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Dr. Crystal Chan Impacts our Next Generation of Philanthropy and Health Care

Brilliant and determined, Dr. Crystal Chan is a physician and scientist investigating complex issues in women’s health, while encouraging the next generation to follow in her footsteps. The support from donors to Mount Sinai Hospital continues to positively impact her work in the community.

Growing up on a vineyard in British Columbia by way of Singapore, Dr. Chan was inspired by her father, a Navy Physician, and considered careers in both medicine and research from an early age. As an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia, she studied microbiology and genetics, and moved to Toronto to pursue medical school followed by a Master of Science degree at the University of Toronto. Currently in her last year of residency, Dr. Chan is focused on obstetrics and gynaecology, and Mount Sinai Hospital has played a vital role in fostering her growth and professional development. As a medical student, Dr. Chan was affiliated with the Hospital through the Wightman-Berris Academy and as an obstetrics and gynaecology resident, she worked extensively in the wards of the Hospital. Throughout graduate studies, she conducted research out of the Mount Sinai Centre for Fertility and Reproductive Health and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute.

“Throughout the years, I have directly witnessed and benefited from this Hospital’s commitment to excellent patient care, research and education of the next generation of health care providers. What I have always loved about Mount Sinai Hospital is that even though it is a large health-care institution providing complex patient care, it has retained the heart and soul of a close-knit community, with the common goal of providing the best possible care for patients,” said Dr. Chan.

With a specialty in obstetrics and gynaecology, Dr. Chan has the ability to care for women through adolescence, pregnancy, menopause and beyond, and finds the opportunity to work in all stages of women’s health personally rewarding. With a goal of contributing to the treatment of infertility, Dr. Chan is advancing research in the area of in vitro fertilization, or IVF, and has a research goal to reduce the rate of multiple pregnancies by improving the baseline success rate of single embryo transfer outcomes. To do this, Dr. Chan is utilizing molecular techniques to identify unique features that predict best outcomes for embryo competence and uterine receptivity in women.

Dr. Chan said, “I have recently accepted a fellowship position in Reproductive Endocrinology and infertility at the University of Toronto. Much of my fellowship will be spent at the Mount Sinai Centre for Fertility and Reproductive Health. I find it a real privilege to help couples struggling with infertility to conceive and create families. Infertility is a difficult condition that affects 1 in 6 Canadian couples. In vitro fertilization is the best treatment available, and is a technology that I would like to offer my patients in the future.”

“My goal is to contribute to the treatment of infertility not only as a physician, but also by conducting innovative research to improve the outcomes of IVF and assisted reproduction,” said Dr. Chan. “The treatment of infertility can be emotionally and physically difficult for patients and their partners, and I hope to help them through this challenging process, and help create happy, healthy families.”

In addition to the titles of doctor and scientist, Dr. Chan is also an accomplished author, contributing to medical publications and journals, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Society for Reproductive Medicine In-Training Award for Research. Dr. Chan recently received two research grants that will assist in defining the future of her IVF research and solidify her career aspirations at Mount Sinai Hospital. In 2011, Dr. Chan received $20,000 to support her research as the co-author of a Physicians’ Services Incorporated Foundation Resident Research Grant, and in 2012, she received 200,000 Euro as co-investigator with Dr. Ellen Greenblatt on a Merck Serono Grant for Fertility Innovation, receiving one of nine grants out of hundreds of applications from 40 countries around the world. This critical funding will allow Dr. Chan to continue research that fuels innovation in the field of fertility and women’s health.

Dr. Crystal Chan is inspiring young professionals to choose careers in medicine and research, and has grown her profile within the medical, academic and philanthropic communities, proving to be a guiding light to the new generation of health care providers. As a Venture Sinai Women 2 Inaugural Fellow, she has been selected from a competitive group of researchers and is financially supported to continue clinical studies on uterine receptivity and in vitro fertilization through a program funded by young professionals and facilitated by the Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation. She is also a “Scientist to Watch” at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute and encourages young professionals, particularly women, to seek out mentors and become stimulated by ideas and conversation.

Dr. Chan said, “During my training, I had incredible mentors, including Dr. Ellen Greenblatt, Medical Director of the Centre for Fertility and Reproductive Health, and Dr. Theodore Brown of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, who nurtured me academically and helped guide my professional development.” Dr. Chan continued, “I feel inspired by my experiences to mentor the next generation of women in medicine to strive for their academic goals. I want them to know that it is possible to excel in both medicine and research, while maintaining balance and wellness in life.”

The support of fundraisers and donors to Mount Sinai Hospital positively impacts the ability of Dr. Chan to continue her work for the community. As one of the single largest donors to Mount Sinai Hospital, the Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary pledge on women’s health, along with the support of its donors, ensures innovative health care is provided to critical needs, while fostering the growth of the next generation of health care providers who are critical to the world-renowned research and education delivered at Mount Sinai Hospital.

“The academic calibre of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Mount Sinai Hospital is unparalleled in Canada, and perhaps North America. I am proud to be continuing my training and research at this institution, and could not have accomplished this research without the state-of-the-art resources, equipment and collaborations afforded to me by working at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute,” said Dr. Chan.

Constantly looking toward the future and the role she plays as a health care practitioner and scientist, Dr. Chan has participated in teaching at the undergraduate level at the University of Toronto, and plans to maintain her interest in teaching and training throughout her career.

Brilliant and determined, Dr. Crystal Chan is forging the pathways for a new generation of leaders and donors who support the groundbreaking research at Mount Sinai Hospital.

To learn more on why Dr. Chan is a scientist to watch, and to learn about other young researchers, visit: http://research.lunenfeld.ca/rssnews/?page=1903

Dr. Crystal Chan was featured in the Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary’s annual magazine Perspectives.