Our Research Members

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

Earle W. McHenry Professor, and Chair, Department of Nutritional Sciences

Contact Information
FitzGerald Building, Rm. 315
150 College St.
Toronto, ON M5S 3E2
Phone: 416-978-7235
Fax: 416-971-2366
mary.labbe@utoronto.ca
View website
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Mary L’Abbéis 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 is under development and will be launched in 2015
  • 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)

Note, we have focussed considerable efforts towards sodium and hypertension/CVD reduction in the last few years; we have just recently received funding to extend many of our methods towards calories, sugar and other dietary factors and diabetes reduction.

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, 10th Floor, Room 705
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
30 Bond Street, LKS Room 613
Toronto, ON M5B 1W8
Phone: 416-864-6060 x77655
LeeW@smh.ca
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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
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) The interplay between diabetes and cancer, with a specific focus on breast cancer and the impact of diabetes on breast cancer treatments and outcomes.

2) Diabetes overtreatment in the elderly and risks associated with hypoglycemia, focusing on particularly vulnerable populations ie. 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. 

Lawrence Leiter
Leiter, Lawrence
MD, FRCPC, FACP, FAHA
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, Room 6121
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 Steering Committees of many ongoing outcome trials in both the diabetes and lipid areas.

Howard Leong-Poi
Leong-Poi, Howard
MD, FRCPC, FASE
U Of T Appointments

Associate Professor of Medicine

Other Appointments

Clinician Scientist in the Keenan Research Centre at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
Head, Division of Cardiology, St. Michael’s Hospital
Brazilian Ball Research Chair in Cardiology

Contact Information
St. Michael's Hospital
30 Bond Street, 6-044 Queen Wing
Toronto, ON M5B 1W8
Phone: 416-864-5642
Fax: 416-864-5989
Leong-PoiH@smh.ca
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Research interests focus in several key areas:
1) Contrast-enhanced ultrasound perfusion

2) Molecular imaging using contrast-enhanced ultrasound and site-targeted microbubbles, in particular to track stem cell therapies.

3) Small animal echocardiographic imaging of cardiac function

4) Ultrasound-mediated gene delivery for ischemic cardiovascular disease, for heart failure and diabetic cardiomyopathy, and for anti-tumour therapies.

5) Stem and progenitor cell therapies for ischemic cardiovascular disease, diabetic cardiomyopathy and heart failure.

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
200 Elizabeth St., Eaton Building, Room 12E244
Toronto, ON M5G 2C4
Phone: 416-340-427041
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.
MD, MSc, FRCPC
U Of T Appointments

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine; Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

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
741-790 Bay Street
Toronto, ON M5G 1N8
Phone: 416-351-3732 x3701
Fax: 416-351-3746
lorraine.lipscombe@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, Faculty of Medicine

Other Appointments

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

Contact Information
Sunnybrook Research Institute
2075 Bayview Avenue, Room S212b
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.

Julia Lowe
Lowe, Julia
MB.ChBFRCP (UK) M.Med.Sci
U Of T Appointments

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism

Contact Information
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, Room H145
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5
Phone: 416-480-6948
Fax: 416-480-4250
julia.lowe@sunnybrook.ca
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

I received broad training as a specialist general internal physician, as well as specialty training in endocrinology in the UK. After completing this I went to Australia where I worked 25 years, first in community practice and then as a staff physician at John Hunter Hospital one of the teaching hospitals for Newcastle Medical school. I have a Masters in clinical epidemiology. For 4 years I was the Area Director of Diabetes for the Hunter region of NSW. My research interests are in chronic diabetes in pregnancy and health care delivery for diabetes. My research projects included the HAPO study and the Australian Longitudinal Study in Women’s health, and a survey of Australian women with gestational diabetes. I also have funding for research into the epidemiology and use of health services by women with diabetes, and follow up of people who have attended diabetes and prediabetes education programmes in the Hunter and to redesign the service provided for young people with Type 1 diabetes in rural areas. In January 2008 I started work at the University of Toronto where I hold the rank of Associate Professor. Since coming to Toronto I have started a research programme on the management of diabetes in hospital inpatients and collaborated with colleagues in research on diabetes in pregnancy as well as continuing my Australian research.

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.