Research Highlight

DoM Success in CIHR Fall 2016 Project Competition

Of 21 Projects awarded to the University of Calgary ($18.5M total), DoM members are included on 4 of these projects (worth $2.6M total).

Dr. Claire Barber from the Division of Rheumatology is co-leading a 2 year project to develop a patient-centred balanced scorecard to improve the quality of care for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects almost half a million Canadians. This scorecard, which will be developed in collaboration with arthritis stakeholders across Canada, including four of our own DoM members, will be piloted in the electronic Rheum4U clinical phenotyping platform and a recently implemented electronic medical record system. It is expected that the balanced scorecard approach could be applied to several other disease conditions.

Dr. Richard Leigh is a co-investigator on a 5 year project led by Mark Giembycz in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology to study the biology of candidate genes regulated by long-acting beta2-agonists in the context of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Dr. Paul MacMullan is a co-investigator on a 5 year project led by Chemistry Department member Justin MacCallum to develop peptide-based biosensors for more accurate detection of crystals in arthropathies such as gout, pseudo-gout and inflammatory osteoarthritis.

Dr. Paul Beck is a co-investigator on a 5 year project led by Wally MacNaughton to study the role of protease-activated receptor 2 in intestinal mucosal healing in the context of inflammatory bowel disease, both in mouse models as well as in patient-derived tissues and cells.

Dr. Gil Kaplan and his team (including Dr. Glen Hazlewood of the Division of Rheumatology) is co-lead on a project that was funded as a one year bridge grant to prepare Canada’s healthcare system for the rising burden of inflammatory bowel diseases. This project represents a partnership with AHS’ newly formed Digestive Health SCN.

Dr. Deepa Suryanarayan

Dr. Suryanarayan is a Clinical Assistant Professor with the Division of Hematology who has been with the DoM since September 2015. She obtained a Master’s degree in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University and has completed the Clinical Investigator Program in thrombosis. She currently devotes 20% of her time to research in the area of thrombosis. She is specifically interested in expanding the clinical applications of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), which target specific components of the clotting cascade and provide alternatives to the more traditional anti-coagulants, warfarin and low molecular weight heparin (LMWH).

She was recently awarded a CanVECTOR Pilot Trial award to conduct a Canadian multi-site feasibility study of apixaban (a DOAC that directly inhibits factor Xa) versus LMWH for the treatment of catheter related thrombosis in cancer patients. If successful, it is hoped that this pilot trial will lead to a full-scale multi-site randomized controlled trial. Through this work, the way is being paved for Calgary to join national leaders in thrombosis-related clinical trials.

Dr. Suryanarayan also holds funding from the department of Hematology for a prospective cohort study examining the impact of multifaceted intervention in optimizing and reducing inappropriate DOAC use in a tertiary care centre.

Check out the following publications by Dr. Suryanarayan: