Are you going to wear RED? You should! Join the rest of Canada this Wednesday, February 13, for WEAR RED CANADA Day. A celebration across the country to raise awareness about women’s heart health and cardiovascular disease in women.
Dr. Olga Toleva’s work on interventional cardiology and women’s heart health research will be showcased during her talk at the Samuel Cohen Auditorium at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre from 12pm – 1pm on February 13. Admission is free and all are welcome.
Visit https://www.wearredcanada-mb.com/ for more info and events.
Albensi, Czubryt, Dixon and Fernyhough receive Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funding totalling more than $3.5M.
In an impressive demonstration of successful funding applications, four Principal Investigators at St. Boniface Hospital Research have been recognized by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for outstanding efforts in their respective fields of study and will receive financial support totalling more than $3.5 million over the next five years.
“The average scientific research funding rate across the country is only about 15%, so we are well above the national average,” said Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research at St. Boniface Hospital. “It’s a very competitive landscape, with hundreds of applications from institutions across Canada entering these competitions every year, so this is an outstanding testament to the fact that we have some of the best researchers in the country.”
The Projects and their Goals
Benedict Albensi, Principal Investigator, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre; Professor Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Project: Sex-based differences associated with mitochondrial dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease
Women have a higher risk of acquiring Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and it’s not known why. Differences in cellular mechanisms (genetics, metabolism), hormonal changes, and/or lifestyle factors between men and women may be at the root cause, but no one knows for sure. This study aims to bring a clearer picture into view of the biological processes underway in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
“Currently my lab is recognized as a leader in Alzheimer’s research in Manitoba. This new funding will position us to be a leader in Canada and across the world. More importantly though, it will bring a fresh understanding to why women acquire Alzheimer’s at higher rates. This new understanding will pave the way for us to develop sex-specific and effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Albensi.
Michael Czubryt, Principal Investigator, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre; Professor and Associate Department Head of Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba.
Project: Targeting scleraxis to combat cardiac fibrosis
Cardiac fibrosis is a stiffening of the heart caused by many forms of heart disease. Fibrosis dramatically increases the risk of death and disability independently of other risk factors (up to 17 times), yet no treatments for cardiac fibrosis are available to patients. Czubryt’s laboratory has identified a protein (scleraxis) as a powerful cause of fibrosis, and initial data indicates that interfering with scleraxis can reduce fibrosis. This study will further probe this relationship in the hope of finding new treatments for fibrosis.
“This new investment in our work means that we can recruit additional people to do research in the lab, including new students, and significantly increase the pace of discovery towards new treatments for cardiac fibrosis to help Canadians,” said Dr. Czubryt.
Czubryt shared that this funding will allow his team to investigate the mechanisms by which some currently-approved medications show beneficial effects on fibrosis – studies that are critical to being able to re-direct these medications to combat fibrosis as front-line treatment.
“We will also test the ability of a novel gene therapy developed in our lab to treat and reverse cardiac fibrosis, he added.
Czubryt expressed his gratitude to lab members past and present that have helped drive forward the research conducted to this point. He was particularly appreciative for the support he’s received from funding bodies such as CIHR, the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, and the contributions of colleagues at St. Boniface Hospital Research and the University of Manitoba.
“And I definitely need to thank my wife and son who provide incredible support and understanding at home – including going without vacation last year as I worked on developing this project!” he said.
Project: Ski is a negative regulator of cardiac fibrosis
Patients surviving a heart attack or those with hypertension develop chronic heart disease. These patients make too much collagen in their heart muscle, wherein non-muscle cells called myofibroblasts secrete excessive collagens, which stiffens the heart. Too much collagen leads to cardiac fibrosis, which results in weak muscle contraction and relaxation. There is currently no treatment for cardiac fibrosis or any specific cardiac drugs approved to fix cardiac fibrosis.
In recent years Dixon’s work found a new protein called Ski which turns off this over-deposition of matrix in diseased heart cells and made progress on how Ski actually achieves this positive change. His lab is now poised to extend its understanding of how Ski corrects cardiac fibrosis and this study aims to bring about the design new Ski-based therapies to treat cardiac fibrosis for the prevention of heart failure.
Dr. Dixon is grateful for this funding, “Since the early 90’s our lab has been interested in finding ways to slow cardiac fibrosis and the associated progressive loss of heart function in heart disease. Ultimately we want to find new ways to coax proteins already present in cardiac cells to provide effective treatment for heart failure.”
With an injection of this magnitude from CIHR, Dixon anticipates the next five years of work will allow his lab to prove the efficacy of Ski’s beneficial actions to quell heart disease and therefore bring Ski to the fore as a molecule whose structure can be exploited to facilitate new drug development.
“My lab-mates continue to inspire and motivate me with their insights and commitment, and I would also like to thank my wife and children for their unwavering support,” he added.
Paul Fernyhough, Director & Principal Investigator, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre; Professor and Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Manitoba.
Project: Muscarinic receptor antagonism as a novel mechanism for sensory nerve repair
Objective Diabetic sensory neuropathy and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) are neurodegenerative diseases characterized by loss of nerve fibers in the skin. Both diseases cause significant pain and eventually lead to sensory loss. The impact of these diseases on human health is enormously damaging and there are no therapies. Recent work in Fernyhough’s lab has uncovered an endogenous signaling pathway in neurons that negatively modulates nerve fiber growth of sensory neurons. This study will enable the lab to broaden in scope and permit this therapeutic approach to be performed in a wide range of distal dying back neurodegenerative diseases.
“The funding allows a 10 year project to keep developing in the area of drug discovery for neurological disease. Phase 2 clinical trials are underway, however, we are still unclear as to the basic neurobiology underpinning the action of several drug classes we are studying,” Dr. Fernyhough explained.
His hope is that if the studies are successful, they will aid in understanding the mechanism of action of antimuscarinic drugs and their ability to drive nerve repair in a variety of diseases.
“Next steps involve the development of a range of transgenic mouse strains that will permit interrogation of role of G protein coupled receptors, including the muscarinic receptor, in controlling axonal regeneration under normal conditions and in disease (such as diabetes),” he shared.
Dr. Fernyhough expressed gratitude for St. Boniface Hospital Foundation’s continued support.
Super excited and grateful! The Manitoba Metis Heritage Fund announced that proceeds from its spring fundraising gala will be invested in our very own RBC Youth BIOlab here at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre!
Thank you to the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation team who facilitated this opportunity – we are so pleased to be recognized by the Metis community this way. Working with Indigenous educators across Manitoba is a priority for the Youth BIO Lab, as a way to bring more students and teachers to our facility to explore and experience real biomedical science.
Dr. Peter Zahradka and Dr. Carla Taylor with Frank Sarzynski, St. Boniface Hospital Property Management.
Congratulations and thank you to our property management and housekeeping personnel. Frank, Piotr and Gilbert are always going the extra mile for us and in recognition of their efforts, all three were acknowledged with a Service Recognition Award from CCARM.
Samantha Pauls (Postdoctoral Fellow, co-supervised by Drs. Harold Aukema, Carla Taylor and Peter Zahradka) was awarded the 2018 Dr. Heinz Bohnet Travel Award in Endocrinology and Metabolic Disease by the Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba, earlier this month. Congratulations Sam!
Congratulations to Dr. Ross Feldman, Medical Director of the WRHA’s cardiac services program, and a Principal Investigator at St. Boniface Hospital Research, for his appointment to the Order of Canada.
The Order of Canada recognizes individual Canadians for their “outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.” Dr. Feldman was one of 103 Canadians, and four Winnipeggers, newly named to the Order, most notably for “his leadership in the prevention and control of hypertension in Canada.”
“I’m really honoured to be included among the ranks of astronauts, giants of industry, and the Tragically Hip,” Dr. Feldman said. “There are only about 3,000 living Canadians in the Order of Canada, so it’s very humbling.”
“This is such a well-deserved recognition of Dr. Feldman’s superior achievements as a clinician, researcher and community role-model. St. Boniface Hospital is proud to have someone of this caliber leading our Cardiac Sciences program, and we wish him our sincerest congratulations,” said Martine Bouchard, President and CEO of St. Boniface Hospital.
“Dr. Feldman’s sustained pursuit of innovative research into hypertension and the clinical leadership he has shown throughout his entire medical career embodies the ideals associated with this honour: to make a better Canada. We are fortunate to have him as a leader and mentor,” said Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of St. Boniface Hospital Research.
A major focus of his efforts has been in the prevention and control of hypertension in Canada, and specifically in the knowledge translation of optimal treatment approaches for hypertension management. Among past leadership positions, Dr. Feldman served as President of the Canadian Hypertension Society. He was the first Chair of the Steering Committee of the Canadian Hypertension Education Program, now Hypertension Canada’s Guidelines. As well, he served as the founding president of Hypertension Canada, leading the process of integrating the efforts of the Canadian Hypertension Society, Canadian Hypertension Education Program and Blood Pressure Canada into what is now the second largest cardiovascular disease not-for-profit agency in Canada.
He is the author of more than 200 original manuscripts, reviews and book chapters. His clinical research focuses on the management of hypertension and specifically the development of innovative strategies to improve blood pressure control. His major fundamental research program focuses on the elucidation of novel cell signaling mechanisms of vascular regulation/dysregulation linked to the development of hypertension and atherosclerosis- especially related to elucidation of the determinants of heart disease in women.
Originally from Southern Ontario, 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 held prior faculty positions at the University of Iowa, College of Medicine in Iowa City, University of Western Ontario in London (where he served as the Chair, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and also as the Scientific Director of the Robarts Research Institute) and Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he served as Professor and Chair of the Discipline of Medicine. In August 2017, Dr. Feldman joined the WRHA as Medical Director of the Cardiac Science Program and the University of Manitoba as a Professor of Medicine.
Rapid Fire Research SymposiumCelebrating Excellence in Research!
March 29, 2019
12:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Your work – SEVEN SLIDES in SEVEN MINUTES
CCARM’s 2nd Rapid Fire Research Symposium will be returning in Spring 2019!
Come for the fun! Come for the food! Most of all, come for the challenge!
Free Admission – Complimentary Snacks.
A perfect event for networking and career development.
Save the Date! Registration details to be posted in early January.
We were thrilled to host a visit from the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science & Sport, who toured our RBC Youth BIOlab and met some Grade 8 students from Brokenhead Ojibway Nation learning all about cell cultivation. St. Boniface MP, Dan Vandal also stopped by! What a great morning for everyone here at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre.
For the 7th year in a row, the St. Boniface Hospital is among Canada’s leading research hospitals, taking the #1 spot in western Canada and ranking in the Top 5 nationally, according to data released today by Research Infosource Inc. Canada’s source of R&D intelligence.
“Most people may not realize the calibre of activity here, but it is truly noteworthy. I am happy we ranked well again this year, but I’m even more proud of the people who got us here — a skilled and passionate team of scientific investigators whose high standards continue to attract significant funding,” says Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research for St. Boniface Hospital.
St. Boniface Hospital has always recognized the power of the research discoveries and potential interventions the talented cardiac, brain, food sciences and clinical research teams are pursuing. “It’s great to see the numbers stack up again from across the country showing our strength in research and the leading position we hold. Very proud day for Grant’s team – congratulations!” says Martine Bouchard, St. Boniface Hospital President & CEO.
In affiliation with the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg and Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, St. Boniface Hospital Research has four dedicated research programs: 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. It boasts 30 laboratories, 250 staff, served as training ground for more than 450 students and is also home to the RBC Youth BIOLab Jeunesse —a space for students and teachers to explore and experience real biomedical science in a world-class research center.
About Research Infosource Inc.
Research Infosource Inc., a division of The Impact Group, 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.
Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research at St. Boniface Hospital, was named Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba’s Fall 2018 convocation. “Dr. Pierce’s reputation as an outstanding teacher, mentor and role model is internationally recognized and we proudly celebrate this well-earned addition to his academic pedigree,” said Martine Bouchard, President & CEO, St. Boniface Hospital.
The honour recognizes excellence and outstanding achievements of members of the academic staff in research and scholarship, or in creative professional activity, and a significant teaching record.
As reported in the Ottawa Heart Institute’s blog, The Beat, Dr. Annette Schultz was at this year’s Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (CCC) in Toronto, where she shared her thoughts on how First Nations people continue to be disproportionately represented in health care. “We need to look at the system and how the system is now failing First Nations people when it comes to heart disease.” Schultz, a principal investigator at St. Boniface Hospital Research, registered nurse, and associate professor with the College of Nursing Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Manitoba, was in Toronto this past weekend to present her research findings comparing clinical outcomes and physician follow-up between First Nation and non-First Nation patients after index angiography in Manitoba.
The Research Without Borders team was delighted to visit with the outgoing Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel (BGU) President, Dr. Rivka Carmi, who stopped in Winnipeg briefly on October 16 as part of a whirlwind farewell tour across North America, prior to her official retirement.
The group enjoyed a chance to celebrate the unique partnership between St. Boniface Hospital Research and BGU and check in on their BGU partners, as well as thank Dr. Carmi for her leadership as one of the founding visionaries of the Research Without Borders concept.
“Dr. Carmi’s contributions to biotechnology initiatives, innovative research approaches and of course, the collaborative partnership we have with BGU, are a legacy of inspiration for others. She will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of working with her,” said Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface Hospital.
[ Pictured above L-R] Mr. Sheldon Zamick, Winnipeg President, Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Winnipeg; Mr. Mark Mendelson, CEO, Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Dr. Larry Hryshko, Principal Investigator, Cardiac Electrophysiology; Mr. Zach Ostrove, Executive Director, Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Winnipeg; Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface Hospital; Dr. Rivka Carmi, President, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel; Dr. Harold Aukema, Principal Investigator, Nutrition and Lipid Mediators; Dr. Hope Anderson, Principal Investigator, Vascular Biology; Dr. Paul Fernyhough, Director, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders; Dr. Carla Taylor, Team Leader, Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine;
Dr. Jeffrey Wigle, Principal Investigator, Vascular Development; Dr. Peter Zahradka, Deputy Team Leader, Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine
BioMark Diagnostics Inc., an oncology-focused company with advanced near-to- market diagnostic technologies designed to improve patient outcomes recently announced the appointment of Dr. Paramjit Tappia to its scientific advisory team.
In the company’s media release, President and CEO Rashid Ahmed said, “We are extremely excited to welcome Dr. Tappia into our scientific advisory team. His achievements in scientific and clinical research space will be a major asset to BioMark. Dr. Tappia’s expertise in regulatory and clinical research brings depth and practicality as we begin to commercialize and position our technology for different oncology applications and potential linkages with other leading global institutions.”
“Biological markers are urgently needed to improve early detection, diagnosis and measuring response to treatment for cancers at large. BioMark’s technology platform could be a critically important tool for clinicians and the medical institutions”, says Dr. Tappia.
BioMark has hand-picked a proven, global enterprise team of scientists, engineers and medical professionals to help commercialize its innovative technology and to increase prediction and accuracy in the diagnosis of cancers by following and incorporating the highest regulatory, clinical and scientific standards.
Congratulations Dr. Tappia on this notable appointment!
Pictured here (back row, l-r): Dr. Davinder Jassal, St. B., Dr. Pawan Singal, St. B., Dr. Grant Pierce, St. B., Dr. Ross Feldman, St. B., Dr. Todd Duhamel, St. B., Dr. Marie-Pierre Dube, MHI. (Front row, l-r) Dr. Celine Fiset, MHI, Dr. Simon de Denus, MHI, and Dr. Julie Hussin, MHI.
Researchers from the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) and St. Boniface Hospital Research, met in Winnipeg for a full day’s conference on October 2, 2018, to launch a two-year collaborative effort to undertake new research projects looking at ways to better understand heart disease in women.
Funded by a generous donation of $2.5M from The Molson Foundation, this first of its kind partnership between research institutions in Canada will allow each team to make advances in specific fields of research such as the early signs of heart disease in older women, sexual differences in blood fat levels, heart disease and breast cancer, heart disease and kidney injury in women, and the treatment of high blood pressure in women.
“Through their generous donation, The Molson Foundation has created an avenue for bringing two powerhouses together in heart research, St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, and the Montreal Heart Institute. The Molson Foundation has shown once again what an incredible community supporter they are,” stated Dr. Grant Pierce, St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research.
Congratulations to Dr. Pawan K. Singal who received the University of Winnipeg’s highest academic honour, Doctor of Laws, at today’s 114th Convocation at the Duckworth Centre.
Dr. Singal was presented with the degree by Sylvie Albert, BA, MBA, PhD, and Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at The University of Winnipeg.
Dr. Albert referenced Dr. Singal’s extraordinary scientific research and educational career, but also his dedication to community reflected by his commitment to the India Centre for Academic, Business and Community Excellence — a partnership between The University of Winnipeg and the India Association of Manitoba.
Immediately following his award, Dr. Singal opened the convocation proceedings with an inspiring commencement speech to the Class of Fall 2018 — more than 300 new University graduates in science, arts, education, business administration and kinesiology — by sharing his thoughts on leadership, success and the importance of always pursuing new goals in life.
St. Boniface Hospital Research is extremely proud to share the news that Dr. Naranjan S. Dhalla will be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) in recognition of his 50-year career advancing knowledge, resources and collaboration in the realm of cardiovascular sciences.
The CMHF celebrates Canadian heroes whose work advances health in Canada and the world and fosters future generations of health professionals through the delivery of local and national youth education programs, scholarships and awards. Dr. Dhalla is now the seventh Manitoban to join this esteemed group of Laureates and is widely considered one of the most influential leaders in promoting cardiovascular research at both a national and international level. As the Founding Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, his contributions to the success here at St. Boniface Hospital Research cannot be understated. He was the first inductee into the St Boniface Hospital Hall of Fame in the Albrechtsen Research Centre in 2011.
“Dr. Dhalla is an innovative leader who created and grew a number of institutions and organizations that have world-class status in cardiovascular research. To have him as a long-standing member of our faculty here at St. Boniface Hospital Research and now as a Laureate in the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is an honour of the highest degree,” said Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface Hospital, “We send our heartiest congratulations to him.”
“Our research facility here at St. Boniface Hospital is internationally recognized as one of the premier institutes in biomedical cardiovascular sciences, and it wouldn’t have existed at all without Dr. Dhalla’s role as the founding Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences. He is extremely deserving of this award and we are thrilled to celebrate this honour,” said Martine Bouchard, President & CEO, St. Boniface Hospital.
Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Laureates are individuals whose contributions to medicine and the health sciences have led to extraordinary improvements in human health. Their work may be a single meritorious contribution or a lifetime of superior accomplishments. Pioneers in their field, they are role models for Canadians and an inspiration to our youth to pursue careers in the health sciences.
“Dr. Dhalla is known for his commitment to developing and advancing the careers of Canadian research trainees and scientists and elevating their profile internationally. His founding of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences and the International Society for Heart Research, with strong Canadian representation at the leadership level, truly established our country’s scientists as internationally influential,” said Dr. Henry Friesen, Distinguished Professor Emeritus University of Manitoba.
Dhalla will be formally inducted with five other Canadians at a ceremony held in association with McGill University Faculty of Medicine on May 2, 2019, in Montreal, Quebec.
This designation makes him the seventh Manitoban in history to be recognized as a Hall of Fame Laureate, joining Dr. Bruce Chown, Dr. Henry Friesen, Dr. Arnold Naimark, Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg, Dr. Allan Ronald, and Dr. F. Estelle R. Simons.
Congratulations to Susara Madduma Hewage (left) from the Siow lab for receiving the Mark and Pat Smerchanski Studentship Grant for PhD, and to Ramandeep Kaur (right) from the Moghadasian lab who received the Frank and Jeanne Plett Endowed Studentship for MSc. Both students are a part of the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM).
The Mark and Pat Smerchanski Studentship and Frank and Jeanne Plett Endowed Studentship Awards are supported by the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation.
One of the Albrechtsen Research Centre’s original start-up companies at St. Boniface Hospital, Monteris Medical, Inc.® celebrated a major milestone this week — 2,000 patients in the U.S. and Canada have now received treatment using the company’s NeuroBlate® System since its market release in 2013.
The technology uses robotically controlled laser thermotherapy with MRI-guided laser light to ablate brain lesions. Since its founding in 1999, Monteris Medical’s sole focus is to help medical professionals treat patients suffering from neurological diseases like epilepsy and brain cancer through minimally invasive surgical options.
“The Albrechtsen Research Centre here at St. Boniface Hospital has a proven track record for incubating and launching successful biotech companies. It’s great to see hundreds of physicians in dozens of hospitals across North America using the Monteris technology to help those with brain tumours. We couldn’t be prouder,” said Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research at St. Boniface Hospital.
Listen to Dr. Miyoung Suh share her inspiring TEDxTalk, “Farming to the Sky: A Game Changer for Health in the North” on how vertical farming systems could transform the way Canada’s First Nations people access fresh, healthy foods and potentially improve nutritional outcomes for Indigenous peoples. “We all live under the same Canadian sky, and yet most people remain unaware of the struggles facing our First Nations communities,” she told a TedX Winnipeg audience this June.
In her talk, Dr. Suh, Principal Investigator at St. Boniface Hospital Research with the Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders (DND) as well as the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) and Associate Professor, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba, posits that vertical, hydroponic farming systems commonly used in high-density countries such as South Korea, Japan and the Netherlands could be a viable solution to provide affordable and nutrient-rich vegetables to isolated northern communities.
With a generous $300,000 donation reflecting a sister’s legacy of caring towards her autistic brother, research led by Dr. Harold Aukema, Principal Investigator, Nutrition and Lipid Mediators, Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research In Health and Medicine (CCARM), received a significant injection of financial support from the Dyck Family, owners of BrettYoung Seeds.
The project is looking at ways to better classify autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based on biomarkers evident in the blood, potentially improving the ability to treat the specifics of a disorder historically reliant on behavioural assessments alone. The project is a part of Research Without Borders, an interdisciplinary collaboration between research teams at St. Boniface Hospital Research and Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, Israel.
Dr. Pawan K. Singal will receive the University of Winnipeg’s academic title of Honorary Doctor of Laws, at a ceremony to be held at the University’s 114th Convocation on October 12, 2018.
Dr. Singal, Ph.D., DSc, FACC, Professor of Physiology, University of Manitoba, Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, and Principal Investigator, Cell Pathophysiology, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, directed the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences from 2007-2017.
About Dr. Singal
After 3 years in Saskatoon, Canada, as a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Medical Research Council, Dr. Singal joined the Physiology & Pathophysiology Department at the College of Medicine, the University of Manitoba, as a lecturer, rose through the ranks and has been a Professor since 1990. He served as Associate Dean for the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Manitoba. He is also the holder of the Naranjan S. Dhalla Chair established by the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation. Internationally known for his work on oxidative stress and heart failure, Dr. Singal has made significant contributions in the understanding of the sequelae of heart failure. He has published 285 papers, has co-edited 31 books and trained more than 100 students, fellows and visiting scientists. He has received more than 90 national and international recognitions. The University of Manitoba has established an award in his name called ‘Pawan K. Singal Award for Graduate Students in Cardiovascular Sciences’. His name has been added to the Wall of Fame in the University Center at the University of Manitoba recognizing his outstanding teaching skills and research.
Congratulations Dr. Singal!
University of Winnipeg Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 25, 2018
University of Winnipeg
Dr. Pawan K. Singal, an internationally renowned cardiovascular researcher, educator, and community leader will receive an honorary degree at The University of Winnipeg’s autumn convocation on Friday, October 12.
Singal is a professor of physiology and has served as the director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Manitoba. As a researcher, Singal has made significant contributions to understanding the mechanisms of heart failure due to chemotherapeutic drugs in the treatment of cancer patients — research with the potential to improve cancer treatment outcomes.
Singal’s commitment to community and cultural understanding is reflected in his commitment to the India Centre for Academic, Business and Community Excellence — a partnership between The University of Winnipeg and the India Association of Manitoba. The India Centre works to raise awareness in Canada and India about the common outlooks and values that promote democratic and culturally diverse societies.
“The University of Winnipeg is proud to recognize Dr. Singal for his passionate commitment to cardiovascular research and his efforts to create cross-cultural understanding,” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor. “His work is an important example of community leadership in action.”
For more information please visit uwinnipeg.ca/convocation.
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Dr. Davinder Jassal, Principal Investigator, Cardiovascular Imaging, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences; Professor of Medicine, Radiology, and Physiology and Pathophysiology, and Section Head, Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences University of Manitoba, is the recipient of the CSCI/Royal College 2018 Henry Friesen Award and Lecture.
The award is presented annually to a Canadian scientist, MD or Ph.D. who is notable for her/his contribution to biomedical or related research and who is actively involved in research at a Canadian university.
The award is sponsored by The Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation (CSCI) and The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).
Congratulations Dr. Jassal!
Congratulations to Dr. Michael Czubryt, Principal Investigator, Molecular Pathophysiology Laboratory, and Professor, Department of Physiology & Pathophysiology, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences University of Manitoba, on his appointment to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC).
The CCAC oversees the development and implementation of guidelines for the ethical use of animals in research at institutions across Canada and conducts site visits to confirm compliance. Institutions receiving grant funding from the Tri-Council (CIHR, SSHRC and NSERC), as well as a number of other partner organizations (e.g. Heart & Stroke), are required to adhere to these guidelines as a condition of funding.
A new paper from the Czubryt lab, co-first authored by Danah Al-Hattab and Hamza Safi, has been selected as the Article of the Week by the American Journal of Physiology Heart & Circulatory Physiology!
With advances in healthcare practices improving overall life expectancy, there has been a resultant higher prevalence of older patients undergoing complex cardiac procedures – often with poorer postoperative results. A recent study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology by Dr. Rakesh Arora, Principal Investigator, Heart Failure Therapy, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, discusses a 3-way approach to “pre-condition” elderly patients for better surgery outcomes. The “NEW” approach is targeted toward improving nutritional status (N), exercise capacity (E) and worry reduction (W).
Read the full abstract: https://www.onlinecjc.ca/article/S0828-282X(18)30256-3/fulltext
Dr. Mandana Modirrousta, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders and Director of the Neuromodulation and Neuropsychiatry Unit, is one of two recipients of the 15th Annual Richard Hoeschen Memorial Award.
The Manitoba Medical Service Foundation and St. Boniface Hospital Research sponsor this award annually in honour of Richard Hoeschen. They have contributed $1000 each to Dr. Modirrousta to help offset operating expenses for the supervision of a B.Sc. student.
Dr. Mandana Modirrousta is supervising B.Sc. student Hanna Stirton for their project, “The Role of Lipid Biomarkers in Treatment Response to Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Major Depressive Disorder.”
For more information about the award, please visit http://www.mmsf.ca/memorial_fund.html
Congratulations to Dr. Aida Adlimoghaddam (Albensi lab) on receiving a CIHR-CCNA travel award to present her Alzheimers dementia work at the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging meeting in Montreal in October.
The CCNA vision is to bring together the best of Canadian research in the field of neurodegenerative diseases affecting cognition in a collaborative and synergistic space. The CCNA includes research in Alzheimer’s disease and research collaborations with those working on other neurodegenerative diseases and promotes high impact, inter-institutional and interdisciplinary collaboration through a pan-Canadian approach, positioning Canadian researchers to lead and participate in a new wave of national and international initiatives with congruent goals.
The Honourable Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, visited the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre yesterday morning to meet with two new students from Cytophage Technologies Inc.
Students Brooke Sidney and Tiffany Penner (shown left to right in above photo) spoke to Mr. Vandal about their roles at Cytophage, which entail characterizing bacterial resistance to bacteriophages.
Cytophage Technologies Inc. is a Winnipeg based company that has developed a unique technology to synthesize bacteriophage, which can bind to and kill multiple bacterial strains. Utilizing this technology, Cytophage is striving to develop a solution to the rise in antimicrobial resistance around the world. Cytophage was the recipient of the Canada Summer Jobs program grant, allowing the company to have two summer students from the University of Manitoba.
The research of Dr. Mandana Modirrousta, Director, Neuromodulation and Neuropsychiatry Unit, St. Boniface Hospital, and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Manitoba was featured recently on CBC News. She is currently looking for 64 Manitobans with “treatment-resistant depression” to take part in a research study that may include access to a groundbreaking treatment for depression.
Dr. Modirrousta’s research focuses on improving and expanding the application of neuromodulation as an investigational as well as a treatment tool. Her research in the Neuromodulation and Neuropsychiatry Unit attempts to understand how to optimally use brain stimulation techniques to treat neuropsychiatric disorders.
Dr. Mondana Modirrousta http://www.sbrc.ca/modirrousta/
The title, Distinguished Professor, will be conferred by the University of Manitoba on Dr. Grant Pierce at a convocation to be held in October. Dr. Pierce is one of 3 people who will receive the honour this year, and join 22 other academic staff members who hold the title.
Distinguished Professors are academic staff who have demonstrated outstanding distinction in research, scholarship, creative endeavours, professional service and teaching. They are appointed by the University’s Board of Governors on the recommendation of a Distinguished Professor Selection Committee, chaired by the University’s President and Vice-Chancellor.
Congratulations Dr. Pierce!
Lisa Rodway, MSc student, co-supervised by Drs. Carla Taylor and Peter Zahradka, has been awarded a Frederick Banting and Charles Best Graduate Scholarship from CIHR for her MSc studies. This award provides recognition and funding to students early in their academic research career, providing them with an opportunity to gain research experience, as well as to provide a reliable supply of highly skilled and qualified researchers.
Rodway also received the APNM Undergraduate Research Excellence Award for her senior thesis project. This award recognizes outstanding senior undergraduate students who are enrolled in exercise science and nutrition major programs at participating Canadian universities and colleges. The awards are presented on an annual basis.
Also, Rodway was presented with the Dr. Elizabeth B. Smith Convocation Prize from the University of Manitoba. Valued at $1050, this award is for an undergraduate student who has completed the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Science (Human Nutritional Sciences) degree program with high academic standing and will be proceeding to graduate work with a research focus on nutrition at the University of Manitoba.
Congratulations to Crystal Acosta (Supervisor: Hope Anderson), who has been awarded this years’ St. Boniface Hospital Foundation – Nick Shepel Travel Award. This award will help to cover the travel costs associated with Crystal’s attendance at the national Society for Neuroscience Meeting to present a research poster.
The Nick Shepel fund was established by the Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre, to honor Nick Shepel who was an outstanding researcher, friend and leader. Nick was a true inspiration to his laboratory partners and brought fire, humor, and a desire to always excel. His insistence to always try better has had a permanent effect on his lab mates and peers. Nick led by example and taught that detailed preparation and execution of experiments ensured reliable results.
The purpose of this fund shall be to recognize a young investigator (specifically in the neuroscience area) by providing an annual award(s) to support travel costs associated with the applicant’s attendance at an upcoming national/international conference where the applicant is presenting a poster or oral presentation.
The number of Manitobans living and affected by dementia is projected to dramatically increase, according to a study recently published in Neuroepidemiology (Karger). The largest increase is projected to occur in the 75–84 years of age group with a growth of 98.83% by the year 2035, while for ages 85+ a 61.36% increase is estimated. The study, entitled “Future Trends and the Economic Burden of Dementia in Manitoba: Comparison with the Rest of Canada and the World” was authored by Drs. Benedict Albensi and Aida Adlimoghaddam of the Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre.
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 received the inaugural Faculty of Agricultural and Food (FAFS) Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Suh will receive $2,500 to support funding for her choice of teaching or research activities.
The University of Manitoba’s FAFS Excellence in Teaching Award was established to recognize exceptional contributions to the teaching mandate of the Faculty.
Intrinsic Analytics is hosting a seminar on “The Effects of Cannabis in the Workplace” on June 26th, 2018. The seminar will gather eminent speakers from Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, Taylor McCaffrey LLP and Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba. This seminar will take place in the Samuel Cohen Auditorium of the Albrechtsen Research Centre at St. Boniface Hospital, 351 Taché Avenue, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Substance use, impairment and how it impacts safety in the workplace are key issues for every employer. The purpose of this seminar is to highlight best practices and the necessary tools to address these issues, especially in light of the upcoming legalization of cannabis.
Please complete the registration form and either email or fax to 204-258-1490 at your earliest convenience.
For additional information please contact Intrinsic Analytics at 204-258-1500.
The St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre’s RBC Youth BIOlab hosted over 4800 students, and saw another 2700 in Manitoba schools note this year, 35% of which were “en francais” !
Since the Youth BIOlab started full time outreach in 2005, teachers Steve Jones and Meghan Kynoch have seen over 60,000 students from across Manitoba, with 23,000 of those through the Youth BIOlab since opening in 2013. This year also saw some new initiatives with mentored science projects for First Nations students that ended up going to Canada-Wide Science Fair, while Meghan also traveled to Cross Lake First Nation to lay the foundation for a major outreach partnership for the next 5 years.
Congratulations Steve and Meghan!
Please read more about the program in the 2017/18 Youth BIOlab Activity Report.
Dr. Ross Feldman, Principal Investigator, Women’s Health, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences; and Professor of Medicine, Medical Director, Cardiac Sciences Program, WRHA, was recently made a Master of the American College of Physicians. The Mastership was conferred at the 2018 ACP Internal Medicine Meeting in New Orleans from April 19-21, regarded as the premier scientific meeting in internal medicine.
Masters (MACP) comprise a small group of highly distinguished physicians who have achieved recognition in medicine by exhibiting a preeminence in practice or medical research, holding positions of high honor, or making significant contributions to medical science or the art of medicine. Mastership is considered a special class of membership in the American College of Physicians.
Congratulations Dr. Feldman!
Navid Koleini, MD., PhD Candidate (Kardami Lab) won a travel award and best presentation award at the recent 10th Canadian Oxidative Stress Consortium in Edmonton, Alberta, for his poster entitled “Elimination or neutralization of endogenous high molecular weight FGF-2 increases cardiac resistance to Doxorubicin-induced damage”.
The Canadian Oxidative Stress Consortium (COSC) aims at advancement of research and education in oxidative stress in health and disease. Oxidative stress has implications for a broad range of disorders including ischemia-reperfusion injury, stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s), spinal cord injury, sepsis, inflammation and respiratory diseases, etc. Initiated in July 1999 by Dr. Ashok Grover (McMaster University), with support from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the COSC consists of researchers from about 50 laboratories from 15 different universities in Canada. Its goal is to foster research collaboration among these laboratories, to provide better training opportunities for students and postdoctoral fellows working in them and to foster closer ties between its members and the pharmaceutical industry.
Congratulations Dr. Koleini!!
Postdoctoral Fellow Erin Goldberg (Aliani Lab) will receive the 2018 Mitacs Social Entrepreneur Award. The Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards celebrate those who have ventured into entrepreneurship and turned their research into an innovative business or business idea.
Together with partners she met during her years at the University of Manitoba, Goldberg has developed a “first-of-its-kind nutritional support beverage that is a healthier and better-tasting alternative to traditional in-hospital meal replacement drinks, recently under criticism for their high sugar content and highly-processed ingredients”. Their formula has earned, a prestigious award and $5,000 from Mitacs, a national, not-for-profit organization that partners companies, government and academia to promote Canadian research and training.
In recognition of the ongoing success of her start-up and its work to address an important gap in the in-hospital nutrition sector, Goldberg — a postdoctoral fellow at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre in Winnipeg and one of three co-founders of Winnipeg-based ViTal Functional Foods Inc. — will be presented the Mitacs Social Entrepreneur Award tonight (June 5) at a ceremony in Montreal.
Dr. Sanjiv Dhingra, Principal Investigator, Cardiac Regeneration and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences; Assistant Professor, Regenerative Medicine Program, Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba will receive funding for a collaborative research project with Dr. Martin Rodriguez-Porcel of the Cardiovascular Department of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The award ($250,000 US over 2 years) is for the project entitled “A Novel Immunomodulatory Hydrogel to Prevent Rejection of allogeneic Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Heart”.
The award is from the CANUSA (CANADA-USA) RESEARCH PROJECT, which was created with funds generously provided by the Asper Endowment Fund. The mandate of the fund is to promote the growth and collaboration in cardiovascular research between St. Boniface Hospital and the Mayo Clinic. The fund supports health related cardiovascular research in the basic, clinical and/or applied health areas to be conducted either at the St. Boniface Hospital or at Mayo Clinic or at both institutions during the term of the funding.
The project was cited for excellence of the proposal (innovative, impact on the field, feasibility), excellence of the applicants, collaborative science, and the potential to lead to future successful grant applications such as NIH or CIHR.
Congratulations to Steve Jones, Teaching Liaison, RBC Youth BIOlab Jeunesse, who is featured in today’s Winnipeg Free Press. Steve recently received the Prime Minister’s Teaching Excellence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Award, which honours exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers for remarkable achievement in education, and for commitment to preparing students for a digital and innovation-based economy. Writer Jane Gerster and photographer Ruth Bonneville spend the morning watching Steve in action, teaching students from Stonybrook Middle School, Steinbach.
Steve will also be appearing as a guest of CTV Morning Live, scheduled for Thursday, May 24.
One of the highlights of the R30 conference was the poster competition; the first St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre event to draw participation from students, postdoctoral fellows and technicians of all divisions, and other institutions as well. There were 49 posters displaying basic research and clinical research findings. Seven prizes were awarded to participants of the R30 poster competition. They were PhD students Youjia Du and Yvette Shang from CCARM; Postdoctoral Fellow Xavier Louis and Research Associate Ashim Bagchi from ICS; MSc student Kevin Boreskie from ICS; and two teams of high school students (1) Storm Malcolm and Marla Malcolm and (2) Torrie Spence and Shauntay Malcolm.
The R30 poster competition was organized by Dr. Jeffrey Wigle and Dr. Thomas Netticadan.
Congratulations to all!
The St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre has been home to scientists from many countries over 30 years. Do you ever wonder what they think of Winnipeg – the climate, the people… the Jets?
CBC featured the experience of two of our alumni, with respect to the Jets recent playoff exploits. Xavier Louis is a postdoctoral fellow in the Wigle laboratory, and Sijo Joseph is currently a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
(Photo credit: Travis Golby/CBC)
Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface Hospital, will be invested into the Order of Manitoba (OM) for 2018 at a ceremony in July. The province’s highest honour, the OM recognizes Manitobans who have enriched the social, cultural or economic well-being of the province.
Dr. Pierce’s research in cardiovascular medicine has brought scientific acclaim to Manitoba through his participation in a series of studies to stop or reverse heart muscle disease or blood vessel wall injury. He helped develop the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and helped found the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, both at St. Boniface Hospital.
The latest group of OM inductees includes seven men and five women, including David Barnard, Michael Belhumeur, Jacqueline Blay, Barbara Bruce, Dr. Sara J. Israels, Robert Kristjanson, Bernice Marmel, Bill Loewen, Robb Nash, Ken Opaleke, and Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg.
Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon said the honourees have a passionate commitment to the community. “The impact of their leadership has made a unique mark on this province and its people with achievements that both impress and inspire,” she said in a release.
Appointments to the order are made on the recommendations of an advisory council. Once invested, members are entitled to use the initials O.M. after their names and will have their names placed on permanent display in the Manitoba Legislative Building. The 12 honourees will be inducted into the Order of Manitoba at a July 12 ceremony at the legislature.
Congratulations Dr. Pierce!
Stephen Jones has received national recognition for his program Youth BIOlab Jeunesse, which hosts 5000 students/year within the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. The Prime Minister’s Teaching Excellence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Award honours “exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers for remarkable achievement in education, and for commitment to preparing students for a digital and innovation-based economy”.
The former medical researcher set up a state-of-the-art laboratory in 2013 at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre to help youth develop meaningful connections with cutting-edge science and technology. To date, the program has served more than 50,000 students.
“This is a remarkable achievement and recognition for Steve, and for the program” says Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research for St. Boniface Hospital. “Through Steve’s hard work developing both program and partnerships, he has developed something that is unique in North America”.
“This is one of only 17 awards across the country for STEM teaching, so it’s a huge and humbling honour” says Jones. “I’m grateful for the constant support and enthusiasm for the program. Meghan Kynoch and I couldn’t do all that we do without the support of the Research Centre, Foundation and Hospital”.
Supporting Health Literacy through Science Education
The St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre Youth BIOLab Jeunesse is a space for students and teachers to explore and experience real biomedical science in a world-class research centre. Built with support from Manitoba Education, The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, Youth BIOLab Jeunesse opened its doors to students in Spring 2013, and works in partnership with Manitoba school divisions and with the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to connect St. Boniface Hospital and St-Boniface Hospital Research to classroom learning.
For more information:
“R30”, a celebration of 30 years of research at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, was held this past weekend (April 20/21).
The event began with a reception at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, where over 200 attendees of the following day’s conference “Back to the Future: 30 Years of Health Research by Alumni of the Albrechtsen Research Centre” would pick up their ID badges and meet with past colleagues. This was followed by a tour of the Museum, and more reminiscing that went well into the evening!
Saturday’s conference was jam-packed with 27 presentations (10 minutes each) from alumnus of the Research Centre; many of whom travelled to Winnipeg from one of 13 countries represented!
The conference was followed by the R30 Gala Dinner and Dance, held in the spectacular new Winnipeg Convention Centre City View Ballroom. Congratulatory messages were received via video from:
- The Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
- The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, Government of Canada
- The Honourable Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba
- The Honourable Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for St. Boniface, Government of Canada
- The Honourable Terry Duguid, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, Government of Canada
- The Honourable Doug Eyolfson, Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St. James Assiniboia-Headlingly, Government of Canada
- His Worship Brian Bowman, Mayor of Winnipeg
The Honourable Kelvin Goertzen, Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living, Province of Manitoba added his greetings in person. Mayor Bowman was also in attendance.
The evening was emcee’d by Winnipeg comedian Big Daddy Tazz, and featured spectacular aerialists/acrobats “Momentum”, videos highlighting achievements through the years, as well as moving recollections by Dr. Arnold Naimark and Dr. Henry Friesen. Over 700 people attended!
The award-winning Danny Kramer Dance Band kept people on the dance floor until the end of the evening.
The Honourable Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, characterized St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre in glowing terms in the House of Commons this afternoon.
“World class is a term often used to refer to the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. World class because it attracts researchers from around the world. World class because it makes important scientific breakthroughs, like the recent PEG-2S antibiotic, which can help in the global fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria” said Vandal, during his member statement yesterday. He added, “I am really disappointed I can’t be there on Saturday, but I will be there in spirit celebrating with them. Happy thirtieth anniversary to the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre”.
St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research Dr. Grant Pierce shares a letter he received recently from Marisa Panagia, wife of Dr. Vincenzo Panagia – one of our original 5 cardiovascular researchers. Dr. Panagia, MD, PhD, was Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at the University of Manitoba, and Principal Investigator of the Membrane Biology laboratory at the Centre. Dr. Panagia passed away at the age of 61 in 2000. In his honour, The Vincenzo Panagia Distinguished Lecture Award was established by the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, and is given to an investigator whose work is internationally recognized as being at the cutting-edge in any field of cardiovascular sciences.
Dear Dr. Pierce,
Thank you very much for inviting my sons and I to come to Winnipeg for this very important celebration of the foundation of the research center at St. Boniface. Unfortunately, we all have obligations that prevent us from attending. But I did not want to pass up this occasion without at the very least sharing with you my reminiscences of the Center’s first decade.
I still remember very well the vivid and intense emotions felt by everyone who partook of this great adventure in Research – the primary researchers, of course, but also the wives and children who congregated and met at the St. Boniface Research Center over the years, and for various events including many of the International conferences organized there.
I have very clearly in my mind all the young doctors and students involved in moving to the new location. Many areas of research expertise were innovated in this ambitious place, and after a few short years the research center became a hub of international exchange where many researchers from around the world would come to work and learn, exchange ideas and expertise, but also lives.
It was always a joy for me to prepare a lot of Italian food for everyone, and to enjoy many dinner celebrations together in order to relax from all the catecholamines procured by the many, many, many funding applications!
I take this occasion to greet with joy and love all of Enzo’s friends and colleagues and I wish to all the newcomers that they enjoy the great opportunities to work and study with some of the best researchers in the world that are there.
To the young who didn’t meet my husband, I wish to pass on to you his words about the life of the researcher: work hard, be honest with yourself and your colleagues, don’t get discouraged, and with God’s help you will feel at peace.
Enjoy your celebration and and congratulations to all.
Dr. Meir Kryger, Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary) and Clinical Professor of Nursing, Yale University School of Medicine, sent a video message of thanks and congratulations to St. Boniface Hospital Research on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of research at St. Boniface Hospital. Dr. Kryger headed the sleep laboratory, one of the original programs of research to move into the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre in 1987.
Dr. Kryger, a pioneer of sleep research, is currently a professor in the Yale School of Medicine and chief editor of the most widely used sleep medicine textbook, Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine.
National Leasing, an equipment-leasing company based in Winnipeg, contributed $15,000 in June toward the purchase of a Quantitative PCR Thermocycler.
The machine uses heat to create and accurately measure up to a trillion copies of an original chain of DNA in just a couple of hours, explained Dr. Michael Czubryt, Principal Investigator, Molecular Pathophysiology, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, in whose lab it is housed.
“It allows us to do far more samples than we used to be able to do, faster, and with fewer resources,” he said.
Dr. Czubryt and his team can use the machine with patient samples or as part of studies into fibrosis of the heart and cell loss following heart attacks and strokes.
“It’s a device that’s widely applicable,” he said. “It’s highly flexible, highly sought-after and has been a tremendous addition.”
“It works kind of like a programmable pressure cooker you have at home, in that it controls temperature very precisely, for a precise amount of time.”
Reporter/writer/broadcaster Greg Mackling features Dr. Grant Pierce’s research on drug-resistant bacteria in his article “Winnipeggers researching antibiotics alternative to fight growing bacteria immunity”.
“They are commonly prescribed to help fight infections but antibiotics are slowly becoming ineffective and researchers in Winnipeg are trying to find a solution. “We are becoming resistant to them,” Dr. Grant Pierce, the executive director of Research at Albrechtsen Research Centre at St. Boniface Hospital said. “the bacteria will no longer be killed by the antibiotic. The bacteria resists it, pump out the antibiotic, and it is no longer effective.”
Last year the World Health Organization sounded the alarm over a lack of new antibiotics capable of combating bacteria. “The WHO identified multi-drug resistance in bacteria as one of the three greatest threats to life today,” Pierce told Global News.
Click here to read the full article: https://globalnews.ca/news/4123707/winnipeggers-researching-antibiotics-alternative-to-fight-growing-bacteria-immunity/
Congratulations to Mr. Bradley Feltham, who has received an UMSU Award for Indigenous Community Leaders scholarship from the University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU). Feltham is a Student/Research Assistant in the Suh laboratory for Nutrition & Neurological Diseases (Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders and the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine).
Mr. Feltham completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Memorial University: A Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Nutritional Biochemistry and a Masters in Biochemistry, investigating the effects of dietary omega-3 fatty acids on brain function. Now at the University of Manitoba, Bradley is a high-achieving undergraduate Human Nutritional Sciences student, and a dedicated advocate for improved healthcare access for Indigenous peoples, especially those in Northern, rural, and remote communities in Canada. He is a member of both UMASA (University of Manitoba Aboriginal Students’ Association) and NECO (Nutrition Education and Community Outreach), and has been an Indigenous liaison on council. Most notably, Brad is working closely with the NECO team to collaborate with UMASA for Indigenous Awareness Month in March – which is also Nutrition Month – through the ReconciliACTION campaign. He is also organizing a cultural competency lecture workshop for HNS students to better prepare our student body as future health professionals working with diverse populations.
Dr. Gordon Glazner, Principal Investigator, Cellular Neuropathology & Neurodegeneration, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, was featured in the Winnipeg Free Press this past weekend in a full-page article on the destructive effects of methamphetamine on the brain.
You can read the full article here: https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/health/your-brain-on-meth-476512443.html
Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum’s academic path to being the Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences receives full-page treatment in the current issue of the University of Manitoba’s Research Life magazine.
Congratulations to Dr. Kirshenbaum!
Dr. Rushita Bagchi (formerly of the Czubryt lab), has been formally accepted to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting in Lindau, Germany this coming June. There will be 600 delegates from around the world (84 countries), and 43 Laureates meeting with them over the course of a week. Dr. Bagchi is the first delegate from the University of Manitoba (she was selected as the nominee for 2016 at the Canadian Student Health Research Forum, held in Winnipeg each June).
The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings foster the exchange among scientists of different generations, cultures, and disciplines. The meetings focus alternately on physiology and medicine, on physics, and on chemistry – the three natural science Nobel Prize disciplines. An interdisciplinary meeting revolving around all three natural sciences is held every five years. The scientific programme of each Lindau Meeting is based on the principle of dialogue. The different sessions – lectures, discussions, master classes, and panel discussions – are designed to activate the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experience between and among Nobel Laureates and young scientists.
Congratulations to Dr. Bagchi for this amazing opportunity!
Dr. Sanjiv Dhingra, Principal Investigator, Cardiac Regeneration and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, was recently awarded a 5-year, $749,700 grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The grant will support Dr. Dhingra’s research studying the mechanisms of transplanted stem cell rejection and determining strategies to increase post-transplantation survival in the heart. Support through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is intended to l help Canadian researchers study the full spectrum of health issues affecting the lives of Canadians.
Dr. Dhingra is also an assistant professor in the Regenerative Medicine Program at the University of Manitoba as well as director of the Canada/Italy Tissue Engineering Laboratory (CITEL) at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. He recently received a Young Investigator Award from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.
Internationally recognized molecular biologist Dr. Alan Bernstein visited the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre this morning. Hosted by Executive Director of Research Dr. Grant Pierce, Dr. Bernstein took part in a roundtable discussion on the topics of artificial intelligence and stem cell research. Dr. Bernstein is President of the Canadian Institute For Advanced Research (CIFAR), and former President & CEO of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR).
Dr. Bernstein is the recipient of major awards and honours, including the Order of Canada, election to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada and the Gairdner Foundation Wightman Award. In 2017, he was awarded the Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research, which funded his visit.
Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum (Director Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, Principal Investigator, Cardiac Gene Biology, Professor, Department of Physiology & Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba, Canada Research Chair, Molecular Cardiology, University of Manitoba, Director of Research Development Rady Faculty of Medicine) is among 5 recipients named in this year’s University of Manitoba Distinguished Alumni Awards. The awards are given to accomplished community builders and leaders and who have made an indelible impact both within Manitoba and around the world.
From the announcement: “Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum’s research may sound like science fiction, but the advances he has made in human health are very real and the implications have had a global impact. His discovery that several of the world’s deadliest diseases – cancer, heart disease, vascular disease – can be treated by “switching off” select cells is a major leap forward in medicine.”
The award will be presented at the University of Manitoba’s Distinguished Alumni Awards Celebration of Excellence, Metropolitan Entertainment Centre, May 10, 2018.
Congratulations Dr. Kirshenbaum!
Pema Raj and Samantha Pauls
Directors of the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) have initiated awards to recognize trainees and staff who have provided exemplary service to CCARM:
2017 CCARM Trainee Service Recognition Awards:
– Samantha Pauls – for assistance with the Rapid-Fire Symposium
– Pema Raj -– for assistance with the Rapid-Fire Symposium
2017 CCARM Staff Service Recognition Award:
– Susan Zettler – for outstanding assistance to CCARM faculty and trainees
Congratulations to the recipients for 2017!
Dr. Aida Adlimoghaddam (Albensi Laboratory) has won a 2018 Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) Young Investigator Scholarship (USA Alzheimer’s group), one of only 30 worldwide. The award will be given out at the Feb 2018 meeting in Washington, DC, USA.
The mission of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation is to rapidly accelerate the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease. Founded in 1998 by co-chairmen Leonard A. and Ronald S. Lauder, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) is the only charity solely focused on finding drugs for Alzheimer’s.
Congratulations Dr. Adlimoghaddam!
(From the CAUT Bulletin)
Crystal Acosta, a PhD candidate under Dr. Hope Anderson, Vascular Biology, Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, has been awarded the 2017 J.H. Stewart Reid Memorial Fellowship. The fellowship, established by the Canadian Association of University Teachers(CAUT), recognizes and funds a graduate student from a Canadian university that has demonstrated academic excellence.
Crystal holds a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and a master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Manitoba. She has published her research in several peer-reviewed journals and delivered a number of presentations at international conferences. As a doctoral student, Crystal was fortunate to be supported by Research Manitoba, as well as the J.G. Fletcher PhD Fellowship from the University of Manitoba. Other awards and distinctions include the Smerchanski Endowed Studentship Grant from the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation and the Dr. Mark Nickerson Graduate Entrance Scholarship in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from the University of Manitoba, among others.
Crystal is investigating the physiological mechanisms that regulate the structure, mechanical properties and function of brain-penetrating arterioles in health and cardiovascular disease. “A large proportion of heart failure patients develop cognitive decline and dementia,” she says. “The literature suggests there is indeed an association between heart failure and neurodegeneration, but more study is required to identify underlying mechanisms.”
Crystal has been a fixture in student governance for the past three years at the University of Manitoba, serving on the executive of the Health Sciences Graduate Students’ Association. She also has a continued interest in community outreach through her work with the Manitoba Neuroscience Network.
The University of Manitoba Dissertation Awards, the University’s most prestigious honour for master’s and doctoral dissertations, were presented to Drs. Caligiuri, Ens, Polfus and Watt at the Faculty of Graduate Studies inaugural 2017 Spring Reception.
“The Faculty of Graduate Studies is proud to present the Distinguished Dissertation Awards each year to recognize truly exceptional doctoral research,” said Dr. Todd Mondor, Vice-Provost(Graduate Education) and Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies.
Bestowed annually since 2001, the award recognizes master’s and doctoral recipients who have made remarkable contributions to their fields.
Dr. Stephanie Caligiuri was an MSc /PhD Candidate in Cell Biology (Dr. Grant Pierce) at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences.
Dr. Luc Clair, Principal Investigator, Ag/Health Economist, Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research In Health and Medicine (CCARM), and Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Winnipeg, has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the Manitoba Medical Service Foundation.
The goal of CCARM’s clinical and basic science research is to study disease processes, investigate the therapeutic properties of functional foods and natural health products, and develop safe interventions (diet, supplements, etc.) that will improve the health of the Canadian public. Dr. Clair’s work supports this research by looking at the cost-effectiveness of these interventions once implemented outside of the research setting and in the general public and health care system; his primary role is to estimate the economic impact of proposed interventions on the health care sector, the agricultural, and agri-food sector. The award is for his project, “Estimating the Relationship Between Cardiovascular Health and the Use of Neurodegenerative Pharmaceuticals”.
The MMSF supports health–related research and education in Manitoba in partnership with Manitoba Blue Cross.
Congratulations Dr. Clair!
(From UM Today Alumni)
On December 1, 2017, Polytechnique Montréal presented the third annual Order of the White Rose scholarship to Ella Thomson, an electrical engineering graduate of the University of Manitoba. This $30,000 scholarship, created three years ago, is awarded annually to a Canadian woman engineering student who wishes to continue her engineering studies at the master’s or doctoral level in Canada or elsewhere in the world.
It’s not the frist time you’ve seen Ella in the news.. she has also attracted attention for her research into the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in degenerative diseases (Albensi Lab) for which she received funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Ella’s desire to conduct research into neurodegenerative disorders was sparked by volunteer work that she did with patients with developmental disabilities, as well as wanting to understand the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease, with which her great aunt was living. After completing a research exchange at Hochschule Ravensburg Weingarten in Germany, she will enter the PhD program in biomedical engineering at Stanford University in California.
It may be the largest art installation of its kind, or at least the most unusual; six 4’ x 4’ artworks, each representing aspects of Manitoba’s agricultural past, present and future, from Ox and plow to a spectacular rendering of the St. Boniface Hospital Albrectsen Research Centre (home of the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Resaerch in Health and Medicine, or CCARM). Not made from acrylic or oil or watercolor paint, just… out of beans.
And Manitoba-grown beans, to boot.
The artworks were produced by the Communications & Media Services team at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre for a CCARM conference held this past summer. 4 of the 6 canvasses are on display (and on sale, with proceeds to St. Boniface Research) at Kesay Design Centre, 693 Taylor Avenue, Winnipeg.
We are so happy to be selected to show these two fantastic pieces from the “Breaking new ground” collection at our design studio! Created by Bill Peters, Robert Blaich, and Joseph Pilapil, of the Communications & Media services department at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. These pieces were made from pulse crops grown in manitoba and studied in CCARM labs. The proceeds of these two pieces will be used to help support the ground breaking research at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre! #breakingnewground #art #groundbreaking #stbonifaceresearch #support #manitoba #research #charity #artwork #crops #local #winnipeg #traditional #classic #highend #homefurnishing #design #designgoals #interiordesign #designinso #lifestyle #inspiration #style
Congratulations to Dr. Navid Koleni [Left] and Ms. Chantal Asselin (Msc) candidate [Right] on being awarded $17,000 BMO Scholarships, for research excellence reflected by the students’ academic record, publications and research ability.
The St. Boniface Hospital Foundation and BMO Financial Group established the BMO Financial Group Research Scholarship for Excellence in 2013. Funds for the scholarships were made possible by a $250,000 gift from BMO Financial Group with a $250,000 matching grant from St. Boniface Hospital Foundation. The scholarship supports students employed at the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute or the MacLean Building at St. Boniface Hospital Research during their graduate studies.
About their research:
Increased intraventricular pressure (for example due to aortic valve stenosis or hypertension) can lead to cardiac enlargement and eventually heart failure. A definite understanding of the mechanisms and also approaches to mitigate its complications are yet to be elucidated. Dr. Koleini is studying the roles of the FGF-2 protein with two functionally distinct isoforms, in cardiac response to increased intraventricular pressure caused by trans-aortic ligation. His studies are intended to expand knowledge on the biological activities of FGF-2 isoforms in the setting of cardiac pathology, and may set the stage for antibody-based therapies aiming to attenuate mortality in heart failure patients and increase their quality of life.
Cardio-Oncology is an evolving discipline that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and management of cancer patients who are at risk of developing heart problems as a result of their cancer treatment. As breast cancer remains a significant clinical problem, chemotherapy continues to be a routine treatment strategy for this patient population. Doxorubicin and Trastuzumab are two of the most effective anti-cancer drugs available for women with breast cancer. However, these two anti-cancer drugs may lead to heart failure in as many as 8000 Canadian women annually. Dietary interventions represent another complementary approach for the treatment of women with breast cancer. Approximately 30% of breast cancer patients use flaxseed. Ms. Asselin and her research team will explore the means by which flaxseed can prevent the anti-cancer drugs Doxorubicin and Trastuzumab from damaging the heart in the breast cancer setting. The results of this program will have a significant impact on improving the cardiovascular outcomes in women with breast cancer in Manitoba.
Congratulations to Dr. Sanjiv Dhingra, Principal Investigator, Cardiac Regeneration and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, on recently receiving the Young Investigator Award – Basic Science from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.
Created in 1970, this award is presented to a young investigator whose clinical science activities are in the areas of cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Dhingra is also an assistant professor in the Regenerative Medicine Program at the University of Manitoba as well as director of the Canada/Italy Tissue Engineering Laboratory (CITEL) at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre.
Congratulations to Scott Kehler (Duhamel Laboratory), who has been selected as a recipient of the Dean of Graduate Studies Student Achievement Award, from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Graduate Studies.
The award recognizes outstanding performance as a graduate student for academic excellence, leadership, teaching ability volunteerism and mentorship.
Kehler will receive a citation certificate along with a $1000 cash award at the annual Faculty of Graduate Studies awards reception on November 30, 2017.
Since 1999, the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre has held an annual Awards Day to celebrate excellence in cardiovascular research. Twelve awards have been established to recognize the contributions of individuals at various career stages, from summer and graduate students to world-leading experts in cardiovascular medicine.
Twelve individuals were honoured on November 2 by the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences. The 19th annual award event recognizes leadership and success in promoting cardiovascular research and education, lifetime achievements in research, and young scientists who are in the early stage of their academic life.
The Institute’s awards program is produced in collaboration and cooperation with University of Manitoba, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, and Heart & Stroke Foundation of Manitoba.
The event opened with presentations from several internationally regarded scientists, including:
Congratulations to Dr. Todd Duhamel, Principal Investigator, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Prevention, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, who was recently recognized by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) as the recipient for this year’s Young Investigator Award in recognition of “novel contributions to the field of exercise physiology and cardiac rehabilitation”. This recognition is presented annually to an outstanding CSEP member who has an excellent reputation throughout Canada and has achieved notable international recognition.
“I was humbled to receive such recognition from the scientific community. My success is a reflection of the outstanding people in my research group and my strong connection with the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St. Boniface Hospital and the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management at the University of Manitoba” says Duhamel.
Photo credit to Kim Babij (FKRM Communication Officer, University of Manitoba).
(L-R Afroza Ferdouse, Jaime Clark, and Danielle Lee)
The Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Medicine’s inaugural Rapid-Fire Research Symposium was held October 25, 2017.
The “Best Presentation” & “People’s Choice” awards went to Jaime Clark (PhD student supervised by Drs. Carla Taylor & Peter Zahradka). 2nd Prize was awarded to Danielle Lee (PhD student supervised by Dr. Hope Anderson) and 3rd Prize was won by Afroza Ferdouse (MSc student supervised by Dr. Harold Aukema).
The event was chaired by Dr. Thomas Netticadan, with co-chairs Samantha Pauls and Pema Raj and their assistants Roxanna Koohgoli, Susara MaddumaHewage and Sue Zettler. Presentations were adjudicated by Jessay Devassy, Matthew Nosworthy, Xavier Louis and Samantha Pauls.
The symposium also hosted guest speaker Tracey Maconachie of the Life Science Association of Manitoba. Symposium sponsors included the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine & Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
St. Boniface among best in Canada for heart surgery outcomes: The Canadian Institute for Health Information
(From CBC News Manitoba) The Canadian Institute for Health Information looked at patient outcomes and re-admission rates after the most common kinds of heart surgery in its survey of hospitals in nine Canadian provinces. It released the results of that survey on Tuesday.
St. Boniface Hospital’s cardiac sciences program had some of the highest scores in all markers, including low rates of patient mortality, low rates of re-admission after surgery, and high patient volumes for angioplasty, or cardiac catheterization surgeries.
Two St. Boniface Hospital Researchers have recently been highlighted on CTV’s “MEDICALWATCH”, hosted by reporter Michelle Gerwing:
Dr. Gordon Glazner, Principal Investigator, Cellular Neuropathology & Neurodegeneration, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, speaks about his Alzheimer’s Disease research, and the impact his grandfather had on his research career. See video.
Dr. Heather Blewett, Principal Investigator, Human Nutrition and Immunology, Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, speaks about her most recent clinical trial on dietary peas, and their impact on blood sugar. See video.
The mite achimowin (Heart Talk): First Nations Women Expressions of Heart Health study is now online.
The project brought together six First Nations women from across Manitoba to participate in learning circle discussions to explore and express their experiences related to their own heart health or caring for a relative with a heart health issue. From these discussions, the women produced digital stories (3–5 minute videos) touching upon various themes affecting First Nations heart health including: transitions from traditional to westernized lifestyles and diets; the trauma of residential schools; racism; access to medical care; culturally unsafe health care; subjugation of culturally-rooted medicines, and economic and geographic marginalization.
Their website, the videos, as well as a featured podcast can be viewed here: https://www.ccnsa-nccah.ca/563/mite_achimowin_-_Heart_Talk.nccah
The videos have been presented to over 200 undergraduate students in medicine and nursing at the University of Manitoba. The students then participated in facilitated dialogue sessions so they could share their thoughts on the videos and discuss ways to integrate Indigenous concepts of mite (heart) knowledge and patients’ experiences with biomedical knowledge and practice.
The project team included co-investigators Dr. Annette Schultz, Principal Investigator, Psychosocial Oncology and Cancer Nursing Research; Lorena Fontaine (University of Winnipeg); and project coordinator Lisa Forbes. The research team acknowledges research collaborator Ivan Berkowitz, who enthusiastically introduced Lorena and Annette to each other and encouraged the mite achimowin project even in his final days. The study received funding from the CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Aboriginal People’s Health Institute) and SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) through the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network in partnership with Nanaandawewigamig.
Award Recipients from the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences North American Section Meeting, Orlando, Florida, August 31st-September 2nd, 2017:
- Michael Czubryt received the Norman Alpert Award for Established Investigator in Cardiovascular Sciences
- Andrea L. Edel won the James T. Willerson Competition for Postgraduate Fellows and Residents
- Sanjiv Dhingra won the Roberto Bolli Competition for Young Faculty in Translational Science
- Ms Aleksandra Stamenkovic – Travel award and winner in the Margaret Moffat Poster Competition
- Ms Krista Filomeno – Travel award and winner in the Margaret Moffat Poster Competition
- Alex Austria – Travel award
- Vijayan Elimban – Travel award
Congratulations to these members of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences!
From 2013-2016, Dr. Pawan Singal led a research project in the field of cardiovascular sciences under the Canada-Brazil Awards – Joint Research Projects. The project involved two sites in Canada: Winnipeg and Thunder Bay and two sites in Brazil: Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo. The objective of the program is to support team-oriented research projects between Canadian and Brazilian universities collaborating in mutually beneficial areas of research. The collaborations are expected to result in high quality research that will have an impact in Canada and in Brazil through the mobility of both Canadian and Brazilian research students and Project Leads, and is open to all academic disciplines.
Dr. Singal’s review of this successful partnership was recently published on the Government of Canada website:
“The social as well as cultural experiences in each other’s countries have been wonderful and invaluable” says Singal. “The Canada-Brazil Awards – Joint Research Projects program has resulted in lifelong friendships and lasting fruitful collaborations. Thus, the program has been both a great initiative and a success with multiple tangible and intangible benefits”.
The International Scholarships Program (ISP) of Global Affairs Canada funds, manages and promotes international scholarship opportunities for Canadian and international students and researchers.
Congratulations to Dr. Ben Albensi, Principal Investigator, Synaptic Plasticity and Cellular Memory Dysfunction Lab, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, on receiving a merit award for Research, Teaching, and Service from the University of Manitoba and the University of Manitoba Faculty Association.
Dr. Albensi received a monetary award as well as congratulatory letters from Dr. David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manitoba, and Dr. Janet Morrill, President, University of Manitoba Faculty Association.
Applications for operating grants to support a collaborative research interaction between St. Boniface Hospital and The Mayo Clinic (Rocherster, MN) are now being accepted.
The CANUSA (CANADA-USA) RESEARCH PROJECT is supported by funds generously provided by the Asper Endowment Fund. The mandate of the fund is to promote the growth and collaboration in cardiovascular research between the two institutions. The fund will provide a source for supporting health related cardiovascular research in the basic, clinical and/or applied health areas to be conducted either at the St. Boniface Hospital or at Mayo Clinic or at both institutions during the term of a grant funding award.
The operating grant application deadline is December 20, 2017. Information about deadlines and application forms can be obtained from the Cardiovascular Research Office at Mayo Clinic (507-266-0869) or Bennett.Mary1@mayo.edu.
Every year on September 21st, Alzheimer’s organizations around the world concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia.
St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre is home to world-class Alzheimer’s research!
Neurodegenerative diseases of the peripheral and central nervous systems devastate individuals and their families, and endanger the fiscal solvency of health care organizations. The incidence of these diseases, including Alzheimer’s, are increasing in proportion to our ageing population and are receiving priority status for available funds from government and other funding agencies.
Through our Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders (DND), St. Boniface Hospital Research determines the mechanisms underlying, and identifies potential treatments for, neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease, ischemic stroke, traumatic brain injury and aging-related CNS degeneration. The Division was established in 1999 with $3 million initial grant funding, and continues to be very successful in attracting grants from national and international funding agencies.
Dr. Paul Fernyhough (Director) is focused on the impact of diabetes on neuron function in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). Studies show that severity of Alzheimer’s Disease is increased in patients with diabetes and studies support an interaction between the diabetic state and Alzheimer’s Disease at the intracellular level. He is particularly interested in the role of insulin signaling in neurons and its role in controlling neuronal metabolism. Dr. Fernyhough is Professor and Department Head of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba.
Dr. Benedict C. Albensi is studying mechanisms of altered synaptic plasticity that lead to memory impairments. Dr. Albensi has been accepted to the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), which provides infrastructure and support that facilitates collaboration amongst Canada’s top dementia researchers. He is a Professor of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba, holds the Manitoba Dementia Research Chair (MDRC), and the Everett Endowment Fund Chair.
Dr. Gordon Glazner is studying mechanisms of neuronal death in Alzheimer’s Disease. His group studies the role of key transcription factors, such a NF-kappaB, in the neuronal response to insult. Neuronal signalling pathways affected by amyloid-beta treatment are being investigated with a central element being affects on calcium homeostasis within the neuron. Dr. Glazner is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba.
Congratulations to Ms. Jacqueline Hay, PhD trainee, Duhamel Lab, who has been awarded a Vanier scholarship for her project “Associations between fitness, activity intensity, and time: the influence of novel risk for chronic disease in Manitoba”
The prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program is administered by the Vanier-Banting Secretariat on behalf of Canada’s three federal granting agencies – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
A St. Boniface Hospital Research team has received funding to develop a SPOR (Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research) network. The SPOR Network in Diabetes and Its Related Complications is intended to transform the health outcomes of people with diabetes and its related complications by facilitating important and meaningful connections between patients, their primary healthcare providers, and specialists to achieve improved health care and significant cost savings within the health system. Principal Investigators for the network include Dr. Paul Fernyhough, Director, Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, and Dr. Jon McGavock of the University of Manitoba.
The funding announcement was made by Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen earlier today. Manitoba networks received a combined total of $10.1 million including $3.1 million in provincial funding through Research Manitoba, $6 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and an additional $1 million from local research partners.
“This type of research is unique in that it engages patients in all aspects of study and ensures results are relevant to the priorities that they have identified,” said Pedersen. “By working together and investing in these networks, we are helping Manitoba’s research institutions create the innovative solutions needed to support patients across this province and beyond.”
Pedersen noted these four Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) projects connect researchers, health professionals, patients and policy makers across the country to improve the health of Canadians living with chronic diseases.
Congratulations to Dr. Karmin O, Principal Investigator, Integrative Biology Laboratory, Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, who received an NSERC Discovery Award in the amount of $140,000 for her study “The Biological impact of dietary components on nutrient absorption and metabolism”.
The Discovery Grants Program is NSERC’s largest and longest-standing program. The grants are based on recommendations from peer review committees containing world experts in each of 12 science and engineering fields, and typically last for five years.
Congratulations to former CCARM member and current collaborator Dr. Danielle Defries on receiving $32,000 (MMSF $16,000 / CHRIM $16,000) for her study, “The Impact of Gestational Diabetes on Maternal Incretin Function”. Her aim is to see if GDM reduces the number of cells in the intestine that make incretin hormones or if these cells don’t release sufficient amounts of incretin hormones. She will also determine if there is a problem with the ability of the pancreas to release insulin when treated with incretin hormones. If her results show there is a problem with any of these aspects of the incretin system, it will identify areas that could potentially be targeted through drug or nutrition treatments.
As well, Dr. Yoav Keynan has been named this year’s recipient of the Richard Hoeschen Memorial Award, a $4,000 contribution to help offset the operating expenses for the supervision of a B.Sc. (Med) student at the University of Manitoba.
The Manitoba Medical Service Foundation and the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre each contributed $2,000 towards this award.
Congratulations to Ms. Anna Schwartz, BSc Med student, who received a total of 3 awards at the September 7th BSc Med Ceremony, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba. Her project was entitled, “The prophylactic role of RAS antagonism in the prevention of Bevacizumab and Sunitinib mediated cardiomyopathy”. The awards included a travel bursary to present her research in Galverston, Texas, an award for an outstanding basic science project, and one for the best interim report.
Congratulations to the following members of the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre who received awards at the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences 5th Annual Forum to Promote Young Investigators and Centers of Excellence in Cardiovascular Sciences.
- Sanjiv Dhingra received the Roberto Bolli Award for Young Faculty in Translational Science
- Michael Czubryt received the Norman Alpert Award for Established Investigators in Cardiovascular Sciences
- Krista Filomeno received the Margaret Moffat Poster Award for Best Poster in Biomedical Sciences (MSc)
- Aleksandra Stamenkovic received the Margaret Moffat Poster Award for Best Poster in Biomedical Sciences (PhD)
- Andrea Edel received the James Willerson Young Investigator Award in Cardiovascular Medicine (Postgraduate fellows)
Travel grants from the Albrechtsen Research Centre were awarded to: Alex Austria, Vijay Elimban, Krista Filomeno and Aleksandra Stamenkovic.
Additional info can be found on the website: http://www.iacs2017.com/
Congratulations to PhD Student Victoria Sid (supervised by Dr. Karmin O, Integrative Biology Laboratory), who was recently awarded the Smerchanski PhD Studentship, St. Boniface Hospital Research Foundation.
Currently working on her PhD in Physiology and Pathophysiology, Sid has been the recipient of several awards, including a CSATVB Young Investigator Award, Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (2015), a CSATVB Travel Award, Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (2015), and an Undergraduate NSERC Student Research Award, University of Manitoba ( 2012). Her current study is entitled The Role of Folate in Metabolic Disorder – Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. How does high-fat diet affect non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and impair folic acid metabolism?
Congratulations to MSc student Dr. Rokiatou Kone Berethe (MD), who was recently awarded an $8000 BMO Financial Group MSc Research Scholarship of Excellence. Dr. Berethe is supervised by Dr. Mohammed Moghadasian, Principal Investigator, Pathology Research Laboratory, Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM).
Dr. Berethe graduated from University of Bamako in Mali where she completed her medical degree in 2005. She also completed a one-year graduate program in the area of Functional foods and Nutraceuticals at the University of Laval in Quebec in 2015, and has also taken many English classes in the USA and in Canada. She joined St Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Center in 2015 as a volunteer, then started the MSc program in 2016 at University of Manitoba under the supervision of Dr Mohammed Moghadasian. Her current research is about cardiovascular benefits of 5 dietary agents from her native Africa in LDL-r-KO mice in collaboration with 2 laboratories from Bostwana and Nigeria.
Berethe has secured positions in several institutions including the humanitarian non-profit Association femmes et SIDA au Mali, the Laboratory of Applied Molecular Biology at the University of Bamako, the Mali National Tuberculosis Program, the United Nations Population Fund- Ethiopia, and others. Currently, as a volunteer, she is the Chair of Food/Nutrition and Events Committee for the Immigrant Integration and Farming Co-op (IIFCC).
The BMO Financial Group MSc Research Scholarship of Excellence is a partnership made possible by a $250,000 gift from BMO Financial Group with a $250,000 matching grant from St. Boniface Hospital Foundation. The scholarship supports students employed at the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute or the MacLean Building at St-Boniface Hospital Research during their graduate studies.
Two distinguished representatives of Roquette, a world leader in the production of Polyols (substances derived from food compounds) visited the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) this morning.
Dr. Leon Zhou, Head of R&D (Americas) and Dr. Sergio Neves, Head of Nutrition and Health R&D (France) were hosted by Dr. Lee Anne Murphy, Executive Director, Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network, Dr. Carla Taylor, CCARM Team Leader, and Dr. Peter Zahradka, CCARM Deputy Team Leader.
Drs. Zhou and Neves met with St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research Dr. Grant Pierce, then toured CCARM’s basic science laboratories in the Albrechtsen Research Centre and clinical research facilities in the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute.
Roquette is a leader in specialty food ingredients and pharmaceutical excipients*. Products and solutions developed by Roquette deliver technological, nutritional and health benefits tailored to the pharma, nutrition, food and industry markets. Founded over 80 years ago, Roquette operates in over 100 countries and currently employs more than 8,000 people worldwide.
* a pharmacologically inert substance used to bind the contents of a pill or tablet
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.
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.
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.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, 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
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”.
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.
Research2Reality shines a spotlight on world-class scientists engaged in innovative & leading-edge research in Canada – celebrating the success & impact of researchers who are shaping the new frontiers of science.
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 received a Postdoctoral Fellowship award.
Glen Lester Sequiera received a PhD Studentship.
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.