Kudos for February 2011

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


Jonathan Angel - Regulation and function of soluble IL-7 receptor alpha (CD127) in HIV infection. $100,000 from CIHR 1 year.

John Bell – Increasing vaccine manufacturing output using viral sensitizer technology. $136,750 from CIHR 1 year.

Kevin Burns – Translational research on the role of tubular ACE2 in kidney disease progression. $110,000 from CIHR 1 year.

Jean Dasilva – Effect of glycemic therapy on impaired myocardial noradrenergic innervation and beta-adrenoceptors in rat models of diabetes. $100,000 from CIHR for 1 year.

Darryl Davis – Second generation cardiac cell therapy: combination and genetic tailoring of stem cells in ischemic heart disease. $355,416 from CIHR for 3 years.

Alan Forster – Implementation of a hospital based method of adverse event surveillance. $144,001 for 1 year.

Ian Lorimer – Evaluation of a protein kinase C iota as a target for glioblastoma therapy. $326,658 from CIHR for 3 years.

Ruth McPherson - Metabolic and genetic determinants of obesity and obesity-related phenotypes. $390,000 from CIHR for 3 years.

Michael Schlossmacher - Cathespin D activation: A target to reduce alpha-synuclein pathology in a parkinson’s model. $854,930 from CIHR for 5 years.

Rhian Touyz – Nox homologues, redox signaling and vascular biology in hypertension. $759,286 from CIHR for 5 years.

Guy Trudel – Autologous bone marrow-derived cellular augmentation in rotator cuff repair. $866,864 from CIHR for 5 years.

Peter Tugwell – Can patient decision aids improve shared decision making and reduce gender disparity in the utilization of total knee arthroscopy? A pilot study. $110,416 from CIHR for 2 years.

Papers of Note:

Dr. John Bell and his team have found that compounds known as histone deacetylase inhibitors can enhance the ability of vaccinia virus to destroy tumours in lab models. Clinical trials with vaccinia are showing promise in TOH cancer patients.  Article published in PLoS One.

Dr. Michel Chretien’s pro-hormone theory was listed as one of the top 30 discoveries of the last 30 years by Actualite Medicale. The theory was first proposed by Dr. Chretien in 1967 and explains how hormones are produced from inactive precursors in the body.

Dr. Michael McBurney part of a study that suggests that the SirT1 protein may help prevent the development of prostrate cancer. Mice that lack this protein show a greater number of pre-cancerous lesions in the prostrate. Details can be seen in Cancer Research.

Dr. Fahad Alkherayf is part of a study which reveals that daily smokers in Canada are ~50% more likely to suffer from lower back pain than non-smokers. Article published in Journal of Pain Research.


Dr. Gonzalo Alvarez interviewed by CBC radio about reducing the burden of tuberculosis in Nunavut and how a recent $800,000 grant from Public Health Agency of Canada will help the cause. In partnership with the Government of Nunavut, Dr. Alvarez will help implement a TB awareness campaign and a door-to-door treatment program, while also collecting data that will help inform anti-TB efforts in other communities.

Dr. Jose Pereira interviewed in The Ottawa Citizen about Eastern Ontario’s health authority approving a plan to more than quadruple the number of palliative care beds in the Champlain region by 2014. Dr. Pereira was one of the authors of the report. He feels these hospice beds will provide patients and their families with a more supportive, homelike environment. He was quoted as saying “ Our goal is to get the right care to the right person at the right time, by strengthening existing services and adding more.”

Dr. Kumanan Wilson was interviewed by the Canadian Press about the potential use of social media in gathering health information. The article discusses research by Dr. Wilson and others on twitter, blogs and goggle searches, and how monitoring these may provide early warning signs of disease outbreaks and health communications challenges.

Dr. Brent Zanke interviewed by local media about the new Ontario Health Study which will track the health of 2 million Ontarians over many decades.