lives of all people.
My full diversity statement: /sites/default/files/2022-04/Dhanvantari%20Statement%20on%20EDID.docx
My lab philosophy: /sites/default/files/2022-04/Laboratory%20Code%20of%20Conduct.docx
Article and Presentation on Anti-Racism and Allyship: /sites/default/files/2022-04/Akam2021_Article_VisionsByWomenInMolecularImagi-4.pdf
Resources on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization in Scientific Research: /sites/default/files/2022-04/EDID%20resources.docx
|My statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Science (16.55 KB)||16.55 KB|
|My training philosophy (18 KB)||18 KB|
|Presentation at Diversity in Radiology and Molecular Imaging 2021, Stanford University (28.99 MB)||28.99 MB|
|Anti-Racism and Allyship (409.46 KB)||409.46 KB|
|Global Mentorship (809.36 KB)||809.36 KB|
|EDID Resources (14.76 KB)||14.76 KB|