Our Research Members
Associate Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine
Associate Professor, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Medicine
- Senior Director, Medical Engineering and Healthcare Human Factors, University Health Network
- Lead, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, University Health Network
- Primary Area of Study (PAS) Lead, eHealth Innovation and Information Management, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
- Clinical Lead, Design and Engineering for Health, Techna Institute, University Health Network
- Investigator, Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) Collaborative, University of Toronto
- Core Member, Centre for Patient Safety, University of Toronto
Dr. Cafazzo leads the development of technologies as a way to keep people out of hospital by allowing for self-care at home for those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, end-stage renal disease and congestive heart failure.
These strategies are aimed at helping people before their conditions become acute and medical intervention is required. The emphasis here is improving patient self-efficacy.
One such solution is bant. Designed for adolescents with Type I diabities, bant simplifies diabetes management by connecting to a glucometer via Bluetooth. It also connects teens in a secure community of peers and helps them self-manage by rewarding positive behaviour every time they use their glucometer.
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology; Professor, Departments of Physiology, and IBBME
Senior scientist TWRI
399 Bathurst St., Room 12-413
Toronto, ON M5T 2S8
Main interests are mechanisms of neural synchrony and entrainment (epilepsy), hypoglycemic seizures, and neurodegenerative processes.a) We have several projects on cellular mechanisms and local system dynamics of epilepsy, particularly the biophysics of the transition to seizure, and the role of electrotonic coupling via gap junctions. Molecular biological and cellular electrophysiological techniques are being used to measure the upregulation of gap junctions in several in vitro and in vivo seizure models. b) Hypoglycemic seizures are a major problem in juveniles with diabetes. We are studying the pathophysiology of hypoglycaemic seizures in juvenile animals both in vitro and in vivo, noting that the most severe seizures seem to be associated with mainly subcortical seizure-like EEG activity, which could also be related to the ‘dead in bed’ or sudden unexplained death sometimes noted with juvenile hypoglycemic events. Also we are examining the pathophysiology of neuronal injury which is enhanced by glucose reperfusion. Glucose reperfusion is also associated with a significant upregulation of gap junctional expression, the significance of which remains to be elucidated. However is is known that provision of nutrients to neurons requires intact astrocytic gap junctional communication.
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology
Clinician Scientist, University Health Network
585 University Ave., Room 8N-845
Toronto, ON M5G 2N2
Current research interests in type 1 diabetes mellitus include the physiology of renal hyperfiltration in diabetic nephropathy, cardiorenal interactions and endothelial function, the effect of pharmaceutical agents on the urinary proteome, and functional gene polymorphisms in humans.
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
200 Elizabeth St., 7 Eaton South Rm. 409
Toronto, ON M5G 2C4
I am engaged in research related to psychosocial adjustment to diabetes, particularly risk for eating disorders and depression. I collaborate with Dr. Denis Daneman at Hospital for Sick Children, and we are conducting a longitudinal study of eating disturbances, depression, psychosocial functioning and medical status in girls and women with type 1 diabetes.
Assistant Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences
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.
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Member, Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence
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
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.
Professor, Department of Medicine, and Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology
Staff Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, St. Michael’s Hospital
209 Victoria Street
Toronto, ON M5B 1W8
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.
Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine
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
379 Church Street
Markham, ON L6B 0T1
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.
Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology
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.
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery
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
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.
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy
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 LXRB) 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.
Professor, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Faculty of Medicine
Senior Scientist, Advanced Diagnostics Division, Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network
Staff Pathologist, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network
101 College Street
Toronto, ON M5G 1L7
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.