Our Research Members

Mary L'Abbe
L'Abbe, Mary
PhD
U Of T Appointments

Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences

Contact Information
University of Toronto
Medical Science Building
1 King's College Circle
Toronto, ON M5S 1A8
Phone: 416-946-7545
mary.labbe@utoronto.ca
View website
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Mary L’Abbé, C.M, PhD, is an expert in public health nutrition, nutrition policy, and food and nutrition regulations. Her research program on Food and Nutrition Policy for Population Health examines the nutritional quality of the food supply, food intake patterns at the national population level, and consumer research on food choices in association with risk of obesity and other chronic diseases, including diabetes. For example, some of her CIHR and other funded research activities include:

  •  Assessing levels and types of sugars, including added sugars in the Canadian food supply
  •  Diabetes education intervention and research investigating supports and barriers to diabetes care among multiethnic communities in Toronto (in collaboration with the Diabetes Education Centers at the North York General hospital and Mackenzie Health)
  • Investigating national population-level dietary patterns associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • Examination of the application of different nutrient profiling methods to define “healthy foods” and their application in polices to support diet related NCD reduction
  • Building tools to support improved consumer choice of healthier foods or to support nutrition interventions in primary care/disease prevention, e.g. Big Life Salt Calculator has been developed (http://www.projectbiglife.ca/sodium/) – A sugar app, One Sweet App, was developed and launched in 2015 and is currently being updated.
  • Research on consumer attitudes and understanding and use of nutrition labelling and claims on food packages, front-of-pack labelling, and effects of different criteria in their development and application (note that L’Abbe’s consumer surveys include questions about health/disease status in order to link food choice/attitudes to particular diseases including diabetes) 

We have just recently received funding from the Sanofi-Pasteur – University of Toronto – Université Paris-Descartes International Collaborative Research Pilot and Feasibility Program on “Comparison of two Front of Pack food rating systems for identifying foods consistent with Canada’s Food Guide and Guidelines for diabetes prevention and management”

Tony K. T. Lam
Lam, Tony K. T.
PhD
U Of T Appointments

Associate Director, Research, Banting & Best Diabetes Centre
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Physiology

Other Appointments

John Kitson McIvor Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research
Canada Research Chair in Obesity
Senior Scientist, Toronto General Research Institute, UHN

Contact Information
MaRS/Toronto Medical Discovery Tower
101 College Street,
Toronto, ON M5G 1L7
Phone: 416-581-7880
Fax: 416-581-7880
tony.lam@uhnres.utoronto.ca
View website
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Nutrient sensing in the Gut and the Brain, Diabetes, Obesity, Glucose and Lipid metabolism.

Warren Lee
Lee, Warren
MD, PhD
U Of T Appointments

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
Associate Member of IMS
Cross-appointed to LMP and Biochemistry

Other Appointments

Attending Physician, Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit, St. Michael’s Hospital
Staff Scientist, Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital

Contact Information
St. Michael's Hospital
Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
30 Bond Street
Toronto, ON M5B 1W8
Phone: 416-864-6060 x77655
warren.lee@unityhealth.to
View website
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

The Lee lab has a primary interest in the regulation and perturbation during disease of the microvascular endothelial barrier. Using cell biology techniques and primary microvascular human endothelium and supplemented by animal models, we investigate the regulation of insulin transport out of the circulation.

Iliana Lega
Lega, Iliana
MD, MSc, FRCPC
U Of T Appointments

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Other Appointments

Research Scientist, Women’s College Research Institute
Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES)
Staff Physician, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Women’s College Hospital

Contact Information
Women's College Hospital
6th Floor
76 Grenville St.
Toronto, ON M5S 1B2
Phone: 416-323-6400 x2713
iliana.lega@wchospital.ca
Diabetes Related Research Activities:
Dr Lega’s research focuses on diabetes in unique populations with two main areas of research. Much of this work is done using linkage of large health care administrative data bases at ICES.
  1. Diabetes overtreatment in the elderly and risks associated with hypoglycemia, focusing on particularly vulnerable populations (i.e. dementia, nursing home residents, frail elderly). The goal of this work is to identify ways to reduce the risk of adverse events related to diabetes treatment in older adults.
  2. The interplay between diabetes and cancer, with a specific focus on breast cancer and the impact of diabetes on breast cancer treatments and outcomes.
Lawrence Leiter
Leiter, Lawrence
MD, FRCPC, FACP, FACE, FAHA, FACC
U Of T Appointments

Professor, Department of Medicine; and Department of Nutritional Sciences

Other Appointments

Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, St. Michael’s Hospital

Contact Information
St. Michael's Hospital
61 Queen St. East
Toronto, ON M5C 2T2
Phone: 416-867-7441
leiterl@smh.ca
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Dr. Leiter has several research interests including clinical trials on the prevention of atherosclerosis, especially in diabetes, and the dietary and pharmacologic treatment of diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and obesity. He was an investigator in many of the landmark diabetes trials including the DCCT, ACCORD, and ADVANCE and is on the Executive/Steering Committees of many ongoing outcome trials in both the diabetes and lipid areas.

Gary Lewis
Lewis, Gary
MD, FRCPC
U Of T Appointments

Professor, Department of Medicine; and Department of Physiology
Director, Banting & Best Diabetes Centre
Sun Life Financial Chair in Diabetes
Drucker Family Chair in Diabetes Research

Contact Information
Toronto General Hospital
Eaton Building
200 Elizabeth St.
Toronto, ON M5G 2C4
Phone: 416-340-4270
Fax: 416-340-3314
gary.lewis@uhn.ca
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

The Lewis lab has had a long interest in the mechanisms of various aspects of diabetic dyslipidemia, including postprandial lipemia, HDL lowering and hypertriglyceridemia, as well as the metabolic effects of free fatty acids on insulin action and secretion. Dr. Lewis and Adeli made the important observation that the intestine overproduces lipoproteins in insulin resistant states, elucidating a number of regulatory mechanisms of intestinal lipid mobilization and lipoprotein secretion. In his current funded work Dr. Lewis is determining, in integrative physiological studies in humans and animal models, the mechanisms of intestinal lipid mobilization and lipoprotein secretion. In addition, Dr. Lewis is the Principal Investigator of Diabetes Action Canada, one of the chronic disease networks funded through the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Initiative, and undertakes translational research with active patient engagement.

Lorraine L. Lipscombe
Lipscombe, Lorraine L.
MDCM, MSc, FRCPC
U Of T Appointments

Associate Professor, Division Director

Other Appointments

Research Scientist, Women’s College Research Institute
Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES)
Staff Physician, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Women’s College Hospital

Contact Information
Women's College Research Institute
790 Bay St.
Toronto, ON M5G 1N8
Phone: 416-351-3732 x5117
christina.yu@wchospital.ca
View website
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Dr. Lipscombe’s research program is aimed at improving the care and outcomes of persons living with diabetes with a particular focus on women, and targeting special female populations at higher risk for diabetes who would benefit from more focused diabetes prevention strategies. Her specific priority areas of interest include the association between breast cancer and diabetes, pregnancy planning in women with diabetes, post-partum diabetes risk and prevention in women with gestational diabetes, and drug safety in seniors with diabetes.

Julie Lovshin
Lovshin, Julie
MD, PhD, FRCP(C)
U Of T Appointments

Assistant Professor, Temerty Faculty of Medicine

Other Appointments

Clinician-Scientist, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Contact Information
Sunnybrook Research Institute
2075 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5
Phone: 416-480-5049
Fax: 416-480-5400
julie.lovshin@sunnybrook.ca
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Dr. Lovshin directs the Diabetes Complications Research Laboratory (DCRL), a new clinical investigation unit in the division of Endocrinology & Metabolism at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Lovshin’s research interests are focused on understanding the mechanisms of diabetes complications, with a specific focus on improving vascular health and reducing vascular complications and events associated with metabolic diseases including Type 1 and Type 2, and Obesity. Through clinical investigative techniques which span epidemiology to translational mechanistic clinical studies, Dr. Lovshin is interested in determining how changes in the cardio-renal axis contribute to heart and kidney complications in diabetes. Dr. Lovshin is also interested in changes in the diabetic retina and central nervous system and in determining how these pathophysiological changes contribute to complications in the eye and brain.

Cynthia Luk
Luk, Cynthia
MD, PhD
U Of T Appointments

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto

Other Appointments

Staff Physician, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital

Contact Information
Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
209 Victoria Street
Toronto, ON M5B 1T8
Phone: 416-864-6060
c.luk@utoronto.ca
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Obesity is the strongest risk factor for type 2 diabetes but many people with diabetes are not obese. Dr. Luk’s research focuses on identifying the signaling pathways linking obesity and diabetes, and determining the role of adipose tissue in metabolic syndrome.

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