Select Page

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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.

-30-

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.

-30-

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.

Download press release PDF here
Eurekalert
Yahoo Finance
News Medical
Sandiego Union Tribune
The San Diego Union-Tribune (Scanned, PDF)
FierceBioTech

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.

Related

Journal article
Additional Commentary
La moitié des Canadiens souffrent d’hypertension
Alarming Levels of Hypertension Found in Canadian Public
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.

Tappia appointed CV Network editor

Dr. Paramjit S. Tappia, Clinical Research Associate Professor, has been appointed as the new Editor for CV Network, the official bulletin of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences.

CV Network is the official bulletin of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (IACS). This quarterly publication depicts cardiovascular news from all over the world, specifically from all sections of IACS, and is mostly concerned with education research and prevention of heart disease. The publication also serves the cardiovascular community throughout the world by insuring exchanges of ideas and networking, with a readership of over 5,000. The CV Network is available on the IACS web site www.heartacademy.org.

About Dr. Paramjit S. Tappia

Dr. Paramjit Tappia is currently a Clinical Research Scientist in the Asper Clinical Research Institute, St. Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba. He has published over 100 full-length papers in scientific journals and books in the area of cardiovascular sciences, which have been cited more than 2,700 times with an h-index of 32. He is the co-editor of 2 books in the field of cardiovascular health and serves on the Editorial Board of 3 international journals. Dr. Tappia is one of the founding members of the Winnipeg based Caribbean Canada Heart Health Education, a recently initiated program for the promotion of cardiovascular health in the Caribbean. Dr. Tappia has received Excellence in Teaching Awards, been invited to speak at local, national and international scientific conferences and served on the scientific advisory boards as well as on organizing committees for several local and international meetings.

WSD science students visit Youth BioLab

Stephen Jones, Youth BIOlab Jeunesse Coordinator and Teaching Liaison, hosted 20 future scientists from the Winnipeg School Division today. The students worked on some chemistry and physics experiments this morning before taking a tour of the new $1 million nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imager recently installed at the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine. The NMR is used to detect different chemical compounds in food, making it possible to isolate which are responsible for providing health benefits. The tour was provided by Dr. Michel Aliani, Principal Investigator of the Nutritional Metabolomics Research laboratory.

img_1977a

Tech Voc student Luis said he enjoyed the tour, but specifically enjoyed doing the lab experiments. “I am interested in the medical field (dentistry), and we don’t get to do this type of thing at school. I really liked doing the hand-on stuff”, he said.

Teacher/Supervisor Ms. Leanne Romaniuk added that the students really enjoyed having access to the facilities at the Youth BIOlab. The students represented Cecil Rhodes, Churchill, Daniel McIntyre, General Wolfe, Gordon Bell, Hugh John MacDonald, Kelvin, Sargent Park, Sisler, St. John’s and Tech Voc high schools.

St. Boniface Hospital research director receives Research Canada Leadership Award

Dr. Grant Pierce, executive director of research, St. Boniface Hospital and professor, department of physiology, University of Manitoba, has been awarded Research Canada’s 2016 Leadership Award, which recognizes “excellence in Canadian Health Advocacy among both individuals and institutions dedicated to advancing health research and health innovation in Canada”. The award was presented on November 22, 2016 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Canada, in conjunction with the Prix Galien and Health Research Foundation Research Awards Gala.

Research Canada is a multi-stakeholder alliance of private, academic and voluntary sector organizations dedicated to advancing health research and translating research into innovative products and services that deliver social and economic benefits to all Canadians.

“St. Boniface Hospital is very proud of Dr. Grant Pierce,” says Dr. Bruce Roe, President and CEO, St. Boniface Hospital. “By awarding him the 2016 Leadership award, Research Canada is recognizing Dr. Grant Pierce’s efforts to advance health research and innovations and his strong commitment to translating the knowledge gained through research into health benefits for the people of our community.”

Dr. Josee Brisebois, Gilead Sciences Canada Inc.; Chatrick Paul, Takeda Canada Inc.; Dr. Grant Pierce; Dr. Philip Halloran; Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg; Dr. Julio Montaner (CNW Group/Innovative Medicines Canada)

Dr. Josee Brisebois, Gilead Sciences Canada Inc.; Chatrick Paul, Takeda Canada Inc.; Dr. Grant Pierce; Dr. Philip Halloran; Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg; Dr. Julio Montaner (CNW Group/Innovative Medicines Canada)

“I congratulate Dr. Pierce on this recognition of his outstanding leadership in the field of cardiovascular research, both in Canada and internationally,” said Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba. “He is considered one of the top cardiovascular scientists in the world and, as such, a global research leader.”

About Dr. Grant Pierce
Dr. Pierce completed postdoctoral training at the University of California, Los Angeles before returning to Canada where he is Executive Director of Research at St Boniface Hospital and a Professor of Physiology and Pathophysiology at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. He has published over 200 peer reviewed research manuscripts and 7 textbooks on metabolism, nutrition and cardiovascular health. He has been cited over 8000 times with a Google Scholar H index of 53. He just completed a 13 year term as the Editor of the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. He recently received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to Canada and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the highest distinction for a scientist in Canada.

For more information, contact:
Bill Peters
Manager, Communications & Media Services
St. Boniface Hospital Research
billp@sbrc.ca
(204) 258-1325

Press Release (PDF)

3rd Annual Yetta and Jack Levit Distinguished Lecture in Heart Health

Dr. Arun Chockalingam, PhD, presented the 3rd Annual Yetta and Jack Levit Distinguished Lecture in Heart Health on Friday, November 18, 2016 at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. His presentation was entitled “Cardiovascular Disease Prevention – A Necessity for Realising Global Health”.  The lecture was attended by members and invited guests of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences as well as some members of the Levit family.

A reception followed in the Research Centre atrium.

Dr. Arun Chockalingam, PhD, FACC, FAHA, FIACS is editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Noncommunicable Diseases, as well as professor of epidemiology and medicine and director, Global Public Health Education & Training at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

St. Boniface ranks among Canada’s top research hospitals

For the 5th year in a row, St. Boniface Hospital has made the list of top research hospitals in Canada, according to Research Infosource, which ranks Canadian hospitals on their success in attracting support for health research. St. Boniface Hospital is ranked 1st in western Canada for researcher intensity – defined as dollars attracted per researcher, and 5th in Canada in the category of small hospital-affiliated research facilities.

“This is a significant accomplishment and even more impressive because we’ve now done it for five years in a row” says Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research for St. Boniface Hospital. “Our researchers continue to attract a level of funding that reflects the incredibly high standards of research accomplishment here”.

“We have always been proud of the quality of work our researchers deliver year in and year out. To receive 3rd party confirmation of the quality of that work in five consecutive years should be very comforting to our donors and supporters. We are very proud of the research team.” says Chuck LaFleche, President & CEO, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation.

“We congratulate St. Boniface Hospital on this national recognition,” says Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba.

St. Boniface Hospital Research encompasses three medical research facilities on the campus of St. Boniface Hospital – the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, the Dr. Andrei Sakharov MRI Centre, and the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute – with four dedicated research programs including the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, the Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM), and Clinical Research, as well as research that takes place across the St. Boniface campus.

Generously supported by the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation and affiliated with the University of Manitoba, St. Boniface Hospital has gained a world-wide reputation for excellence in medical research; important not only to Canadians, but to people around the world. Please visit ResearchWasHere.com to discover how we are working today to improve our health, and our lives, in the future!

About Research Infosource Inc.
Research Infosource Inc., a division of The Impact Group, is Canada’s source of R&D intelligence. Research Infosource Inc. publishes Canada’s Innovation Leaders, which includes Canada’s Top 100 Corporate R&D Spenders List, Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities List, Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals List and Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges List.

For more information, contact:
Bill Peters
Manager, Communications & Media Services
St. Boniface Hospital Research
billp@sbrc.ca
(204) 258-1325

NMR lab, Research position announced

Governments have invested $1,340,000 at the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) to purchase a specialized piece of equipment and conduct economic research about the connections between food and health. Funding was announced by Manitoba Agriculture Minister, Ralph Eichler, and MP Dan Vandal, on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, today.

img_1820b

(L-R) Ralph Eichler, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture; Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint-Boniface, Saint-Vital; Dr. Bruce Roe, President and CEO, St. Boniface Hospital; Neil Besner, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, University of Winnipeg

A new $1 million nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imager has been installed at CCARM. It is used to detect different chemical compounds in food, making it possible to isolate which are responsible for providing health benefits. Another $340,000 will create a new position for a health economist researcher at the University of Winnipeg in partnership with CCARM.

Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface Hospital

Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface Hospital

CCARM is a unique unit within the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre, which leads scientific and clinical studies about the connections between food and health. Over the next two years, the research project will focus on “nutrition economics,” evaluating the links between food-based natural health products, the health care system and the agri-food sector. For example, existing research may show certain foods can help prevent certain diseases or improve an individual’s overall health. Nutrition economics research tries to determine if measurable savings in the health care system are created as a result.

Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint-Boniface, Saint-Vital

Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint-Boniface, Saint-Vital

The University of Winnipeg has begun the recruitment process to hire a health economist in the Faculty of Business and Economics to lead this work.

Funding for the NMR imager is provided through the Grain Innovation Hub, which was announced by the Canada and Manitoba governments in May 2014. Its goal is to leverage $33 million in government and industry funding to ensure Manitoba remains a leader in grain research, production and processing. The research project is funded through the Growing Innovation program under Growing Forward 2, which supports initiatives to expand Manitoba’s capacity for innovation, information gathering and interpretation capacity as well as related infrastructure.

Neil Besner, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, University of Winnipeg

Neil Besner, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, University of Winnipeg

The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in cost-shared programming in Manitoba under GF2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets. For more information, visit www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture under Growing Forward 2.

Since it was established in 2000, CCARM has become a respected hub for research and knowledge related to the therapeutic and preventative properties of food. Its vision is to add value to agricultural commodities through innovative functional food and nutraceuticals research, translating laboratory findings into new, safe supplements and foods that will improve the health of Canadians.

img_1853b

The media interviews Ralph Eichler, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture

“Through this initiative, Canadians will benefit from understanding the economic relationship between food and health, while also helping expand Manitoba’s capacity for innovation.” Said Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament on behalf of Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

“This is a new area of research, which attempts to determine the economic benefits that might result from people eating healthy foods. Manitoba continues to be a leader in research related to food and health. This new investment will help to solidify our reputation in this field and, more generally, in agricultural innovation. This is an exciting look to the future as we continue to learn more about how all of these areas are interconnected” said – Ralph Eichler, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

“The NMR will allow our researchers to identify new markers of disease and identify compounds responsible for the flavour of our food. The new research position will allow us to produce exciting new data on the economic impact of our research on functional foods and nutraceuticals. It’s information that the public, the government and our funders want to know” said Dr. Grant Pierce, executive director of research for St. Boniface Hospital.

Dr. Michel Aliani, Principal Investigator, Nutritional Metabolomics Research, Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine

Dr. Michel Aliani, Principal Investigator, Nutritional Metabolomics Research, Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine

“This is an important example of how collaborative partnerships can create new research possibilities with impact in the broader community. A health economist can play a critical role in enhancing the work done at St. Boniface by demonstrating the social and economic benefits of flax and other healthy food” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, president and vice-chancellor, The University of Winnipeg.

News Release (English)
News Release (French)

Contacts:
Guy Gallant
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay
(613) 773-1059

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
(613) 773-7972
(866) 345-7972

Lenore Kowalchuk
Communications Coordinator
Communications Services Manitoba
(204) 945-7123

Bill Peters
Communications & Media Services
St. Boniface Hospital Research
billp@sbrc.ca
(204) 258-1325

Sons of Italy visit CITEL

Some members of the Sons of Italy visited the Canada Italy Tissue Engineering Laboratory (CITEL) and toured labs in the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute this afternoon. The visit was hosted by CITEL Director Dr. Sanjiv Dhingra.

CITEL is a partnership between St. Boniface Hospital and the University of Roma Tor Vergata in Rome, Italy, which promotes the exchange of information and collaboration between researchers from the two institutes. Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. CITEL aims to change that by applying regenerative cardiology technology developed in Rome, to heart failure models currently being examined at St. Boniface Hospital. A $100,000 donation from the Sons of Italy in 2013 helped establish the laboratory at St. Boniface for the two cardiac research teams.

img_1878a

The Order Sons of Italy of Canada is an organization of men and women who are devoted to the celebration of Italian heritage, community service and charitable good works.  In Manitoba, the Garibaldi Lodge is the first lodge of the Order Sons of Italy of Canada to be founded in Manitoba.

Communications awarded Manitoba Pulse grant

Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers has announced the winners of its Why Pulses? Challenge, an initiative launched to celebrate and promote pulses during 2016, the UN-declared International Year of Pulses. The challenge ran from the beginning of this year until June 30. Schools and community groups were invited to create an event or project that highlighted the nutritional, health and/or environmental benefits of pulses and submit it to MPSG for a chance to receive a grant of up to $10,000. Winners were chosen based on how the project intended to increase awareness of pulses, increase consumption of pulses, and benefit Manitoba’s agriculture industry.

St. Boniface Hospital Research’s Communications and Media Services department has been awarded a grant to create a 4-foot by 24-foot landscape mural, depicting Manitoba agriculture morphing into a Winnipeg skyline, all out of pulses. The mural is intended to increase awareness of the nutritional properties of pulses, a research interest of the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine. The artwork will be unveiled at the 10th Canadian Pulse Research Workshop at the Delta Hotel in Winnipeg, MB, on October 26th.

rob-bean-artwork

“We are very grateful to the Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers of Manitoba for their generous grant,” says Bill Peters, Manager of Communications & Media Services at St. Boniface Hospital Research. “We are building on the promotional success we have experienced over the past few years with other bean art projects, and this is the biggest one by far at almost 100 square feet.” Peters adds, “The science performed by CCARM is extraordinary, and drawing attention and support to their work is tremendously rewarding.”

About MPSG
The Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers is a non-profit, member-based corporation representing more than 3,500 farmers in Manitoba who grow pulses, including edible beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, faba beans, and soybeans. MPSG provides Manitoba pulse grower members with production knowledge and market development support, through focused research, advocacy, and linkages with industry partners.

Related

Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers
The Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine
Communications & Media Services

Alumni become Canadian

St. Boniface Hospital Research alumni Rushita and Ashim Bagchi have recently become Canadian citizens!

Ashim was a post-doctoral fellow in the Singal laboratory, and Rushita did her PhD in the Czubryt laboratory. Rushita is now doing her post-doc at the University of Colorado (Denver), where Ashim is also employed. You may have seen them here on October 19th – Rushita was here to accept the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences’ Henry Friesen Young Scientist Award!

Congratulations to you both!

Retired teachers back in school

More than 20 retired teachers from French language schools in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba returned to the classroom today – this time as students in St. Boniface Hospital Research’s Youth BIOlab Jeunesse program.

The group, who have been getting together for some 20-25 years, are associated with the Manitoba Teachers Association, and get together for tours and events several times a year.

Mr. Raymond Bisson, retired teacher and coordinator of the tour, says “This has been a wonderful, wonderful experience. None of us have had the opportunity to visit the lab before. It is such an enrichment for the students and the content, given today in French, was quite impressive. The attitude that you have here is authentic and passionate. The science was presented in a fun way, and was very hands-on”.

Raymond Bisson tries his hand at working with cells

Raymond Bisson tries his hand at working with cells

 

Assistant Teacher Meghan Kynoch leads the class in French

Assistant Teacher Meghan Kynoch leads the class in French

 

Pierce receives award in France

Congratulations to Dr. Grant Pierce, St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research, on being awarded the Makoto Nagano Award for Distinguished Achievements in Cardiovascular Education.

Dr. Pierce received the award recently in Marseilles, France at the IACS European Section Meeting held October 1-4, 2016.  The award was presented by Dr. Naranjan Dhalla (Winnipeg), Dr. Bohuslav Ošťádal (Prague, Czech Republic), and Dr. Andras Varro (Hungary).

 

Hemp research news for South Korea

Who knew Canadian research on hemp seed would attract a South Korean TV crew to St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre? Drs. Erin Goldberg, Harold Aukema and Rotimi Aluko were interviewed at St. Boniface by Korean TV on October 3rd on the health benefits of hemp seed.

The segment, which is part of a documentary series, will be aired on the Maekyung Broadcasting Network (MBN) in South Korea, where the import of hemp is new to consumers and has spawned interest in research being done in this arena.  The crew spent considerable time in Dr. Michel Aliani’s spectrometry facilities.

Says Dr. Goldberg, “It was an excellent opportunity to shine a light on some of the hemp research that has been done at the University of Manitoba and SBRC”.

img_1451a

img_1450a

SBRC welcomes Duguid

Mr. Terry Duguid, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, toured the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre and the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute today. The tour was hosted by Dr. Grant Pierce, St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research, Dr. Bram Ramjiawan,

Director of Research Innovation and Regulatory Affairs / Director of Research for the Asper Clinical Research Institute, and Mr. Chuck Lafléche, President and CEO of St. Boniface Hospital Foundation.

Minister Duguid toured the Centre’s RBC Youth BIOlab Jeunesse program as well as diagnostic facilities in the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute.

 

img_1553a

(L-R) Dr. Bram Ramjiawan, Director of Research, Asper Clinical Research Institute; Mr. Terry Duguid, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South; Dr. Grant Pierce, St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research; Charles Lafléche, President and CEO, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation

img_1543a

(L-R) Dr. Grant Pierce, St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research; Dr. Bram Ramjiawan, Director of Research, Asper Clinical Research Institute; Mr. Terry Duguid, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South

Dhalla fêted in France

2016 Prof. Naranjan S. Dhalla Honorary Lecture Medal presented to Prof. Ursula Raven.

The European Section of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (IACS) has established an Honorary Lecture Award dedicated to Prof. Naranjan S. Dhalla to be given annually at their meetings in Europe.  The 2016 award recipient was Prof. Ursula Raven, Freiburg, Germany, who gave the lecture in Marseille, France.  Prof. Raven was selected by 21 members of the IACS-European Section Council and received 2,000 Euros and a Medal.

The meeting was held in celebration of Dr. Dhalla’s 80th birthday.  On this very special occasion, he was given a plaque of the Appreciation Medal for founding the IACS 20 years ago.

About Dr. Naranjan S. Dhalla

Dr. Dhalla has published more than 607 full length papers in refereed journals and 161 papers in books and monographs. His research work has been cited more than 14,000 times and he edited 45 books on various aspects of the cardiovascular system. He has been an invited speaker at more than 297 national and international conferences and 206 institutions. Dr. Dhalla has trained more than 161 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 30 years. He has been Editor-in-Chief of a major international journal “Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry” for the past 26 years and is also serving as Executive Director of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences since 1996.

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.

Travel Award for Edel

Congratulations to Dr. Andrea Edel on being selected to receive an American Heart Association’s Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (ATVB) Travel Award for Young Investigators, based on the high score of an abstract that was selected for presentation at Scientific Sessions 2016.

The purpose of the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology Travel Award for Young Investigators is to encourage and support the efforts of early career investigators in the area of cardiovascular research and to encourage participation of early career investigators, women and under-represented minorities in the activities of the council and the American Heart Association.

Dr. Edel is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Ravandi laboratory (Cardiovascular Lipidomics).

Monteris receives FDA approval to evaluate NEUROBLATE® for Glioblastoma Multiforme

(September, 2016 – From Monteris Medical) PLYMOUTH, Minn.  Monteris Medical announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) to evaluate the NeuroBlate® System in patients newly diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). With this approval, Monteris will initiate the Feasibility Study on Laser Interstitial Thermal Ablation for the Treatment of Newly Diagnosed GBM (FLAG), an open-label, prospective study that will be conducted in five sites in the United States.

Monteris Medical is a spinoff company of St. Boniface Hospital Research. For more information on this exciting development at Monteris, read the full press release here:

Press Release (PDF)

BSc Med and MED II Awards Day 2016

Some BSc Med students under St. Boniface Hospital Research supervision received awards at last week’s BSc Med and MED II Awards Day 2016 celebration:

Pegah Afsharinezhad (Kirshenbaum)

BSc.(Med) Student Joe Doupe Presenter Honour Award

Merck Sharp & Dhome Award for Best Basic Science Award

Schom Travel Award/Galveston Travel Award (to represent the program internationally)

Kyla Barrie (Arora)

Dr. J.R.W. Nicholson Prize for a BScMed thesis with scientific merit and the A. Allyn Rossen Award for the Best BScMed Research Thesis

Ryan Best (Jassal/Singal)

BSc.(Med) Student Joe Doupe Presenter Honour Award

Phillip Yaffee Memorial Prize for Cancer Research

Summer Debreuil (Arora)

BScMed Program Award for an outstanding Clinical Research Project

Congratulations to all students as well as supervisors Drs. Rakesh Arora (Division of Cardiovascular Science & Disease), Davinder Jassal (Division of Cardiovascular Science & Disease), Lorrie Kirshenbaum (Division of Cardiovascular Science & Disease), and Pawan Singal (Division of Cardiovascular Science & Disease) on their outstanding supervision!

Collaboration with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev launched

St. Boniface Hospital Research has officially launched a partnership and research collaboration, Research Without Borders, with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

“Our researchers are working towards the same end goal – to change the face of health care as we know it, and to overcome today’s most debilitating diseases and conditions,” said Executive Director of Research Dr. Grant Pierce. Professor Rivka Carmi, President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, added “How thrilling to be part of this unique scientific partnership. As our sages have said, ‘this can be a light unto the nations’ meaning that this should be a shining example of cooperation between two institutions – one whose roots are based in Catholicism and the other in Judaism”.

“With a thriving and active Jewish community in Winnipeg, and a distinct link to our heritage at St. Boniface Hospital, we would like to bring our communities together to support collaborative research initiatives, and have identified several areas of commonality,” said Chuck LaFlèche, President & CEO, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation. Mark Mendelson, CEO, Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev added “I am pleased to be able to work with my new partner on this project, and move forward in our fundraising endeavours.”

The Research Without Borders fundraising campaign will officially commence October 16th, 2016, with a fundraising goal of $10 million – the funds will be divided between each institution and will focus on collaborative research efforts that span across oceans.

About Ben-Gurion University of the Negev:

The only Israeli university created by government mandate, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) was founded in 1969 with a mission to transcend the boundaries of academia and create a new model of education and research that would have a direct impact on people’s lives. Today, BGU has succeeded beyond expectations with five campuses, building an academic institution that is deeply rooted in the community, while achieving international recognition for its inspired scholarship and thought-leading research.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
St. Boniface Hospital Foundation

(L-R: Mr. Mark Mendelson, Dr. Rivka Carmi, Dr Grant Pierce, Mr. Charles LaFléche)

(L-R: Mr. Mark Mendelson, Dr. Rivka Carmi, Dr Grant Pierce, Mr. Charles LaFléche)

 

(L-R: Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface Hospital; Mr. Larry Vickar; Professor Rivka Carmi, President, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Mrs. Tova Vickar; Mr. Charles LaFléche, President and CEO, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation; Dr. Bruce Roe, President and CEO, St. Boniface Hospital; Mr. Mark Mendelson, CEO, Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Mr. John Graham, Chair, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation)

(L-R: Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface Hospital; Mr. Larry Vickar; Professor Rivka Carmi, President, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Mrs. Tova Vickar; Mr. Charles LaFléche, President and CEO, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation; Dr. Bruce Roe, President and CEO, St. Boniface Hospital; Mr. Mark Mendelson, CEO, Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Mr. John Graham, Chair, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation)

 

Professor Rivka Carmi, M.D., President of Ben-Gurion University

Professor Rivka Carmi, M.D., President of Ben-Gurion University

Minister of Health visits Centre

St. Boniface Hospital hosted the Honourable Kelvin Goertzen, Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living this morning.

IMG_1199a

In addition to visiting the Hospital, the Minister met with Dr. Grant Pierce, St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research, who hosted the research part of the tour.

IMG_1205a

The tour was also attended by Milton Sussman, President and CEO, WRHA; Dr. Bruce Roe, President and CEO, St. Boniface Hospital; Charles Lafléche, President and CEO, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation; James Downey, Director of the Board, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation; Daniel Lussier, Executive Director, Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba.

After an overview presentation of the research within the Albrechtsen Research Centre, the group visited the Agri-Health Metabolomics Laboratory (Dr. Michel Aliani) and the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute.

Albensi: Manitoba Dementia Research Chair

The work of Dr. Ben Albensi (Principal Investigator, Synaptic Plasticity and Cellular Memory Dysfunction, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders) is featured in the September, 2016 newsletter of the Alzheimer’s Society of Manitoba.

Dr. Albensi holds the Manitoba Dementia Research Chair (MDRC), established through a partnership between Research Manitoba and the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba.

Related

Article on Dr. Albensi

Research projects receive more than $6 million from CIHR

(L-R) Mr. Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface – Saint Vital and Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum, Principal Investigator of Cardiac Gene Biology at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences

Two St. Boniface Hospital Research projects are receiving more than $6 million in federal funding awarded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). CIHR Foundation Grants are designed to contribute to a sustainable foundation of new, mid-career, and established health research leaders, by providing long-term support for the pursuit of innovative, high-impact research programs.

“These Foundation Grants will provide researchers stable long-term funding, allowing them to continue their ground-breaking work being done at the University of Manitoba and here, at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre,” said Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface – Saint Vital.

“I congratulate these researchers on the excellence of their research programs,” said Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) at the University of Manitoba. “They are leaders in their fields and their research improves the quality of health and health care for the benefit of Manitobans and Canadians.”

Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum, Principal Investigator of Cardiac Gene Biology at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, and Director of Research Development, Professor, Physiology & Pathophysiology, Max Rady College of Medicine, U of M is receiving $3,286,318 over seven years for his study on regulation of programmed cell death in the heart following a heart attack. Kirshenbaum is Canada Research Chair in Molecular Cardiology. Presently, there are no clinical treatments that will prevent the heart cells from dying after heart attack. The goal of this foundation grant is to understand the processes that cause heart cells to die during heart attack and use this information to devise new treatments that will prevent heart cells from dying and allow the heart to pump blood and prevent heart failure. This will have a positive impact on the Canadian healthcare system and improve quality of life of individuals with heart disease.

St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research Dr. Grant Pierce (Professor of Physiology & Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba) is receiving $2,806,392 over seven years for his work on Dietary Flaxseed as a Nutritional Intervention for Cardiovascular Disease. Current drugs used to control hypertension are costly, can induce unwanted side-effects and they are not always effective in controlling blood pressure (BP) in all hypertensive patients. Having a food that will control BP represents a less expensive intervention than drugs. In the Foundation grant, Pierce and his team will continue our research with an on-going CIHR clinical trial to determine if flaxseed will lower BP in patients with high BP but without secondary disease, and also study if flaxseed can delay or reduce the need for anti-hypertensive drugs.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is Canada’s federal funding agency for health research. Composed of 13 Institutes, it collaborates with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve health and strengthen the health care system.

For more information, contact:
Bill Peters
Communications & Media Services
(204) 258-1325
bpeters@sbrc.ca

Czubryt AHA Fellowship

Dr. Michael Czubryt has received a Fellowship with the American Heart Association.  The presentation was made at the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Meeting (BCVS) held recently in Phoenix. Election as a Fellow of the American Heart Association recognizes scientific and professional accomplishments and volunteer leadership and service.

Congratulations Dr. Czubryt!

Journal selects “Image of the Week” from Czubryt

The American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology has selected the above image as “Image Of The Week”, which comes fromDr. Michael Czubryt’s laboratory.

Dr. Czubryt provided the following description;

“Physical stress forces tend to rise in the diseased heart, for example, during high blood pressure. In turn, such forces cause pathologic changes to the heart, including promoting the conversion of cardiac fibroblasts into myofibroblasts, which secrete high levels of proteins like collagen that serve to stiffen the heart and resist these forces. Unfortunately, this increased stiffness (“cardiac fibrosis”) makes it harder for the heart to do its job, leading to heart failure. However, since we do not really understand the underlying mechanisms, we do not have any treatments to prevent these changes. We have previously shown that the protein scleraxis directly regulates the genes involved in cardiac fibrosis. In this paper, we demonstrate that physical force (cell stretch) requires scleraxis to facilitate the fibroblast to myofibroblast conversion process. We also show that simply adding scleraxis to cells mimics the effect of stretch.

“In this image, we show that scleraxis causes an increase in the level of a protein called vinculin (green stain), particularly in small points at the cell edge called focal adhesions – a hallmark of cells that have converted to myofibroblasts. In effect, this cell is attaching more firmly to its surroundings via these focal adhesions in preparation to make more collagen proteins. The blue stain shows the cell nucleus. Our work highlights scleraxis as an excellent target for the development of medications to combat fibrosis.”

Journal thanks Caligiuri for service

The Editorial Team of Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology recently extended thanks to individuals who over the last year have “consistently and expeditiously delivered comprehensive, discerning reviews to the Journal’s authors”.

One of those outstanding individuals is Stephanie Caligiuri (Pierce Lab), who has represented Manitoba on the review panel.

Well done!

Ravandi receives MMSF Award

Dr. Amir Ravandi, Cardiovascular Lipidomics, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, is the recipient of the MMSF Dr. F. W. Du Val Clinical Research Professorship award.

Dr. Ravandi’s work focuses on oxidized phospholipids and mediating myocardial injury. His objective is to identify lipids called oxidized phosphatidylcholines, and wants to know if inhibiting them will decrease heart damage after heart attacks.

Related

Press Release (PDF)

Bagchi receives highest honour

Dr Rushita Bagchi (Molecular Pathophysiology, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences) received the E.L.Drewry Memorial Award – the highest research award given to a senior doctoral student at the Max Rady College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Bagchi also received the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation Award for excellence in research in Cardiovascular Biology, and is also the first recipient from the University of Manitoba to receive the Lindau nomination award (2014) to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting (Medicine) in Germany in June 2018.

Dr Bagchi is currently pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Colorado Denver studying epigenetic regulation of heart failure.

Dining under the microscope

Siobhan Vinish (VP Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Manitoba Hydro), Dr. Michael Czubryt (St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre), Kelvin Shepherd (CEO of Manitoba Hydro), Chuck LaFlèche (President and CEO of St. Boniface Hospital Foundation.)

Friends of the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation had a fabulous time at “Dining Under the Microscope”, an  interactive experience hosted by Youth BIOlab Jeunesse at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre.

The hand-on experience provided by Steve Jones, Director of the Youth BIOLab, had donors re-living their days in science class surrounded by beakers and microscopes. Every guest had the opportunity to learn more about heart health, look a live heart cells and take a closer look at the inner workings of a pig’s heart! The Youth BIOLab provides hands-on science experiences for Grades 4-12 students.  This school year, more than 4,000 students will have experienced science in a whole new way at the RBC Youth BIOLab Jeunesse.

Czubryt receives Duhamel Award

Congratulations to Dr Michael Czubryt, this year’s recipient of the Ronald Duhamel Innovation Fund Award.

Dr Czubryt received the award in recognition of his innovative research into cardiac fibrosis. Czubryt has proven that a protein regulator called scleraxis can lead to the development of collagen, which stiffens the heard in cardiac fibrosis.

Czubryt is currently leading a team of international collaborators to develop a new class of drugs for patients with fibrosis in the heart – and potentially other areas like the lungs and kidneys.

The award was presented to Czubryt at the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation’s annual donor appreciation breakfast on April 23rd.

2016 Hoops From the Heart a success!

The 8th Annual Hoops From The Heart Basketball games were played on Wednesday June 1st at the University of Winnipeg’s Duckworth Centre, and once again a combined University of Manitoba / University of Winnipeg men’s team took on an All Star Veterans Team of some of the best players from Manitoba! This exciting game was followed by a traditional women’s game featuring the University of Manitoba facing off against the University of Winnipeg.

Proceeds from Hoops From the Heart benefit the Basketballs for Inner City Kids project and cardiac research at St. Boniface Hospital. It is hoped to raise additional money that will be used for an University Scholarship to help an inner city kid play basketball at the U of W and U of M for their men’s or women’s teams. A signed DeMar DeRozan jersey from the Toronto Raptors was donated for a raffle in support of this cause. A recap of this year’s event can be seen in the video below. To offer your support for the event or to make a donation please contact Grant Pierce at GPierce@sbrc.ca.

Related

Hoops from the Heart raises cash for basketball scholarships for inner city kids

Albrechtsen named to Order of Manitoba

Paul’s Hauling founder Paul Albrechtsen will receive the Order of Manitoba, considered to be the province’s highest honor.

The fleet president and CEO immigrated from Denmark at the age of 24, with just $50 in his pocket, and began working for 90 cents an hour as a field mechanic in Virden, Manitoba. He lived in tool sheds to save enough money to buy two trucks in two years, and founded Paul’s Hauling in 1956.

The bulk hauler now has 280 employees. Albrechtsen is also widely recognized for his philanthropic work.

Last year the Paul Albrechtsen Foundation donated $5 million to support cardiac research at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Center – which, combined with $2 million in previous donations, made him the largest donor in the hospital’s history. He received care at the hospital after a heart attack, and the center now bears his family name.

The charitable foundation has also supported the Reh-Fit Center, St. Paul’s High School, Assiniboine Park Conservancy, and the Health Sciences Center.

“I’ve always thought it is better to give with a warm hand, and it brings me joy to know that in supporting places like St-Boniface Hospital, what is given today will make a difference tomorrow,” he says on the hospital’s website.

The order will be awarded July 7 in the Manitoba Legislative Building.

(Reprinted with permission of Today’s Trucking)

Related

Winnipeg Free Press (Paywall)

Jassal explains STEMI

Dr. Davinder Jassal, Principal Investigator, Cardiovascular Imaging, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, cardiologist and Medical Director of WRHA Coronary Care Unit has been in the media explaining ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI).

STEMI is a protocol in which heart tracings and other important patient information are transmitted directly from the site – cutting down on transit time while improving the chances of the patient’s survival.

Not every paramedic was trained with STEMI, but now all 533 paramedics on staff have the ability to do so.

Related

Winnipeg paramedics now trained in specialized heart attack therapy
Advanced heart attack response available to all Winnipeg paramedics
An ECG in every ambulance, Winnipeg Sun (Paywall)

Pierce named Assistant Executive Director of MMSF

The Manitoba Medical Service Foundation (MMSF) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Grant Pierce as Assistant Executive Director. An established administrator, educator and researcher specializing in cardiovascular sciences and nutraceuticals, Dr. Pierce has served as a director to the MMSF since 1997. He was a former recipient of the MMSF Basic Science Career Development Research Award Fellowship, he has extensive knowledge of MMSF processes and granting procedures and has demonstrated his capacity to provide effective scientific leadership.

Related

Media Release (PDF)
mmsf.ca

Cara Isaac awarded Medicine Fellowship

The Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) Awards Committee of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine has awarded the 2016 Mindel and Tom Olenick Research Studentships in Medicine to Cara Isaak (Siow Laboratory).

The Mindel and Tom Olenick Research Studentship in Medicine is awarded to students in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, in an M.Sc. or Ph.D. program delivered by a Department in the College of Medicine. Cara is a Ph.D. student registered with the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology.

Congratulations Cara!

ICS Scholarships announced

(L-R) Viktoriya Mozolevska, Shivika Gupta, and Gauri Alkokar

The Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences Studentships Committee has announced this year’s winners:

BMO Financial Group Studentship: Gauri Alkokar

Wyrzykowski Family Studentship and the Deacon Foundation Research Studentship: Shivika Gupta

Mark G and Patricia N Smerchanski Studentship: Viktoriya Mozolevska

Congratulations to the winners!

The Scholarship Awards Committee is chaired by Dr. I. Dixon, with members Drs. D. Jassal, J. Wigle and L. Hryshko.

Foerster, Torchia to be inducted to St. Boniface Hospital Research Hall of Fame

(L-R) Dr John Foerster and Dr Mark Torchia

Dr John Foerster, St. Boniface Hospital Research Executive Director of Research (1986-2006), and Dr Mark Torchia, former Director of Clinical Research and Principal Investigator, Department of Surgery, will be inducted into the St-Boniface Hospital Research Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place tonight in the atrium of the Research Centre.

Dr John Foerster, a Professor at the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Medicine and specialist in hematology and oncology, was the first Executive Director of Research at St. Boniface Hospital. He was recruited to raise teaching and research to higher levels of excellence and productivity, and by his retirement in 2006 Foerster had guided the Centre’s growth to more than 190 research and support personnel with a budget of over $7,000,000. Under his 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. Foerster received the 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Manitoba 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.

Dr Mark Torchia began his career at St. Boniface Hospital as a Principal Investigator in the Department of Surgery laboratory, eventually leading the R.O. Burrell Surgical Research Facility and directing the Department of Clinical Research. He developed and co-developed two novel medical devices and techniques that evolved into two successful biomedical spin-off companies – Monteris Medical Ltd. and Intelligent Hospital Systems (IHS). For his work in developing the Monteris NeuroBlate system – which combines robotics and laser technology to treat patients with brain tumors – Dr. Torchia won both the prestigious 2015 Ernest C. Manning Innovation Principle Award for improving the lives of Canadians and the world, and more recently the Governor General’s Innovation Award, which celebrates outstanding Canadian individuals, teams and organizations who contribute to Canada’s success.

Drs Foerster and Torchia will be inducted as the 3rd and 4th members of the Hall of Fame. Previous inductees are Dr. Naranjan Dhalla and Dr Leslie Degner.

“We are proud to induct Dr Foerster as a builder and Dr Torchia as a researcher into the St Boniface Hospital Research Hall of Fame,” said Dr Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research for the Hospital. “Their accomplishments and awards speak volumes of what they have meant to St. Boniface Hospital Research.”

“We congratulate these two distinguished alumni, who are exemplary researchers and teachers, on their leadership and pioneering research endeavours,” said Dr Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba. “Both are medical researchers who have advanced knowledge in their fields, resulting in improved healthcare for Manitobans and Canadians.”

The St-Boniface Hospital Research Hall of Fame was established in 2011 to honour the achievement of St-Boniface Hospital scientists and builders who have produced important contributions to medical research; specifically those who have made direct advancements to the knowledge of disease processes and health care. Inductees are recognized with plaques permanently installed within the large pillars prominent within the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre Atrium.

For more information, contact:

Bill Peters
Manager, Communications & Media Services
St. Boniface Hospital Research
billp@sbrc.ca
[T] (204) 258-1325 [F] (204) 235-0793

Good news from CITEL

(L to R) Nebojsa Oravec, Kartik Vinayak, Glen Lester Sequiera

Congratulations to 3 students from the Canada/Italy Tissue Engineering Laboratory (CITEL), who recently received awards in different competitions:

Glen Lester Sequiera won a Nick Shepel Travel Award. His application was ranked 2nd out of 19, and received $750 to cover the cost of travel to attend and present a poster at the BCVS-AHA meeting in Phoenix, AZ in July 2016.

Kartik Vinayak won a silver medal in intermediate category at the Manitoba School Science Symposium for his poster presentation entitled “Stem Cells: A Medical Breakthrough” .

Summer student Nebojsa Oravec, received an Undergraduate Research Award ($6000) from the University of Manitoba Vice-President (Research and International) to conduct research in the CITEL laboratory in summer, 2016.

Youth BIOlab Jeunesse to receive $120,000

Stephen Jones, Youth BIOlab Jeunesse Coordinator and Teaching Liaison with Grade 5 students from St. George School in Winnipeg

St. Boniface Hospital’s RBC Youth BIOlab Jeunesse will receive $120,000 over 3 years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The announcement was made as part of NSERC’s PromoScience program, which supports science outreach for youth in communities across Canada.  Youth BIOlab has held PromoScience funding since 2010. The 2016-2018 grant will support further development with remote and First Nations schools and communities.

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Dr. B. Mario Pinto, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) made the announcement at the Canadian Association of Science Centres annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia this morning.

“St. Boniface Hospital Research, together with NSERC, the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation and our many partners in the education community, see the value in promoting science beyond the walls of our laboratories” says Stephen Jones, Youth BIOlab Jeunesse Coordinator and Teaching Liaison. “By engaging youth with current biomedical science in the Youth BIOlab, we hope to share our passion for discovery, stimulate curiosity and inspire the next generation of learners and thinkers”.

Minister Duncan and Dr. Pinto also took the opportunity to officially launch Science Odyssey, a ten-day series of science-based activities and events across Canada taking place from May 6 to 15, 2016. The focus is to engage and inspire young Canadians and the general public across the country by showcasing Canada’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) accomplishments.

Throughout Science Odyssey, Youth BIOlab Jeunesse will be welcoming student groups from across Manitoba for 5 days of hands-on biomedical science, with participation from the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council, Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, Winnipeg School Division and the Louis Riel School Division. “We  look forward to building new relationships with students and educators that will continue to stimulate interest in current Manitoba science” says Jones.

The RBC Youth BIOlab Jeunesse teaching laboratory was built with support from Manitoba Education, RBC, and the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation and opened its doors to students in Spring 2013. The program is delivered 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 Research Centre to classroom learning.

For more information, contact:

Bill Peters
Manager, Communications & Media Services
St. Boniface Hospital Research
billp@sbrc.ca
[T] (204) 258-1325   [F] (204) 235-0793

TAFFB and FFNHP Award Recipients

(L-R) Cara Isaak and Mr. Scott Duguid, A/RDT Director (Manitoba)

The Therapeutic Applications of Functional Foods and Bioactives (TAFFB) Conference and the Functional Foods and Natural Health Products Graduate Research Symposium (FFNHP) was held at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre last week.

Cara Isaak, Dr. Chris Siow lab, won the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada award (TAFFB) and 1st place for the FFNHP Poster Competition/

IMG_9491b

(L-R) Dr. Bram Ramjiawan, Director of Research for the Asper Clinical Research Institute, and Gauri Akolkar

Gauri Akolkar, Dr. Singal lab, won the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre award (TAFFB) and 1st place for the FFNHP Oral Presentation Competition.

Md Monirujjaman, Dr. Aukema lab, won 2nd place for the FFNHP Poster Competition, and Yu Fu, Dr. Rotimi Aluko lab, won 2nd place for the FFNHP Oral Presentation Competition.

Congratulations to all recipients!

 

“I remember Dr. Torchia working so diligently on his projects in those early days after the construction of the Albrechtsen Research Centre in the 1990’s. It is fitting that he has received the recognition he so richly deserves for his work at St. Boniface Hospital.” – Grant Pierce, executive director of research at St. Boniface Hospital.

Read more

Albensi named Communications Chair

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) has been electedCommunications Chair for the Nutrition, Metabolism, and Dementia professional interest group for the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto, to be held July 24-28, 2016.

The event is sponsored by the U.S. Alzheimer’s Association. The interest group will create a ‘hub’ at the Association to unite scientists and clinicians from both academia and industry who are interested in advancing the field.

For more information on the interest group, visit, https://act.alz.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=ISTAART_PIA_NMD

Related

Conference information

Czubryt student wins gold

Czubryt student Justin Lin (from St. John’s Ravenscourt) competed this past weekend in the Manitoba Schools Science Symposium with his project, “Regulation of Fibronectin Gene Expression in Fibroblasts by Scleraxis”, and won a Gold Medal, as well as taking the Best Biological Science Individual – Senior category. He was also selected to travel to the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Montreal to represent Manitoba in May. This will be his second trip to the CWSF, after representing Manitoba (and the Czubryt lab) last year. He also recently took second place in the Sanofi Biogenius Challenge Canada – Manitoba Division competition recently held here in the Research Centre.

Related

Free Press article (Paywall)
Czubryt lab

Zahradka appointed CCARM Deputy Team Leader

Dr. Carla Taylor, the incoming Team Leader of the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) in consultation with Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St-Boniface Hospital is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Peter Zahradka as CCARM Deputy Team Leader, effective April 11, 2016.

Dr. Zahradka, Principal Investigator, Molecular Physiology, and Professor, Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, previously served as CCARM Team Leader from 2006 – 2013.

Free public seminar by Bryce Wylde

Alternative Health and Functional Medicine expert Bryce Wylde will deliver an engaging public seminar entitled “Let Functional Food Be Thy Medicine”. The event is free to the public, and is sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine. The event will be held April 21st from 7 – 8:30 pm at the Samuel N. Cohen Auditorium, located at the Albrechtsen Research Centre at St. Boniface Hospital.

Wylde will share some of his favourite functional food ingredients and natural health products and take you around the world to the research and development and manufacturing sites he has personally visited. From Sustainable Malaysian Palm Oil and Ahi Flower Oil to Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Bean Fiber and Natural Eggshell Membrane extract to Grape Seed and Haskap Berry extracts, you will learn about how these ingredients and others benefit your health as well as:

  • Integrative and Functional Medicine
  • How Functional Foods and Natural Health Products play a role in modern day epidemics of Diabesity and Inflammation
  • Clinical evaluations including functional assessments and genetics (nutrigenomics) in determining the usefulness of functional foods and nutraceuticals
  • A word on spices
  • Supercharging your Kitchen: simple at-home functional food recipes you can make yourself

Bryce Wylde BSc (hons), DHMHS is a leading health expert specializing in integrative and functional medicine, homeopathy, clinical nutrition, and supplementation. As an associate medical director at P3 Health in Toronto and director of My Health Report, he blends the latest in science and technology with traditional and ancient remedies. Wylde is the author of three national best seller books, previous host of CTV’s Wylde on Health, and regular guest health expert and medical advisor on “The Doctor Oz” show.

Tickets are limited. Please call 235-3455 to reserve seats.

http://wyldeabouthealth.com/bryce-wylde

 

Taylor appointed CCARM team leader

Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St-Boniface Hospital is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Carla Taylor as Team Leader of the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM), for a 3-year term effective April 11, 2016.

Dr. Taylor replaces Dr. Dan Brown, who has completed his term as Team Leader and has announced his retirement.

Dr. Taylor, Principal Investigator, Metabolic Nutrition, has been a member of CCARM since 2012.

“We are delighted to have someone with the experience and international reputation of Dr. Taylor to lead CCARM for the next three years” said Dr Pierce. “It is disappointing to lose someone of Dr. Brown’s stature but we wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Dr. Taylor completed her Bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology (Foods and Nutrition) at University of Manitoba and her Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph. Her Ph.D. dissertation investigated the effects of nutrition, and specifically zinc and copper deficiency and supplementation, on antioxidant defense. Her post-doctoral training was at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the University of Washington in Seattle where she gained further expertise in antioxidant and immune defense systems. Initially an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba, Dr. Taylor was promoted to Full Professor in 2006 and has held various administrative responsibilities in the Department including Acting Department Head, Associate Head, and Chair of the Undergraduate Committee. She has also served on grant selection committees for NSERC and CIHR and is an Associate Editor for Lipids and for the British Journal of Nutrition. Dr. Taylor’s research has been recognized through two major awards: the International Life Sciences Institute Future Leader Award in Nutrition in 1996 and the Canadian Society of Nutritional Sciences – Centrum Foundation New Scientist Award in 2005.

Bean portrait “in the Top 5 moments of my life”: Ace Burpee

The Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) took part in “Ag in the City”, held at the Forks Market this past weekend. 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”. This year the event has received an additional promotion, as 2016 has been declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Pulses.

In addition to the popular “Consider the Bean” portrait of Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), CCARM brought along a new pulse portrait of event MC and local radio personality Ace Burpee of HOT 103 FM. The 2-foot by 3-foot portrait, made of locally-grown pulses, was on prominent display next to the Great Manitoba Food Fight – where young food scientists from the University of Manitoba compete for the tastiest and most marketable food product.

Excerpt from the Winnipeg Free Press:

Before the judging began, I asked Ace how he felt about having the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine immortalize his mug in beans.

“It was the realization of a dream I didn’t know I had,” Ace laughed as we eyeballed the bean-intensive masterpiece. “I’d have to rate this in the Top 5 moments of my life.”

Related

Ag in the City
CCARM
Free Press Article (Paywall)

TMPLR research program set to launch

The official launch of The Manitoba Personalized Lifestyle Research (TMPLR) program will take place Wednesday, March 23, at 11:00 am in the atrium at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (RCFFN), 196 Innovation Drive, Winnipeg.

TMPLR is a large research study examining how diet, physical activity, sleep, genetics and gut microbiome interact to shape the health of Manitobans.

St. Boniface Hospital researchers involved in TMPLR include:

Dr. Todd Duhamel, Principal Investigator, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Prevention, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences; Project Lead, Physical Activity

Dr. Duhamel’s TMPLR study project will be focused on physical activity and how it associates with chronic condition risk. This information will inform the development of tailored physical activity interventional strategies that target specific parameters for individuals.

Dr. Amir Ravandi, Principal Investigator, Cardiovascular Lipidomics, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences; Cardiovascular Disease, Lipidomics

Dr. Ravandi will measure plasma levels of oxidized phospholipid (OxPL) molecules (representing the non-enzymatic modification of lipids), and oxylipin molecules (representing the largely enzymatic oxidized lipids) in the TMPLR study samples. This will facilitate the identification of novel biomarkers of disease, as well as potential therapeutic targets.

Dr. Heather Blewett, Principal Investigator, Human Nutrition and Immunology, Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM); Project Lead, Nutrition

Dr. Blewett’s TMPLR study project will focus on immune function and how its dysregulation is related to lifestyle, genetics and gut microbiota. Dr. Blewett will specifically focus on how lifestyle, genetics, and gut microbiota influence the number or function of T-regulatory cells, which are responsible for controlling immune response.

Also, on the evening of the 23rd, TEMPLT presents “How Diet, Physical Activity & Sleep Shape Chronic Disease in Manitoba”, an interactive panel discussion. Panelists Dr. Meghan Azad (Junior Director of TMPLR program, Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba; Research Scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba), Dr. Todd Duhamel (TEMPLR Project Lead, Physical Activity, Principal Investigator, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Prevention, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences), and Dr. Diana McMillan (TMPLR Project Lead Sleep, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Manitoba, Associate Professor of Clinical Practice, Health Sciences Centre) will talk about TMPLR and delve into their specific fields of interest, while also addressing questions raised by attendees.

And on March 24, “A Team, a Bus, and a Grant”… A lively interactive panel discussion & reception investigating how diet, physical activity and sleep shape chronic disease risk in Manitoba.

Related

TMPLR Event Ad (PDF)
McNally Robinson Ad (PDF)
Winnipeg Cafe Ad (PDF)

Cool Beans!!!

The Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) is celebrating the “Year of the Pulses” by surprising a local celebrity… with a portrait made out of pulse crops! Can you guess who it is?

The “pulse portrait” will be at the CCARM display this weekend as part of Agriculture in the City! , to be held March 18 & 19 at the Forks Market (this Friday: 9:30 am – 9:00 pm and Saturday: 9:30 am – 6:30 pm.)

So please come and see us! We’ll have pulse recipes, games, and information on the health benefits of Manitoba pulse crops, researched at the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine!  See you there!

Albensi presents at Gala

Dr. Ben Albensi, Principal Investigator, Synaptic Plasticity and Cellular Memory Dysfunction, and Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Manitoba, gave a short speech at the Alzheimer’s gala “A Night to Remember in Canada” on Feb 11th at the RBC Convention Ctr., Winnipeg.

AS-01-418x690

JASON HALSTEAD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS L-R: University of Manitoba medicine professor Ben Albensi, guest speaker Tom Carberry, Alzheimer Society of Manitoba CEO Wendy Schettler and emcee Ace Burpee at the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba’s A Night to Remember fundraising gala at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg on Feb. 11, 2016

JASON HALSTEAD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS L-R: University of Manitoba medicine professor Ben Albensi, guest speaker Tom Carberry, Alzheimer Society of Manitoba CEO Wendy Schettler and emcee Ace Burpee at the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba’s A Night to Remember fundraising gala at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg on Feb. 11, 2016

Related

Listen to the presentation
Dr. Ben Albensi

MMSF Awards

Congratulations to the following recipients of 2015-16 Manitoba Medical Service Foundation Awards:

Dr. Delfin Rodriguez Leyva will receive $30,000 for “Incidence of Cardiac Arrhythmias in Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease and Coronary Artery Disease”.

Jordan Crosina received the Dr. Jack Wilt Award ($1000)
James Lytwyn received the Dr. F.W. Du Val Award ($1000)
Stephanie Caligiuri received an MMSF poster award ($200)

The MMSF will be holding its annual reception to honour its awardees in April.

Congratulations!

Visit www.mmsf.ca for details on all MMSF awards.