Profiles of BBDC Members Primarily Involved In Diabetes Research

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Cross, Karen - MD, PhD, FRCSC

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

Other Appointment(s): Associate Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science
iBEST, Research Program
Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon, St. Michael’s Hospital
Adjunctive Professor, Yeates School of Graduate Studies, Ryerson University

Contact Information:
St. Michael’s Hospital
30 Bond Street, Room 4-072
Toronto, ON   M5B 1W8

Phone: (416) 864-6060 Ext. 3868
Email: crosska@smh.ca
Websites: http://stmichaelshospitalresearch.ca/researchers/karen-cross/

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Developing optical technologies to assess tissue viability in the diabetic lower extremity. The aim is to develop novel devices in the prevention, diagnosis and management of Diabetic Foot Ulcers (DFU's). The research laboratory is a combination of physics, engineering and clinical translation with the aim to have a direct impact on the lives of patients.

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Cummins, Carolyn L. - PhD

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy

Contact Information:
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy Room 1101
144 College St.
Toronto, ON   M5S 3M2

Phone: 416-946-3466
Fax: 416-978-8511
Email: carolyn.cummins@utoronto.ca
Websites: http://phm.utoronto.ca/~cummins/

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Several members of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily have been implicated in protecting against diseases associated with the metabolic syndrome. For example, from data obtained using animal models, it appears the liver X receptors (LXRα and LXRβ) are protective against atherosclerosis, dyslipidemia, and diabetes. The current focus of the Cummins lab is on the study of these nuclear hormone receptors and their roles in regulating glucose metabolism. Recently, we have shown that LXR is involved in the regulation of cholesterol conversion to glucocorticoids in the adrenal gland and are investigating the influence of this finding on glucose metabolism and the onset of type 2 diabetes. We are also exploring the link between LXR and the deposition of cholesterol in the glomeruli of the kidney in diabetic nephropathy.

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Cybulsky, Myron - MD

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

Other Appointment(s): Senior Scientist, Advanced Diagnostics Division, Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network
Staff Pathologist, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network

Contact Information:
MaRS Centre, Toronto Medical Discoveries Tower 3-306
101 College Street
Toronto, ON   M5G 1L7

Phone: (416) 581-7483
Fax: (416) 581-7484
Email: myron.cybulsky@utoronto.ca

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

The goal of Dr. Cybulsky’s research program is to elucidate novel cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating intimal macrophage burden at early stages of atherosclerosis.  The vision is to use this information to develop new therapies to inhibit the progression of early atherosclerotic lesions to advanced plaques.  Individuals with known risk factors for atherosclerosis would benefit from such therapies because complications arising from advanced plaques cause myocardial infarction and stroke, and therapies that inhibit disease progression would alleviate the morbidity and mortality associated with atherosclerosis.  Our research program to reduce intimal macrophages in early atherosclerotic lesions and inhibit lesion progression focuses on several aspects of myeloid cell biology including macrophage exit from atherosclerotic lesions, inhibition of monocyte recruitment, macrophage proliferation and survival in early lesions and understanding how systemic risk factors influence macrophage gene expression triggered by pro-inflammatory stimuli.  Previous research has focused on hypercholesterolemia, a key risk factor for atherosclerosis; however, future studies will also include hyperglycemia and advanced glycation endproducts, which are found in patients with diabetes.  The burden of diabetes, particularly adult onset or type II diabetes, is increasing, as is its contribution to atherosclerosis-related conditions.

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Danska, Jayne

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Professor, Department of Immunology; Department of Medical Biophysics

Other Appointment(s): Program in Genetics and Genome Biology, Hospital for Sick Children

Contact Information:

MaRS, East Tower
101 College Street
Room 14-313
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7

Phone: 416-813-8810
Fax: 416-813-8823
Email: jayne.danska@sickkids.ca
Websites: http://www.sickkids.ca/Research/Danska-lab/index.html

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

The objective of our research program is to define the genetic and environmental factors driving autoimmune mediated targeting of islet cells and to use this information to design and test therapeutics that prevent, block progression of or reverse type 1 diabetes. We have taken a multidisciplinary approach to genetic, genomic and immunological analysis of T1D risk in a well-validated mouse models, focusing on dissection of the complex genetics to provide insight into human T1D pathogenesis. We have extended these studies of the role of sex and of intestinal commensal bacteria on modifying genetic risk, and application of discoveries in rodent models to large, prospective cohort study of environmental determinants of T1D in genetically at risk children.

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Dash, Satya - MD, PhD, FRCPC, MRCP(UK)

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism (effective Sept. 1, 2015)

Other Appointment(s): Staff Physician, University Health Network/Mount Sinai Hospital (effective Sept. 1, 2015)

Contact Information:

Toronto General Hospital
Eaton Building, 12EN
200 Elizabeth St.
Toronto, ON  M5G 2C4

Phone: pending
Email: satyad@uhnres.utoronto.ca

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

I am interested in obesity and insulin resistance. More specifically I aim to assess the role of the central nervous system in mediating various metabolic processes in humans in responses to drugs and peptides. Another avenue of research I will explore is investigating the etiology of obesity, its metabolic complications and response to treatment. I aim to utilize a combination of integrative in vivo physiology, genetic and pharmacological approaches to answer these research questions with the ultimate aim of potentially developing novel therapies for metabolic disorders.

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