Profiles of BBDC Members Primarily Involved In Diabetes Research

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De Melo, Margaret - BSc, RD, CDE

University of Toronto Appointment(s):

Other Appointment(s): Practice Leader-Clinical Nutrition, Allied Health, University Health Network

Contact Information:
Toronto Western Hospital
399 Bathurst Street, 1WW443
Toronto, ON   M5T 2S8

Phone: (416) 603-5800 Ext: 5973
Fax: (416) 603-5210

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

I am interested in research that focuses on diabetes self-care management (DSM).

As part of interprofessional research teams, I have studied the effectiveness of DSM education programs, utilization and attrition such programs, food insecurity in Canadians with diabetes, and gender differences, psychosocial and clinical factors that help us better understand and serve those affected by diabetes.

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de Mestral, Charles - MD, PhD

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

Other Appointment(s): Vascular Surgeon, St. Michael's Hospital
Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital
Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences

Contact Information:
St. Michael's Hospital
30 Bond Street, Bond 7-073
Toronto, ON   M5B 1X1

Phone: (416) 864-6047
Fax: (416) 864-6012

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

I pursue population-based health services research focusing on patients with diabetes who undergo lower limb amputation. I am 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.

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Drucker, Daniel J. - MD, FRCPC

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism

Other Appointment(s): Senior Scientist, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital

Contact Information:
Mount Sinai Hospital
600 University Ave., TCP5-1004
Toronto, ON   M5G 1X5

Phone: (416) 361-2661
Fax: (416) 361-2669

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Research in the Drucker lab is focused on understanding the biology of gut hormones, with a major focus on GIP and the glucagon-like peptides. The lab studies how glucagon, GIP, GLP-1, and GLP-2 regulate energy homeostasis, metabolic control, and cardiovascular function via effects on the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, cardiovascular system and central nervous system. Specific projects elucidate novel mechanisms of glucagon, GIP, GLP-1 and GLP-2 action through studies of their respective receptors in peripheral tissues. Research staff utilize a combination of techniques that involve studies of signal transduction, generation of transgenic or knockout mice, and studies of rodent models of peptide hormone action with a focus on diabetes, obesity, endocrine systems, and intestinal disease.

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El-Sohemy, Ahmed - PhD

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Nutrigenomics; Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine

Contact Information:
Fitzgerald Building, Room 350
150 College Street
Toronto, ON   M5S 3E2

Phone: (416) 946-5776
Fax: (416) 978-5882

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

The overall goal of my research program in nutrigenomics is to elucidate the genetic basis for variability in dietary response on cardiometabolic disease. We are also interested in identifying the genetic determinants of and dietary preferences and eating behaviours as they relate to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Our research program employs metabolomics, proteomics and genomics to study the effects of diet on human health. This approach will help us to understand how genetic and dietary factors interact to regulate various metabolic and biochemical pathways involved in the development of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. We are currently investigating the role of genetic polymorphisms affecting innate immunity and inflammation on components of the metabolic syndrome. Other research projects focus on identifying the genes influencing sugar and carbohydrate consumption in lean and obese individuals.

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Fantus, I. George - MD, FRCPC

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Professor, Department of Medicine; and Department of Physiology
Associate Dean, Research, Faculty of Medicine

Other Appointment(s): Senior Scientist, Toronto General Research Institute
Associate Scientist, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital
Staff Endocrinologist, Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network
Member, Institute of medical Sciences
Member, School of Graduate Studies

Contact Information:
Mount Sinai Hospital, Lebovic Bldg. Room 5028
60 Murray St.
Toronto, ON   M5T 3L9

Phone: (416) 586-8665
Fax: (416) 361-2657

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

The major research focus of our lab is to define the mechanisms of insulin resistance at the cellular and molecular level.  The goal is to develop new approaches to treatment and prevention of insulin resistance.  Studies in insulin target tissues, adipocytes and muscle cells, rendered insulin resistant by metabolites, e.g. glucose and free fatty acids; cytokines, e.g TNF- a; and hormones, e.g. insulin and angiotension, are carried out to determine changes in enzyme activation, in protein-protein interactions and glucose transporter translocation. The lab is also conducting research to define the abnormalities of cell signaling caused by exposure to high glucose.  The goal here is to define the pathogenetic changes contributing to diabetic nephropathy. Studies in mesangial cells and podocytes and in diabetic rodent models are addressing novel mechanisms by which alterations in cell signaling by Src and oxidative stress cause high glucose-mediated changes which trigger diabetic nephropathy.

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