Kudos for December 2013



Anna Byszewski interviewed by ElderBranch in regards to a recent paper entitled : When it is time to hang up the keys: the driving and dementia toolkit- for persons with dementia (PWD) and caregivers — a practical resource. Details can be found BMC Geriatr 2013; 13(1):117.

Kumanan Wilson interviewed by The Ottawa Citizen and The Canadian Press about his new research which shows that first-born children have a higher incidence of post-vaccination emergency room visits and admissions than later-born children for vaccinations up to 12 months of age. Parental anxiety and potential immunological effects are discussed. Details can be found in PLoS ONE.

Michael Rudnicki interviewed by Ottawa Citizen (Dec 3rd) in regards to a new tool that uses a protein produced naturally in our bodies to help muscle cells repair themselves. Article entitled: Ottawa researcher finds potential tool to rebuild muscles. Dr. Rudnicki’s work has been recently published in Nature Communications. His team hopes to start first stage of human trials in early 2015. The protein is manufactured by Fate Therapeutics Inc, a biopharmaceutical company co-founded by Rudnicki.

Robert Reid interviewed by CBC – ‘Heart hospitalization a chance to improve relatives’ health’. Dr. Reid found that hospitalization of a spouse, sibling or parent was an opportunity to improve cardiovascular health among other family members. Details can be found in CMAJ. Article entitled: Effect of an intervention to improve the cardiovascular health of family members of patients with coronary artery disease: a randomized trial.

John Bell interviewed by Greenwich Time on his use of oncolytic viruses to fight glioblastomas, one of the most difficult cancers to treat.

University of Ottawa Heart Institute among top performers in Ontario when it comes to patient satisfaction. The Heart Institute’s overall satisfaction rate was 98.72%. The Heart Institute also ranks first among Ontario’s acute care hospitals that day surgery patients would recommend.

Jean-Simon Diallo and John Bell designed two cancer-fighting viruses with great potential. Their project tops the Canadian Cancer Society’s top research stories of 2013. This was reported on the CNW newswire service on December 11th. This story also covered by Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun.

Mark Tyndall interviewed by Ottawa Citizen on December 12th in regards to a police search for a robbery suspect who stabbed a man twice in the arm with a syringe. Dr. Tyndall said the “chances of becoming infected with HIV from a needle are very slim.” Patients who decide they want post-exposure HIV treatment will take 3 pills per day for 28 days.


Rashmi Kothary’s PhD student, Ryan O’Meara, received the Trainee Award for the best abstract presented at the 6th Brain Health Research Day, organized by the uOttawa Brain and Mind Research Institute.

Phil Wells’ mentee, Yan Xu, from Queens University was the recipient of the 2014 ASH Physician-Scientist Career Development Award at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting. The goal of the award is for Dr. Xu to gain experience in hematology and learn more about the specialty by immersing himself in year-long laboratory, translational or clinical investigation under the mentorship of an ASH member.

Jonathan Angel part of research team involving TOH, CHEO, and University of Ottawa, which will play a major role in a project that aims to find a cure for HIV and contribute to the global effort to put an end to AIDS. The project was awarded $8.7 million through the Canadian Initiative for HIV Cure Research. The goal of the project is to understand how HIV hides inside certain cells during treatment and to find a way to kill those infected cells. Dr. Angel is PI on the project and co-Chair of the Steering Committee. Media coverage included CBC, the Ottawa Citizen, and CTV.

Roanne Segal played a major role in a multi-centre clinical trial that found that regular cardiovascular exercise helps breast cancer patients manage symptoms of chemotherapy. The trial involved over 300 patients in Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver. Study was published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Media coverage included CBC TV Ottawa which interviewed Dr. Segal, Mark Clemons and a patient.

Xiaohui Zha has received a $510,000 grant from CIHR to advance her research on cholesterol metabolism. Dr. Zha’s research has shown that a protein called ABCA1 may play a key role in preventing atherosclerosis, both by facilitating cholesterol removal and by dampening inflammation. She will investigate how cholesterol regulates cellular signaling pathways and “primes” macrophages to either dampen or promote inflammation. As chronic inflammation is a major cause of atherosclerosis, understanding the process could lead to new treatments.

Mark Freedman and his team’s research has allowed certain MS patients to take a simple daily pill to limit disease flare-ups and delay physical disability. The new pill is called Teriflunomide (Genzyme’s Aubagio®) and has recently been approved by Health Canada for treatment of relapsing-remitting MS. Dr. Freedman noted that “the approval is an important advancement for the MS community and may help improve quality of life for people living with this debilitating disease.”

Michael Rudnicki awarded a highly competitive international E-Rare grant for leading a team doing preclinical studies to investigate the effectiveness of delivering a protein called Wnt7a systemically for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Jeffrey Dilworth & team also awarded an E-Rare grant to study Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. The grant will allow them to explore how a genetic factor called DBE-T activates genes associated with hereditary muscular dystrophy.


Scott Laurie has found that an experimental lung cancer drug, Saracatinib, has caused tumour shrinkage in several of his patients. All patients had metastatic disease and had failed first-line chemotherapy. Further research is planned to investigate this finding. See Clinical Lung Cancer for details.

Jolanta Karpinski reported that the following residents have recently participated in the uOttawa Residents as Leaders program:

  • Maxwell Stauder (Derm)
  • Babak Rashidi (Internal Med)
  • Moira Rushton (Internal Med)
  • Mylene Cote (Internal Med)
  • JP Harmon (Nephrology)


Dr. Manish Sood named the 1st Jindal Research Chair for the Prevention of Kidney Disease. Dr. Sood came from Winnipeg to assume the position and will now begin research through the Kidney Research Centre, addressing variations in kidney disease treatment and care throughout Canada. Ottawa Citizen article on December 6th was entitled: “Ottawa Hospital moves kidney research front and centre with new research position.”

Fraser Scott awarded the Earle W. Crampton Award for Distinguished Service in Nutrition. The award is McGill University’s sole professional award for scholarship in the field of nutrition and food and it honours the memory and pioneering work of the late Dr. Earle W. Crampton, an international scholar and foundation of nutrition research and teaching at McGill. Dr. Scott will receive the award on February 20th, 2014 in Montreal.

Susan Dent has the won the 2013 Innovation Award from the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario. Dr. Dent was the driving force behind the cancer-cardiac care program, a program that brings together cancer and cardiac specialists. Instead of referring cancer patients to a cardiologist, which would take time and delay treatment, the hospital’s cardiac oncology program provides patients with an integrated approach to cancer therapy with communications between cardiologists, oncologists and pharmacists. The Innovation Award honours the development of new approaches, processes, products, or programs that enhance cancer care in Ontario.

Jeremy Grimshaw presented with the Knowledge Translation Award from the CIHR for his leadership of Cochrane Canada. The award comes with a $100,000 grant to further Cochrane Canada’s knowledge translation activities. Dr. Grimshaw was quoted as saying: “Our vision is that all health-care decisions in Canada are informed by the best available evidence.”

William Dalziel presented with the Office of Continuing Medical Education Award in Education on December 11th 2013 at the Faculty of Medicine Awards in Education ceremony. Award based on teaching excellence as demonstrated by evaluation scores and learner comments.

Lothar Huebsch the recipient of the 2013 Andre Peloquin Memorial Award. Presentation will be at the 2013 Faculty of Medicine Professorial Promotions and Awards Ceremony on February 27th 2014.

Nadine Gauthier has been awarded the Career Medical Educator Award 2014.