Our Research Members

James W. Scholey
Scholey, James W.
MD, FRCPC
U Of T Appointments

Professor, Department of Medicine

Other Appointments

Staff Physician (Nephrology), University Health Network and Mount SinaiHospital

Contact Information
Toronto General Hospital
200 Elizabeth Street, Room 8N-859
Toronto, ON M5G 2C4
Phone: 416-340-5093
Fax: 416-340-4999
james.scholey@utoronto.ca
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Research in my laboratory at the University of Toronto is focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the development of diabetic nephropathy. In particular we study the role of the renin angiotensin system (RAS) in diabetic nephropathy and the link between the RAS, obesity, and activation of NADPH oxidase. We utilize transgenic mice in our approach and have combined whole animal studies with cell culture experiments to define cellular mechanisms of injury. We are currently studying mice with deletions in the genes for ACE2, p47, and adiponectin. Our laboratory also collaborates with investigators in the Human Physiology Laboratory at the University Health Network, Mount SinaiHospital, and the Hospital for Sick Children on studies of kidney function and urine proteomics in humans with diabetic nephropathy.

Robert Screaton
Screaton, Robert
PhD
U Of T Appointments

Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry

Other Appointments

Senior Scientist, Sunnybrook Research Institute

Contact Information
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, Room M7 617
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5
Phone: 416-480-6100 x5743
robert.screaton@sri.utoronto.ca
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

My lab is interested in understanding how human cells respond to extracellular cues to maintain and ensure their function and survival. One central focus is to study how the pancreatic beta cell converts feeding cues into signals leading to insulin production and secretion. We use high-throughput functional screens to identify novel players involved in different cell-signaling pathways, including human pancreatic beta cell proliferation and those involved in the maintenance of mitochondria, critical subcellular organelles essential for cell function and survival. In addition to Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, our work impacts upon cancer and neurodegeneration.

Michael Sefton
Sefton, Michael
U Of T Appointments

Professor, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering

Contact Information
Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research
160 College St., Room 406
Toronto, ON M5S 3E1
Phone: 416-978-3088
Fax: 416-978-4317
michael.sefton@utoronto.ca
View website
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Biomaterials and tissue engineering. Delivery of islets and pseudo-islets into vascularized, subcutaneous tissue, including microencapsulation and immune modulation using dendritic cells.

Baiju Shah
Shah, Baiju
MD, PhD, FRCPC
U Of T Appointments

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
Associate Professor, Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Other Appointments

Staff Endocrinologist, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Senior Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
Scientist, Sunnybrook Research Institute

Contact Information
Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
2075 Bayview Avenue, Suite G106
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5
Phone: 416-480-4706
Fax: 416-480-6048
baiju.shah@ices.on.ca
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

My research focus is on the quality of and outcomes of diabetes care. Much of this work is done using linkage of large health care administrative data bases. My three main areas of interest are: a) the influence of different care models on diabetes quality and outcomes, b) gestational diabetes care and outcomes, and c) diabetes in vulnerable populations, including ethnic, immigrant and indigenous communities.

Rayzel Shulman
Shulman, Rayzel
MD, PhD, FRCPC
U Of T Appointments

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Assistant Professor (Status-Only), Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation

Other Appointments

Staff Physician, The Hospital for Sick Children
Scientist-track Investigator, The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute
Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Studies

Contact Information
The Hospital for Sick Children
555 University Ave.
Toronto, ON M5G 1X8
Phone: 416-813-6218
Fax: 416-813-6218
rayzel.shulman@sickkids.ca
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

My research program is focused on developing and evaluating health services interventions to improve health outcomes and the quality of care for youth living with diabetes as they transition to adult care. I am particularly interested in developing and evaluating interventions that leverage existing population-level administrative datasets to inform health system change. I work with teams of researchers from disciplines including health service research, implementation science, and quality improvement. 

John Sievenpiper
Sievenpiper, John
MD, PhD, FRCPC
U Of T Appointments

Associate Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine

Other Appointments

Consultant Physician, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, St. Michael’s Hospital
Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital
Knowledge Synthesis Lead, Toronto 3D Knowledge Synthesis and Clinical Trials Unit, St. Michael’s Hospital

Contact Information
St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto 3D Knowledge Synthesis & Clinical Trials Unit
6137-61 Queen Street East
Toronto, ON M5C 2T2
Phone: 416-867-7475
Fax: 416-867-7495
john.sievenpiper@utoronto.ca
View website
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

My research program continues to strive to identify and investigate important diet and disease questions in the area of cardiometabolic risk and diabetes. We use knowledge synthesis techniques (systematic reviews and meta-analyses) and randomized controlled trials to address the need for high quality data to inform clinical practice guidelines and public health policy, as well as guide the design of future trials. Clinical practice guidelines and public health policy are moving away from the more traditional macronutrient-centric dietary approaches (“low-fat”, “low-carb”, “high protein”) to more food and dietary pattern based approaches. I have helped to initiate and steer this change in the 2013 guidelines of the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) and the upcoming 2015 guidelines of the European Association for the study of diabetes (EASD). My research program has attempted to keep up with this modernization, as reflected in the main ongoing food and dietary pattern based foci of my research program: sugars (fructose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup), dietary pulses (beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils), tree nuts, and portfolio and low glycemic index dietary patterns.

Sunita Singh
Singh, Sunita
MD, MSc, FRCPC
U Of T Appointments

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Contact Information
Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network
11-PMB-176
585 University Ave.
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2N2
Phone: 416-340-3240
Fax: 647-689-2738
sunita.singh@uhn.ca
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

I am a Transplant Nephrologist in the Division of Nephrology at the Toronto General Hospital with additional training in diabetes care in transplant recipients and pancreas transplantation as a treatment option for patients with Type 1 diabetes. In collaboration with Dr. David Cherney, I am currently a site investigator/Co-Investigator at UHN for two clinical trials: 1) DAPA CKD: A Study to Evaluate the Effect of Dapagliflozin on Renal Outcomes and Cardiovascular Mortality in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease and 2) A double-blind, placebo controlled, cross-over renal mechanistic trial to assess the effect of adding empagliflozin versus placebo on renal hyperfiltration in patients with type 1 diabetes on a background of the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi) Ramipril: BETWEEN study. I also have a research interest in Pancreas Transplantation. I am currently a Co-Investigator (PI: Dr. Cherney, Co-I: Dr. Kim, Dr. Cattral) on a pilot study evaluating the impact of pancreas transplantation on the complications of Type 1diabetes (BBDC Sun Life Financial Pilot and Feasibility Grant) and have published clinical outcomes research in patients with type 1 diabetes with pancreatic transplants. I also have interest in understanding the pathogenesis of recurrent diabetic kidney disease (DKD) in the kidney allograft and therapies for DKD in the transplant population. Our group has recently published our experience describing the safety and efficacy of SGLT2 inhibitors in a group of kidney and kidney-pancreas transplant recipients.

George Steiner
Steiner, George
MD, BA, FRCPC, FCAHS
U Of T Appointments

Professor Emeritus, Departments of Medicine and of Physiology

Contact Information
Toronto General Hospital
200 Elizabeth Street, Room 12EN213
Toronto, ON M5G 2C4
Phone: 416-340-4133
Fax: 416-340-3314
george.steiner@utoronto.ca
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Diabetes, lipoproteins and atherosclerosis.

Hong-Shuo Sun
Sun, Hong-Shuo
MD, MSc, PhD
U Of T Appointments

Associate Professor, PhD Supervisor
Department of Surgery, Division of Anatomy; Institute of Medical Science; Department of Physiology; Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; Heart and Stroke Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence; Collaborative Program in Neuroscience (CPIN); Cardiovascular Sciences Collaborative Program (CSCP); Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Contact Information
Medical Sciences Building
1 King's College Circle
Toronto, ON M5S 1A8
Phone: 416-946-5506
hss.sun@utoronto.ca
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

Research interest is in studying the role of ion channels (K(ATP) and TRPM2, etc.) in diabetes and stroke in diabetes, neuroprotection, and drug development, using in-vivo animal models of human diseases in combination with genomic analyses, advanced imaging, electrophysiology, and functional and behavioral assessments.

Publication related to diabetes research: Cerebrovascular safety of sulfonylureas: the role of K(ATP) channels in neuroprotection and the risk of stroke in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes. 2016, 65(9): 2795-2809

Hoon-Ki Sung
Sung, Hoon-Ki
MD, PhD
U Of T Appointments

Assistant Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology

Other Appointments

Scientist, Physiology & Experimental Medicine, Hospital For Sick Children

Contact Information
Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning
686 Bay Street, Room 10.9710
Toronto, ON M5G 0A4
Phone: 416-813-7654
hoon-ki.sung@sickkids.ca
View website
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

My lab is studying Obesity, Metabolism and Diabetes at The Hospital for Sick Children. Our research focus includes:
1) patho-physiology of adipose tissue expansion and its causal role in metabolic defect and diabetes
2) identification of adipocyte precursor cells and its metabolic function by using mouse model

Walter Swardfager
Swardfager, Walter
PhD
U Of T Appointments

Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, and School of Graduate Studies

Other Appointments

Scientist, Sunnybrook Research Institute

Contact Information
Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, M6 174
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5
Phone: 416-480-6100 x85409
w.swardfager@utoronto.ca
View website
Diabetes Related Research Activities:

My research examines neuroendorcrine contributions to mood and cognitive symptoms in type 2 diabetes. My lab conducts clinial studies, primarily of people with type 2 diabetes undertaking exercise-based rehabilitation and education interventions. We have a particular interest in the roles of cerebrovascular disease (including stroke and microagniopathy) in the effects of type 2 diabetes on the brain. We use neuroimaging, metabolomic and neurocognitive techniques.

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