Four of Sinai Health’s world-class researchers have been awarded Canada Research Chairs, a program created 20 years ago to support the research and work of Canada’s top scientists. This year, Dr. Isabella Caniggia, Dr. Sabine Cordes, Dr. Ken Croitoru and Dr. Shiphra Ginsburg joined the roster of Sinai Health’s Canada Research Chairs, bringing our current number of chairholders to 13.
“These latest Tier-1 Canada Research Chairs reflect fantastic strengths at Sinai Health in complications of pregnancy, neuroscience, Crohn’s and colitis and physician education,” says Dr. Jim Woodgett, Director of the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.
Dr. Daniel J. Drucker, Senior Investigator at Sinai Health’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute and Canada’s most decorated diabetes researcher, has recently received three prestigious prizes in recognition of his groundbreaking contributions to diabetes research and treatment:
The 2019 Harold Hamm International Prize for Biomedical Research in Diabetes, which honours individuals who have either demonstrated lifelong contributions to the field or realized a singular advance, especially in leading toward a cure.
The 2019 EASD-Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence, which recognizes outstanding research or technology contributions that increase knowledge of diabetes.
The Endocrine Society’s John D. Baxter Prize for Entrepreneurship, which rewards entrepreneurship that “translates” endocrine research into patient care innovations.
Dr. Graham Collingridge, Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute and a British-born neuroscientist, received the Queen’s Birthday Honours, which recognizes the achievements of extra-ordinary people for their contributions to the sciences, arts, charitable and welfare organizations and public service.
Dr. Collingridge has also been awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his transformative work in understanding the cellular basis of how memories are formed and lost. This research is central to understanding diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain and depression.
Congratulations to Dr. Shoo Lee who was appointed to, and Dr. Bernard Zinman who was promoted within, the Order of Canada, a prestigious honour developed by the Governor General of Canada to recognize Canadians who have made extraordinary contributions to the country.
Dr. Lee, a neonatologist and former Paediatrician-in-Chief at Mount Sinai Hospital, was named as an Officer of the Order of Canada for “his contributions to the field of neonatal medicine in Canada, which have helped improve outcomes for ailing infants and their families.”
Dr. Zinman, former Director of the Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes and a clinician-scientist at Mount Sinai, was promoted to Officer of the Order. He was first appointed as Member of the Order of Canada in 2012 for his practice-changing diabetes research and for his instrumental role developing preventative therapies for diabetes.
Dr. Prakeshkumar Shah stepped into his new role as Sinai Health’s Paediatrician-in-Chief. Dr. Shah had been serving as Interim Paediatrician-in-Chief since January 2019 and has practised at Mount Sinai since 2002.
He is also Director of the Maternal-Infant Care Research Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital — a central data repository and analysis centre for all Canadian networks and hospitals that provide care for high-risk mothers and infants. Dr. Shah founded and is Director of the Canadian Neonatal Follow-up Network, and established the International Network for Evaluating Outcomes of Neonates to collect population-based outcomes data for very premature infants. In 2017, Dr. Shah received Canadian Institutes of Health Research funding to build on his success by creating the Canadian Preterm Birth Network.
Dr. Heidi Schmidt was appointed as Radiologist-in-Chief at Sinai Health and the Department Head, Medical Imaging and Program Medical Director for the Joint Department of Medical Imaging (JDMI) at Sinai Health, University Health Network and Women’s College Hospital.
Since joining the Cardiothoracic Division of the University of Toronto JDMI in 2002, her research has focused on lung cancer screening using low-dose computed tomography.
This work has contributed to the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program and the Pan-Canadian Early Lung Cancer Detection Study. Dr. Schmidt is the Radiology Quality Lead of the High Risk Lung Cancer Screening Pilot at Cancer Care Ontario — a role she has held since 2017.
Dr. Erin Kennedy was appointed to Head of the Division of General Surgery for Sinai Health. A leader in colorectal surgical oncology and internationally recognized as an expert in patient-centred care, qualitative research methods and shared decision-making in surgery, Dr. Kennedy is exceptionally well positioned to advance our strategic vision for surgery at Sinai Health.
Dr. Kennedy leads a clinical research program, through which she aims to develop, evaluate and implement strategies to improve patient care. She has tapped into her collaborative partnerships to lead multidisciplinary quality-improvement initiatives that aim to standardize use of imaging, surgical and pathology techniques across Canada.
Dr. Christine Brezden-Masley joined Sinai Health as its first Medical Director of the Cancer Program and the new Director of the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre. Dr. Brezden-Masley is a medical oncologist and leader in cancer care and research, with particular expertise in breast and gastrointestinal (GI) cancers.
She is President of the Canadian Cardio-Oncology Network and is the founder of the COMET (Community Oncologists of Metro Toronto) Clinical Trials Consortium, a web-based virtual network promoting cancer clinical trials throughout the Toronto region. Dr. Brezden-Masley is bringing inventive programs to Sinai Health, including SHE-CAN, a nurse-led model that supports women through anti-estrogen treatment for breast cancer, and IRON GUT, a web-based program to ensure people with GI cancers maintain safe iron levels. Working with the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, she is building clinical trials research infrastructure at Sinai Health. She aims to bring more targeted cancer treatments to patients at Sinai Health using genetic sequencing and artificial intelligence and machine learning.