Kudos November 2014



Swapnil Hiremath was quoted widely in the media this week concerning his finding that as many as one in 12 home blood pressure monitoring machines may be inaccurate in their readings. He recommends that these home devices be validated at a physician’s office before relying on their measurements. Dr. Hiremath will present his findings at the American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week in Philadelphia in mid-November, and is also preparing a paper for publication.

 Sharyn Laughlin was quoted by CBC News about tattoo removal.  Dr. Laughlin has been removing tattoos since 1983. She said some patients seek her services after a bad experience at non-medical clinic, with the complaints ranging from incomplete fading to scarring. She believes all laser skin treatments should be overseen by a doctor: “You really should know your skin to do this,” she said. “[Non-medical clinics] don’t have that quality and knowledge about wound healing, about how lasers work.


Mark Clemons and Carmel Jacobs led a team to evaluate the quality of oncology guidance documents. Recently published in PLOS One, the study shows a discrepancy in the quality of published Consensus Statements compared to Clinical Practice Guidelines in the oncology literature, showing the latter scored better when rated on methodological quality. The researchers conclude that the development of guidance documents should adhere to rigorous methodological guidelines and the transparency of product sponsorship should be clear to enable readers of such documents to make informed decisions.

Greg Knoll and Ayub Akbari led a team who has published a paper in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases that looks at methods for predicting the outcomes of kidney transplants. The study involved 207 kidney transplant recipients and looked at levels of proteinuria collected from both spot urine samples and 24-hour urine collections. The study concluded that spot urine samples, which are simple and convenient for patients, were as accurate as 24-hour urine collections at predicting transplant failure and death.


Martin Green and Luc Beauchesne respectively now have the first Royal College accredited training programs in the Area of Focused Competence (AFC) disciplines of Adult Cardiac Electrophysiology and Adult Cardiac Echocardiography.  Congratulations to the program directors of these new disciplines!  The University of Ottawa now hosts the largest number of AFC accredited programs in the country.  David Moher led “two of the most important papers the journal has ever published” stated Virginia Barbour, PLOS Medicine Editorial Director.  PLOS Medicine marked its 10th anniversary of publication with an editorial comment on the importance of checklists when it comes to publishing medical research findings.


Michael Rudnicki has been awarded the prestigious Till & McCulloch Award for his ongoing work in stem cell and regenerative medicine research. The award is named in honour of Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch, who first identified stem cells and demonstrated their properties in Toronto in 1961. Dr. Rudnicki was given this year’s award for his continuing research into muscle regeneration and the role that stem cells play in skeletal muscle’s ability to regenerate and repair after injury. Dr. Rudnicki received the award at the annual Till & McCulloch Meetings, which is a gathering of stem cell researchers from across Canada and around the world.

 Gonzalo Alvarez has been promoted to Scientist within the Clinical Epidemiology Program. Dr. Alvarez is focused on studying pulmonary health in disadvantaged populations – specifically among Canadian Inuit and new Canadians. He has concentrated his efforts on pulmonary tuberculosis research in these populations. He is currently leading the Taima TB program of studies in Nunavut, and is also leading a study funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research to improve TB diagnostic capabilities in Nunavut.

Paul MacPherson has been awarded $75,000 by the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS to develop a program that will improve healthcare delivery to gay men and youth with the aim of reducing HIV transmission. In phase I of the program, Dr. MacPherson will develop a healthcare delivery model where primary care providers become informed and empowered using clinical toolkits about gay men’s health and gay men become engaged and empowered in healthcare through a self-management support program. Dr. MacPherson hypothesizes that by engaging gay men in their own health and by supporting primary care providers, we will observe improvements in a number of health indicators, including a reduction in the risk of HIV transmission.

Campaign launched to raise $50 million for research

Jack Kitts, Duncan Stewart and Phil Wells (accompanied by a video featuring Dr. Marc Rodger) were among the speakers gathered along with corporate and community supporters for the unveiling of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s most ambitious research campaign to date: TLR. TLR stands for “Tender Loving Research” and gets to the heart of why we do research, which is to improve the lives of patients. The campaign goal is to raise $50 million over three years to support research at The Ottawa Hospital. It will focus on cancer, regenerative medicine and practice-changing research.