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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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:
600 University Ave TCP5-1004
Toronto, ON   M5G1X5

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:
Lebovic Bldg. Room 5028
60 Murray St.
Toronto, ON   M5T3L9

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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Farkouh, Michael E. - MD, FRCPC, FACC, FAHA

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Director, Cardiology Research, Division of Cardiology; Associate Professor, Department of Medicine

Other Appointment(s): Director, Clinical Trials, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network
Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital

Contact Information:

Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network
585 University Avenue, Room 4N474
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2N2

Phone: 416-340-3141
Fax: 416-340-3398

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Diabetes Mellitus and Cardiovascular Disease: The main focus is the evaluation of diabetic patients with coronary artery disease, acute coronary syndromes and heart failure. We have examined the role of advanced multi-modal imaging in developing novel compounds to treat atherosclerosis in diabetic patients. I have conducted large-scale clinical trials such as the FREEDOM Trial which evaluated the optimal strategy required for the management of coronary artery disease. Our goal for the future is to develop a collaborative coordinating center to address the important clinical questions revolving around diabetes and heart disease.

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