Sinai Health and the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute (LTRI) are powering scientific discovery, and this year was full of life-changing milestones. Here are just some of the ways that community support for research has enabled our world-class clinicians and scientists to change the landscape of medical science.
Dr. Daniel Drucker wins Wolf Prize in Medicine
Dr. Daniel Drucker was recently honoured with the 2023 Wolf Prize in Medicine. He was recognized for his work on gut hormones, which formed the basis for several highly effective drugs to treat type 2 diabetes, obesity and intestinal disorders. Dr. Drucker, already the most decorated type 2 diabetes researcher in Canada, was also inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in April of 2022 – further recognition of how his research continues to improve the health of millions of people around the world living with diabetes.
New drug shows promise in slowing tumour growth in some hard-to-treat cancers
New research, led by LTRI senior investigator Dr. Daniel Durocher, indicates a new drug is showing promise in curbing tumour growth. The drug is designed to block the activity of an enzyme essential for the survival of certain cancer cells, effectively killing those cancer cells. It was designed with the use of CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology. “These cancer cells depend on the PKMYT1 enzyme to survive,” explains Dr. Durocher. “Our preclinical data shows enormous promise in the drug’s ability to target these types of tumours and profoundly inhibit tumour growth.”
Dr. Caroline Kramer discovers link between disruptions in the ecosystem and cardiometabolic health
As an endocrinologist and clinician scientist, Dr. Caroline Kramer has focused much of her work on identifying the interaction between obesity and the progression of metabolic diseases, such as diabetes. Recently, Dr. Kramer’s work took her to Brazil, where she studied the impact of urbanization on Indigenous communities. The study revealed that social changes to Indigenous people’s traditional lifestyles were associated with an increase in poor cardiometabolic outcomes. The research also revealed direct impacts of the disruption of the natural environment on the health of Indigenous communities.
Dr. Andras Nagy looks to unleash the power of stem cells to repair brain injuries
Dr. Andras Nagy, along with post-doctoral research fellow Dr. Balazs Varga, has identified a new way to control the fate of neural stem cells, bringing researchers one step closer to unlocking the mystery of how to repair the brain after injury or stroke. This discovery is an exciting extension of platform technologies developed in recent years by the Nagy Lab, which “make cell therapy safe and universal, with off-the-shelf products to treat degenerative diseases,” says Dr. Nagy.
Dr. Lianne Jeffs leads Canada-wide study on models of care during the pandemic
Sinai Health nurses are leading a nation-wide study on models of care developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by LTRI senior clinician scientist Dr. Lianne Jeffs, also the inaugural Scientific Director, Science of Care Institute and Research and Innovation Lead, the study examines innovations and changes that nurses and health disciplines in acute care hospitals experienced during that time in order to guide future models of care. The study exemplifies the vision of Sinai Health’s Centre for Nursing Excellence, Canada’s only hospital-based centre of its kind and part of the Science of Care Institute.
A banner year for research at SREMI
The Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute (SREMI) is the only research program in Canada embedded in a hospital emergency department (ED), conducting research that directly impacts patient care. SREMI’s researchers, most of whom also work as emergency physicians on the front lines of Mount Sinai Hospital’s Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Centre, investigate areas of emergency medicine affecting the greatest number of patients.
This year, SREMI faculty produced 26 peer-reviewed publications. This record included and influenced areas of geriatric emergency medicine, general emergency medicine, cardiovascular health, COVID-19, ED administration, mild traumatic brain injury, early pregnancy, point-of-care ultrasound and the evolving impact of virtual care.
Photography by Francisco Garcia