Kudos October 2014

Quality

Media:

Jeff Turnbull was interviewed by CBC news about the success of the Targeted Engagement and Diversion Program or TED.  Dr. Turnbull was frustrated seeing people who were homeless and addicted regularly picked up by police or paramedics, brought to emergency rooms until they sobered up and then released with no treatment for their underlying problems. The goal of the TED program is to keep the homeless out of hospital by offering comprehensive, long-term care to about 250 patients. Hospital officials estimate the emergency department has seen two fewer visits per day on average over the past year. Turnbull has advised other cities interested in the program and how it can also divert people from the justice system.

Collaboration

Michael Schlossmacher is joining the World Parkinson Coalition as it hosts a unique “WPC Scientific Update: Parkinson Pipeline Umbrella,” a free first-of-its-kind live three-day webcast. Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder. It is characterized by tremors in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; muscular rigidity or stiffness; slowness of movement; and impaired balance and coordination. By bringing together physicians, scientists, nurses, rehabilitation specialists, caregivers and people with Parkinson’s disease under one roof, the WPC is creating a growing worldwide dialogue to help expedite the discovery of a cure and best treatment practices for this devastating disease.

Mark Clemons’ has been working Dr. Demetrios Simos (research fellow) who has been awarded a San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium Clinical Scholar Award. This project has involved close collaboration between the Division of Medical Oncology, ICES, the Centre for Practice-Changing Research and the Department of Surgery. The research findings showed that, despite multiple guidelines recommending against imaging for distant metastatic disease in patients with stage one and two breast cancer, imaging is still commonly performed in Ontario. The reasons for this disconnect between evidence and practices are not fully understood, but the team is exploring this issue.

Duncan Stewart and Ruth McPherson are two of six University professors that have been named fellows of the Royal Society of Canada. The new fellows were chosen by their peers in recognition of their scholarly, research or artistic excellence.  Dr. Duncan Stewart is a world-leader in translational research and Dr. Ruth McPherson has made major contributions to understanding human cholesterol metabolism and has made major discoveries in human genetics.

Accountability

Neil Reaume and Xinni Song provided tremendous representation September 11th 2014, when members of the Specialty Committee in Medical Oncology and medical education leaders met to begin the iterative process of creating specialty-specific milestones and competency-based training standards. Dr. Reaume and Song joined over 12 other colleagues from across the country.

Dr. Hsiao-Huei Chen has received a grant from Canadian Diabetes Association valued at $280,000 over three years for the project “Neural and immune control of metabolism” Dr. Chen plans to study obesity as a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes and chronic inflammation, which is seen in both obesity and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Chen has found that when the diet includes a lot of saturated fat, it causes decreased levels of a protein called Interferon Regulatory Factor 2 Binding Protein 2 (IRF2BP2) and may contribute to inflammation that leads to obesity and diabetes. Dr. Chen’s team has found that this protein acts differently in male and female mice. Dr. Chen is studying how and why this happens in order to find out if whole-body inflammation can be stopped.

Angel Arnaout and Susan Robertson have been awarded an innovation grant from the Canadian Cancer Society to examine the most accurate way to assess cancer removal after surgery. This first-of-its-kind study could lead to significantly improved outcomes for thousands of women undergoing breast cancer surgery, as well as improve surgical practices for other types of cancer. The study uses three-dimensional technology to determine the most precise procedure to assess cancer removal after surgery, which could mean less chance of recurrence, fewer repeat surgeries and less stress on patients.

David Moher is the lead editor on a new book titled “Guidelines for Reporting Health Research” that has just been published by Wiley Press. The book aims to help researchers choose and use the correct guidelines for reporting their research, and to produce more completely and transparently reported papers, which will help to ensure reports are more useful and are not misleading. The hands-on manual also describes more than a dozen internationally recognized published guidelines such as CONSORT, STROBE, PRISMA and STARD in a clear and easy-to-understand format.

Mark Walker has published a paper in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental concerning the use of urine tests taken from women during pregnancy to analyze levels of phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is thought to disrupt normal hormone levels and development in fetuses. Traditionally, studies have relied on single spot urine analyses to assess exposure; ignoring variability in concentrations throughout a day or over a longer period of time. Dr. Walker has concluded that a more accurate way to estimate average exposure across a pregnancy is to do more than one measurement at different times of day, rather than a single spot measurement.

John Bell is leading the Ontario Regional Biotherapeutics (ORBiT) program and has been provided $7 million in funding from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) over four years. The funds will be used to further promising research into oncolytic viruses, immunotherapies and oncolytic vaccine therapies, including a clinical trial evaluating the program’s Maraba oncolytic vaccine platform. This is the second round of funding for the ORBiT Program, which initially received $10 million from the Government of Ontario in 2009.

Respect

Phil Wells recently received The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.  The Lifetime Achievement Award serves to honour alumni who have accomplished a lifetime of significant contributions and achievement in the advancement of health outcomes and patient care. This award is presented to an alumnus or alumna who is recognized as a leader in their respective field, has demonstrated professional excellence and dedication to their community.

Robert Lemery and a team of physicians conducted a study of Caffeine in Patients with Supraventricular Tachycardia. Patients with cardiac arrhythmias are generally instructed to avoid caffeine. A comprehensive evaluation of the electrophysiological effects of caffeine on atrial and ventricular tissues in humans has not previously been performed.  The Conclusions were that Caffeine, at moderate intake, was associated with significant increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressures, but had no evidence of a significant effect on cardiac conduction and refractoriness. Furthermore, no effect of caffeine on SVT induction or more rapid rates of induced tachycardia’s was found.