Kudos for January 2012


Dr. Ian Lorimer has published a paper in Oncogene suggesting that preventing cancer cells from dividing may be a valuable strategy in cancer treatment. Dr. Lorimer and team showed that blocking a protein called PKCiota in breast and brain cancer cells causes them to stop dividing and become permanently ‘senescent’. The same strategy had no effect on normal cells.

Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw recently interviewed by University Affairs magazine about the selective reporting of positive clinical trial results and how this can lead to inappropriate and potentially harmful health care.

Dr. Michael Rudnicki and his team have discovered a protein called Wnt7a which promotes the growth of muscle tissue by stimulating muscle stem cells to produce new muscle fibres and by stimulating those muscle fibres to get bigger and more powerful. He had described a first molecular pathway several years ago. This new pathway represents the first example of a receptor being ‘wired’ to different pathways at different levels of tissue development for a common purpose. The research was published in Nature Cell Biology.


The Centre for Practice-Changing Research officially opened on December 14th, 2011. The ceremony included speakers from OHRI, TOH, CHEO, the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. Dr. Shawn Aaron spoke about his own research and his own personal experience and the benefits that research has made for him over the years and then one of Dr. Aaron’s cystic fibrosis patients gave an inspiring speech about the impact that research has had on him. Dr. Aaron was interviewed by The Ottawa Citizen and CTV Ottawa and CFRA.

The OHRI Cancer Research Hockey Classic was held in mid-December at the Minto Skating Centre and raised nearly $6000 for needy families affected by cancer. This was double the original fundraising goal. Cancer Therapeutics North wing played against Cancer Therapeutics South wing with the North Wing winning in overtime to receive the coveted McBurney Cup. Funds were distributed through the TOH Psychosocial Oncology’s patient emergency fund.


Dr. Michael Rudnicki is to be interviewed on a January 14th Global TV’s current affairs show, “16×9”, dealing with stem cell tourism.

Dr. Mark Clemons to be featured in an Ottawa Citizen story on personalized medicine for cancer on January 15th. One of Dr. Clemons’ breast cancer patients will participate as well.

Dr. Kumanan Wilson and team analyzed data from ICES of more than 350,000 children who received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Data showed that children are more likely to show up in emergency rooms 1-2 weeks after first vaccination shot. However, the group felt that in the majority of cases, the reactions were self-limited and likely represent a normal immune reaction to the vaccine. Dr. Wilson was interviewed by CTV.


The Dept of Medicine Research Advisory Committee (RAC) has announced the successful applications in the recent November 1st grants/awards competition:

Dr. Jonathan Angel (Infectious Diseases) received a Mid-Career Research Salary Award.

Dr. Carl van Walraven and Dr. Ray Saginur (GIM and Infectious Diseases) received a Clinical Priority Research Award for their grant entitled: “The Ottawa Hospital Outpatient Bacteremia (TOHOB) Study: The epidemiology and outcomes of outpatient bacteremias.”

Dr. Peter Lawlor and Dr. Shirley Bush (Palliative Care) awarded a Developmental Grant for their study entitled: “ The preventative role of exogenous melatonin administration in patients with advanced cancer who are high risk of delirium: a feasibility study prior to a larger randomized controlled trial.”

Dr. Curtis Cooper (Infectious Diseases) in collaboration with Drs Sorisky, Ooi and Doyle (Endocrinology & Metabolism) awarded a Developmental Grant for this study entitled: “ Evaluation of the influence of Hepatitis C Protease Inhibitor-Containing Antiviral therapy on insulin resistance and lipid profile.”

Dr. Todd Fairhead (Nephrology) awarded a Developmental Grant for his study: “Immunity in patients receiving extensive haemodialysis versus conventional in-home haemodialysis.”