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4800 students visit Youth BIOlab in 2016/17

The St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre’s RBC Youth BIOlab hosted over 4800 students, and saw another 2700 in Manitoba schools note this year, 35% of which were “en francais” !

Since the Youth BIOlab started full time outreach in 2005, teachers Steve Jones and Meghan Kynoch have seen over 60,000 students from across Manitoba, with 23,000 of those through the Youth BIOlab since opening in 2013. This year also saw some new initiatives with mentored science projects for First Nations students that ended up going to Canada-Wide Science Fair, while Meghan also traveled to Cross Lake First Nation to lay the foundation for a major outreach partnership for the next 5 years.

Congratulations Steve and Meghan!

Please read more about the program in the 2016/17 Youth BIOlab Activity Report.

Feldman awarded Mastership in ACP

Dr. Ross Feldman, Principal Investigator, Women’s Health, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences; and Professor of Medicine, Medical Director, Cardiac Sciences Program, WRHA, was recently made a Master of the American College of Physicians. The Mastership was conferred at the 2018 ACP Internal Medicine Meeting in New Orleans from April 19-21, regarded as the premier scientific meeting in internal medicine.

Masters (MACP) comprise a small group of highly distinguished physicians who have achieved recognition in medicine by exhibiting a preeminence in practice or medical research, holding positions of high honor, or making significant contributions to medical science or the art of medicine. Mastership is considered a special class of membership in the American College of Physicians.

Congratulations Dr. Feldman!

Koleini picks up awards in Edmonton

Navid Koleini, MD., PhD Candidate (Kardami Lab) won a travel award and best presentation award at the recent 10th Canadian Oxidative Stress Consortium in Edmonton, Alberta, for his poster entitled “Elimination or neutralization of endogenous high molecular weight FGF-2 increases cardiac resistance to Doxorubicin-induced damage”.

The Canadian Oxidative Stress Consortium (COSC) aims at advancement of research and education in oxidative stress in health and disease. Oxidative stress has implications for a broad range of disorders including ischemia-reperfusion injury, stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s), spinal cord injury, sepsis, inflammation and respiratory diseases, etc. Initiated in July 1999 by Dr. Ashok Grover (McMaster University), with support from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the COSC consists of researchers from about 50 laboratories from 15 different universities in Canada. Its goal is to foster research collaboration among these laboratories, to provide better training opportunities for students and postdoctoral fellows working in them and to foster closer ties between its members and the pharmaceutical industry.

Congratulations Dr. Koleini!!

Goldberg wins 2018 Mitacs Social Entrepreneur Award

Postdoctoral Fellow Erin Goldberg (Aliani Lab) will receive the 2018 Mitacs Social Entrepreneur Award. The Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards celebrate those who have ventured into entrepreneurship and turned their research into an innovative business or business idea.

Together with partners she met during her years at the University of Manitoba, Goldberg has developed a “first-of-its-kind nutritional support beverage that is a healthier and better-tasting alternative to traditional in-hospital meal replacement drinks, recently under criticism for their high sugar content and highly-processed ingredients”. Their formula has earned, a prestigious award and $5,000 from Mitacs, a national, not-for-profit organization that partners companies, government and academia to promote Canadian research and training.

In recognition of the ongoing success of her start-up and its work to address an important gap in the in-hospital nutrition sector, Goldberg — a postdoctoral fellow at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre in Winnipeg and one of three co-founders of Winnipeg-based ViTal Functional Foods Inc. — will be presented the Mitacs Social Entrepreneur Award tonight (June 5) at a ceremony in Montreal.

Mitacs Press Release
Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards
Winnipeg Free Press article (Paywall)
CTV MedicalWatch

Dhingra wins Mayo/St. B collaborative funding

Dr. Sanjiv Dhingra, Principal Investigator, Cardiac Regeneration and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences; Assistant Professor, Regenerative Medicine Program, Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba will receive funding for a collaborative research project with Dr. Martin Rodriguez-Porcel of the Cardiovascular Department of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The award ($250,000 US over 2 years) is for the project entitled “A Novel Immunomodulatory Hydrogel to Prevent Rejection of allogeneic Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Heart”.

The award is from the CANUSA (CANADA-USA) RESEARCH PROJECT, which was created with funds generously provided by the Asper Endowment Fund. The mandate of the fund is to promote the growth and collaboration in cardiovascular research between St. Boniface Hospital and the Mayo Clinic. The fund supports health related cardiovascular research in the basic, clinical and/or applied health areas to be conducted either at the St. Boniface Hospital or at Mayo Clinic or at both institutions during the term of the funding.

The project was cited for excellence of the proposal (innovative, impact on the field, feasibility), excellence of the applicants, collaborative science, and the potential to lead to future successful grant applications such as NIH or CIHR.

Congratulations!

Steve Jones makes Free Press front page!

Congratulations to Steve Jones, Teaching Liaison, RBC Youth BIOlab Jeunesse, who is featured in today’s Winnipeg Free Press. Steve recently received the Prime Minister’s Teaching Excellence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Award, which honours “exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers for remarkable achievement in education, and for commitment to preparing students for a digital and innovation-based economy”. Writer Jane Gerster and photographer Ruth Bonneville spend the morning watching Steve in action, teaching students from Stonybrook Middle School, Steinbach.

Steve will also be appearing as a guest of CTV Morning Live, scheduled for Thursday, May 24.

Free Press Article

St. Boniface Member of Parliament Dan Vandal presents Prime Minister’s Teaching Excellence Award to Steve Jones

 

R30 poster competition

One of the highlights of the R30 conference was the poster competition; the first St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre event to draw participation from students, postdoctoral fellows and technicians of all divisions, and other institutions as well. There were 49 posters displaying basic research and clinical research findings. Seven prizes were awarded to participants of the R30 poster competition. They were PhD students Youjia Du and Yvette Shang from CCARM; Postdoctoral Fellow Xavier Louis and Research Associate Ashim Bagchi from ICS; MSc student Kevin Boreskie from ICS; and two teams of high school students (1) Storm Malcolm and Marla Malcolm and (2) Torrie Spence and Shauntay Malcolm.

The R30 poster competition was organized by Dr. Jeffrey Wigle and Dr. Thomas Netticadan.

Congratulations to all!

Research alumni enjoying Jets playoff run

The St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre has been home to scientists from many countries over 30 years. Do you ever wonder what they think of Winnipeg – the climate, the people… the Jets?

CBC featured the experience of two of our alumni, with respect to the Jets recent playoff exploits. Xavier Louis is a postdoctoral fellow in the Wigle laboratory, and Sijo Joseph is currently a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/new-canadians-winnipeg-bonding-jets-1.4663893

(Photo credit: Travis Golby/CBC)

Pierce to be inducted into the Order of Manitoba

Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface Hospital, will be invested into the Order of Manitoba (OM) for 2018 at a ceremony in July. The province’s highest honour, the OM recognizes Manitobans who have enriched the social, cultural or economic well-being of the province.

Dr. Pierce’s research in cardiovascular medicine has brought scientific acclaim to Manitoba through his participation in a series of studies to stop or reverse heart muscle disease or blood vessel wall injury. He helped develop the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and helped found the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, both at St. Boniface Hospital.

The latest group of OM inductees includes seven men and five women, including David Barnard, Michael Belhumeur, Jacqueline Blay, Barbara Bruce, Dr. Sara J. Israels, Robert Kristjanson, Bernice Marmel, Bill Loewen, Robb Nash, Ken Opaleke, and Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg.

Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon said the honourees have a passionate commitment to the community. “The impact of their leadership has made a unique mark on this province and its people with achievements that both impress and inspire,” she said in a release.

Appointments to the order are made on the recommendations of an advisory council. Once invested, members are entitled to use the initials O.M. after their names and will have their names placed on permanent display in the Manitoba Legislative Building. The 12 honourees will be inducted into the Order of Manitoba at a July 12 ceremony at the legislature.

Congratulations Dr. Pierce!

Related

Winnipeg Free Press

Youth BIOlab Jeunesse teacher Stephen Jones receives Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence

Stephen Jones has received national recognition for his program Youth BIOlab Jeunesse, which hosts 5000 students/year within the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. The Prime Minister’s Teaching Excellence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Award honours “exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers for remarkable achievement in education, and for commitment to preparing students for a digital and innovation-based economy”.

The former medical researcher set up a state-of-the-art laboratory in 2013 at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre to help youth develop meaningful connections with cutting-edge science and technology. To date, the program has served more than 50,000 students.

“This is a remarkable achievement and recognition for Steve, and for the program” says Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research for St. Boniface Hospital. “Through Steve’s hard work developing both program and partnerships, he has developed something that is unique in North America”.

“This is one of only 17 awards across the country for STEM teaching, so it’s a huge and humbling honour” says Jones. “I’m grateful for the constant support and enthusiasm for the program. Meghan Kynoch and I couldn’t do all that we do without the support of the Research Centre, Foundation and Hospital”.

Supporting Health Literacy through Science Education

The St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre Youth BIOLab Jeunesse is a space for students and teachers to explore and experience real biomedical science in a world-class research centre. Built with support from Manitoba Education, The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, Youth BIOLab Jeunesse opened its doors to students in Spring 2013, and works in partnership with Manitoba school divisions and with the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to connect St. Boniface Hospital and St-Boniface Hospital Research to classroom learning.

For more information:

Youth BIOlab Jeunesse
Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence

R30 a resounding success!

R30”, a celebration of 30 years of research at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, was held this past weekend (April 20/21).

The event began with a reception at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, where over 200 attendees of the following day’s conference “Back to the Future: 30 Years of Health Research by Alumni of the Albrechtsen Research Centre” would pick up their ID badges and meet with past colleagues. This was followed by a tour of the Museum, and more reminiscing that went well into the evening!

Saturday’s conference was jam-packed with 27 presentations (10 minutes each) from alumnus of the Research Centre; many of whom travelled to Winnipeg from one of 13 countries represented!

The conference was followed by the R30 Gala Dinner and Dance, held in the spectacular new Winnipeg Convention Centre City View Ballroom. Congratulatory messages were received via video from:

  • The Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
  • The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, Government of Canada
  • The Honourable Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba
  • The Honourable Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for St. Boniface, Government of Canada
  • The Honourable Terry Duguid, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, Government of Canada
  • The Honourable Doug Eyolfson, Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St. James Assiniboia-Headlingly, Government of Canada
  • His Worship Brian Bowman, Mayor of Winnipeg

The Honourable Kelvin Goertzen, Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living, Province of Manitoba added his greetings in person.  Mayor Bowman was also in attendance.

The evening was emcee’d by Winnipeg comedian Big Daddy Tazz, and featured spectacular aerialists/acrobats “Momentum”, videos highlighting achievements through the years, as well as moving recollections by Dr. Arnold Naimark and Dr. Henry Friesen. Over 700 people attended!

The award-winning Danny Kramer Dance Band kept people on the dance floor until the end of the evening.

MP Vandal represents Albrechtsen Research Centre in House of Commons

The Honourable Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, characterized St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre in glowing terms in the House of Commons this afternoon.

“World class is a term often used to refer to the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. World class because it attracts researchers from around the world. World class because it makes important scientific breakthroughs, like the recent PEG-2S antibiotic, which can help in the global fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria” said Vandal, during his member statement yesterday. He added, “I am really disappointed I can’t be there on Saturday, but I will be there in spirit celebrating with them. Happy thirtieth anniversary to the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre”.

Letter from Marisa Panagia

St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research Dr. Grant Pierce shares a letter he received recently from Marisa Panagia, wife of Dr. Vincenzo Panagia – one of our original 5 cardiovascular researchers. Dr. Panagia, MD, PhD, was Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at the University of Manitoba, and Principal Investigator of the Membrane Biology laboratory at the Centre. Dr. Panagia passed away at the age of 61 in 2000. In his honour, The Vincenzo Panagia Distinguished Lecture Award was established by the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, and is given to an investigator whose work is internationally recognized as being at the cutting-edge in any field of cardiovascular sciences.

Dear Dr. Pierce,

Thank you very much for inviting my sons and I to come to Winnipeg for this very important celebration of the foundation of the research center at St. Boniface. Unfortunately, we all have obligations that prevent us from attending. But I did not want to pass up this occasion without at the very least sharing with you my reminiscences of the Center’s first decade.

I still remember very well the vivid and intense emotions felt by everyone who partook of this great adventure in Research – the primary researchers, of course, but also the wives and children who congregated and met at the St. Boniface Research Center over the years, and for various events including many of the International conferences organized there.

I have very clearly in my mind all the young doctors and students involved in moving to the new location. Many areas of research expertise were innovated in this ambitious place, and after a few short years the research center became a hub of international exchange where many researchers from around the world would come to work and learn, exchange ideas and expertise, but also lives.

It was always a joy for me to prepare a lot of Italian food for everyone, and to enjoy many dinner celebrations together in order to relax from all the catecholamines procured by the many, many, many funding applications!

I take this occasion to greet with joy and love all of Enzo’s friends and colleagues and I wish to all the newcomers that they enjoy the great opportunities to work and study with some of the best researchers in the world that are there.

To the young who didn’t meet my husband, I wish to pass on to you his words about the life of the researcher: work hard, be honest with yourself and your colleagues, don’t get discouraged, and with God’s help you will feel at peace.

Enjoy your celebration and and congratulations to all.

Marisa Panagia

Thanks and Congratulations from Dr. Meir Kryger

Dr. Meir Kryger, Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary) and Clinical Professor of Nursing, Yale University School of Medicine, sent a video message of thanks and congratulations to St. Boniface Hospital Research on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of research at St. Boniface Hospital. Dr. Kryger headed the sleep laboratory, one of the original programs of research to move into the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre in 1987.

Dr. Kryger, a pioneer of sleep research, is currently a professor in the Yale School of Medicine and chief editor of the most widely used sleep medicine textbook, Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine.

Why we give: National Leasing

National Leasing, an equipment-leasing company based in Winnipeg, contributed $15,000 in June toward the purchase of a Quantitative PCR Thermocycler.

The machine uses heat to create and accurately measure up to a trillion copies of an original chain of DNA in just a couple of hours, explained Dr. Michael Czubryt, Principal Investigator, Molecular Pathophysiology, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, in whose lab it is housed.

“It allows us to do far more samples than we used to be able to do, faster, and with fewer resources,” he said.

Dr. Czubryt and his team can use the machine with patient samples or as part of studies into fibrosis of the heart and cell loss following heart attacks and strokes.

“It’s a device that’s widely applicable,” he said. “It’s highly flexible, highly sought-after and has been a tremendous addition.”

“It works kind of like a programmable pressure cooker you have at home, in that it controls temperature very precisely, for a precise amount of time.”

Global features Pierce research

Reporter/writer/broadcaster Greg Mackling features Dr. Grant Pierce’s research on drug-resistant bacteria in his article “Winnipeggers researching antibiotics alternative to fight growing bacteria immunity”.

“They are commonly prescribed to help fight infections but antibiotics are slowly becoming ineffective and researchers in Winnipeg are trying to find a solution. “We are becoming resistant to them,” Dr. Grant Pierce, the executive director of Research at Albrechtsen Research Centre at St. Boniface Hospital said. “the bacteria will no longer be killed by the antibiotic. The bacteria resists it, pump out the antibiotic, and it is no longer effective.”

Last year the World Health Organization sounded the alarm over a lack of new antibiotics capable of combating bacteria. “The WHO identified multi-drug resistance in bacteria as one of the three greatest threats to life today,” Pierce told Global News.

Click here to read the full article: https://globalnews.ca/news/4123707/winnipeggers-researching-antibiotics-alternative-to-fight-growing-bacteria-immunity/

Feltham receives UMSU Award for Indigenous Community Leaders

Congratulations to Mr. Bradley Feltham, who has received an UMSU Award for Indigenous Community Leaders scholarship from the University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU). Feltham is a Student/Research Assistant in the Suh laboratory for Nutrition & Neurological Diseases (Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders and the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine).

Mr. Feltham completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Memorial University: A Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Nutritional Biochemistry and a Masters in Biochemistry, investigating the effects of dietary omega-3 fatty acids on brain function. Now at the University of Manitoba, Bradley is a high-achieving undergraduate Human Nutritional Sciences student, and a dedicated advocate for improved healthcare access for Indigenous peoples, especially those in Northern, rural, and remote communities in Canada. He is a member of both UMASA (University of Manitoba Aboriginal Students’ Association) and NECO (Nutrition Education and Community Outreach), and has been an Indigenous liaison on council. Most notably, Brad is working closely with the NECO team to collaborate with UMASA for Indigenous Awareness Month in March – which is also Nutrition Month – through the ReconciliACTION campaign. He is also organizing a cultural competency lecture workshop for HNS students to better prepare our student body as future health professionals working with diverse populations.

Alumni News…

Dr. Rushita Bagchi (formerly of the Czubryt lab), has been formally accepted to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting in Lindau, Germany this coming June. There will be 600 delegates from around the world (84 countries), and 43 Laureates meeting with them over the course of a week. Dr. Bagchi is the first delegate from the University of Manitoba (she was selected as the nominee for 2016 at the Canadian Student Health Research Forum, held in Winnipeg each June).

The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings foster the exchange among scientists of different generations, cultures, and disciplines. The meetings focus alternately on physiology and medicine, on physics, and on chemistry – the three natural science Nobel Prize disciplines. An interdisciplinary meeting revolving around all three natural sciences is held every five years. The scientific programme of each Lindau Meeting is based on the principle of dialogue. The different sessions – lectures, discussions, master classes, and panel discussions – are designed to activate the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experience between and among Nobel Laureates and young scientists.

Congratulations to Dr. Bagchi for this amazing opportunity!

Additional Information:
http://www.lindau-nobel.org/

Dhingra: CIHR $749K grant

Dr. Sanjiv Dhingra, Principal Investigator, Cardiac Regeneration and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, was recently awarded a 5-year, $749,700 grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The grant will support Dr. Dhingra’s research studying the mechanisms of transplanted stem cell rejection and determining strategies to increase post-transplantation survival in the heart. Support through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is intended to l help Canadian researchers study the full spectrum of health issues affecting the lives of Canadians.

Dr. Dhingra is also an assistant professor in the Regenerative Medicine Program at the University of Manitoba as well as director of the Canada/Italy Tissue Engineering Laboratory (CITEL) at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. He recently received a Young Investigator Award from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Congratulations!

Related

University of Manitoba news release
CIHR Announcement
CIHR Funding Dhingra (.docx)

Alan Bernstein visits St. B Research

Internationally recognized molecular biologist Dr. Alan Bernstein visited the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre this morning. Hosted by Executive Director of Research Dr. Grant Pierce, Dr. Bernstein took part in a roundtable discussion on the topics of artificial intelligence and stem cell research. Dr. Bernstein is President of the Canadian Institute For Advanced Research (CIFAR), and former President & CEO of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR).

Dr. Bernstein is the recipient of major awards and honours, including the Order of Canada, election to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada and the Gairdner Foundation Wightman Award. In 2017, he was awarded the Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research, which funded his visit.

(L-R: Dr. Grant Pierce, Dr. Alan Bernstein, Dr. Aubie Angel, Dr. Naranjan Dhalla)

Kirshenbaum to receive Professional Achievement Award

Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum (Director Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, Principal Investigator, Cardiac Gene Biology, Professor, Department of Physiology & Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba, Canada Research Chair, Molecular Cardiology, University of Manitoba, Director of Research Development Rady Faculty of Medicine) is among 5 recipients named in this year’s University of Manitoba Distinguished Alumni Awards. The awards are given to accomplished community builders and leaders and who have made an indelible impact both within Manitoba and around the world.

From the announcement: “Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum’s research may sound like science fiction, but the advances he has made in human health are very real and the implications have had a global impact. His discovery that several of the world’s deadliest diseases – cancer, heart disease, vascular disease – can be treated by “switching off” select cells is a major leap forward in medicine.”

The award will be presented at the University of Manitoba’s Distinguished Alumni Awards Celebration of Excellence, Metropolitan Entertainment Centre, May 10, 2018.

Congratulations Dr. Kirshenbaum!

CCARM awards

Pema Raj and Samantha Pauls

Directors of the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) have initiated awards to recognize trainees and staff who have provided exemplary service to CCARM:

2017 CCARM Trainee Service Recognition Awards:
– Samantha Pauls – for assistance with the Rapid-Fire Symposium
– Pema Raj -– for assistance with the Rapid-Fire Symposium

2017 CCARM Staff Service Recognition Award:
– Susan Zettler – for outstanding assistance to CCARM faculty and trainees

Congratulations to the recipients for 2017!

Adlimoghaddam wins ADDF Scholarship

Dr. Aida Adlimoghaddam (Albensi Laboratory) has won a 2018 Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) Young Investigator Scholarship (USA Alzheimer’s group), one of only 30 worldwide. The award will be given out at the Feb 2018 meeting in Washington, DC, USA.

The mission of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation is to rapidly accelerate the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease. Founded in 1998 by co-chairmen Leonard A. and Ronald S. Lauder, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) is the only charity solely focused on finding drugs for Alzheimer’s.

Congratulations Dr. Adlimoghaddam!

Acosta awarded CAUT Fellowship

(From the CAUT Bulletin)

Crystal Acosta, a PhD candidate under Dr. Hope Anderson, Vascular Biology, Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, has been awarded the 2017 J.H. Stewart Reid Memorial Fellowship. The fellowship, established by the Canadian Association of University Teachers(CAUT), recognizes and funds a graduate student from a Canadian university that has demonstrated academic excellence.

Crystal holds a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and a master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Manitoba. She has published her research in several peer-reviewed journals and delivered a number of presentations at international conferences. As a doctoral student, Crystal was fortunate to be supported by Research Manitoba, as well as the J.G. Fletcher PhD Fellowship from the University of Manitoba. Other awards and distinctions include the Smerchanski Endowed Studentship Grant from the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation and the Dr. Mark Nickerson Graduate Entrance Scholarship in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from the University of Manitoba, among others.

Crystal is investigating the physiological mechanisms that regulate the structure, mechanical properties and function of brain-penetrating arterioles in health and cardiovascular disease. “A large proportion of heart failure patients develop cognitive decline and dementia,” she says. “The literature suggests there is indeed an association between heart failure and neurodegeneration, but more study is required to identify underlying mechanisms.”

Crystal has been a fixture in student governance for the past three years at the University of Manitoba, serving on the executive of the Health Sciences Graduate Students’ Association. She also has a continued interest in community outreach through her work with the Manitoba Neuroscience Network.

https://www.caut.ca/bulletin/2017/10/news-stewart-reid-fellowship-winner-announced

Caligiuri receives U of M Dissertation Award

The University of Manitoba Dissertation Awards, the University’s most prestigious honour for master’s and doctoral dissertations, were presented to Drs. Caligiuri, Ens, Polfus and Watt at the Faculty of Graduate Studies inaugural 2017 Spring Reception.

“The Faculty of Graduate Studies is proud to present the Distinguished Dissertation Awards each year to recognize truly exceptional doctoral research,” said Dr. Todd Mondor, Vice-Provost(Graduate Education) and Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Bestowed annually since 2001, the award recognizes master’s and doctoral recipients who have made remarkable contributions to their fields.

Dr. Stephanie Caligiuri was an MSc /PhD Candidate in Cell Biology (Dr. Grant Pierce) at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences.

Learn more (PDF)

Clair: $30,000 MMSF Grant

Dr. Luc Clair, Principal Investigator, Ag/Health Economist, Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research In Health and Medicine (CCARM), and Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Winnipeg, has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the Manitoba Medical Service Foundation.

The goal of CCARM’s clinical and basic science research is to study disease processes, investigate the therapeutic properties of functional foods and natural health products, and develop safe interventions (diet, supplements, etc.) that will improve the health of the Canadian public. Dr. Clair’s work supports this research by looking at the cost-effectiveness of these interventions once implemented outside of the research setting and in the general public and health care system; his primary role is to estimate the economic impact of proposed interventions on the health care sector, the agricultural, and agri-food sector. The award is for his project, “Estimating the Relationship Between Cardiovascular Health and the Use of Neurodegenerative Pharmaceuticals”.

The MMSF supports health–related research and education in Manitoba in partnership with Manitoba Blue Cross.

Congratulations Dr. Clair!

MMSF News Release (attached)

Ella Thomson earns $30K Order of the White Rose scholarship

(From UM Today Alumni)

On December 1, 2017, Polytechnique Montréal presented the third annual Order of the White Rose scholarship to Ella Thomson, an electrical engineering graduate of the University of Manitoba. This $30,000 scholarship, created three years ago, is awarded annually to a Canadian woman engineering student who wishes to continue her engineering studies at the master’s or doctoral level in Canada or elsewhere in the world.

It’s not the frist time you’ve seen Ella in the news.. she has also attracted attention for her research into the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in degenerative diseases (Albensi Lab) for which she received funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Ella’s desire to conduct research into neurodegenerative disorders was sparked by volunteer work that she did with patients with developmental disabilities, as well as wanting to understand the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease, with which her great aunt was living. After completing a research exchange at Hochschule Ravensburg Weingarten in Germany, she will enter the PhD program in biomedical engineering at Stanford University in California.

Congratulations Ella!

Read the full story

CCARM “bean art” on display at Kesay

It may be the largest art installation of its kind, or at least the most unusual;  six 4’ x 4’ artworks, each representing aspects of Manitoba’s agricultural past, present and future, from Ox and plow to a spectacular rendering of the St. Boniface Hospital Albrectsen Research Centre (home of the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Resaerch in Health and Medicine, or CCARM). Not made from acrylic or oil or watercolor paint, just… out of beans.

And Manitoba-grown beans, to boot.

The artworks were produced by the Communications & Media Services team at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre for a CCARM conference held this past summer. 4 of the 6 canvasses are on display (and on sale, with proceeds to St. Boniface Research) at Kesay Design Centre, 693 Taylor Avenue, Winnipeg.

We are so happy to be selected to show these two fantastic pieces from the “Breaking new ground” collection at our design studio! Created by Bill Peters, Robert Blaich, and Joseph Pilapil, of the Communications & Media services department at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. These pieces were made from pulse crops grown in manitoba and studied in CCARM labs. The proceeds of these two pieces will be used to help support the ground breaking research at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre! #breakingnewground #art #groundbreaking #stbonifaceresearch #support #manitoba #research #charity #artwork #crops #local #winnipeg #traditional #classic #highend #homefurnishing #design #designgoals #interiordesign #designinso #lifestyle #inspiration #style

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BMO Scholarships announced

Congratulations to Dr. Navid Koleni [Left] and Ms. Chantal Asselin (Msc) candidate [Right] on being awarded $17,000 BMO Scholarships, for research excellence reflected by the students’ academic record, publications and research ability.

The St. Boniface Hospital Foundation and BMO Financial Group established the BMO Financial Group Research Scholarship for Excellence in 2013. Funds for the scholarships were made possible by a $250,000 gift from BMO Financial Group with a $250,000 matching grant from St. Boniface Hospital Foundation. The scholarship supports students employed at the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute or the MacLean Building at St. Boniface Hospital Research during their graduate studies.

About their research:

Increased intraventricular pressure (for example due to aortic valve stenosis or hypertension) can lead to cardiac enlargement and eventually heart failure. A definite understanding of the mechanisms and also approaches to mitigate its complications are yet to be elucidated. Dr. Koleini is studying the roles of the FGF-2 protein with two functionally distinct isoforms, in cardiac response to increased intraventricular pressure caused by trans-aortic ligation. His studies are intended to expand knowledge on the biological activities of FGF-2 isoforms in the setting of cardiac pathology, and may set the stage for antibody-based therapies aiming to attenuate mortality in heart failure patients and increase their quality of life.

Cardio-Oncology is an evolving discipline that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and management of cancer patients who are at risk of developing heart problems as a result of their cancer treatment. As breast cancer remains a significant clinical problem, chemotherapy continues to be a routine treatment strategy for this patient population. Doxorubicin and Trastuzumab are two of the most effective anti-cancer drugs available for women with breast cancer. However, these two anti-cancer drugs may lead to heart failure in as many as 8000 Canadian women annually. Dietary interventions represent another complementary approach for the treatment of women with breast cancer. Approximately 30% of breast cancer patients use flaxseed. Ms. Asselin and her research team will explore the means by which flaxseed can prevent the anti-cancer drugs Doxorubicin and Trastuzumab from damaging the heart in the breast cancer setting. The results of this program will have a significant impact on improving the cardiovascular outcomes in women with breast cancer in Manitoba.

Dhingra receives Young Investigator Award

Congratulations to Dr. Sanjiv Dhingra, Principal Investigator, Cardiac Regeneration and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, on recently receiving the Young Investigator Award – Basic Science from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Created in 1970, this award is presented to a young investigator whose clinical science activities are in the areas of cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Dhingra is also an assistant professor in the Regenerative Medicine Program at the University of Manitoba as well as director of the Canada/Italy Tissue Engineering Laboratory (CITEL) at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre.

Kehler to receive student achievement award

Congratulations to Scott Kehler (Duhamel Laboratory), who has been selected as a recipient of the Dean of Graduate Studies Student Achievement Award, from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Graduate Studies.

The award recognizes outstanding performance as a graduate student for academic excellence, leadership, teaching ability volunteerism and mentorship.

Kehler will receive a citation certificate along with a $1000 cash award at the annual Faculty of Graduate Studies awards reception on November 30, 2017.

19th Annual Dr. Naranjan Dhalla Cardiovascular Awards: 2017 Recipients

Since 1999, the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre has held an annual Awards Day to celebrate excellence in cardiovascular research. Twelve awards have been established to recognize the contributions of individuals at various career stages, from summer and graduate students to world-leading experts in cardiovascular medicine.

Twelve individuals were honoured on November 2 by the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences. The 19th annual award event recognizes leadership and success in promoting cardiovascular research and education, lifetime achievements in research, and young scientists who are in the early stage of their academic life.

The Institute’s awards program is produced in collaboration and cooperation with University of Manitoba, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, and Heart & Stroke Foundation of Manitoba.

Presentations

The event opened with presentations from several internationally regarded scientists, including:

Dr. Antoine Hakim

Dr. Antoine Hakim, Ottawa, Canada

Dr. Peipei Ping

Dr. Peipei Ping, Los Angeles, USA

Dr. Steven Houser

Dr. Steven Houser, Philadelphia, USA

Dr. Lynn Megeney

Dr. Lynn Megeney, Ottawa, Ontario

Awards

Dr. Antoine Hakim

Dr. Naranjan Dhalla, Distinguished Professor, University of Manitoba [Left] presents the Robert Beamish Leadership Award to Dr. Antoine Hakim (Ottawa, Canada)

Dr. Peipei Ping

Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum, Director, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences [Left] presents the Ken Bowman Research Achievement Award to Dr. Peipei Ping (Los Angeles, USA)

Dr. Steven Houser

Dr. John Foerster, St. Boniface Hospital Research Executive Director of Research (1986-2006) [Left] presents the John Foerster Distinguished Lecture Award to Dr. Steven Houser (Philadelphia, USA)

Dr. Lynn Megeney

Dr. Pawan Singal, Principal Investigator, Cell Pathophysiology, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences [left] presents the Vincenzo Panagia Distinguished Lecture Award to Dr. Lynn Megeney (Ottawa, Ontario)

Mr. Greg Mackling

Vince Barletta, President & CEO, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation [Left] presents the Jack Litvack Exemplary Service Award to Mr. Greg Mackling (Winnipeg, Canada)

Dr. Inna Rabinovich-Nikitin

Dr. Michael Czubryt, Principal Investigator, Molecular Pathophysiology, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences [Left] presents the Arnold Naimark Young Investigator Award to Dr. Inna Rabinovich-Nikitin (Winnipeg, Canada)

Dr. Gauri Akolkar

Dr. Michael Czubryt,Principal Investigator, Molecular Pathophysiology, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences [Left] presents the Henry Friesen Young Scientist Award to Dr. Gauri Akolkar (Ottawa, Canada)

Mr. Abhinav Dhingra

Dr. Ross Feldman, Medical Director of the Cardiac Sciences Program [Left] presents the Sr. Jacqueline St-Yves Award for Best Paper to Illana Minuk accepting on behalf of Mr. Abhinav Dhingra (Winnipeg, Canada)

Ms. Krista Filomeno

Allison Kesler, Chief Executive Officer, Manitoba & Saskatchewan, Heart and Stroke Foundation [Left] presents the Heart and Stroke Foundation Award for Masters Student to Ms. Krista Filomeno (Winnipeg, Canada)

Dr. Elissavet Kardami, Principal Investigator, Muscle Cell Biochemistry, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences [Left] presents the Kalwant Dhalla Research Technician Award to Dr. Nina Aroutiounova (Winnipeg, Canada)

Mr. Thomas Meier

Dr. Thomas Klonisch, Head, Anatomy and Cell Sciences, University of Manitoba [Left] presents the T. Edward Cuddy Student Research Award to Natalie Landry accepting on behalf Mr. Thomas Meier (Winnipeg, Canada)

Ms. Zeinab Roveimiab

Dr. Jeffrey Wigle, Principal Investigator, Vascular Development, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences [Left] presents the James S. McGoey Student Research Award to Ms. Zeinab Roveimiab (Winnipeg, Canada)

 

Duhamel receives CSEP Young Investigator Award

Congratulations to Dr. Todd Duhamel, Principal Investigator, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Prevention, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, who was recently recognized by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) as the recipient for this year’s Young Investigator Award in recognition of “novel contributions to the field of exercise physiology and cardiac rehabilitation”. This recognition is presented annually to an outstanding CSEP member who has an excellent reputation throughout Canada and has achieved notable international recognition.

“I was humbled to receive such recognition from the scientific community. My success is a reflection of the outstanding people in my research group and my strong connection with the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St. Boniface Hospital and the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management at the University of Manitoba” says Duhamel.

Photo credit to Kim Babij (FKRM Communication Officer, University of Manitoba).

CSEP

Rapid-Fire Research Symposium

(L-R Afroza Ferdouse, Jaime Clark, and Danielle Lee)

The Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Medicine’s inaugural Rapid-Fire Research Symposium was held October 25, 2017.

The “Best Presentation” & “People’s Choice” awards went to Jaime Clark (PhD student supervised by Drs. Carla Taylor & Peter Zahradka). 2nd Prize was awarded to Danielle Lee (PhD student supervised by Dr. Hope Anderson) and 3rd Prize was won by Afroza Ferdouse (MSc student supervised by Dr. Harold Aukema).

The event was chaired by Dr. Thomas Netticadan, with co-chairs Samantha Pauls and Pema Raj and their assistants Roxanna Koohgoli, Susara MaddumaHewage and Sue Zettler. Presentations were adjudicated by Jessay Devassy, Matthew Nosworthy, Xavier Louis and Samantha Pauls.

The symposium also hosted guest speaker Tracey Maconachie of the Life Science Association of Manitoba. Symposium sponsors included the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine & Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

St. Boniface among best in Canada for heart surgery outcomes: The Canadian Institute for Health Information

(From CBC News Manitoba) The Canadian Institute for Health Information looked at patient outcomes and re-admission rates after the most common kinds of heart surgery in its survey of hospitals in nine Canadian provinces. It released the results of that survey on Tuesday.

St. Boniface Hospital’s cardiac sciences program had some of the highest scores in all markers, including low rates of patient mortality, low rates of re-admission after surgery, and high patient volumes for angioplasty, or cardiac catheterization surgeries.

CBC article
Report (PDF)
Winnipeg Free Press article (Paywall)

St. B Researchers highlighted on CTV’s MEDICALWATCH

Two St. Boniface Hospital Researchers have recently been highlighted on CTV’s “MEDICALWATCH”, hosted by reporter Michelle Gerwing:

Dr. Gordon Glazner, Principal Investigator, Cellular Neuropathology & Neurodegeneration, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, speaks about his Alzheimer’s Disease research, and the impact his grandfather had on his research career. See video.

Dr. Heather Blewett, Principal Investigator, Human Nutrition and Immunology, Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, speaks about her most recent clinical trial on dietary peas, and their impact on blood sugar. See video.

 

mite achimowin (Heart Talk): First Nations Women Expressions of Heart Health

The mite achimowin (Heart Talk): First Nations Women Expressions of Heart Health study is now online.

The project brought together six First Nations women from across Manitoba to participate in learning circle discussions to explore and express their experiences related to their own heart health or caring for a relative with a heart health issue. From these discussions, the women produced digital stories (3–5 minute videos) touching upon various themes affecting First Nations heart health including: transitions from traditional to westernized lifestyles and diets; the trauma of residential schools; racism; access to medical care; culturally unsafe health care; subjugation of culturally-rooted medicines, and economic and geographic marginalization.

Their website, the videos, as well as a featured podcast can be viewed here: https://www.ccnsa-nccah.ca/563/mite_achimowin_-_Heart_Talk.nccah

The videos have been presented to over 200 undergraduate students in medicine and nursing at the University of Manitoba. The students then participated in facilitated dialogue sessions so they could share their thoughts on the videos and discuss ways to integrate Indigenous concepts of mite (heart) knowledge and patients’ experiences with biomedical knowledge and practice.

The project team included co-investigators Dr. Annette Schultz, Principal Investigator, Psychosocial Oncology and Cancer Nursing Research; Lorena Fontaine (University of Winnipeg); and project coordinator Lisa Forbes. The research team acknowledges research collaborator Ivan Berkowitz, who enthusiastically introduced Lorena and Annette to each other and encouraged the mite achimowin project even in his final days. The study received funding from the CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Aboriginal People’s Health Institute) and SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) through the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network in partnership with Nanaandawewigamig.

 

IACS North American Section Meeting Awards

Award Recipients from the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences North American Section Meeting, Orlando, Florida, August 31st-September 2nd, 2017:

  • Michael Czubryt received the Norman Alpert Award for Established Investigator in Cardiovascular Sciences
  • Andrea L. Edel won the James T. Willerson Competition for Postgraduate Fellows and Residents
  • Sanjiv Dhingra won the Roberto Bolli Competition for Young Faculty in Translational Science
  • Ms Aleksandra Stamenkovic – Travel award and winner in the Margaret Moffat Poster Competition
  • Ms Krista Filomeno – Travel award and winner in the Margaret Moffat Poster Competition
  • Alex Austria – Travel award
  • Vijayan Elimban – Travel award

Congratulations to these members of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences!

CV Network PDF

Singal on Canada/Brazil Research Projects

From 2013-2016, Dr. Pawan Singal led a research project in the field of cardiovascular sciences under the Canada-Brazil Awards – Joint Research Projects. The project involved two sites in Canada: Winnipeg and Thunder Bay and two sites in Brazil: Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo. The objective of the program is to support team-oriented research projects between Canadian and Brazilian universities collaborating in mutually beneficial areas of research. The collaborations are expected to result in high quality research that will have an impact in Canada and in Brazil through the mobility of both Canadian and Brazilian research students and Project Leads, and is open to all academic disciplines.

Dr. Singal’s review of this successful partnership was recently published on the Government of Canada website:

English version
French version

“The social as well as cultural experiences in each other’s countries have been wonderful and invaluable” says Singal. “The Canada-Brazil Awards – Joint Research Projects program has resulted in lifelong friendships and lasting fruitful collaborations. Thus, the program has been both a great initiative and a success with multiple tangible and intangible benefits”.

The International Scholarships Program (ISP) of Global Affairs Canada funds, manages and promotes international scholarship opportunities for Canadian and international students and researchers.

Merit award for Albensi

Congratulations to Dr. Ben Albensi, Principal Investigator, Synaptic Plasticity and Cellular Memory Dysfunction Lab, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, on receiving a merit award for Research, Teaching, and Service from the University of Manitoba and the University of Manitoba Faculty Association.

Dr. Albensi received a monetary award as well as congratulatory letters from Dr. David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manitoba, and Dr. Janet Morrill, President, University of Manitoba Faculty Association.

Asper fund to support Mayo Clinic collaboration

Applications for operating grants to support a collaborative research interaction between St. Boniface Hospital and The Mayo Clinic (Rocherster, MN) are now being accepted.

The CANUSA (CANADA-USA) RESEARCH PROJECT is supported by funds generously provided by the Asper Endowment Fund. The mandate of the fund is to promote the growth and collaboration in cardiovascular research between the two institutions. The fund will provide a source for supporting health related cardiovascular research in the basic, clinical and/or applied health areas to be conducted either at the St. Boniface Hospital or at Mayo Clinic or at both institutions during the term of a grant funding award.

The operating grant application deadline is December 20, 2017.  Information about deadlines and application forms can be obtained from the Cardiovascular Research Office at Mayo Clinic (507-266-0869) or Bennett.Mary1@mayo.edu.

St. Boniface Hospital Research celebrates World Alzheimer’s Day

Every year on September 21st, Alzheimer’s organizations around the world concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia.

St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre is home to world-class Alzheimer’s research!

Neurodegenerative diseases of the peripheral and central nervous systems devastate individuals and their families, and endanger the fiscal solvency of health care organizations. The incidence of these diseases, including Alzheimer’s, are increasing in proportion to our ageing population and are receiving priority status for available funds from government and other funding agencies.

Through our Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders (DND), St. Boniface Hospital Research determines the mechanisms underlying, and identifies potential treatments for, neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease, ischemic stroke, traumatic brain injury and aging-related CNS degeneration. The Division was established in 1999 with $3 million initial grant funding, and continues to be very successful in attracting grants from national and international funding agencies.

DND members:

Dr. Paul Fernyhough (Director) is focused on the impact of diabetes on neuron function in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). Studies show that severity of Alzheimer’s Disease is increased in patients with diabetes and studies support an interaction between the diabetic state and Alzheimer’s Disease at the intracellular level. He is particularly interested in the role of insulin signaling in neurons and its role in controlling neuronal metabolism. Dr. Fernyhough is Professor and Department Head of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Benedict C. Albensi is studying mechanisms of altered synaptic plasticity that lead to memory impairments. Dr. Albensi has been accepted to the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), which provides infrastructure and support that facilitates collaboration amongst Canada’s top dementia researchers. He is a Professor of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba, holds the Manitoba Dementia Research Chair (MDRC), and the Everett Endowment Fund Chair.

Dr. Gordon Glazner is studying mechanisms of neuronal death in Alzheimer’s Disease. His group studies the role of key transcription factors, such a NF-kappaB, in the neuronal response to insult. Neuronal signalling pathways affected by amyloid-beta treatment are being investigated with a central element being affects on calcium homeostasis within the neuron. Dr. Glazner is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba.

Vanier Scholarship Awarded

Congratulations to Ms. Jacqueline Hay, PhD trainee, Duhamel Lab, who has been awarded a Vanier scholarship for her project “Associations between fitness, activity intensity, and time: the influence of novel risk for chronic disease in Manitoba”

The prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program is administered by the Vanier-Banting Secretariat on behalf of Canada’s three federal granting agencies – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

http://news.umanitoba.ca/meet-vanier-scholar-jacqueline-hay/

Fernyhough group to get SPOR funding

A St. Boniface Hospital Research team has received funding to develop a SPOR (Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research) network. The SPOR Network in Diabetes and Its Related Complications is intended to transform the health outcomes of people with diabetes and its related complications by facilitating important and meaningful connections between patients, their primary healthcare providers, and specialists to achieve improved health care and significant cost savings within the health system. Principal Investigators for the network include Dr. Paul Fernyhough, Director, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, and Dr. Jon McGavock of the University of Manitoba.

The funding announcement was made by Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen earlier today. Manitoba networks received a combined total of $10.1 million including $3.1 million in provincial funding through Research Manitoba, $6 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and an additional $1 million from local research partners.

“This type of research is unique in that it engages patients in all aspects of study and ensures results are relevant to the priorities that they have identified,” said Pedersen. “By working together and investing in these networks, we are helping Manitoba’s research institutions create the innovative solutions needed to support patients across this province and beyond.”

Pedersen noted these four Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) projects connect researchers, health professionals, patients and policy makers across the country to improve the health of Canadians living with chronic diseases.

 

O receives NSERC Award

Congratulations to Dr. Karmin O, Principal Investigator, Integrative Biology Laboratory, Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, who received an NSERC Discovery Award in the amount of $140,000 for her study “The Biological impact of dietary components on nutrient absorption and metabolism”.

The Discovery Grants Program is NSERC’s largest and longest-standing program. The grants are based on recommendations from peer review committees containing world experts in each of 12 science and engineering fields, and typically last for five years.

MMSF & Research Centre: Awards

Congratulations to former CCARM member and current collaborator Dr. Danielle Defries on receiving $32,000 (MMSF $16,000 / CHRIM $16,000) for her study, “The Impact of Gestational Diabetes on Maternal Incretin Function”. Her aim is to see if GDM reduces the number of cells in the intestine that make incretin hormones or if these cells don’t release sufficient amounts of incretin hormones. She will also determine if there is a problem with the ability of the pancreas to release insulin when treated with incretin hormones. If her results show there is a problem with any of these aspects of the incretin system, it will identify areas that could potentially be targeted through drug or nutrition treatments.

Click here for more information

As well, Dr. Yoav Keynan has been named this year’s recipient of the Richard Hoeschen Memorial Award, a $4,000 contribution to help offset the operating expenses for the supervision of a B.Sc. (Med) student at the University of Manitoba.

The Manitoba Medical Service Foundation and the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre each contributed $2,000 towards this award.

Press Release

Schwartz picks up 3 awards

Schwartz

Congratulations to Ms. Anna Schwartz, BSc Med student, who  received a total of 3 awards at the September 7th BSc Med Ceremony, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba.  Her project was entitled, “The prophylactic role of RAS antagonism in the prevention of Bevacizumab and Sunitinib mediated cardiomyopathy”. The awards included a travel bursary to present her research in Galverston, Texas, an award for an outstanding basic science project, and one for the best interim report.

Ms. Schwartz is supervised by Dr. Davinder Jassal and Dr. Pawan Singal.

St. B researchers: 5 awards from Orlando IACS 2017

Congratulations to the following members of the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre who received awards at the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences 5th Annual Forum to Promote Young Investigators and Centers of Excellence in Cardiovascular Sciences.

  • Sanjiv Dhingra received the Roberto Bolli Award for Young Faculty in Translational Science
  • Michael Czubryt received the Norman Alpert Award for Established Investigators in Cardiovascular Sciences
  • Krista Filomeno received the Margaret Moffat Poster Award for Best Poster in Biomedical Sciences (MSc)
  • Aleksandra Stamenkovic received the Margaret Moffat Poster Award for Best Poster in Biomedical Sciences (PhD)
  • Andrea Edel received the James Willerson Young Investigator Award in Cardiovascular Medicine (Postgraduate fellows)

Travel grants from the Albrechtsen Research Centre were awarded to:  Alex Austria, Vijay Elimban, Krista Filomeno and Aleksandra Stamenkovic.

Additional info can be found on the website: http://www.iacs2017.com/

Smerchanski Award

Congratulations to PhD Student Victoria Sid (supervised by Dr. Karmin O, Integrative Biology Laboratory), who was recently awarded the Smerchanski PhD Studentship, St. Boniface Hospital Research Foundation.

Currently working on her PhD in Physiology and Pathophysiology, Sid has been the recipient of several awards, including a CSATVB Young Investigator Award, Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (2015), a CSATVB Travel Award, Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (2015), and an Undergraduate NSERC Student Research Award, University of Manitoba ( 2012). Her current study is entitled The Role of Folate in Metabolic Disorder – Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. How does high-fat diet affect non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and impair folic acid metabolism?

Berethe awarded BMO Scholarship of Excellence

Congratulations to MSc student Dr. Rokiatou Kone Berethe (MD), who was recently awarded an $8000 BMO Financial Group MSc Research Scholarship of Excellence. Dr. Berethe is supervised by Dr. Mohammed Moghadasian, Principal Investigator, Pathology Research Laboratory, Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM).

Dr. Berethe graduated from University of Bamako in Mali where she completed her medical degree in 2005. She also completed a one-year graduate program in the area of Functional foods and Nutraceuticals at the University of Laval in Quebec in 2015, and has also taken many English classes in the USA and in Canada. She joined St Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Center in 2015 as a volunteer, then started the MSc program in 2016 at University of Manitoba under the supervision of Dr Mohammed Moghadasian. Her current research is about cardiovascular benefits of 5 dietary agents from her native Africa in LDL-r-KO mice in collaboration with 2 laboratories from Bostwana and Nigeria.

Berethe has secured positions in several institutions including the humanitarian non-profit Association femmes et SIDA au Mali, the Laboratory of Applied Molecular Biology at the University of Bamako, the Mali National Tuberculosis Program, the United Nations Population Fund- Ethiopia, and others. Currently, as a volunteer, she is the Chair of Food/Nutrition and Events Committee for the Immigrant Integration and Farming Co-op (IIFCC).

The BMO Financial Group MSc Research Scholarship of Excellence is a partnership made possible by a $250,000 gift from BMO Financial Group with a $250,000 matching grant from St. Boniface Hospital Foundation. The scholarship supports students employed at the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute or the MacLean Building at St-Boniface Hospital Research during their graduate studies.

Roquette visits CCARM

Two distinguished representatives of Roquette, a world leader in the production of Polyols (substances derived from food compounds) visited the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) this morning.

Dr. Leon Zhou, Head of R&D (Americas) and Dr. Sergio Neves, Head of Nutrition and Health R&D (France) were hosted by Dr. Lee Anne Murphy, Executive Director, Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network, Dr. Carla Taylor, CCARM Team Leader, and Dr. Peter Zahradka, CCARM Deputy Team Leader.

(L to R) Dr. Carla Taylor, Dr. Leon Zhou, Dr. Sergio Naves, Dr. Peter Zahradka

Drs. Zhou and Neves met with St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research Dr. Grant Pierce, then toured CCARM’s basic science laboratories in the Albrechtsen Research Centre and clinical research facilities in the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute.

Roquette is a leader in specialty food ingredients and pharmaceutical excipients*. Products and solutions developed by Roquette deliver technological, nutritional and health benefits tailored to the pharma, nutrition, food and industry markets. Founded over 80 years ago, Roquette operates in over 100 countries and currently employs more than 8,000 people worldwide.

* a pharmacologically inert substance used to bind the contents of a pill or tablet

TV commercial for Intrinsic Analytics

St. Boniface Hospital Research spin-off Intrinsic Analytics, a bioinformation services company located in the Asper Clinical Research Institute, has completed their first TV commercial – produced in-house by the Communications & Media Services department. The commercial is currently being tested on social media, with plans to air it commercially this Fall.

“We’re celebrating our five year anniversary as a company and we thought it was time to start branding ourselves. We have been growing steadily by word of mouth, but we have tremendous capacity for expansion and the commercial is a very important part of our promotional strategy” says co-founder and CEO Dr. Waylon Hunt. He adds, “We were excited to work with the Research Centre’s media production team since it allowed us to showcase the incredible talent that is available here; we are very happy with the results”.

Intrinsic Analytics provides personalized and customizable bioinformation and biochemical analysis for individuals, commercial enterprises and government agencies. Their head office is located within the I.H. Asper Institute, with an additional collection site located at 2535 Inkster Blvd.

Albensi accepted to CCNA

Dr. Benedict Albensi, Principal Investigator, Synaptic Plasticity and Cellular Memory Dysfunction Lab, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, has been accepted to the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA).

The CCNA provides the infrastructure and support that facilitates collaboration amongst Canada’s top dementia researchers. By accelerating the discovery, innovation, and the adoption of new knowledge, the CCNA positions Canada as a global leader in increasing understanding of neurodegenerative diseases, working towards prevention, and improving the quality of life of those living with dementia.

Dr. Albensi is a Professor of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba, holds the Manitoba Dementia Research Chair (MDRC), and the Everett Endowment Fund Chair.

St. Boniface Research welcomes Dr. Ross Feldman

A reception was held at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre this afternoon to welcome Dr. Ross Feldman, who joins both the Research Centre as a member of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, and the WRHA as Medical Director of the Cardiac Sciences Program. Dr. Feldman comes to Winnipeg from the Memorial University of Newfoundland where was Professor of Medicine and Chair, Discipline of Medicine.

Dr. Feldman received his medical degree from Queen’s University, his training in Internal Medicine at University of Toronto and a fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Feldman has also held teaching positions at the University of Iowa, College of Medicine in Iowa City and the University of Western Ontario and Chair, Division of Clinical Pharmacology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. As well, he also served as Scientific Director of the Robarts Research Institute at Western.

Dr. Feldman’s research program will focus on Women’s Health; specifically, the development of innovative strategies in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. He is the author of more than 200 articles in the fields of cell signaling, adrenergic pharmacology and management of risks factors important in the development of heart disease and strokes.

Group shot

[L-R] Dr. Ross Feldman; Dr. Bruce Roe, Dr. Bruce Roe, President and CEO of St. Boniface Hospital; and Dr. Naranjan Dhalla, Principal Investigator Experimental Cardiology, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences

Dr. Feldman has held leadership roles in a number of scientific and professional organizations in the disciplines of medicine and pharmacology including Vice-President of the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics and Chair of the Clinical Pharmacology Division of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He has served as Governor of the Ontario Chapter, American College of Physicians, Chair of the Scientific Review Committee of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, chair of the Research Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and the past Governor of the Ontario Chapter, American College of Physicians. He was founding president of both the Canadian Hypertension Education Program (CHEP) as well as its successor, Hypertension Canada, where he continues to be active at the public policy level in improving hypertension management and control rates in Canada. He is currently an Associate Editor of both the Canadian Journal of Cardiology and Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology and past Editor-in-Chief of Pharmacological Reviews.

Throughout his career, Dr. Feldman has earned numerous awards and scholarships; he is the recipient of a Career Investigator Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, a George Morris Piersol Research and Teaching Scholarship from the American College of Physicians, the Burroughs-Wellcome Clinical Pharmacology Award, the Senior Investigator Award from the Canadian Society for Clinical Pharmacology as well as the Distinguished Service/Research Award of the Canadian Hypertension Society. He received the George Fodor Award for outstanding contributions to the prevention and control of hypertension (2010) and was awarded the Ken Brown Research Award from our own Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences.

Dr. Miyoung Suh: KOFST Scientist of the Year

Dr. Miyoung Suh, Principal Investigator, Nutrition and Neurological Diseases, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders and the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, has been named Scientist of the Year by the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST). The award will be presented at the 7th Annual Canada-Korea Conference, August 6-9, 2017 in Montreal.

The award is given to a Korean Scientist working abroad, with significant contributions in their area of research. Dr. Suh’s research in lipids and retina photoreceptors is specifically being recognized. She is the first woman to receive the award, which will be presented by the president of KOFST, Dr. Myungja Kim.

Dr. Miyoung Suh is Associate Professor in the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba. She has also been trained as a Clinical Dietician and has served as the Director of the University Dietetics Program for 6 years. Dr. Suh’s on-going research involves studying the fundamental roles of dietary lipids in brain, retina, and testes/sperm under alcoholic, diabetic and obese conditions. Dr. Suh is a nutrition lead of Canada Israel International Fetal Alcohol Consortium (CIIFAC), identifying nutritional status of alcohol consuming pregnant mothers and alcohol-fed animals. Overall, her research outcomes provide a basis for the provision of optimal nutrition and development of diet strategies beneficial to the target clinical as well as the general population.

Goals of the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST):

  • Foster and support the science and technology societies
  • Encourage scientists to engage with society
  • Enhance the rights and interests of scientists
  • Increase public understanding of scientific discoveries and theories
  • Support the national growth by undertaking study, planning, research and advice on science and technology policy

 

Albrechtsen appointed to the Order of Canada

Congratulations to our namesake and benefactor Mr. Paul Albrechtsen on his appointment to the Order of Canada, the highest level of distinction in the Canadian honours system.

Mr. Albrechtsen was appointed “… For his leadership as an entrepreneur in the transportation industry and for his dedication to the well-being of his community, notably in support of health care”.

CBC News

Albensi research featured in summer issue of Wave

The Summer 2017 issue of Wave, Winnipeg’s Health and Wellness Magazine, features an extensive article on the research of Dr. Benedict Albensi, Principal Investigator of the Synaptic Plasticity and Cellular Memory Dysfunction Lab in the Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders.

“Dissecting Dementia” is a comprehensive look at the personal story that drives Albensi’s research and his approach to understanding the mechanisms that contribute to memory impairments in Alzheimer’s disease.

Click here to read the article.

Research Manitoba Awards announced

Niketa Sareen and Glen Lester Sequiera

Congratulations to the following students/postdocs from the Dhingra Lab (Cardiac Regeneration and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences ) who were successful in receiving Research Manitoba Fellowship Awards this year:

Dr. Sekaran Saravanan

Dr. Sekaran Saravanan received a Postdoctoral Fellowship award.

Glen Lester Sequiera received a PhD Studentship.

Niketa Sareen (Supervisors: Sanjiv Dhingra and Lorrie Kirshenbaum) received a PhD studentship from Research Manitoba and a University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship.

Ivan Berkowitz MBA

The Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences’ good friend and colleague, Ivan Berkowitz, passed away on Thursday, June 15, 2017.

In his capacity as Editor of CV Network and Heart Health Scholar of the Academy for more than 15 years, Ivan played a critical role in the development of cardiovascular health programs throughout the world. He served as conference coordinator for 11 national and international meetings and symposia held in Winnipeg for exchanging information on cardiovascular health and disease. In addition, he organized several public forums in Winnipeg and paid particular attention to lifestyle modifications and nutritional approaches for the prevention of heart disease.

The work of Ivan Berkowitz has been recognized by several awards from different organizations.  He received Medal of Merit from SERVCOR, Brazil and was bestowed the title “Honourary Professor of Fundaco Cardiovascular Sao Francisco de Assis” Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He was granted Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2009 Reh-Fit Foundation Healthy Living Award, and Big Heart Award for Organizational Achievement by the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Manitoba. He has been serving as President of Myles Robinson Memorial Heart Trust for many years.

Ivan also enjoyed sharing his pottery, both as gifts for visiting scientists and at the annual Arts & Science Craft Sale, where proceeds support the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation.

Ivan has rendered invaluable services in promoting the mission of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences and will be missed by the many friends he has made at St. Boniface Hospital and indeed around the world.

Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, June 20, 11:00 am, Temple Shalom, 1077 Grant Avenue.

RBC Youth BIOlab reaches 50K milestone

Not only did St. Boniface Hospital Research’s RBC Youth BIOlab break attendance records with more than 4800 through the BIOlab, and another 1500 in schools – this year saw the program reach a significant milestone for outreach at St. Boniface Hospital Research.

Since full time outreach began in 2005, the program has now seen over 50,000 students from across Manitoba, with 18,000 of those through the Youth BIOlab since opening in 2013! And with the installation of videoconferencing equipment with funds from the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation that number will increase to expand to northern and remote communities in the 2017-2018 school year.

Congratulations to program Director Steve Jones and teacher Meghan Kynoch!

Youth BIOlab Activity Report 2017

Canada’s business leaders visit Centre

Participants in the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference toured the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre this morning. The tour was hosted by Dr. Bram Ramjiawan, Director of Research, Asper Clinical Research Institute and Director of Research Innovation and Regulatory Affairs at St. Boniface Hospital.

The Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference was created to broaden the perspectives of future leaders in business, unions and public administration so that their decisions are based on a practical understanding of the influence of their organizations on the general welfare of the community. Its members come from different regions of Canada, different perspectives and different careers. All members are high potential individuals expected to achieve senior leadership positions in their organizations and communities.

Members toured the IH Asper Clinical Research Institute, the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, and the RBC Youth Biolab Jeunesse.

For more information on the attendees and the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, click here.

Canadian Student Health Research Forum awards

Congratulations to Cara Isaak, Aleksandra Stamenkovic, Danielle Lee, and Victoriya Mozolevska, who picked up awards at the Canadian Student Health Research Forum held June 6-9, 2017 at the University of Manitoba.

Cara Isaak was awarded the Cardiovascular Biology Award for “the exceptional contribution your research efforts have made and the role model which you provide within the institution”. Cara is a PhD student in the Innovative Therapy Research Laboratory (Dr. Chris Siow) at the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine.

Aleksandra Stamenkovic received a Dean of Medicine Poster Award. Aleksandra is a PhD student in the Cell Biology Laboratory (Dr. Grant Pierce) and the Cardiovascular Lipidomics Laboratory (Dr. Amir Ravandi), Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences.

Danielle Lee received a Manitoba Medical Service Foundation Poster Award. Danielle is an MSc student in the Vascular Biology Laboratory (Dr. Hope Anderson) at the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine.

Viktoriya Mozolevska received a Manitoba Medical Service Foundation Poster Award. Viktoriya is an MSc student in the Cardiovascular Imaging Laboratory (Dr. Davinder Jassal), Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences.

The Canadian Student Health Research Forum, now in its 30th year, provides a venue for health research trainees from across Canada to present their work, network and be recognized for the excellence of their contributions. It also features research poster days, awards of excellence, tours and social events as well as a symposium on a cross-disciplinary scientific theme by some of the world’s leading scientists in that field.

Hack wins Brain Tumour Foundation CAPO Award

Thomas F Hack, PhD, Director, Psychosocial Oncology & Cancer Nursing Research, I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute, recently received the Award for Excellence in Psychosocial Oncology, presented annually by the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

Dr. Hack is also Senior Scientist, Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology at CancerCare Manitoba, Professor, College of Nursing, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, and Visiting Professor, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.

The award is presented to a member of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO) to acknowledge the important work of psychosocial oncology professionals. Dr. Hack was honoured for his study “A randomized controlled trial of consultation recording use to enhance psychosocial well-being and coping behaviour in patients with brain tumours”.

Pictured: Todd Goold – Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, Dr. Tom Hack and CAPO Vice President Dr. Fiona Schulte

The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada is comprised of volunteers, patients, survivors, family members, health care professionals and staff, determined to make the journey with a brain tumour one full of hope and support – working collaboratively to serve the needs of those Canadians affected by all types of brain tumours.

Fernyhough appointed head of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, U of M

Dr. Paul Fernyhough has been appointed Department Head of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba for a five-year period, effective May 1, 2017.* Dr. Fernyhough was appointed as Acting Head in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics on June 1, 2015.

Dr. Fernyhough has been Director for the Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders at St-Boniface Hospital Research since 2004, and is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and adjunct professor in the Department of Physiology & Pathophysiology.

Dr. Fernyhough was born and educated in East London, UK. He earned his B.Sc. degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Essex and a PhD in biochemistry in the department of Biochemistry (department of Sir Hans Krebs) at University of Sheffield (UK). He also completed postdoctoral research at Colorado State University, Kings College London (department of Maurice Wilkins) and as a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow at St Bartholomew’s Medical College (department of Sir John Vane). (Drs Krebs, Wilkins and Vane are all Nobel Prize winners.)

His general research interest is in the cell biology underlying neurodegenerative disorders of the peripheral and central nervous systems.

*pending Board of Governors approval

Kirshenbaum appointed Director, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences

The University of Manitoba and St. Boniface Hospital announce the appointment of Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum as Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (ICS) at the Albrechtsen Research Centre at St. Boniface Hospital. Dr. Kirshenbaum assumes this role effective June 1, 2017.

Dr. Kirshenbaum succeeds Dr. Pawan Singal, who has led the Institute since 2007. Dr. Singal is a principal investigator of cell pathophysiology at the ICS as well as professor, department of physiology and pathophysiology at the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Kirshenbaum is principal investigator of Cardiac Gene Biology, ICS, and professor, department of physiology and pathophysiology, University of Manitoba. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Cardiology and is director of research development, Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba. His research is setting the stage for the use of gene therapy in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and is supported by a Foundation grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation. Dr. Kirshenbaum is a Fellow of both the International Society for Heart Research (2010) and the American Heart Association (2009) and Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2012).

“I am very pleased that the new Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences is one of the University’s and St. Boniface’s leading researchers,” says Dr. Bruce Roe, President and CEO of St. Boniface Hospital. “I believe that Dr. Kirshenbaum’s vision for cardiovascular research will significantly advance research in this field and assist in making our province a centre of cardiovascular excellence not only in research but in patient care.“

“The appointment of Dr. Kirshenbaum to the position of Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences is an important one” says Dr. Grant Pierce, executive director of research at St. Boniface Hospital. “The Institute is one of the largest and best groups of heart researchers in Canada. Dr. Kirshenbaum brings a well-established track record of success to this job and is well respected and recognized for his research accomplishments in the field of cardiac gene biology. We are fortunate and excited to have him lead the Institute into the future.”

“Dr. Kirshenbaum is an outstanding cardiovascular researcher,” says Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) at the University of Manitoba. “I look forward to working with him in his new leadership role at the helm of this world-class research institute.”

“I am very excited to be asked to serve as the director of this institute” says Dr. Kirshenbaum. “I look forward to working closely with the Cardiac Sciences Program of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority as well as other Provincial stakeholders to build an Institute known for training and translational research, so we will be better positioned for major strides towards reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease. Our research team is second to none in Canada, and a team effort will form an important part of the solution to this major health problem.”

Widely regarded as one of the preeminent basic cardiovascular research programs in the world, the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences is a leading force in the fight against heart disease at the cellular and molecular levels.

Announcement (Word Doc)

Czubryt patent highlighted in “Believe”

The research of Dr. Michael Czubryt , Principal Investigator, Molecular Pathophysiology, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, is highlighted in the Spring 2017 issue of Believe, produced by the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation. Dr. Czubryt has patented a way to regulate the production of collagen to minimize cardiac fibrosis that affects the heart’s performance after a heart attack.

St. Boniface researcher earns patent (PDF)

MSPrebiotic celebrates clinical trial success

A clinical trial conducted by Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research In Health and Medicine principal investigator and medical microbiologist Dr. Michelle Alfa was celebrated today for its contribution to the development of a commercial product. MSPrebiotic® is used for improving gut health in both mid-age and elderly adults, and is manufactured in Manitoba by MSPrebiotics Inc., Carberry MB, host of the event.

Participants in the clinical trial were invited to a presentation of the results by Dr. Alfa, and enjoyed a reception following the presentation.

In conjunction with Dr. David Strang, chief medical officer at Deer Lodge Centre, Dr. Alfa undertook a Health Canada cleared prospective, randomized clinical trial that evaluated the prebiotic in mid-age adults (30 to 50 years of age) as well as elderly (70 years and older) adults. The objective of the clinical trial was to determine if the consumption of MSPrebiotic® could alter the microbiome or decrease glucose and insulin resistance (thereby reducing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes). The study found that there was also a significant reduction in the glucose in older adults as well as a significant reduction in Insulin resistance, findings which indicate that MSPrebiotic® could be a valuable way to reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

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Related

Brothers unlock power of spuds – Winnipeg Free Press (PDF)
A Summary of the MSPrebiotic Clinical Trial (PDF)
CTV Evening News coverage (Scroll to 31:30)

University of Winnipeg Collegiate Students Awarded Silver Medals

Sandeep Mangat, grade 10 student from the University of Winnipeg Collegiate

University of Winnipeg Collegiate students and twin brothers Sandeep and Mandeep Mangat were awarded silver medals at the Manitoba Schools Science Symposium (MSSS) on April 22, 2017. Both are supervised by Dr. Pram Tappia, a Clinical Research Scientist in the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute.

The MSSS is an annual science event for students in Manitoba from grades 4 to 12, where over 500 young scientists presented their research to scientists and industry experts. The students have the opportunity to receive special awards, medals, program enrollments, scholarships, and trips valued over $30,000.

Sandeep Mangat, a grade 10 student, also received the Manitoba Neuroscience Network (MNN) special award for his Intermediate project – The Inhibitive Effects of Syzgium Aromaticum on Pathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease. His study shows that cloves have high antioxidant capacity and levels of polyphenols that may be beneficial in treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.

Aliani now full professor

File photo

Congratulations to Dr. Michel Aliani, Principal Investigator, Nutritional Metabolomics Research, Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine, on his promotion to full professor, Department of Human Nutritional Sciences by the Executive and Governance Committee of the University of Manitoba’s Board of Governors, effective March 30, 2017. Dr. Aliani is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology.

Dr. Aliani was educated in France (B.Sc. and Engineering degree in Agri-Food Biochemistry) and in Northern Ireland (PhD, and Post-doctoral at Queen’s University Belfast) prior to move to University of Manitoba in 2007. His area of scientific expertise includes food science, mass spectrometry and metabolomics. The focus of his research is providing the scientific and molecular basis for development and marketing of functional foods targeted to patients and healthy populations in the world.

New weapon in fight against antibiotic resistance discovered

Scientists at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre and the University of Manitoba have developed a drug that combats 2 of the top 10 “priority pathogens” recently defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as antiobiotic-resistant bacteria requiring new interventions*. The drug, dubbed PEG-2S, has received a provisional patent, and its development is highlighted in a study published today in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology (CJPP). Without affecting healthy cells, the drug prevents the proliferation of a harmful bacteria that possesses a specific type of energy supply shared by a number of other bacteria.

The paper, entitled “Development of a novel rationally designed antibiotic to inhibit a nontraditional bacterial target”, revealed that a variety of bacteria share a unique respiratory sodium pump (NQR) that supplies energy vital to the bacteria’s survival. The study showed that the drug in question, PEG-2S, inhibits the function of the NQR pump and the production and growth of Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. The drug is highly targeted and only impacts bacterial cells with NQR pumps and is not toxic to normal, healthy cells. The list of NQR-possessing bacteria is growing steadily as genomic information becomes available. With more than 20 different pathogenic bacteria containing NQR, the possibility for this drug to avoid multidrug resistance through NQR inhibition represents a potential breakthrough in antibiotic design.

Traditional targets for antibiotics are limited; no new antibiotics have been discovered since 1987. Only 2 antibiotics have received US FDA approval since 2009.

Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface Hospital; Professor of physiology and pathophysiology, University of Manitoba

“New drugs are not being approved because they share the same target to which the bacteria are developing resistance. We have not only defined a new and effective target, we have designed a drug to attack it without affecting normal cells,” explains St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research and University of Manitoba professor of physiology and pathophysiology Dr. Grant Pierce. “The first pathogen our research team studied (Chlamydia trachomatis) has confirmed that NQR is a good target, and it is shared by many bacteria in need of a more effective antibiotic.”

Dr. Pavel Dibrov, Professor, Faculty of Science, University of Manitoba

“The results from our collaboration are tremendously exciting,” adds lead author, University of Manitoba Faculty of Science professor Dr. Pavel Dibrov. “We are currently designing PEG-2S variations and hope to tailor PEG-based antimicrobials to each specific NQR-containing pathogenic bacterium.”

“Antibiotic and antimicrobial resistance to superbugs is a priority research direction in pharmacology. The quality and findings of this study may be instrumental in our efforts to develop new drugs and technologies that effectively address this global health alarm recently raised by the World Health Organization” say CJPP Editors Dr. Ghassan Bkaily and Dr. Pedro D’Orléans-Juste.

“I applaud the research collaboration that resulted in this new breakthrough,” said Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba. “Solving the complex and evolving challenges of antibiotic resistance will put new tools in the hands of caregivers around the globe.”

“New antibiotics targeting this priority list of pathogens will help to reduce deaths due to resistant infections around the world,”said Prof Evelina Tacconelli, Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Tübingen, at the presentation of the WHO list “Waiting any longer will cause further public health problems and dramatically impact on patient care.”

* WHO priority pathogens list for R&D of new antibiotics

Priority 1: CRITICAL

  • Acinetobacter baumannii, carbapenem-resistant
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa, carbapenem-resistant***
  • Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing

Priority 2: HIGH

  • Enterococcus faecium, vancomycin-resistant
  • Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant, vancomycin-intermediate and resistant
  • Helicobacter pylori, clarithromycin-resistant
  • Campylobacter spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant
  • Salmonellae, fluoroquinolone-resistant
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae, cephalosporin-resistant, fluoroquinolone-resistant***

Targeted by PEG-2S

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Bill Peters
Communications & Media Services
St-Boniface Hospital Research
204.258.1325
bpeters@sbrc.ca

Development of a novel rationally designed antibiotic to inhibit a nontraditional bacterial target (PDF)
Press Release – French (.doc)

Featured image credit: ZEISS Microscopy

Media

Preparing for CTV National News Live.

MNN wins national award

The Manitoba Neuroscience Network recently received the 2017 Best Canadian Society for Neuroscience Chapter Award for neuroscience advocacy. The award was presented by the Canadian Association for Neuroscience. St. Boniface Hospital Research members include:

Dr. Paul Fernyhough, MNN past-president and current treasurer
Kelly Jorundson, MNN Coordinator, Membership & Operations
Dr. Benedict Albensi
Dr. Gordon Glazner
Dr. Darrell Smith

The MNN was recognized for the groups dynamism, the breadth of the activities they have organised, and their outreach to the general public, including youth and the francophone community. Congratulations!

For more information, click here. 

SBRC study referenced in Nutrition video

The St. Boniface Hospital Research/University of Manitoba publication Potent Antihypertensive Action of Dietary Flaxseed in Hypertensive Patients (Delfin Rodriguez-Leyva, Wendy Weighell, Andrea L. Edel, Renee LaValee, Elena Dibrov, Reinhold Pinneker, Thane G. Maddaford, Bram Ramjiawan, Michel Aliani, Randolph Guzman, Grant N. Pierce) was referenced in a recent Nutritionfacts.org video comparing the nutritional benefits of chia seeds and flax seeds.

The goal of NUTRITIONFACTS.ORG is to present the results of the latest in peer-reviewed nutrition and health research, in a way that is easy to understand. The site is a non-commercial, science-based public service provided by Dr. Michael Greger, providing free updates on the latest in nutrition research via bite-sized videos. There are more than a thousand videos on nearly every aspect of healthy eating, with new videos and articles uploaded every day.

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-are-better-chia-seeds-or-flax-seeds/

 

Aliani co-edits bitterness book

Dr. Michel Aliani, Nutritional Metabolomics Research, Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine, has co-edited the book Bitterness – Perception, Chemistry and Food Processing (Wiley). The book was edited with Dr. Michael Eskin, a professor in the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba.

Description:
The increasing demand for healthy foods has resulted in the food industry developing functional foods with health-promoting and/or disease preventing properties. However, many of these products bring new challenges. While drugs are taken for their efficacy, functional foods need to have tastes that are acceptable to consumers. Bitterness associated with the functional foods is one of the major challenges encountered by food industry today and will remain so in years to come. This important book offers a thorough understanding of bitterness, the food ingredients that cause it and its accurate measurement.

The authors provide a thorough review of bitterness that includes an understanding of the genetics of bitterness perception and the molecular basis for individual differences in bitterness perception. This is followed by a detailed review of the chemical structure of bitter compounds in foods where bitterness may be considered to be a positive or negative attribute. To better understand bitterness in foods, separation and analytical techniques used to identify and characterize bitter compounds are also covered. Food processing can itself generate compounds that are bitter, such as the Maillard reaction and lipid oxidation related products. Since bitterness is considered a negative attribute in many foods, the methods being used to remove and/mask it are also thoroughly discussed.

About the Authors:
Michel Aliani is also Associate Professor and Director of sensory research studies in the Human Nutritional Sciences department at the University of Manitoba, Canada. Dr. Aliani has expertise in flavor chemistry and mass spectrometry systems, and is interested in flavouromics, studies of functional foods which are destined to nutritional interventions and, in metabolomics, studies of biological fluids after ingestion of functional foods.

Michael N. A. Eskin is Professor in the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba, Canada. Dr. Eskin has published over 120 research papers, 50 chapters and 13 books. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including the 2012 IFT Stephen S. Chang Award and the Alton S. Bailey Medal Award by the American Oil Chemists’ Society for his research in lipids. In 2016, he received the Order of Canada for his pioneering research which contributed to the success of the Canadian canola industry. Dr. Eskin is also a fellow of IFT, The American Oil Chemists’ Society, Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology, and Institute of Food Science and Technology in the UK. He is a co-editor of Lipid Technology.

Foundation highlights blackberries/blueberries research

The St. Boniface Hospital Foundation recently put the spotlight on the research of Dr. Jeffrey Wigle (Vascular Development, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences) and Dr. Thomas Netticadan (Heart Failure Research Laboratory, Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine).

Drs. Wigle and Netticadan are focusing their attention on cyanidin-3-glucoside, a polyphenol found in abundance in certain berries; specifically, whether cyanidin-3-glucoside, which exists to colour and protect plants, can also protect people.

You can read about their results here; http://www.saintboniface.ca/foundation/protecting-hearts/

Dhingra co-edits stem cell book

Dr. Sanjiv Dhingra, Principal Investigator, Cardiac Regeneration and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences has co-edited the recently released book “Adult Stem Cells – Methods and Protocols” (Springer) with Dr. Paulo Di Nardo (University of Rome Tor Vergata) and Dinender K. Singla (University of Central Florida).

Dr. Sanjiv Dhingra

The book contains a collection of protocols from some of the major laboratories involved in stem cell research across the world. The research discussed in this book covers topics such as: isolating, characterizing and expanding dental pulp stem cells; manipulating the proliferative potential of cardiomyocytes by gene transfer; isolation of stromal stem cells from adipose tissue; noninvasive assessment of cell fat and biology in transplanted mesenchymal stem cells; and cell-free therapy for organ repair. Written in the highly successful Methods in Molecular Biology series format, chapters include introductions to their respective topics, lists of the necessary materials and reagents, step-by-step, readily reproducible laboratory protocols, and tips on troubleshooting and avoiding known pitfalls.

Adult Stem Cells – Methods and Protocols is a resource for helping researchers transform the study of stem cells into an industrialized process that will supply patients with efficient, safe, and cost-effective cell treatments.

 

Albensi appointed JAD editor

Congratulations to Dr. Ben Albensi (Principal Investigator, Synaptic Plasticity and Cellular Memory Dysfunction, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, and Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Manitoba), who has been invited to be an Associate Editor for the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease is an international multidisciplinary journal to facilitate progress in understanding the etiology, pathogenesis, epidemiology, genetics, behavior, treatment and psychology of Alzheimer’s disease. The journal publishes research reports, reviews, short communications, hypotheses, ethics reviews, book reviews, and letters-to-the-editor, and is dedicated to providing an open forum for original research to promote the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease.

Jassal now full professor

Congratulations to Dr. Davinder Jassal, Principal Investigator, Cardiovascular Imaging, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, on his promotion to full professor by the Executive and Governance Committee of the University of Manitoba’s Board of Governors, effective March 30, 2017.

Dr. Jassal was born in Thompson, Manitoba, obtained an International Baccalaureate Degree at Sisler High School in Winnipeg, and graduated from the University of Manitoba with an MD in 1998. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Manitoba from 1998-2001 and a residency in Cardiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Subsequently, he completed a clinical and research fellowship in Cardiac Imaging specializing in echocardiography, computed tomography, and MRI at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
Dr. Jassal rejoined the Section of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba in 2006 as an Academic Clinician Scientist, where half of his time is devoted to patient care in CCU and cardiac imaging and the other half devoted to translational research.

CCARM : 2017 Ag in the City

Crystal Acosta (PhD Student, Vascular Biology Laboratory) and Jaime Clark (PhD Student, Molecular Nutrition/Molecular Physiology Laboratories) attract attention to the CCARM display!

The Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) took part in “Ag in the City”, held at the Forks Market March 17 & 18, 2017.

Sponsored by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ag in the City is an annual two-day event offering “a chance to explore the vibrant and innovative world of agriculture”.

 

Seeking Position: Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences

St. Boniface Hospital and the University of Manitoba invite applications for the position of Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences to lead and continue to develop a world-class cardiovascular research program centered within the Albrechtsen Research Centre at St. Boniface Hospital. The applicant will be expected to demonstrate strong interpersonal and leadership skills, organize and provide mentorship to a large group of young and established scientists. The successful candidate will be expected to have a strong publication record in the cardiovascular innovation research fields and evidence of an international reputation in cardiovascular research. Evidence of a history of success in receiving grant and/or industrial funding and knowledge of the peer review process are expected. Applicants should have a Ph.D., or M.D., or their equivalent in a relevant health research area (cell biology, biochemistry, pharmacy, pharmacology, physiology, etc) with postdoctoral experience. Strong programs already exist in the Centre in natural health products, clinical trials, neurodegenerative diseases and commercialization of health-related opportunities. Successful applicants will be expected to promote scientific interactions with these programs as well as foster research collaborations with clinical cardiovascular activities at St. Boniface Hospital and elsewhere. The successful applicant will be expected to currently hold a senior academic appointment in an appropriate Faculty and/or Department at the University of Manitoba. Excellent oral and written communication skills are required. A starting date of June 01, 2017 would be anticipated.

The Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences is a recognized Institute within the University of Manitoba. St. Boniface Hospital and the University of Manitoba are strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community and especially welcome applications from women, members of racialized communities, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, persons of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

For confidential consideration, please send in electronic format your complete resume, a brief description of your cardiovascular research program and vision, a description of your reason for applying for this position, as well as letters from two referees who would be familiar with your capabilities by Friday April 7th, 2017. Application materials, including letters of reference, will be handled in accordance with the protection of privacy provision of “The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy” (Manitoba). Applications to be addressed to:

Dr. Grant N. Pierce,
Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface Hospital,
Albrechtsen Research Centre, 351 Taché Avenue,
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R2H 2A6,
E-mail address: gpierce@sbrc.ca

St. B clinical trial leads to commercial product

A clinical trial conducted by Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research In Health and Medicine principal investigator and medical microbiologist Dr. Michelle Alfa has contributed to the development of a commercial product, MSPrebiotic®, used for improving gut health in both mid-age and elderly adults. MSPrebiotic® is manufactured in Manitoba by MSPrebiotics Inc., Carberry MB.

Dr. Alfa in conjunction with Dr. David Strang, undertook a Health Canada cleared prospective, randomized clinical trial that evaluated the prebiotic in mid-age adults (30 to 50 years of age) as well as elderly (70 years and older) adults. The objective of the clinical trial was to determine if the consumption of MSPrebiotic® could alter the microbiome or decrease glucose and insulin resistance (thereby reducing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes).

The study found that there was also a significant reduction in the glucose in older adults as well as a significant reduction in Insulin resistance.  These finding indicate that MSPrebiotic® could be a valuable way to reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

For detailed information on the results of the clinical trial, click here.

Fernyhough, WinSanTor highlighted on Radio Canada

Dr. Jean-Eric Ghia has been highlighting local researchers on his Ici Radio Canada show “Des éprouvettes et des hommes” for the last several years, and he has now moved on to television! Check out the latest episode of his new feature “Qu’est-ce qu’on cherche?”, which aired February 23rd on the Ici Radio Canada TV program Téléjournal. In this segment, he visited the lab of Dr. Paul Fernyhough to discuss diabetic neuropathy.

https://www.facebook.com/icimanitoba/videos/10154521472633195/

New position for Arora

Dr. Rakesh Arora has accepted the position of Section Head and Regional Lead, Cardiac Surgery, University of Manitoba and WRHA Cardiac Sciences Program as well as retaining his position as Medical Director of Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care.

Dr. Arora is the principal investigator of the Heart Failure Therapy laboratory in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, as well as associate professor of Surgery, Anaesthesia & Physiology, University of Manitoba.

Arora joined the Cardiac Sciences Program as a staff surgeon in October 2006 with an academic appointment at the University of Manitoba. He has been cross appointed in the Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine and the Department of Physiology & Pathophysiology.
Dr. Arora achieved his Medical Doctorate from the University of Toronto in 1996 and obtained his Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada [RCPS(C)] Fellowship in Cardiac Surgery at Dalhousie University. During his time in residency at Dalhousie, he completed a Doctorate of Philosophy in the Department of Anatomy/Neurobiology in the field of neuroradiology. He then went on to two years of training at the University of Calgary, where he became the first Cardiac Surgeon in Canada to also complete a RCPS(C) in Critical Care Medicine.

He has been an independent researcher since 2006 and has numerous grants and publications. He was appointed the Director of Research for the Section of Cardiac Surgery in 2007 and the Associate Director of Research for the Department Surgery in 2015 and was promoted to full Professor in the Max Rady Faculty of Medicine in 2016. In 2010 he was appointed Co-Medical Director of ICCS and in 2015 took on the sole role of Medical Director, ICCS. He is also the Co-Founder and Chair of The Canadian Cardiovascular Cardiac Critical Care Society (CANCARE). He is a Past President of the American Delirium Society.

St. B Research partnership, rTMS technology, patent highlighted in Believe

The Spring 2017 issue of Believe highlights a partnership with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, cutting edge depression treatment technology, and a patent for controlling the production of collagen in the heart:

Ben-Gurion University partnership
“I believe we’re a team,” says Chuck LaFlèche, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation’s President & CEO, of the charity’s emerging relationship with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Beer-Sheva, Israel. “We have common research interests, similar approaches to fundraising, and – above all – a commitment to making people’s lives better.” The “Research Without Borders” initiative was officially launched in September 2016 at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. The guest list included Professor Rivka Carmi, President of BGU, and Mark Mendelson, the Montreal-based National CEO of the Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

rTMS treatment with Dr. Mandana Modirrousta
In the summer of 2012 St. Boniface Hospital installed an rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation machine), thanks to St. Boniface Hospital Foundation donors. Since then, patient Leanne Anderson has benefited from rTMS treatment with Dr. Mandana Modirrousta, Director of Neurostimulation and Neuropsychiatry.

Dr. Michael Czubryt obtains Scleraxis modulation patent
Issued in January 2016, that patent is on a particular way to interfere with scleraxis, a protein related to collagen production – needed to create a “soft skeleton” in the heart to give it the strength to handle 100,000 daily beats. Too much collagen, however, and cardiac fibrosis can occur, affecting the heart’s performance. Controlling the production of collagen by manipulating scleraxis is what Dr. Czubryt and his colleagues are trying to do.

Dhalla receives awards

Congratulations to Distinguished Professor Dr. Naranjan Dhalla, who received two honours on a recent trip to Delhi, India; one for outstanding contributions to the field of cardiovascular sciences, and another presented to him as Guest of Honour at the International Conference on Recent Advances in Cardiovascular Research: Impact on Health and Disease. The conference was hosted by the University of Delhi February 9-11, 2017.

Dr. Dhalla also gave the keynote presentation “CO2 water-bath therapy promotes blood flow and angiogenesis in diabetes with peripheral ischemia” at the conference.

About Dr. Naranjan S. Dhalla
Dr. Dhalla has published more than 620 full length papers in refereed journals and 180 papers in books and monographs. His research work has been cited more than 23,000 times and he edited 55 books on various aspects of the cardiovascular system. He has been an invited speaker at more than 355 national and international conferences and 145 institutions. Dr. Dhalla has trained more than 163 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists. In his capacity as Secretary General and President of the International Society for Heart Research, he was engaged in promoting the scientific basis of cardiovascular medicine for 25 years. He has been Editor-in-Chief of a major international journal “Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry” for the past 30 years and is also serving as Executive Director of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences since 1996. He has received 190 honours and awards from all over the world including MD/DSc Honorary Degrees from 6 Institutions and Honorary Professorship from 4 Universities. Dhalla is Honorary Life President of the IACS and is serving as Distinguished Professor, University of Manitoba and Director of Cardiovascular Developments at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Taylor receives Canola Award of Excellence

The Manitoba Canola Growers Association (MCGA) has awarded Dr. Carla Taylor with the 2017 Canola Award of Excellence for her contributions to the canola industry. Taylor will be presented with the award on Wednesday, February 15 during the CropConnect Conference evening banquet in Winnipeg.

Taylor was honoured with the recognition.

“I’m thrilled to be recognized along with some of the pioneers of the canola industry who have been acknowledged in the past.” said Taylor. “It’s a privilege to do nutrition research which links agriculture and health and that can impact dietary strategies for preventing and managing chronic diseases.”

Taylor and her collaborator Dr. Peter Zahradka and their team of trainees and staff at the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre have been researching the health benefits of canola oil for more than a decade. Their research with canola oil looks at what can be done from a nutrition standpoint at the early stages of diseases (metabolic syndrome) and to help prevent cardiovascular disease or diabetes from developing further. They have been able to show diet can make a difference.

Dr. Carla Taylor is presented the award by Charles Fossay, President, Manitoba Canola Growers Association

“Taylor and her team have been investigating how our foods are metabolized and where canola oil fits into our diets for a long time. Their recent work with canola oil shows that diet can make a difference,” said Charles Fossay, President of the MCGA. “The MCGA is pleased to recognize her role in promoting the health benefits of canola oil.”

For more information on Dr. Carla Taylor and the Canola Award of Excellence please visit www.canolagrowers.com/about-mcga/canola-award-of-excellence.

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About Manitoba Canola Growers Association:
The Manitoba Canola Growers Association (MCGA) represents approximately 8,500 farmers in Manitoba that grow canola. MCGA uses the canola check off dollars for “seed money” to grow the future. Every dollar spent is leveraged at the local, national, and international levels, and studies show that every dollar invested by growers results in an impressive return on investment. MCGA is committed to maximizing net income for canola farmers through sustainable production. For more information visit www.canolagrowers.com or follow us on Twitter @CanolaGrowers.

Media Contact:
Alison Inglis | Events and Communications Coordinator | Manitoba Canola Growers Association
alison@canolagrowers.com | (204) 998-9896

Download Press Release (.doc)

Pierce discusses flax research on FARMGATE

St. Boniface Hospital executive director of research Dr. Grant Pierce recently appeared on FARMGATE – Saskatchewan’s only farm magazine TV program, produced in Saskatoon and hosted by Bob Simpson. Dr. Pierce was invited to discuss the results of his research into the benefits to human cardiovascular health of regular flaxseed consumption and the economic potential this creates for Canadian prairie flax growers.

FARMGATE is the most-watched agricultural program in Saskatchewan. Each week, FARMGATE covers topics from animal husbandry to soil maintenance and food preservation to insect control and all the issues in-between affecting farmers and their families.

Anderson appointed Acting Associate Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies

A message from Todd A. Mondor, Acting Vice-Provost (Graduate Education) & Dean (Faculty of Graduate Studies):

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Hope Anderson as Acting Associate Dean in the Faculty of Graduate Studies effective February 1, 2017.

Dr. Anderson earned her B.Sc. (Microbiology; 1992) and Ph.D. (Pharmacology and Therapeutics; 1997) from the University of Manitoba. She then pursued post-doctoral training at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal (1997-1999) and the University of California, San Francisco (1999-2003). In 2003, Dr. Anderson returned to the University of Manitoba with a CIHR Centennial/Senior Fellowship to begin her faculty appointment in Pharmacy (with a subsequent cross-appointment in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics). She continued to launch her independent career by receiving a CIHR New Investigator Award, followed by a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Hypertension Society.

Dr. Anderson is a Principal Investigator in the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. The aim of her research program is to identify new signaling targets that might be manipulated therapeutically to prevent or slow the onset of heart failure. To achieve this aim, Dr. Anderson has been well-supported with funding from sources including CIHR, NSERC, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation. She has also received support through the Leslie F. Buggey Professorship in Pharmacy, which she was awarded in December 2015.

Dr. Anderson has also contributed her talents to numerous committees within the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and has served as Graduate Chair in Pharmacy since 2010.

I am delighted that Dr. Anderson has agreed to join the leadership team in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Students, staff, and faculty members will undoubtedly benefit from her administrative and research experience, and her commitment to supporting graduate students. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Anderson.

Rossant visits St. Boniface

Dr. Grant Pierce, together with Dr. Aubie Angel, hosted Dr. Janet Rossant, president and scientific director of the Gairdner Foundation at the Albrechtsen Research Centre this morning.

Dr. Janet Rossant, a developmental and stem cell biologist, educator, institutional builder and public advocate was recently awarded the 2016 Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research. Established by Friends of CIHR in 2005, the award recognizes leadership, vision and innovative contributions to health research.

Dr. Rossant is in Winnipeg to deliver the John P. Maclean Memorial Lecture, entitled “Stem Cell and Genome Editing: Ethical Challenges in Human Health”. The lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, January 24 from 8:00 am – 9:00 am in the Frederic Gaspard Theatre.

Study shows Manitoba lingonberries may protect against kidney failure

Manitoba wild lingonberries show promising protective qualities against kidney failure, according to a recent publication by Cara Isaac of Dr. Chris Siow’s Innovative Therapy Research Laboratory at the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM).

The study, “Supplementing diet with Manitoba lingonberry juice reduces kidney ischemia-reperfusion injury” was recently published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, and highlighted in this article on freshplaza.com

The study focused on a condition known as ischemia-reperfusion (IR) in the kidneys, a disruption caused by the sudden loss of blood flow and subsequent return of blood to the kidneys, which can lead to acute kidney failure.

“Our study points towards the potential health benefits in this local berry. We already had a supply enquiry from a major produce distributor based in Los Angeles. This is an opportune time for the different stakeholders in Manitoba’s economy to form partnerships to get this crop to market.” Says Principal Investigator Dr. Chris Siow.

Study finds drugs that can reverse nerve damage

People who suffer from chronic numbness or pain and tingling in their extremities, caused by diabetes or other conditions, might soon get relief. A study by an international team of researchers has found that a class of drugs prescribed for other medical issues such as nearsightedness, incontinence or peptic ulcers may also prevent numbness and pain in fingers, arms and legs.

Led by Dr. Paul Fernyhough of the University of Manitoba and St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, and Dr. Nigel Calcutt of the University of California at San Diego, the researchers found that antimuscarinic drugs such as atropine or pirenzepine can reverse the numbness and pain, called neuropathy, often experienced by people with diabetes, HIV, or as a side effect of cancer chemotherapy.

Fernyhough notes: “The costs of treating these diseases and associated morbidities exceed the costs for treating breast cancer. For the first time we have identified a new class of drugs that can reverse nerve damage in animal models of these diseases.”

In peripheral neuropathy the nerve endings of the peripheral nerves die leading to severe impacts on quality of life. For example, patients suffer from intractable pain, foot ulcers, infections and ultimately amputations. There are presently no treatments other than palliative care. The study found that widely-used drugs targeted a key receptor in the neural pathway regulating the growth of nerve fibres and stimulated their regeneration. The drugs drive nerve fibre regeneration and repair in disease states such as diabetes and chemotherapy where there is otherwise irreversible nerve damage.

Calcutt, Fernyhough and Lakshmi Kotra of the University of Toronto together have founded the biotech company WinSanTor to specifically develop the therapeutic potential of this novel approach to treating neuropathy.

“This data opens the possibility that the process of peripheral nerve degeneration may be therapeutically reversible, and now with the potential to use existing drugs, we can rapidly translate these findings to clinical trials,” says Stanley Kim, co-founder and CEO of WinSanTor. “Peripheral neuropathy is a major and often neglected health problem affecting hundreds of millions of people around the world, including a majority of diabetes patients, and we can’t afford to wait any longer in advancing treatments for this disease.”

Fernyhough adds: “An exciting aspect of the work is that these are new uses for old drugs. They have been used in humans for over 20 years with no serious side effects and have an excellent safety profile. We expect Phase 1 trials to progress smoothly with Phase 2 trials arranged and already funded for 2017.”

“We are proud of Dr Fernyhough’s exciting finding and the clinical implications of this discovery,” says Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research at St Boniface Hospital. “It is another example of the successful history at St Boniface Hospital of translating our lab bench findings into valuable medical applications to benefit the health of Canadians.”

“I congratulate Drs. Fernyhough and Calcutt on their findings,” says Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba. “This research will benefit millions of people who are affected by chronic diseases.”

The results of the study will be published this month in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The research was funded by grants from the JDRF, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the National Institutes of Health, with support from St. Boniface Hospital Foundation.

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St. Boniface Hospital Foundation was founded in 1971 and is the primary fundraising organization for St. Boniface Hospital. The Foundation is dedicated to making possible the many innovations in health research and patient care taking place at the Hospital. Research at St. Boniface Hospital is where medical discoveries are made; science is translated into practices that improve human health; and today’s best minds are shaping tomorrow’s advances in health care.

The University of Manitoba – Manitoba’s research university – has a tradition of excellence in research, scholarly work and other creative activities spanning over 140 years, having made seminal contributions in many fields and finding life-changing solutions to problems being faced by peoples of Manitoba, Canada, and the world through fundamental and applied research.

WinSanTor Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of treatments for peripheral neuropathies, including diabetic peripheral neuropathy, chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy, HIV-induced and others. WinSanTor was founded by scientists and industry experts who share the vision that recent scientific insights into the biological processes underlying degenerative diseases offer an unprecedented opportunity to discover and develop effective medicines. WinSanTor is rigorously pursuing a science-driven approach to translational medicine and clinical development.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune (Scanned, PDF)
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J.H. Bruns Collegiate supports Hoops from the Heart

Congratulations and thanks to organizers of the J.H. Bruns Collegiate Bronco Basketball Invitational Tournament, where in lieu of the usual plaques and trophies, a donation is being made to Hoops from the Heart.

Hoops from the Heart (HFTH) is a Winnipeg organization that raises money for inner city sports programs as well as scholarships for inner city kids to attend the University of Winnipeg or the University of Manitoba. Proceeds from the annual HFTH tournament supports inner city basketball programs as well as heart research at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre.

The J.H. Bruns Bronco Invitational Varsity Boys Basketball Tournament takes place January 13, 2017 – January 14, 2017.

Study participants choose to ignore “silent killer”

A study produced by the Pierce lab and published in the American Journal of Hypertension (Oxford University Press) found that 50 percent of the Canadian public is unaware that they suffer from high blood pressure, many are unwilling to address the problem, and 2 per cent of the study participants were unaware of their “high risk” hypertensive state and were unwilling to acknowledge the severity of their high blood pressure readings.

Research assistant, Alex Austria

An article on the study was recently published in Cardiovascular Business, an online publication of the TriMed Media Group.

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Bluthochdruck: Jeder zweite Kanadier kennt seinen zu hohen Wert nicht

Dr. John Foerster appointed to Order of Canada

Dr. John Foerster was named a member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to health care administration and the creation of St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. The appointment was made by Canada’s Governor General David Johnston on December 30, 2016, with an official ceremony to take place later this year.

Dr John Foerster was a Professor at the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Medicine and a specialist in hematology and oncology. He was named head of medicine at St. Boniface Hospital in 1975 at the age of 40.
The first Executive Director of Research at St. Boniface Hospital (1986-2006), he was recruited specifically for the purpose of raising teaching and research to higher levels of excellence and productivity.

Foerster recruited the first Research Centre program in 1987 (Cardiovascular Sciences), comprised of 5 faculty members, 40 students, and staff supported by a modest research budget. By his retirement in 2006, Foerster had guided its’ growth to more than 190 research and support personnel with a budget of over $7,000,000. The 14 research programs were directly linked to clinical departments – in infectious diseases, respiratory medicine, nephrology, cardiology, clinical nursing research, and cancer research.

In 1990, he championed Manitoba’s first Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner – used for research and clinical applications – now the Andrei Sakharov MRI Centre. With Foerster’s leadership, St. Boniface Hospital opened the Centre for Research on Diseases of the Aging in the Research Centre in 1998, which now bears his name. Further growth of the enterprise required the creation of additional space and resulted in the construction of the Asper Clinical Research Building, which opened its doors in 2006.

Foerster received the 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Manitoba Alumni Association for his contribution to the University, the medical profession, and advancing medical research in the province. He also received the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation’s International Award in 2006. These awards largely recognized his leadership abilities as Executive Director of Research for St Boniface Hospital, however, the commitment he demonstrated throughout his professional and volunteer activities encompassed an impressively broad scope of influence in all aspects of life – from national granting agencies and medical ethics to involvement in two seminaries and his church.

Dr. John Foerster (R) with Dr. Henry Friesen at the Research Hall of Fame celebration, May 12, 2016

In May of 2016, Foerster was inducted into the St. Boniface Hospital Research Hall of Fame.