Profiles of BBDC Members Primarily Involved In Diabetes Research

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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
Email: elena.comelli@utoronto.ca
Websites: http://nutrisci.med.utoronto.ca/content/elena-comeli

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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Connelly, Philip W. - PhD

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Professor, Department of Medicine; and Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology

Other Appointment(s): Staff Scientist
Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science
of St. Michael's Hospital

Contact Information:
Room 413 Keenan Research Centre
209 Victoria Street
Toronto, ON   M5B 1W8

Phone: 416-864-6023
Fax: 416-864-5870
Email: connellyp@smh.ca

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

The research interests of the laboratory are in the study of patients at risk for Type 2 Diabetes or at risk for the complications of diabetes and identifying serum biomarkers that will predict patient outcomes. The most recent focus has been on the adipokine adiponectin and on the enzyme paraoxonase-1 (PON1). Adiponectin is an insulin-sensitizing protein produced by adipocytes.
PON1 is an anti-inflammatory component of high density lipoproteins.  We have studied these factors in four patient groups:
1) The Sandy Lake Oji-Cree; 2) women at risk for post-gestational diabetes; 3) patients with renal failure on dialysis; and 4) renal transplant recipients.

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Connelly, Kim - MBBS, PhD

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Member, Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence

Other Appointment(s): Staff Physician, St. Michael's Hospital
Staff Physician, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Scientist, Keenan Research Centre at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital

Contact Information:
30 Bond St
Toronto, ON   M5B 1W8

Phone: 416-864-5201
Fax: 416-864-5571
Email: connellyk@smh.ca
Websites: http://www.stmichaelshospital.com/research/profile.php?id=connellyk&navId=..

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Dr. Connelly is a clinician scientist and staff physician at St Michael’s Hospital where his clinical responsibilities involve echocardiography and cardiac MRI. His basic science laboratory is involved in exploring mechanisms of diabetic complications, principally diastolic heart failure and developing novel therapeutic strategies to treat this. Dr. Connelly also collaborates closely with the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in elucidating the role of real time cardiac metabolism in the pathogenesis of post MI remodeling, and developing novel MR techniques to enable non-invasive tissue characterization.

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Coons, Michael - PhD

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine 

Other Appointment(s): Scientist, Markham Diabetes Game Changing Initiative, and Health for All Family Health Team, Markham Stouffville Hospital
Research Associate, Connected Health and Wellness Project
Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychology, York University

Contact Information:
Room 202
379 Church Street
Markham, ON   L6B 0T1

Phone: 416-700-2880
Fax: 905-472-5662
Email: michael.coons@utoronto.ca

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

I am a Clinical Health Psychologist, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. I have expertise in developing and implementing technology-supported behavioural interventions for obesity, and multiple health behaviour change, for chronic disease prevention. The goal of this line of research is to reduce the intesity of established face-to-face interventions, while preserving their efficacy, extending their community reach, and improving patient-provider communication. I am currently involved with the development of a large community-based diabets prevention initiative in Markham (Markham Diabetes Game Changining Initiative), and serve as the co-lead of the primary care component of this intervention.   

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Cox, Brian - BSc, MSc, PhD

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

Contact Information:

Department of Physiology
University of Toronto
1 King's College Circle
Medical Sciences Building, Room 3360 
Toronto, Ontario  M5S 1A8

Phone: Office: 416-978-3241 Lab: 416-978-3240
Email: b.cox@utoronto.ca
Websites: http://www.physiology.utoronto.ca/content/brian-cox

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

I have strong research interests in the area of fetal maternal health and developmental origins of disease. I have several manuscripts on the development of the placenta and trophoblast cell lineages and on hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, such as preeclampsia. My interest in diabetes is in gestational diabetes, often found in conjunction with preeclampsia and the acute and chronic affect on the child, relating to the increased risk of developing type II diabetes. I apply a systems biology approach involving the generation and integration of proteomics, transcriptional and epigenetic data sets. I apply computational models to identify different molecular disease classes and mechanisms of gene regulation. I have several papers on the inter species comparisons of human and mouse tissues and disease models to understand the similarities and develop improved disease models for research. I am proposing to work with animal models of gestational diabetes and compare these results to human samples from bio banked placental material of patients with gestational diabetes. My goal is to develop better bio markers to determine the likelihood of developing diabetes after pregnancy.

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