Kudos for November 2012



The Ottawa Hospital and Canadian Blood Services announced a partnership that will make TOH the first collection site in a new national cord blood bank, part of the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network. In 2013, the program will expand to Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver. David Allan (Hematology) is the Medical Director of the OneMatch Cord Blood Bank. Story was covered by Ottawa Citizen, CBC, Radio Canada, Sun News, Metro, Le Droit, CFRA, Top News.

Kumanan Wilson asked for comment in regards to article in CMAJ calling for mandatory flu shots for hospital workers. Coverage on CTV, Globe & Mail, CBC, Global News, Vancouver Sun.

Kathryn Suh interviewed by Ottawa Citizen about temporary suspension of flu vaccine to The Ottawa Hospital. Story also covered by CBC.

Mark Tyndall was the only witness to testify in defence of the accused in the controversial HIV trial recently held in Ottawa. Dr. Tyndall likened the probability of becoming infected with HIV to being hit in the head with a piano. Details at www.xtra.ca.

Andrew Pipe interviewed by Ottawa Citizen (October 27th). Article entitled “ Big changes needed to cope with ‘unsustainable ‘ cost of heart care”.

Scott Laurie also interviewed by Ottawa Citizen (October 24th) for an article entitled “The Real Women’s Cancer”. Dr. Laurie quoted as saying lung cancer kills more women in Canada each year than breast and ovarian cancers combined. He went on to say that women are not aware that lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of women – “Women should be up in arms about it, yet they are not.”

Ottawa Citizen (Nov 1st, 2012) reported on search for new head of University of Ottawa Heart Institute to replace Dr. Bob Roberts. The Institute looking for a “strategic visionary leader who will champion the opportunity to further enhance the institute’s capacity and reputation.” The ideal candidate will bring “an exceptional record of personal achievement in scholarship and clinical / professional leadership that inspires respect and confidence, combined with immediate recognition in the cardiovascular community.”


Researchers led by Marjorie Brand have made a discovery that could help people with beta-thalassemia that results in profound anemia and makes patients dependent on a lifetime of transfusions. Her research shows how repressing two specific proteins that work together to keep the embryonic genes inactive in adults can actually reactivate the embryonic beta-globulin gene in adult cells. This finding has implications for future development of a treatment for beta-thalassemic patients. Details in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dean Fergusson and Paul Hebert were part of a multi-site team that examined the application of light sedation and compared outcomes between those who had sedation interrupted every day and those who did not. They found it was better to let lightly sedated ICU patients sleep. Details published in JAMA.

Barbara Vanderhyden recently published in National Post – “Cancer: Autumn Awareness”. She addresses some of the misconceptions about screening for ovarian cancer and highlighting the advances in research that will lead to improvements in our ability to screen for the disease.


The Ottawa Hospital is once again one of Canada’s leading research hospitals. TOH ranked 6th for the second year in RE$EARCH Infosource Inc published list. OHRI and UOHI reported combined revenues of nearly $130 million in 2010-2011. See Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals from RE$EARCH Infosource for details.

Luc Sabourin has received $120,000 grant from Cancer Research Society to explore the role of cells that are associated with the start of tumour growth. In a breast cancer model, Dr. Sabourin’s team have found that protein called periostin is required for the growth of these tumour-initiating cells. Periostin therapies could result in more efficient clearing of breast tumours by eradicating these tumour-initiating cells.


Jolanta Karpinski is stepping down from her role as Interim Vice-Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education to join the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons as Associate Director, Specialties in the Office of Education. In her new role, she will be responsible for the development, planning and implementation of the Specialties team’s strategic priorities and operations. She will also co-Chair the Specialty Standards Review Committee and guide specialty committees on their educational standards and designs.

Debra Pugh has received the 2012 Award of Educational Advancement and Innovation in PGME. She was nominated and received the award for her work enhancing the teaching and assessment of procedural skills in Internal Medicine.

David Park has been named Researcher of the Month for November 2012 by Canadians for Health Research group.

Rebecca Rockman is recipient of the Outstanding Clinical Performance in Internal Medicine award. Rebecca was recognized as having outstanding medical knowledge and excellent clinical presentation skills. She was particularly noted for performing above expectations in ensuring communication of medical information to patients and their families regardless of barriers. She also performed beyond expectations in ensuring safe transitions of care from the hospital to other care settings.

Antoine Hakim has been named as one of the 2013 inductees into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, joining the ranks of others such as Dr. Frederick Banting, Dr. Wilder Penfield, Dr. William Osler, Norman Bethune, Tommy Douglas and Terry Fox.  Only two people from Ottawa have received this honour – Dr. Wilbert Keon and Dr. Hakim.  Dr. Hakim is recognized for his vision and perseverance in establishing the Canadian Stroke Network.  Details in Ottawa Citizen, October 19th.

Michael Schlossmacher officially became the Bhargava Research Chair in Neurodegeneration on October 18th. The Chair was made possible by a $1 million gift from Sam and Uttra Bhargava. Dr. Schlossmacher is a world-leading Parkinson’s researcher. Details in Ottawa Citizen October article.

Esteban Gandara won the Peter Garner Award for the highest rated scientific presentation at the North American Society of Obstetric Medicine Annual Meeting in October 2012 for his work on a systematic review examining LMWH dose reduction in the secondary prevention of pregnancy-associated VTE.

Kayvan Amjadi and Lynn Kachuik team won a Quality & Innovation Award from Cancer Care Ontario for their pleurex clinical program. Presentation event will be November 29th.

Ruth McPherson is recipient of the prestigious CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award sponsored by the Canadian Society for Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. Award is given for an active researcher for consistently outstanding and innovative research in the area of atherosclerosis, thrombosis and /or vascular biology.

At 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress:

Robert Roberts received the Annual Achievement award which recognizes an established investigator working in cardiovascular research in Canada. ‘I always wanted to give back to the country where I got my training and hoped that the research I had done was global and would affect Canada.’

Lyall Higginson received the Annual Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to the cardiovascular field throughout his career. ‘This is a huge honour for me, and one that I am extremely proud of’.  Dr. Higginson also won the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Canada over the course of his career.