Shekoofeh Azizi receives Governor General’s Gold Medal


Shekoofeh Azizi, a graduate of UBC’s electrical and computer engineering doctoral program, has been awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal for earning the highest academic record out of all 500 doctoral students at UBC.

Presented by UBC on behalf of the Governor General of Canada, the Governor General’s Academic Medals are among the most prestigious awards that students in Canadian schools can receive. Each award comes with a personalized certificate signed by the Governor General.

After obtaining her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Isfahan University of Technology in Iran, Azizi joined the lab of Purang Abolmaesumi, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UBC. There, she developed a novel technique to improve the detection of prostate cancer, the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the second leading cancer-related cause of death among North American men.

Known as Temporal Enhanced Ultrasound, Azizi’s technique overlays additional information about the presence and distribution of prostate cancer on ultrasound images during the biopsy process. By doing so, it enables radiologists to select the best tissue samples for analysis, thereby increasing biopsy accuracy and the rate of successful prostate cancer detection.

Created in 1873 by Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third Governor General after Confederation, “to encourage academic excellence across the nation,” the Governor General’s Academic Medals have since been bestowed upon over 50,000 people, including well-known Canadians such as Pierre Trudeau and Gabrielle Roy.

Azizi is the first APSC-affiliated recipient of the award since 2007, when Gordon McTaggart-Cowan, now the Engine R&D Applications Lead at Westport Fuel Systems, received the distinction. She accepted her medal at the UBC Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering's convocation ceremony on May 29, 2019.

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