Profiles of BBDC Members Primarily Involved In Diabetes Research

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Grynpas, Marc - PhD

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

Other Appointment(s): Director, Bone and Mineral Group

Contact Information:
Mount Sinai Hospital
600 University Avenue, Suite 840
Toronto, ON   M5G 1X5

Phone: (416) 586-4800 Ext: 4464
Fax: (416) 586-1554

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Our research focuses on the effects of diabetes on the skeletal system using pre-clinical models. Examples of our research includes:

1)  Effect of Vanadium Treatment on Bone Loss and Bone Quality in Rat Models of Diabetes. Vanadium compounds have been shown to be effective in experimental diabetes and insulin-resistant hypertension. However, these agents are known to accumulate in bone mineral where vanadate substitutes for phosphate. It is therefore essential to understand the long-term effects on these compounds on bone quality. (Facchini DM, Yuen VG, Battell ML, McNeill JH, Grynpas MD. The effects of vanadium treatment on bone in diabetic and non-diabetic rats. Bone. 2006; 38(3):368-77)

2)  The effect of Rosiglitazone treatment on bone quality in rat models of type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Rosiglitazone (RSG) is an insulin-sensitizing drug used to treat patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) to improve glycemic control. The ADOPT clinical trial showed that women taking RSG experienced more fractures. The purpose of our study is to understand the mechanism by which RSG induces limb fracture and alters bone quality in the insulin resistant Zucker Fatty rat.

3)  Comparison of the skeletal effects in the treatment of type2 diabetes with Sitagliptin (a DPP4 inhibitor) or Pioglitazone (a PPRgamma agonist) in mice fed a high fat diet.

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Hahn, Margaret - MD, PhD, FRCPC

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

Other Appointment(s): Clinician Scientist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Complex Mental Illness
Director of Research, Mental Health and Metabolism Clinic, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Contact Information:
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
250 College St.
Toronto, ON   M5T 1R8

Phone: (416) 535-8501 ext. 4368
Fax: (416) 979-4292

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Dr. Hahn is a psychiatrist by training, who joined the University of Toronto (U of T) Faculty this spring following completion of a PhD, through the Institute of Medical Sciences, U of T. Her research interests lie in disentangling the complex relationship that underlies the illness of schizophrenia and the 3-5 fold increased risk of type 2 diabetes observed in this population. Her group’s preclinical work has focused on understanding the contribution of antipsychotic medications (which remain the cornerstone of treatment for the illness, but are linked with significant metabolic side-effects) to the risk of glucose dysregulation. Her work to date to elucidate underlying diabetogenic mechanisms of antipsychotics has pointed to specific neurotransmitter systems (i.e. dopaminergic, serotonergic, muscarinic), as well as centrally-mediated mechanisms. As a translational researcher, Dr. Hahn’s work has spanned preclinical rodent and human models of antipsychotic-induced glucose perturbations, including use of complex techniques to measure glucose metabolism (i.e. euglycemic and hyperglycemic clamps, the Frequently Sampled Intravenous Glucose Tolerance Test), and has advanced to studying clinical interventions to mitigate these side-effects. 

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Hamilton, Jill - MD, FRCPC

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, Director, Centre for Healthy Active Kids

Other Appointment(s): Senior Associate Scientist, Physiology and Experimental Medicine, SickKids Research Institute

Contact Information:
The Hospital For Sick Children, Division of Endocrinology
555 University Avenue, Room 5447
Toronto, ON   M5G 1X8

Phone: (416) 813-5115
Fax: (416) 813-6304

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

My research interests include the clinical and physiologic manifestations of insulin resistance and pancreatic beta cell function in the pediatric age group. I am also interested in treatment studies of childhood obesity.  Recent studies include:

(i) risk for diabetes and metabolic syndrome and pathophysiologic mechanisms related to the development of hypothalamic obesity in children treated for craniopharyngioma;

(ii) early life risk factors for the development of obesity and diabetes in infants born to women with gestational diabetes;

(iii) incidence and clinical presentation of type 2 diabetes in Canadian children (iv) role of ectopic fat deposition and metabolic consequences in obese children and adolescents

(v) bariatric surgery outcomes in adolescents

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Hanley, Anthony - PhD

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Associate Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences; Department of Medicine; and Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Other Appointment(s): Canada Research Chair in Diabetes Epidemiology
Associate Scientist, Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes, Mount Sinai Hospital

Contact Information:
FitzGerald Building, Room 341
150 College Street
Toronto, ON   M5S 3E2

Phone: (416) 978-3616
Fax: (416) 978-5882

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Dr. Hanley's research interests include the metabolic and nutritional epidemiology of type 2 diabetes and related disorders including obesity, insulin resistance, and beta cell dysfunction, as well as the micro-and macro-vascular complications of type 2 diabetes.  His research focuses on diabetes in Aboriginal Canadian communities and other high-risk populations.  Current projects include the Sandy Lake Health and Diabetes Project, the PROMISE study, as well as collaborations with the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study and the Gestational Diabetes and Acute Phase Biomarkers research groups.

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Hawker, Gillian - MD, MSc

University of Toronto Appointment(s): Sir John and Lady Eaton Professor and Chair of Medicine
Professor and Clinician Scientist, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, WCH/Women's College Research Institute
Professor, Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Other Appointment(s): Senior Adjunct Scientist, ICES

Contact Information:
190 Elizabeth Street, Suite RFE 3-805
Toronto, ON   M5G 2C4

Phone: (416) 946-8071

Diabetes Related Research Activities:

I am a clinical epidemiologist/health services researcher in the field of osteoarthritis (OA) - I have conducted observational studies examining the relationship between OA and diabetes. Among other findings, we have shown that difficulty walking due to hip or knee OA is an independent risk factor for diabetes complications in people with OA and diabetes, and also a risk factor for incident diabetes.

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