Diabetes Action Canada facilitates a meaningful connection between primary healthcare providers, their patients and relevant specialists. This network strongly believes engaging patients early on with scientists will modify the conduct of research that is for optimal impact on health. The Network will provide timely access to new, safe and effective interventions for optimal glycemic control, improved lifestyle, and targeted therapies for specific complications. 15 Principal Investigators (PIs) from across Canada and their Co-Investigators are involved in various research projects focusing on diabetes and its related complications. The Network’s goals uniquely position our investigators to promote their activities across disciplines and provincial boundaries through strategic collaboration.
Our SPOR Network PIs and partners will prioritize and implement research strategies by first mapping and constantly monitoring the most important concerns of patients with diabetes and their care providers. Many of our investigators have long-standing collaborations with each other. This Network serves to provide the infrastructure for ongoing exchanges between investigators who otherwise may not have the opportunity to interact. Top researchers at our nine collaborating institutions across Canada will interact with individuals living with diabetes and their caregivers, policymakers, health care professionals and other interested stakeholders (public/private). Our SPOR Network Goal & Theme Leads and PIs will create changes through visionary shared leadership with patients and healthcare providers. These changes will be achieved through collaboration and the sharing of resources among the members of our Network.
Jean-Pierre Després, C.Q., Ph.D., FAHA, FIAS
Co-Scientific Lead – Diabetes Action Canada
Professor – Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval
Director of Research in Cardiology – Québec Heart and Lung Institute Research Centre
Director of Science and Innovation, Alliance santé Québec
Scientific Director – International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk
Gary F. Lewis, MD, FRCPC
Co-Scientific Lead – Diabetes Action Canada,
Professor, Director – Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine and Department of Physiology, University of Toronto;
Director – Banting and Best Diabetes Centre, University of Toronto;
Sun Life Financial Chair in Diabetes
Drucker Family Chair in Diabetes Research
Click a Profile to See More Information About Our Investigators
Dr. Marie Carole Boucher is Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Ophthalmology department of the Université de Montréal and practices as a medical and surgical retina specialist at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont University Ophthalmology Center. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Her main research interest is diabetic retinopathy (DR) with a focus on teleophthalmology as a mean of enhancing access to DR screening for all diabetic individuals and with a specific interest to that end in screening software, artificial intelligence and in the development of a diabetic and image data registry to support research for DR and the search for more efficient and cost-efficient practices to reduce visual disability from DR. Dre Boucher has published a number of scientific articles on this subject and has pioneered the development of teleophthalmology programs for DR in Quebec. She has initiated the development of Canadian guidelines for DR screening and surveillance as well as laid the foundations of interdisciplinary multi-institutional collaborations in artificial intelligence for ophthalmology for DR and other major eye diseases.
Dr. Benoît Lamarche is Full Professor at the School of Nutrition and Chair of Nutrition at Laval University. He has published more than 320 peer-reviewed papers in areas related to diet and its impact on metabolic syndrome, obesity, inflammation and dyslipidemia. He has contributed the training of more than 60 MSc, PhD students and postdocs. He has received numerous awards, including awards from the Société Québécoise de lipidologie, nutrition et métabolisme (Prix des Fondateurs, 2013), the Canadian Nutrition Society (Centrum New Investigator Award, 2011), the Utrech Group and the International Dairy Federation (Wiebe Visser Bi-annual International Nutrition Award, 2004). Benoît Lamarche is an Olympian (1984,1988) in long track speed skating.
Dr Lussier is a full professor in the Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine department at Université de Montréal. Until recently, she practised family medicine at the academic Family Health Team in Laval (Québec). She is the director of the RRSPUM (www.rrspum.ca), the FM Department’s PBRN since 2012. Her main research interests are chronic disease management in primary care with a focus on healthcare provider-patient communication and the use of information technology. She has co-authored a number of scientific articles on this subject. She is co-editor of the only French language textbook on health communication “La communication Professionnelle en santé” (2005 and 2016) used in many health sciences faculties of French-speaking countries around the world.
Dr. Al-Omran is a clinician investigator and currently appointed as a Scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital and a Full Member at the Institute of Medical Science (IMS). His research interests include: atherosclerosis bench to bedside with a special interest in peripheral arterial disease and Diabetic Foot; clinical epidemiology and health services research with a focus on using large healthcare administrative databases to conduct population-based analyses of individuals with aortic, carotid, and peripheral arterial disease; knowledge translation; and systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
Dr. Al-Omran has published widely in high-impact peer-reviewed journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation, JAMA, JACC and the Journal of Vascular Surgery. Dr. Al-Omran has been the recipient of several teaching and research awards, and he has supervised research trainees of all levels including undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate fellows.
Dr Babak Aliarzadeh has extensive experience in health information technology, specifically using electronic medical records (EMRs) data in health research. He has been part of Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) since its inception in 2008 and later joined University of Toronto Practice-Based Research Network (UTOPIAN) in 2015. In his role as UTOPIAN data analytic manager, he is responsible for regularly updating and maintaining UTOPIAN Safe Haven database (USHD) and supporting research and health quality improvement initiatives, including Diabetes Action Canada (DAC), in University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine. UTOPIAN is currently the largest provider of primary care EMR data to DAC National Diabetes Repository.
Dr. Andersson has three decades of experience designing and managing evidence-based primary health care research initiatives. In 1985, he founded CIET, a group of NGOs, institutes, foundations and charities dedicated to community-based research and planning. His main research interests are related to primary prevention in areas such as diabetes, dengue, HIV, gender violence and maternal mortality. He has supported Indigenous communities in Canada to pursue their own research objectives, often relating to diabetes and cultural resilience for over 20 years. A specific project related to diabetes worked towards revitalizing traditional foodways to reduce diabetes risk across First Nations communities.
He has held numerous research grants from CIHR, GHRI, CIDA, IDRC and private foundations. He has supervised more than 50 graduate students and has over 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals
The primary focus of the research program is to develop a better understanding of how behaviours develop and change over time, particularly with regard to participation in physical activity. Specific aspects of the research include identifying determinants of behavioural change and investigating the effects of behaviour change on health outcomes, including the management of diabetes. Other determinants of optimal diabetes care are also investigated from an epidemiological perspective using administrative databases. The aims are to identify more efficient and cost-effective clinical and public health practices.
‘Dr. Birtwhistle is an Emeritus Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences at Queen’s University. He was the Chair of the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN), Director of the Centre for Studies in Primary Care and Vice Chair of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.’
Her researches focus on characterising lifestyle (exercise/sedentary/eating) behaviours of people with diabetes and exploring strategies for optimizing the management of their condition, including reducing the hypoglycemia burden and preventing further complications. In order to translate their findings into practical application, her colleagues and she have developed and tested group-based lifestyle intervention (diet and exercise) for adults with type 1 diabetes as well as for families with a history of gestational diabetes-promoting the importance of social support for lifestyle changes. Her approach builds on close collaboration between patients, clinicians and researchers. She is co-directing the development and management of a prospective registry of patients with diabetes in Quebec, Canada (BETTER registry).
Dr. Michael Brent leads the development of a national Diabetic Retinopathy screening program that will be accessible to all Canadians living with diabetes. A best practices approach for early diagnosis and management of Diabetic Retinopathy will reduce blindness and visual disability. Tele-ophthalmology will be an important program component , with emphasis on indigenous and inner city communities. Patient engagement in research protocols, and attention to sex and gender issues will be essential cornerstones of program development. Novel imaging equipment, and automated grading software will be integrated into the screening program. A national clinical trials network will be established to assess new treatments for diabetic retinopathy.
Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown is the Interim Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and the Dalla Lana Chair of Public Health Policy at the University. Past roles include senior leadership roles in policy and strategy within the Ontario Government, founding roles in start-up companies, and extensive work on performance measurement. He received his undergraduate degree in government from Harvard University and his doctorate from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
Dr Joseph Cafazzo is Lead for the eHealth Innovation, University Health Network.
He is an active researcher of the use of technology to facilitate patient self-care of complex chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, end-stage renal disease, and congestive heart failure. He has advised and conducted research for public sector policy makers and private sector medical technology companies on the design and safety of technology in healthcare.
He has contributed to the development and promotion of artificial pancreas, critically developing device interoperability standards, analyzing user experience, and examining technical platforms.
Dr. Carpentier’s research interests include: 1) the role of postprandial fatty acid metabolism in the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases; 2) the investigation of brown adipose tissue metabolism in diabetes; and 3) the anti-diabetic mechanisms of bariatric surgery. He is also involved in translational research in collaboration with private partners using in vivo investigations techniques his laboratory develops to help advance diagnostic and treatment of diabetes and lipid disorders.
Dr. Chaudhary is a vitreo-retinal surgeon, Chief of Ophthalmology & Associate Professor of Surgery at Hamilton Regional Eye Institute, McMaster University.
As an educator, he acts as Retina Chair for the McMaster University Ophthalmology residency training program and has been the recipient of the surgical and medical Teacher of the Year Award three times.
As a researcher, he has secured multiple peer-reviewed grants for research in tele-ophthalmology, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and posterior segment drug delivery systems. He is the site Principal Investigator for the international DRCR network and sits on the steering committee for multi-national clinical trials in retina. Dr. Chaudhary supervises Master’s level thesis students in translational retinal research and was appointed Associate Member, McMaster School of Biomedical Engineering.
He acts as Editor-in-Chief for the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology. He was awarded the Senior Honor Award by the American Society of Retinal Specialists.
His administrative experience extends to the provincial level as regional physician lead for ophthalmology and as a clinical advisor for multiple provincial ophthalmology working groups. At the national level, he acts as CPD Director for the Canadian Retina Society and serves as a board member for the Canadian Retina Society.
Following his clinical training in Nephrology, Dr. Cherney completed his PhD in human renal physiology at the Institute of Medical Science, the University of Toronto in 2008. He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Toronto and a Clinician Scientist at the University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospitals, where he is director of the Renal Physiology Laboratory. He receives operating funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, JDRF the Heart and Stroke Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence and the Banting and Best Diabetes Center. Dr Cherney’s research program focuses on physiological factors that initiate renal disease in patients with diabetes, such as renal hyperfiltration and inflammation. His research program is closely aligned with his integrated and multidisciplinary cardiac-renal-endocrine clinic at the University Health Network, which maintains a strong emphasis on the prevention of diabetic nephropathy and related cardiovascular disease.
Charles goal is to pursue population-based health services research focusing on patients with diabetes who undergo lower limb amputation. He is interested in better characterizing the epidemiology, outcomes, health-resource use and costs of lower limb amputation in diabetic patients as well as limb preservation therapies. The purpose of this work is to inform population-level interventions to reduce diabetes-related foot complications.
Over the last 30 years, Dr. Després and his team have studied obesity and adiposity and how they relate to health outcomes, with a strong focus on risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Through series of cardiometabolic imaging studies, his group has shown that visceral/ectopic fat depots are key drivers of complications that had, in the past, been associated with excess body fat. The team has also documented how excess visceral adiposity/ectopic fat is associated with a constellation of atherogenic and diabetogenic abnormalities often referred to as the metabolic syndrome. The group is also active in the study of etiologic factors responsible for the selective accumulation of visceral/ectopic fat and is currently focussing on the contribution of nutritional and other lifestyle factors including physical activity/exercise. Finally, the team is heavily involved in the development of simple tools to assess and target lifestyle risk factors in clinical practice.
Dr Sophie Desroches, PhD, RD, is Professor at Université Laval School of Nutrition, in Quebec City, Canada. She is also a research scientist at the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods of Laval University. Her research program aims to identify, develop and evaluate knowledge translation strategies that will optimize adherence to dietary advice for preventing and managing chronic diseases. Her more recently funded research projects have explored the use of social media, and more specifically blogs, as knowledge translation strategies to enhance adherence to evidence-based dietary advice for preventing and managing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Joyce Dogba is trained as a physician in Togo. She holds a Master degree in health economics and a PhD in Public Health. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Emergency Medicine at Laval University. Her research agenda comprises evaluation of collaborative practices with patients-users in research and the education of health professionals. She is also interested in advancing stakeholders engagement science regarding how to meaningfully involve the underserved including immigrants in patient-oriented research. Joyce Dogba is a co-lead on patient engagement within the SRAP/SPOR Network in Diabetes and Related Complications.
Dr. El-Defrawy is Nanji Family Chair in Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto and the Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at Kensington Eye Institute. He is a Past President of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society and the Association of Canadian University Professors of Ophthalmology, and most recently was co-Chair of the Eye Health Council of Ontario. He was the Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Queen’s University, and Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at the University Hospitals in Kingston, Ontario from 2004 to 2012.
Dr. Farkouh is internationally known for his work in cardiovascular prevention and acute coronary syndromes. He has a special interest and expertise in the field of cardiovascular disease in diabetic patients. He is currently the project officer for numerous clinical trials on questions related to diabetes and heart disease including the NIH-sponsored FREEDOM trial. He chairs the committee on diabetes and heart disease at the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre at the University of Toronto and serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Our group investigates the link between diabetes and heart diseases with a particular emphasis on large, multinational outcomes trials in patients with coronary heart disease and heart failure.
There is no FDA-approved treatment for diabetic neuropathy, a condition that afflicts half of the 27 million North Americans who suffer from diabetes. The neurodegeneration seen in diabetes leads to sensory fiber depletion and loss of protective sensation – a primary trigger of the diabetic foot and lower limb amputation. With financial support from several key stakeholders in the field of diabetes, a small start-up company, WinSanTor Inc, was established in 2012 and is developing a proprietary first-in-class therapy to prevent and reverse nerve damage. The SPOR network will perform phase 2 clinical trials with novel topical therapeutics provided by WinSanTor.
Shivani is currently leading a digital strategy for the commercialization of chronic disease management mobile technologies. She has extensive experience in the design and development of evidence-based behavioural digital platforms, as well as in evaluation methods, ranging from traditional (i.e. RCTs) to more nimble real-time analytics approaches.
Driven by the overwhelming prevalence of chronic illness and the need to revolutionize the traditional models for health care delivery, Shivani is exploring how consumer-focused approaches can enable patients to drive their own care. This involves expanding health care beyond hospital and clinics and evolving traditional consumer markets (e.g. Pharmacies), communities, even our own homes, to be facilitators of improved health.
Through public-private partnerships, Shivani’s goal is to move eHealth research from the bench to the hands of patients, through the co-development of innovative, robust and scalable models of health care delivery.
Shivani holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, from the University of Toronto. Her thesis was focused on the design and evaluation of a behavioural mobile application for the self-management of diabetes. She also holds a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from Université de Montréal, and a Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering from Concordia, with a specializing in aerospace engineering
Dr Greiver completed her MD at the University of Toronto in 1984 and her MSc at the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, the University of Toronto in 2010. She is an Associate professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Gordon F. Cheesbrough Research Chair in Family and Community Medicine, North York General Hospital and Director, University of Toronto Practice-Based Research Network (UTOPIAN).
Dr Greiver’s work centers on using Canada’s increasingly large amounts of electronic health data to improve the health and lives of Canadians; diabetes is now a critical health issue for more Canadians than ever. She oversees the Electronic Medical Record data system as well as clinical research activities for UTOPIAN, the University of Toronto Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN), which includes over 1,400 family physicians and is the largest PBRN in Canada. UTOPIAN partners front line providers and academic researchers, providing insights into what is working and what could work better in primary care. She is working with the Leadership of Diabetes Action Canada on the launch of a National Diabetes Repository; the Repository will combine multiple sources of data, including information added by patients living with diabetes on their health and wellbeing. It is intended to offer patients new ways to access and use their data and enhanced options to engage and participate in care and research positioned to be meaningful and relevant to them.
Dr. Neeru Gupta is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, and the Diabetes Canada–New Brunswick Health Research Foundation Chair in Diabetes Research at the University of New Brunswick. Her research focuses on the use of large-scale survey and administrative datasets to support evidence-informed health and social policy to positively impact diabetes outcomes across the lifespan amenable to healthcare improvement, notably as leading to healthy populations, sustainable health system investments, and better patient and provider experiences.
Dr. Haidar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University. Dr. Haidar leads an interdisciplinary research program that applies feedback control theory and mathematical modelling to diabetes physiological and clinical problems. Since 2011, Dr Haidar’s research focus has been to develop and clinically test novel artificial pancreas systems, as well as using Bayesian modeling and isotope tracers to study the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of insulin, glucagon, and pramlintide. Dr Haidar also leads a graduate program in translational biomedical engineering at McGill University that trains engineers for careers in the biomedical industry.
Dr. Paula Harvey is a scientist in the Women’s College Research Institute, professor in the Department of Medicine at the University Toronto, director of the Cardiovascular Research Program and chief of medicine at Women’s College Hospital. Within Diabetes Action Canada, Dr. Harvey acts as a co-investigator for the sex and gender goal group.
Dr. Harvey’s research focus is on cardiovascular disease in women, with a special interest in hypertension, cardiac rehabilitation and cardiovascular disease in patients with autoimmune and rheumatologic diseases. Dr. Harvey’s research explores how blood pressure and the health of blood vessels are regulated by the body – and how this system of regulation may differ between women and men. She is also interested in the role of inflammation in autoimmune diseases in the development of cardiovascular disease.
Bernard R. Hurley, BSc, MD, FRCSC is an Assistant Professor at The University of Ottawa Eye Institute where he is also the residency program director and the fellowship program director. He has received awards for top clinical instruction in the department in 2016, 2013 and 2011. He completed his post-graduate medical education with a Retina Fellowship at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia where he was twice awarded the Outstanding Fellow Award. He has written several chapters and has been the author or co-author of many peer-reviewed publications on topics including diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. He has received research support from the E.A. Baker Foundation.
Noah Ivers (MD, PhD) is a scientist at WCRI and adjunct scientist at ICES. He is also a family physician at Women’s College Hospital (WCH) and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and at the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto.
Noah’s research focuses on the use of data to drive decision making in healthcare and draws on a foundation in clinical epidemiology and health services research. He’s also received the Rising Star Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research-Institute of Health Sciences and Policy Research (CIHR-IHSPR) in 2013. He has also received New Investigator Awards from CIHR and a Clinician Scientist award from the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Jaakkimainen’s research interests include examining primary health care access, continuity of care, primary health care indicators and benchmarks, measuring wait times from primary to specialist care, improving the coordination of care in primary care, caring for marginalized and frail seniors in the community, and performance feedback to primary care providers. In 2006, Dr. Jaakkimainen co-lead the “Primary Care in Ontario: An ICES Atlas”. In 2014, Dr. Jaakkimainen published a study using family physician Electronic Medical Record Administrative data Linked Database (EMRALD) measuring the time between a family physician’s referral and the appointment with a specialist.
Monika Kastner is the Research Chair in Knowledge Translation (KT) and Implementation at North York General Hospital, an Affiliate Scientist with the KT Program at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital, and Assistant Professor in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) as well as through the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) at the University of Toronto. Monika’s research interests and goals are to make a positive impact on the health of vulnerable populations with the use of innovative eHealth technologies and to advance the science and practice of KT and health services research. Monika is the recipient of the CIHR New Investigator Award and the Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science in recognition of her work on the KeepWell initiative (funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and the CIHR), which involves creating and implementing a unique mHealth application that empowers older adults and their providers to optimize multimorbidity management.
Tara Kiran is the Fidani Chair in Improvement and Innovation and Vice-Chair Quality and Innovation at the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto. Much of her research has focused on evaluating the impact of Ontario’s primary care reforms on quality of care. She has also developed a passion for quality improvement research including initiatives to improve cancer screening rates, measure and reduce care disparities, and support physicians to learn from data. She practices family medicine at the St. Michael’s Hospital Academic Family Health Team where she led the quality improvement program from 2011 to 2018. She is an Associate Scientist in the Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital and an Adjunct Scientist at ICES. She is also currently an Embedded Clinician Researcher with Health Quality Ontario where she leads a program of research to improve the experience of care for patients transitioning from hospital to home.
Dr Kosar is an ophthalmologist specializing in Retinal Diseases from Sudbury Ontario. He is the Chief of Ophthalmology at Health Sciences North. He recently completed his term as the Ontario Medical Association Board member elected from the Surgical Assembly. He is now Director-Elect to the OMA Board elected from Northeastern Ontario. Dr Kosar worked as a Family Doctor in Northern Ontario from 1982 to 1986.Dr. Kosar is a Past President of the Sudbury & District Medical Society. He is the Past Chair of OMA District 9 (Northeastern Ontario). He had been Section Chair for Ophthalmology and has served many years on OMA Council. The CNIB Eye Van program has Dr Kosar as its Assistant Medical Director. He serves on the Board of Directors for Science North in Sudbury. Dr Kosar is an Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Dr. Kosar continues to carry on a busy practice in Sudbury while participating in various telemedicine projects involving remote screening for Diabetic Retinopathy
The research program is to contribute to sustaining health and well-being in society by supporting high-quality diabetes care. It will focus on scaling up shared decision making by applying it to decision contexts and on building shared decision making capacity among health professionals. More specifically, it will provide diabetes patients and their health professionals with the necessary skills to promote shared decision-making throughout the healthcare continuum. This research is expected to harmonize patients’ expectations with respect to professional practices within the Canadian healthcare system using the best knowledge and evidence available to improve patients’ outcomes while ensuring their safety.
The Lewis lab has had a long interest in the mechanisms of various aspects of diabetic dyslipidemia, including postprandial lipemia, HDL lowering and hypertriglyceridemia. We have also had a long standing interest in the mechanisms of type 2 diabetes. Previously we have performed both animal and human mechanistic studies but currently are focusing exclusively on the human. In 2002, working in close collaboration with Dr. Khosrow Adeli (U of T), we made the novel observation that the intestine, in addition to the liver, overproduces lipoproteins in insulin resistant states. In our current funded work we are determining the mechanism of intestinal and hepatic lipoprotein overproduction in insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. We perform integrative, physiological studies in humans, attempting to determine the regulation of intestinal and hepatic lipoprotein particle production by hormones, nutrients and pharmacological agents. We have also received funding to study CNS regulation of systemic metabolism.
Dr. Lipscombe is an endocrinologist and director of the Division of Endocrinology at Women’s College Hospital, as well as a scientist at the Women’s College Research Institute, a senior adjunct scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Toronto. She completed her MD from McGill University in 1998, followed by Internal Medicine and Endocrinology training and an MSc in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Toronto. Dr. Lipscombe’s research program focuses on the epidemiology, care and prevention of diabetes, with a specific focus on diabetes in women. She has extensive experience with the use of population-based databases to conduct diabetes research and is currently leading a large clinical trial to evaluate a diabetes prevention program for women with gestational diabetes.
Our goal is to develop a National Diabetic Retinopathy(DR) assessment program, registry, and clinical trials unit that will be accessible to all Canadians with diabetes. This program will define and implement a best practices approach for the early diagnosis and management of DR, preventing blindness and visual disability. Novel components of this program include a scalable National DR Registry, a patient-oriented research program, and an App to assist patients with managing their eye care.
Dr. MacCallum leads the development and evaluation of innovative educational programs designed to support and empower pharmacists in the care of people with diabetes. Recognizing the need for pharmacists to play a greater role in the medication management of diabetes patients, she founded the first Canadian Diabetes Pharmacists Network and is the Editor-in-Chief of the BBDC Guidebook on Diabetes Management which has been referenced by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care and is used by over 6000 health care providers across Canada. Her current research focuses on the evaluation of expanded pharmacy services including an evaluation of the MedsCheck Diabetes program in Ontario. Her research aims to identify the most substantial barriers and facilitators to follow-up of people with diabetes and to develop and evaluate strategies to improve follow-up by community pharmacists using quality improvement methods.
Dr Donna Manca’s research is focussed on obtaining and using data for research and to improve care through prevention, screening and better management. She is the Director of the Northern Alberta Primary Care Research Network (NAPCReN), a network contributing data to the Canadian Primary Care Research Network (CPCSSN). Dr Manca was instrumental in the implementation of the privacy and information security system for the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network which obtained the international association of privacy professionals 2013 privacy innovation award. She is working with Diabetes Action Canada on the development and launch of a secure National Diabetes Repository that will provide data from multiple sources for research, practice and patients. Good data is required to better inform patients and their health care providers.
Dr. Maureen Markle-Reid is a Full Professor and Canada Research Chair in Person-Centred Interventions for Older Adults with Multimorbidity in the School of Nursing, and an Associate Member in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster University. With Drs. Jenny Ploeg and Ruta Valaitis, she is a Co-Director of the Aging, Community and Health Research Unit at McMaster University. Funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the research unit and Dr. Markle-Reid’s CRC is focused on the development, evaluation and scale-up of community-based interventions to optimize aging at home among older adults with multiple chronic conditions and to support their family caregivers
Robin Mason MA, MEd, PhD, is the scientific lead for the Women’s Xchange, a scientist in the Women’s College Research Institute, and an assistant professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health with a cross-appointment to the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. She acts as the co-investigator for Diabetes Action Canada Sex and Gender Enabling Research Program.
With a view to increasing research capacity across all sectors of society, she is committed to engaging with students, community members, and established researchers in activities designed to enhance understanding of, and commitment to women’s health research. Dr. Mason has been working in the field of intimate partner violence and medical education for almost 20 years and in addition to grants, contracts and publications on the topic, has contributed to the development of relevant policies at the local, provincial and national level.
Dr. McGavock established his lab at the Children’s Hospital Institute of Manitoba in 2006 to study the treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes in youth. He is a CIHR Applied Health Chair (2014-2019) and the lead for the DREAM and DEVOTION research teams that have secured over $22M in external funding to reduce the burden of type 2 diabetes in youth in Canada. He currently is the PI for a CIHR Pathways team grant that assembled Canada’s largest network of scientists and Indigenous communities focused on the prevention of type 2 diabetes among Indigenous youth.
Dr Jason Noble is an ophthalmologist and medical retina specialist based out of Toronto, Ontario. He completed his undergraduate and medical studies, as well as his residency training in Ophthalmology, at the University of Toronto. He then pursued a fellowship in medical retina and diabetic eye disease at the Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School. He is board certified both in Canada and the United States.
Dr Noble works in private practice in Toronto and is a staff ophthalmologist at both Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Markham-Stouffville hospital. He is actively involved in student and resident education and is an assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto. He has been actively involved in clinical research, having published in many peer-reviewed journals, and has lectured at major national and international meetings.
Dr. Monica Parry is a Nurse Practitioner (Adult) with over 30 years of cardiovascular (CV) clinical experience. Her clinical expertise has laid the foundation for a program of research to reduce the burden of CV disease and its complications. Dr. Parry is a member of the Banting & Best Diabetes Centre and is Core Faculty and a Collaborating Investigator with the Collaborative Program in Resuscitation Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. She is interested in sex and gender issues and is currently leading a research team to develop and test HEARTPA♀N: An Integrated Smartphone and Web-Based Intervention for Women with Cardiac Pain. Dr. Parry has received advanced training from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to engage patients as partners in health research and is currently funded (CIHR) with Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO) to develop a toolkit/decision resource for patient partners, researchers and clinicians.
Centered on type 1 diabetes and using longitudinal cohort methods as well as clinical trials, his research work has focused on 1) Early biomarkers of diabetes complications and biomarkers of progression to advanced disease, and 2) Interventions for prevention of complications, including artificial pancreas technologies and disease-modifying adjunctive-to-insulin pharmacotherapies. Principal findings include “early progressive renal decline” which permitted identification of novel factors now subject to a large-scale nephropathy clinical trial, and the development of In-vivo Corneal Confocal Microscopy as an early small fibre biomarker for neuropathy for which he leads an NIH-funded international consortium. He leads a phase 3 trial of Sodium Glucose-Linked Transporter-2 inhibition in type 1 diabetes, and his first project in the Diabetes Action Canada portfolio combines such adjunctive therapy with artificial pancreas technology as a strategy to maximally impact glycemic control in type 1 diabetes.
Dr. Ploeg co-leads the Community Partnership Program (CPP) for Diabetes Self-Management for Older Adults – Canada with Drs. Maureen Markle-Reid and Ruta Valaitis. Their goal is to address gaps in the delivery of diabetes-related health services for adults 65 and older with multiple chronic conditions (MCC). Their innovative community-based model for diabetes care aims to improve diabetes self-management and the quality of care for older adults with diabetes and MCC. Using a multi-site randomized controlled trial, they are further evaluating this 6-month intervention in three provinces over four years with funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research Pan-Canadian SPOR Network in Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations (PIHCI), McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) and Scarborough Health Network.
Marie-Pascale Pomey MD-PhD is a renowned senior investigator in public health specialized in patient engagement in the healthcare system, with over 50 publications in that field. She is Professor in the Department of Management, Evaluation and Health Policy at UdeM. She is co-director of the Center of Excellence on Partnership with Patients and the Public that develops new practices that focus on dialogue and sharing knowledge to improve the patient experience and effectiveness of healthcare. She holds a Chair in Advanced Technology Assessment and Modalities focusing on engaging citizens and patients in the transformation of organizations and the healthcare system.
Rémi Rabasa-Lhoret (MD;PhD) is an endocrinologist at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) and at Université de Montréal university hospital (CHUM), director of the diabetes clinic and the metabolic diseases research unit at the IRCM and full professor at Nutrition Department of Université de Montréal. He holds the J-A De Sève diabetes research chair. He has published over 290 manuscripts and book chapters (H-index 62) and received multiple awards. He holds funding from multiple agencies including prestigious NIH, CIHR-foundation grant, Diabetes Canada & CIHR-JDRF-SPOR. The main research areas of the group are: Reduce the frequency and consequences of hypoglycemia for patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and Obese patients without metabolic complications.
Dr. Rac is a Lead of the Research Program in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and Network Analytics for the Diabetes Action Canada working closely with other programs, in particular, Diabetic Retinopathy Program on the evaluation of the Pilot Tele-ophthalmology Screening Program for Diabetic Retinopathy. Dr Rac and her team lead the evaluation of the Diabetes Action Canada, collaborating with Drs Mathieu Ouimet and Maman Joyce Dogba and their teams from the Université Laval.
Dr Rac`s research interests and expertise are in the area of health services research and the HTA focused on the design, implementation and evaluation of the complex interventions in the HTA research (technologies and services) and chronic disease management in the community (diabetes, heart failure, COPD, chronic kidney disease, chronic wounds). More recently her research is also focused on the system level effects of health technologies and how they impact healthcare delivery
Dr. Paula Rochon leads the Women’s Xchange, a women’s health research knowledge translation and exchange centre, based at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. Her team has worked with Diabetes Action Canada since its earliest inception, providing insights on the integration of sex and gender in the different research studies of the network, reviewing proposal materials and editing application documents to incorporate a sex and gender lens. Dr. Rochon and her expert sex and gender researchers at Women’s Xchange will continue to support Diabetes Action Canada to ensure that sex and gender are considered at all stages of the research.
Dr. Rudnisky is a Professor with the University of Alberta, Department of Ophthalmology. He completed both his MD (with distinction) and a residency in Ophthalmology at the University of Alberta. In 2009, he received a Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. Locally, he is co-Director of the University of Alberta Teleophthalmology Reading Centre, Chair of the Ophthalmology Undergraduate Medical Education Committee, and Chair of the CPSA NHSF Committee. He has also been elected to the Alberta Medical Association Representative Forum for more than 10 years. Nationally, he is the Chair of the Royal College Examination Committee (Ophthalmology), Vice-Chair of the Specialty Committee and a Section Editor for the CJO. He has published 74 peer-reviewed articles and was awarded “Best Surgical Teacher” for 7 out of last 8 years. He was also named “Teacher of the Year” in 2013.
Dr. Peter Senior is a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Alberta. He is the Medical Director of the Clinical Islet Transplant Program and co-director of the Northern Alberta Diabetic Nephropathy Prevention Program. He is originally from the UK where he completed his specialist training in Diabetes and Endocrinology and received his Ph.D. in 2002. His clinical and research interests focus on type 1 diabetes, islet transplantation, hypoglycemia and diabetic nephropathy.He has been an investigator in a number of clinical trials in both diabetes and islet transplantation ranging from large multicentre studies (eg ACCORD) to smaller investigator-initiated trials. Dr. Senior is a popular speaker who has lectured in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. He has served as an associate editor for the journals Diabetic Medicine, Cell Transplantation and the Canadian Journal of Diabetes. He is Chair-elect of the Professional Section of the Canadian Diabetes Association
Dr. Baiju Shah is a health services researcher and clinician-scientist in endocrinology. He is a staff physician, Divisions of Endocrinology and Obstetric Medicine, Department of Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Head of the Division of Endocrinology. He is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto and IHPME, a Scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute and a Senior Core Scientist at ICES. His research seeks to understand and improve the quality of care and long-term outcomes of people with diabetes. He has national and international leadership in several areas of research, including diabetes care in ethnic, immigrant and indigenous populations; long-term cardiometabolic consequences for women following gestational diabetes; and novel models of healthcare delivery to improve outcomes.
Tom Sheidow is Associate Professor of the Department of Ophthalmology at Western University, London, Canada. Dr Sheidow’s major clinical and research interests are in AMD and macular diseases; he has been a participant in several of the major AMD and diabetes clinical trials over recent years. He was the co-chair for the current Canadian trials evaluating Lucentis vs Laser for diabetic macular edema (RESPOND) and the use of the Treat-and-Extend Regimen for Lucentis in AMD (CanTREAT). An active member of the Canadian Retinal Trials Group, Dr Sheidow’s current areas of interest are AMD and teleophthalmology and its application to patient screening and referral. Dr Sheidow is a Fellow of the RCPSC and a member of the Canadian Ophthalmology Society and is the current retina section editor for the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology.
Rayzel Shulman received her undergraduate degree in Biology at McGill University, her medical degree at McMaster University in 2004, and her PhD in Health Services Research from the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto in 2015. She trained in Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.
She is currently a staff physician in the Division of Endocrinology, Department of Paediatrics and Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (status only) at the University of Toronto. She is a Scientist-Track Investigator at the SickKids Research Institute and an Adjunct Scientist at ICES.
Marie-Claude Tremblay holds a PhD in Public Health & Health Promotion (Université de Montréal) and is an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Emergency Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine at Université Laval (Québec, Canada). She has expertise in qualitative methods, patient engagement and participatory research approaches. Her current research focuses on improving the health of vulnerable populations through participatory research with communities and healthcare organizations, as well as by fostering transformative learning within health professional training and education. Her specific research interests include Indigenous health and cultural safety, community mobilization, diabetes prevention, reflexive practice and critical pedagogy.
Dr. Valaitis co-leads the Community Partnership Program (CPP) for Diabetes Self-Management for Older Adults – Canada with Drs. Maureen Markle-Reid and Jenny Ploeg. Their goal is to address gaps in the delivery of diabetes-related health services for adults 65 and older with multiple chronic conditions (MCC). Their innovative community-based model for diabetes care aims to improve diabetes self-management and the quality of care for older adults with diabetes and MCC. Using a multi-site randomized controlled trial, they are further evaluating this 6-month intervention in three provinces over four years. Ruta co-leads Patient and Public Engagement for the program of research.
With an interdisciplinary background in human factors engineering and social sciences, Dr. Witteman’s research is about person-centred digital health, including a focus on how best to adapt technology to people rather than expecting people to adapt to technology. She specializes in human-computer interaction in health education, risk communication and decision making, including design methods to support inclusive user- and patient-centeredness. Dr. Witteman has lived with type 1 diabetes since being diagnosed as a young child in 1983. Her role in Diabetes Action Canada is to serve as a bridge between people whose lives involve managing diabetes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and scientists who study diabetes but don’t live with it.
David Wong, is an Honours graduate from the University of Toronto’s Medical Doctorate program who specializes in Vitreous and Retina surgery after completing a residency in ophthalmology at U of T and a fellowship with Dr. Michael Shea in Toronto followed by a second fellowship with Dr. Stanley Chang in Columbia, New York. Dr. Wong is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He is also a member of the Canadian Ophthalmology Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retina Specialists and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Numerous awards have been given to him locally and internationally including the American Society of Vitreoretinal Surgeons (ASRS) Senior Award. He is the past director of the fellowship programs in the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto and has founded the national fellowship committee in the Canadian Ophthalmology Society. Locally he started the GTA Retina subspecialty group rounds in 1998 which has been running ever since. His recent interests include better diabetic retinopathy surveillance that may catch the disease in the earlier stages and developing new ophthalmic biomaterials.
Rose Yeung is a clinical endocrinologist with special interests in improving diabetes care delivery with peer support, community health workers and improved educational resources. She received the following awards; Outstanding Health Care Professional, Diabetes Canada, 2017, Diabetes Junior Investigator Gold, AstraZeneca Canada, 2016, and Vivian Fonseca Scholar, American Diabetes Association, 2015. Her aim is to develop interventions for preventing and reducing the burden of gestational diabetes, improving outcomes for those with type 1 diabetes and assessing the impacts and treatments of young-onset type 2 diabetes.
Nancy Young is a full Professor at Laurentian University and holds a Research Chair in Rural and Northern Children’s Health. She began her career as a Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children, where she remains an Adjunct Scientist. Her 25-year research career has been devoted to health measurement for and with school-aged children. She held a Canada Research Chair (Tier II) from 2005 to 2015. The assessment of Indigenous children’s health has been Dr Young’s primary focus for the last decade, in collaboration with Mrs Mary Jo Wabano, who have co-created the Aboriginal Children’s Health and Well-being Measure (www.ACHWM.ca). The ACHWM is an important holistic outcome measure that is supporting the evaluation of diabetes prevention programs for youth across Canada.
Dr. Yu is an associate professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and an associate scientist at Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Yu’s research interests focuses on the role of patient and clinician behaviour change within knowledge translation for chronic disease management. She is particularly interested in the development of innovative strategies for continuing professional development and patient education in diabetes care. Dr. Yu has led projects that explore these strategies through the curation of online, interactive self- management tools, empathy-based educational comics, insulin order sets, computer-based simulators and interprofessional workshops on knowledge, behavior change, clinical and psychological outcomes. She has received several awards in innovation and interprofessional education.