Kudos for March 2013



On March 6th, the Canadian Hospital Reporting Project findings for 2011-2012 were released via the CIHI website. Dr. Worthington and Alan Forster spoke to TOH’s performance and progress that TOH has made.

Jeremy Grimshaw and The Cochrane Library were featured on a news item on CBC Radio’s World at Six. It was in advance of the Café Scientifique entitled: “Why Google your health questions when you can Cochrane them?” held in Ottawa on March 5th.

Shawn Aaron’s 2008 study, which found that 30% of people diagnosed with asthma did not actually have the condition, was featured in recent article by Medical Xpress on ‘Medical researchers raise alarm on over-diagnosis’. Study was also detailed in a BMJ campaign called “Too much medicine” which aims to highlight “the threat to human health posed by overdiagnosis and waste of resources on unnecessary care.”

John Bell was featured in the ‘Living’ section of Ottawa at Home (Winter 2013 issue). He discusses his work, his inspiration, what he considers the perfect day of leisure and the best advice he ever received.

Kumanan Wilson’s immunization iPhone app, recently discussed in the Toronto Star and the Ottawa Citizen, picked up my February issue of Today’s Parent. Dr. Wilson is working to enhance the app and provide versions for more parts of Canada and more platforms, such as Android and Blackberry. Free app can be downloaded from iTunes.


Fraser Scott has published a paper in Diabetes which gives compelling evidence that diet is a major environmental promoter of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes. The paper also identifies a specific host-defence protein called CAMP that could serve as a way to identify important immune system anti-inflammatory agents, called M2 microphages. This knowledge could lead to a new way of treating or preventing diabetes by targeting immune cells in the gut. Details can be found in Diabetes.

Alexander Sorisky and his research team have furthered understanding of the complex ways the immune system is involved in the accumulation of fat tissue. Dr. Sorisky found that interleukin-1 beta, a factor made by immune cells called macrophages, blocks the formation of mature fat cells. Details can be found in the Journal of Endocrinology.


Johnny Ngsee has been awarded nearly $700,000 by CIHR to build on his recent discovery about the role of a gene called VAPB in maintaining healthy motor neurons. His recent work can be found in the Journal of Cell Science.

Jeremy Grimshaw has received $600,000 from Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-term Care to support production and updates for dozens of Cochrane Systematic Reviews. This grant will help fund publication of 18 new Cochrane Reviews, updates for 18 existing Cochrane Reviews, and production of 18 new protocols.

Rashmi Kothary has received an operating grant from CIHR to explore the role of a structural protein (dystonin) that is critical for neurons to function properly. Defects in these structural proteins can contribute to neurodegenerative disorders such as ALS, Alzheimers, Parkinsons and Hereditary Sensory Autonomous Neuropathy. By understanding the exacta role of dystonin, Dr. Kothary hopes to provide insight into the causes and origins of these disorders.


TC Ooi has been chosen to receive the 2013 Physician Scientist award at the Canadian Lipoprotein Conference in September 2013.

Marc Rodger has been awarded a 2013-2014 Career Investigator Award for $415,000 from the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Funding will allow him to continue examining whether thrombophilia causes pregnancy complications.

Lynn Megeney received a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work which shows, at the molecular level, how cell death or cell suicide is a vital process in normal biology. He is also credited with providing the first evidence of heart muscle stem cells in adults, which is now the focus of research groups around the world as they work to translate this knowledge into improved patient care.

David Grimes was recently awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work in Parkinson’s Disease. Of note, Dr. Grimes spearheaded the development of Canada’s first national Parkinson’s guidelines.