Kudos for November 2010

Recognizing significant contributions and achievements from the members of the Department of Medicine in the form of awards, grants, media mentions and publications


Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw has been elected co-Chair of the Cochrane Collaboration, a highly prestigious international research network that helps people make informed healthcare decisions.

University of Ottawa has been named as one of Canada’s top research-intensive universities for the 4th year in a row, placing 7th on the list. Annual rankings are compiled by RE$EARCH Infosource and include research funding, faculty research intensity, total number of publications, publication intensity and publication impact. University also moved up one spot from 3rd to 2nd place in Canada among universities with medical and doctoral programs for its extensive growth in publications.

uOttawaGraduate student, Michelle Weir, under supervision of Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw and Dr. Dean Fergusson has been awarded Joseph De Kronick Prize for the best interdisciplinary Master’s thesis. Ms Weir explored knowledge translation strategies to improve drug prescribing practice and drug use.


Dr. Michael Schlossmacher involved in new Ottawa-based research training project focused on neurodegenerative diseases, and specifically the role of lipids in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, stroke and Parkinson’s. Group has been awarded $1.8 million from CIHR over six years.


Dr. Al Forster made the front page of The Ottawa Citizen with his patient safety learning system. The device will allow staff to report adverse events using a simple electronic form. Reports will be assessed by patient safety experts, division and department heads, epidemiologists and statisticians.  Goal is to create a culture of learning and improvement around patient safety, rather than a culture of blame.

Dr. Michael Rudnicki quoted in Toronto Star story about new technologies to help people with spinal cord injuries. Article focused on mechanical devices with artificial intelligence.

Dr. Michael Rudnicki quoted in the Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia News concerning funding opportunities. “The funding is very tight right now. New investigators are having a hard time getting funding, established investigators are losing their funding. This is an incredibly important area for Canada, and there’s a very essential role for the federal government to support research, that’s basic.”  “Canada has been a world leader in stem cell research but is now falling behind and its international reputation is at risk unless major investments are made.” Dr. Rudnicki also presented recent stem cell research and funding needs to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health.

Dr. Mark Clemons and Dr. Adam Mamelak were interviewed by The Ottawa Citizen on advances in cancer treatment, including the development of more targeted therapies with fewer side effects.  Dr. Clemons spoke about surgery, radiation and chemo for breast cancer. Dr. Mamelak spoke about a new precision surgery technique to treat skin cancer.

Institute for Rehabilitation Research and Development just published annual Rehab Research News.

The Institute for Rehabilitation Research and Development (IRRD) at The Rehabilitation Centre (Ottawa) was created to foster research, development, and networking activities with a focus on the clinical and practical application of rehabilitation services. Local IRRD objectives include coordinating research efforts at The Rehabilitation Centre and coordinating research-based conferences, seminars, and public lectures. Nationally, the IRRD promotes research networking, encourages information exchange, facilitates multi-centred research studies, and provides research consultation and project management. Internationally, the IRRD assists developing countries in the formation and growth of rehabilitation services through research and evaluation activities, provides research consultation and project management expertise, coordinates professional exchanges, and promotes the exchange of information related to research, education, and training.

Papers of Note:

Dr. Hsiao-Huei Chen in collaboration with Dr. Valerie Wallace has revealed a gene called LMO4 which plays a key role in eye development. Gene could also be important for regenerative therapies for eye disease. Research published in PloS One.

Dr. Mike Sharma and colleagues have published a research study in Stroke which shows that just 3.2% of patients treated for a mini-stroke at TOH developed a full-blown stroke within 90 days, compared with a typical rate of 10% at other centres.


Dr. Lynn Megeney and team published a paper in Molecular and Cellular Biology showing that a protein called Wnt11 promotes the development of heart muscle stem cells by activating molecular pathways that have traditionally been associated with programmed cell death. The work could have important implications for the development of stem cell therapies for a variety of diseases.