May to June 2018 Kudos

Dr. John Hilton received the Dr. Elizabeth Eisenhauer Early Drug Development Young Investigator Award from the Canadian Cancer Trials Group. Dr. Hilton was commended for playing a leadership role in several phase I trials of new drugs for breast, head and neck cancer.

Grant Stotts winner of a TOH Physician Leadership Award. Grant was described as an exceptional leader who engages and empowers each staff member in the stroke prevention clinic. He is always approachable and puts patients first, setting an example for those around him. He makes everyone he works with feel as though they are a valuable contributor to the care system and that their role is important.

The Ottawa Stroke Program, led by Dr. Dar Dowlatshahi received a TOH Research Excellence Team Award. The Ottawa Stroke Program team has cultivated a world-class research program, establishing endovascular treatment as a breakthrough for stroke. This treatment has reduced the death rate by 50 percent in eligible patients. The team’s research has had a major impact on patients, not only in acute care, but also in prevention and recovery. Stroke researchers are investigating innovative rehabilitation treatments using new technologies. Over the last decade, their work has contributed to a phenomenal 19 percent decrease in stroke rates in the Champlain region. Their research is also improving how we diagnose and treat conditions such as intra-cerebral hemorrhage and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). The team also led an innovative project to reorganize clinical care at The Ottawa Hospital and improve flow for patients with neurological diseases.

Dr. Michael Froeschl was named the 2017 RDoC Mikhael Award for Medical Education.

Dr. Michael Ong was awarded the 2018 REaCT Enthusiasm Award for his outstanding work in bringing REaCT trials forward as a research option for patients with advanced prostate cancer.

uOttawa’s Department of Innovation in Medical Education (DIME) was proud to host its 11th annual conference in medical education. Nearly 130 people participated in oral, poster, and innovation sessions. Dr. Chris Tran received a Best New Investigator Award for “What Do Primary Care Providers Want from eConsult Advice?”

Dr. Dean Fergusson was recently elected as President-Elect of international clinical trial society. This organization works internationally to advance human health by advocating for the use of clinical trials, leading the development and dissemination of optimal methods and practices, and educating and developing clinical trial professionals. Its membership includes behavioral scientists, bioethicists, biostatisticians, clinical coordinators, computer scientists, data managers, epidemiologists, nurses, pharmacologists and physicians. “With the promise of innovative therapies coupled with innovative clinical trial designs, we have a tremendous opportunity to advance the science and practice of trials through mutual collaboration and learning,” said Dr. Fergusson. He will serve as President-Elect for one year before becoming President of the society.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Jeffrey Dilworth received $1.5 million from Canadian Institutes of Health Research to study how the genes in muscle stem cells that control this repair ability are turned off with age. REaCT (Rethinking Clinical Trials) is the largest pragmatic trials program in oncology in Canada. Over 1,600 patients have been randomized since 2014.

Dr. Dylan Burger contributed to a global screening program for hypertension, recently published in The Lancet Global Health. The program, called May Measurement Month, aims to raise awareness about the risks of elevated blood pressure and to conduct screening in more than 80 countries.

Drs. Lynn Megeney, Duncan Stewart, and colleagues have been granted a U.S. patent for an experimental approach to treat heart failure using a protein called cardiotrophin 1 (CT1). Heart failure is a leading cause of death and disability in high-income countries and occurs when the heart can’t pump enough blood through the body.

A new study led by Dr. Sanjay Murthy found that while colonoscopies identify most cases of CRC, a cancer was missed or not removed properly in about eight percent of people between the ages of 50 and 74 who underwent the procedure in Ontario. Furthermore, this rate did not improve over a 15-year period from 1996 to 2010, despite the introduction of many quality improvement measures and technological refinements to colonoscopy practice. Dr. Murthy and his colleagues are now investigating other approaches to improve colonoscopy quality. The paper is published in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Authors: Sanjay Murthy, Paul James, Alaa Rostom, Catherine Dubé, Robin Ducharme, Eric Benchimol, Jill Tinmouth.

Drs Lauralyn McIntyre, Michael Rudnicki, Dean Ferguson and other collaborators are part of group receiving $870,000 to help develop stem cell treatments for septic shock, glaucoma, lung injury and muscle degeneration.

Dr. Jodi Warman Chardon and Dr. Robin Parks recently celebrated the grand opening of The Neuromuscular Centre. Ottawa boasts one of the highest concentrations of neuromuscular researchers in the world and is widely acknowledged to be an international leader in this field. People with neuromuscular diseases such as ALS and muscular dystrophy will soon have access to cutting-edge clinical trials at The Ottawa Hospital’s new Neuromuscular Centre. The centre, is a hub for clinicians and scientists to collaborate and develop new treatments. There are designated rooms for clinical trials, as well as space for researchers to collect and rapidly analyze blood, skin and muscle samples. This model of building spaces where clinicians and basic scientists can work together on the cures of tomorrow is part of the vision of The Ottawa Hospital’s new campus.

New research co-led by Dr. Duncan Stewart may help explain why Dr. Stewart and his colleagues found that people with PAH have high levels of a protein called translationally controlled tumour protein (TCTP) in their plasma. Using laboratory models of PAH, they also showed that when certain blood vessel cells die, they transfer this protein to other cells in the lung via tiny particles called exosomes. This causes the cells to replicate much more than normal. This research could lead to new therapies as well as a possible blood biomarker to track the progress of PAH in patients. See the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology for details.

Drs. Peter Tanuseputro and colleagues have developed a new web-based tool called the RESPECT End-of-Life calculator. Using big data (1.3 million Ontario home care assessments and 124,000 deaths), RESPECT can predict survival based on five to 25 simple questions. The team has consulted with many patients, caregivers and partners, including the Ontario Palliative Care Network and Windsor-Essex Compassion Care. RESPECT is still under evaluation, but you can try it at (after requesting a password). RESPECT was recently awarded $249,000 from the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation.

Dr. Dean Ferguson and team published a study in Research Engagement and Involvement which looked at 2,777 clinical trials published between 2011 and 2016 and found that only 23 of these mentioned patient engagement. These results show that much work needs to be done to promote patient partnership in research. Almost a quarter of these papers involved patient partners from minority and marginalized populations, to help the study generate meaningful results for these groups. Dr. Fergusson’s team suggests that in addition to doing more patient engagement, researchers should adopt a standard way of reporting this in research papers, so it can be studied more easily. Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital can get help with patient engagement from the Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) group.

Dr. Glenwood Goss and colleague received a $900,000 grant to support academic cancer clinical trials which will provide infrastructure support for academic cancer clinical trials from 2018 to 2022. This is a renewal of a previous grant, worth $1.25 million from 2014 to 2018. The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre is currently conducting more than 130 academic clinical trials, with the goal of improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer. 3CTN is a pan-Canadian initiative to improve the efficiency and quality of clinical trials in Canada. It is funded by a number of national, provincial and philanthropic agencies, and recently obtained new funding from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

Dr. Kumanan Wilson’s team released the first version of the Canadian Vaccine Catalogue. This project, led by Cameron Bell, will make it easier for provinces, territories and industry to build digital vaccination systems that adhere to national standards.

Dr. Kumanan Wilson co-authored a viewpoint article in JAMA on health data and privacy in the digital era, and possible approaches to fix U.S. laws and international frameworks.

Dr. Kumanan Wilson and colleagues published results of a survey of 108 emergency department clinicians who used The Ottawa Rules app for one month. 67% said they found the app helpful and would continue to use it and 75% would recommend it to others. In just over a year, the app was downloaded approximately 4,000 times across 89 countries. The app is based on research led by Dr. Ian Stiell and colleagues.


  • Dr. Roanne Segal was interviewed by CBC Ottawa Morning about the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia adding exercise to the list of treatment options for Cancer Patients.
  • Dr. Ari Breiner was interviewed by CBC All in a Day about Guillain Barre Syndrome.
  • Dr. Mark Freedman was interviewed for a Global TV series on multiple sclerosis. He discussed advances in treatment, including stem cell transplantation (co-led by Dr. Harold Atkins). Stem cell trial participant Jennifer Molson also provided her perspective.
  • Dr. Shawn Aaron was interviewed by Good Times Magazine about how people can reduce their risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
  • Dr. Mark Clemons was interviewed by CBC Ottawa and CTV Ottawa about his patient Jillian O’Connor, who four years ago was mid-pregnancy when she discovered she had terminal breast cancer. Defying the odds of her metastatic disease, Jillian celebrated her 35th birthday last week.
  • Dr. Susan Dent was interviewed by CFRA about the Health Canada approval of a drug to slow the progression of metastatic breast cancer.
  • Dr. Michael Schlossmacher was interviewed for Scientific American about the connection between Parkinson’s disease, the immune system and the gut.
  • Dr. Jodi Warman Chardon was interviewed by CBC Ottawa News about the hospital’s new neuromuscular centre.
  • Dr. Peter Tanuseputro was interviewed by CTV News about challenges in the long-term care system and possible approaches for improving how we care for people as they age.
  • Dr. Catherine DubĂ© was interviewed by Best Health about causes and treatments for stomach ulsers.
  • Dr. Paul MacPherson was interviewed by Global News about research that suggests individuals who take HIV-preventing drugs are using condoms less often.
  • Dr. Grant Stotts was interviewed by CTV Morning Live Ottawa as part of Stroke Awareness Month
  • Drs. Erin Keely and Clare Liddy were interviewed about their eConsult system for The Ottawa Hospital’s You’re in my care blog. eConsult is an online tool that family doctors can use to consult with medical specialists to see if a patient should be referred. It is being rolled out across Canada.
  • Dr. Guy Trudel was interviewed by CTV Morning Live, CBC Ottawa Morning and Canadian Running Magazine about his research showing that running can keep the bone marrow young.
  • Dr. Catherine DubĂ© was interviewed by Best Health about causes and treatments for stomach ulcers.
  • Dr. John Bell was interviewed by CBC The National about the current state of cancer immunotherapy research.
  • Dr. Jennifer Beeker was interviewed by Chatelaine about myths surrounding sunscreen.
  • Dr. Allen Huang was interviewed by Global News about health risks with the recent heat wave and who is most vulnerable.