May 2015 Kudos

Publications and Quality

John Bell published in Nature Medicine, the study describes experiments designed to better understand the “ecosystem” of pancreatic tumors, which include complex networks of stromal and malignant cells. Stromal cells normally help to maintain tissue but can be co-opted by cancer cells to promote tumor growth. It’s a novel approach to fighting cancer: scientists are turning to some of the world’s most feared viruses – such as polio – to attack cancer cells while leaving healthy cells relatively unharmed.

Susan Dent and Christopher Johnson were prominently featured in the 2014-15 Report Card on Cancer in Canada, published by the Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada. The program, the first of its kind in Canada, focuses on heart damage that can occur as a side effect of chemotherapy and newer targeted cancer therapies. In addition to providing integrated care, the team is also developing a comprehensive research and education program. On the research side, they are developing a national patient registry to facilitate the development of evidence-based guidelines, and working with basic scientists to evaluate the role of novel biomarkers and specialized imaging techniques in predicting early signs of cardiac toxicity.

James Shaw (PGY3) has a paper that has been accepted for publication in PLOS ONE: C-peptide as a therapy for kidney disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  Dr. Shaw also presented his work at last year’s Department of Medicine Resident Research Day. 

Grants/Funding

Thais Coutinho, the Principal Investigator in the Heart and Stroke Foundation Early Research Leaders Initiative (ERLI) Grant, Investigating the pathogenesis and clinical applications of arterial health in cardiovascular diseases, has received funding of over $140,000 over 3 years.

Media

Phil Wells, Kayvan Amjadi, Rob Beanlands, Alison Dugan, Carol Gonsalves, Anne McCarthy, Ruchi Murthy, Jose Pereira and Michael Schlossmacher were recently featured in the Ottawa Citizen.  All are prominent doctors at the Ottawa Hospital who are displaying early symptoms of dance fever.  With their respective dance partners, they are practicing for the inaugural Dancing with the Docs competition taking place at the Shaw Centre on Saturday, May 30.  The gala is raising funds to create a Research Chair position in Advanced Stem Cell Therapy at The Ottawa Hospital. The Chair will play a key role in leading clinical trials for innovative transplant-based therapies for treatments in areas such as cancer, muscular dystrophy and spinal cord injuries.

Duncan Stewart is helping CTV’s W5 bring some clarity to the discussion on hockey legend Gordie Howe’s miraculous recovery from a stroke after receiving stem cell treatment in Mexico.  Dr. Stewart accompanied CTV reporter Avis Favaro to the Mexican clinic where Howe was treated, as well as to the U.S. facility that produced the stem cells. Full report aired on CTV Saturday April 18th.

Kumanan Wilson was featured in the Ottawa Citizen.  Dr. Wilson is part of a team that launched a pilot project to allow Ottawa parents to use the ImmunizeCA smartphone app to report their children’s immunization information to Ottawa Public Health. The ImmunizeCA app, launched in March 2014, helps parents store, manage and back-up their families’ vaccination records and easily access their provincial or territorial vaccination schedule. “This pilot is the beginning of the next generation of immunization systems where mobile technologies empower people to hold and share their family’s vaccination records,” states Dr. Wilson. “It will help public health teams get the information they need to better protect the public from vaccine preventable diseases.” The media release of the launch led to stories in the Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Sun, and Radio-Canada among other outlets. Partners: CHEO’s Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN), Ottawa Public Health, Canadian Public Health Association, Immunize Canada.

John Bell and two other researchers were featured the Ottawa Citizen and Exchange Morning Post regarding the formation of Turnstone Biologics Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing new treatments for cancer that harness the patient’s own immune system. The company’s creation was announced earlier today by the Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (FACIT), an independent business trust established by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). Turnstone combines breakthrough discoveries on cancer-fighting (oncolytic) viruses and vaccines from three Ontario researchers who have worked together more than 15 years.