Profiles of BBDC Members Primarily Involved In Diabetes Research

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Cafazzo, Joseph - PhD, PEng

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Associate Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine
Associate Professor, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Medicine

Other Appointment(s):

  • Senior Director, Medical Engineering and Healthcare Human Factors, University Health Network
  • Lead, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, University Health Network
  • Primary Area of Study (PAS) Lead, eHealth Innovation and Information Management, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Clinical Lead, Design and Engineering for Health, Techna Institute, University Health Network
  • Investigator, Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) Collaborative, University of Toronto
  • Core Member, Centre for Patient Safety, University of Toronto

Contact Information:
RFE 4th Floor, 4S427
190 Elizabeth Street
Toronto, ON   M5G 2C4

Phone: 416-340-3634

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Dr. Cafazzo leads the development of technologies as a way to keep people out of hospital by allowing for self-care at home for those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, end-stage renal disease and congestive heart failure.

These strategies are aimed at helping people before their conditions become acute and medical intervention is required. The emphasis here is improving patient self-efficacy.

One such solution is bantDesigned for adolescents with Type I diabities, bant simplifies diabetes management by connecting to a glucometer via Bluetooth. It also connects teens in a secure community of peers and helps them self-manage by rewarding positive behaviour every time they use their glucometer.

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Carlen, Peter - MD, FRCPC

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology; Professor, Departments of Physiology, and IBBME

Other Appointment(s): Senior scientist TWRI

Contact Information:
KDT 7-402, Toronto Western Research Institute
60 Leonard Ave.
Toronto, ON   M5T2S8

Phone: 416-603-5017
Fax: 416-603-5768

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Main interests are mechanisms of neural synchrony and entrainment (epilepsy), hypoglycemic seizures, and neurodegenerative processes.a) We have several projects on cellular mechanisms and local system dynamics of epilepsy, particularly the biophysics of the transition to seizure, and the role of electrotonic coupling via gap junctions. Molecular biological and cellular electrophysiological techniques are being used to measure the upregulation of gap junctions in several in vitro and in vivo seizure models. b) Hypoglycemic seizures are a major problem in juveniles with diabetes. We are studying the pathophysiology of hypoglycaemic seizures in juvenile animals both in vitro and in vivo, noting that the most severe seizures seem to be associated with mainly subcortical seizure-like EEG activity, which could also be related to the 'dead in bed' or sudden unexplained death sometimes noted with juvenile hypoglycemic events. Also we are examining the pathophysiology of neuronal injury which is enhanced by glucose reperfusion. Glucose reperfusion is also associated with a significant upregulation of gap junctional expression, the significance of which remains to be elucidated. However is is known that provision of nutrients to neurons requires intact astrocytic gap junctional communication.

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Cherney, David - MD, PhD, FRCPC

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology

Other Appointment(s): Clinician Scientist, University Health Network

Contact Information:

University Health Network
585 University Ave,
Room 8N-845
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2N2

Phone: 416-340-4151
Fax: 416-340-4999

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Current research interests in type 1 diabetes mellitus include the physiology of renal hyperfiltration in diabetic nephropathy, cardiorenal interactions and endothelial function, the effect of pharmaceutical agents on the urinary proteome, and functional gene polymorphisms in humans.

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Colton, Patricia - MD

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Contact Information:

Toronto General Hospital
200 Elizabeth St.
7 Eaton South Rm. 409
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2C4

Phone: 416-340-3477
Fax: 416-340-3430

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

I am engaged in research related to psychosocial adjustment to diabetes, particularly risk for eating disorders and depression. I collaborate with Dr. Denis Daneman at Hospital for Sick Children, and we are conducting a longitudinal study of eating disturbances, depression, psychosocial functioning and medical status in girls and women with type 1 diabetes.

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Comelli, Elena M. - PhD

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Assistant Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences

Contact Information:
FitzGerald Building room 308a
150 College Street
Toronto, ON   M5S3E2

Phone: 416-978-6284, 416-978-3014
Fax: 416-978-5882

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Research in my lab focuses on the relationship between diet, gut microbiota and health. We have been focusing on the establishment of the intestinal barrier and the role played by the gut microbiota in its regulation, at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene expression level. Building on recent findings linking gut microbiota, intestinal barrier and the metabolic syndrome, we are now expanding our research to understand how the establishment of the gut microbiota in early life may be linked to developing this condition in later life.

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