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Our researchers in the news

December

Cleaning wounds: saline water trumps soap and water
Many scientific advances have been made in the delivery of care and infection prevention for open fractures, but the standard practice of wound cleaning with soap and water before surgery has remained unchanged. An international team of researchers led by McMaster University in collaboration with researchers in orthopedics at the RI-MUHC, has found that soap and water is actually less effective than using just saline water. Dr. Edward Harvey was interviewed by CBC International. The findings were also covered by CTV News, Agence QMI, Journal de Montréal, International Business Times.

Anti-depressants linked to autism risk during pregnancy
Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, RI-MUHC researcher from the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program, commented on new findings from a study published by Université de Montréal suggesting that anti-depressants could be linked to autism risk during pregnancy. The interview was published in Journal Métro.

There's more than meets the eye when making choices, brain study shows
Results of a new study by Avinash Vaidya and Dr. Lesley Fellows, researchers at the Neuro suggest that the region of the brain called the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a critical role in making choices. Dr. Fellows was interviewed by La Presse, and the findings were covered by Science Daily

Micro-map of hippocampus lends big hand to brain research
A new detailed map of the hippocampal region of the brain compiled by a team of researchers led by Dr. Neda Bernasconi at the Neuro is helping the scientific community accelerate research and develop better treatments for patients suffering from epilepsy and other neurological and psychiatric disorders. Read the follow up in Scicasts and Scientific Data.

First language wires brain for later language-learning
Researchers from the Neuro and McGill University discovered that even brief, early exposure to a language influences how the brain processes sounds from that language later in life, even when it's no longer spoken. Read the report on Radio Canada International and listen to an interview given by Dr. Fred Genesee on Radio-Canada and CTV.

How concussions affect vision
Dr. Reza Farivar, MUHC scientific director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Program at the Montreal General Hospital, spoke to CTV News about a major study that is looking into how people recover from concussions, more specifically by testing their vision. Watch his interview on CTV News.

Marijuana and pain treatment
Dr. Ware, RI-MUHC researcher from the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program and MUHC director of Clinical Research of the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit, regularly gives interviews regarding questions surrounding medical cannabis. He was interviewed by VICE NEWS, a website that recently released a report on Quebec's burgeoning medical marijuana industry, and by MD Magazine.

Putting an End to the transmission of HIV in Montreal
Read the interview Dr. Bertrand Lebouché, clinician-scientist of the Department of Chronic Viral Diseases at the MUHC, gave to Journal Métro about the elimination of the spread of HIV in Montreal.

World Aids Day
On December 1st it was World Aids Day. It is a time to highlight research advances in prevention and treatment, improved accessibility to therapies, and increased awareness and understanding of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. It is also a time, however, to remember that despite encouraging statistics, the global epidemic continues. Researchers, MUHC doctors, students and employees are all contributing in their own ways to halting the spread of HIV and offering the best possible care to those who are affected by the disease, bringing them hope and comfort. Here are some of their faces and messages.

Read also the interview In conversation with Dr. Marina Klein, co-infection researcher in The McGill Reporter. Dr. Klein is a researcher from the Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program at the RI-MUHC.

November 

Improving health, one step at a time 
Dr. Kaberi Dasgupta, RI-MUHC researcher, and Samantha Hajna, PhD candidate from the RI-MUHC, published a study in BMJ Open recently that shows Canadians need to take advantage of "walkable neighbourhoods." This cross-sectional analysis was unique in combining objective measures of physical activity with digital map-based measures of walkable neighbourhoods. Their study got picked up by TVA, Canoe.ca, The McGill Reporter and various websites. Dr. Dasgupta's team was also featured in The Globe and Mail for Diabetes Awareness Month. 

Educating the immune system to prevent allergies
Montreal Children's Hospital allergist, Dr. Christine McCusker, and her team of researchers from the RI-MUHC, have designed a potential vaccine against allergic airways disease. Watch the report on Télé-Québec.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge one year later
On November 19, 2015, marking the anniversary of the announcement of the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge results, ALS Canada was at The Neuro to announce the recipients of their 2015 grant competition. Four researchers and clinicians at The Neuro received a grant for their groundbreaking work in the ALS research field. Read more at CJAD and watch the report on CTV Montreal.

Canadian breakthrough against a deadly fungus
Dr. Donald Sheppard, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the MUHC and RI-MUHC researcher, made a recent discovery with his team that gives hope to patients suffering from invasive aspergillosis – a devastating illness that is deadly for patients with weakened immune systems. Listen to Dr. Sheppard's interview on Radio-Canada International to learn more. Read the reports in the New Scientist, Journal de Montréal, on Canoë, Futurity and Health Canal.

Samuel David wins prestigious Barbara Turnbull Award
Dr. Samuel David, from the RI-MUHC, has received the 2015 Barbara Turnbull Award for Spinal Cord Research. Dr. David won the prestigious award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the advancement of world-leading spinal cord research conducted in Canada. Read the full article in the McGill Reporter.

Parkinson's disease: Canadian researchers may have made a key breakthrough
Scientists from the RI-MUHC, led by Dr. Ron Postuma, say they have developed a new list of criteria for the early diagnosis of Parkinson's, which is frequently misdiagnosed because it so closely resembles other neurological disorders. Read more about their study in the Cantech Letter, the Health Medicine Network, and the News Medical and listen to the interview at L'heure de pointe Toronto on Radio-Canada Première.

The secret behind leishmaniasis
Dr. Martin Olivier, RI-MUHC immunologist and Dr. Vanessa Diniz Atayde, research associate in Dr. Olivier's laboratory, made a recent discovery that explains how Leishmania parasite boosts its infection. These findings could lead to the development of new potential vaccine targets and diagnostic tools for Leishmania and other parasitic diseases. Dr. Olivier was invited on the science radio show Les années lumière on Radio Canada to talk about it. You can also read the article in The Scientist.

Beware: off-label prescription drug use
Dr. Robyn Tamblyn, RI-MUHC researcher and colleagues at McGill, published a new study that sheds 
light on the effects of off-label use of prescription drugs with the first-ever investigation in adult populations. Their research received local and international media coverage. Listen to the report on Radio-Canada International and read The Gazette's article along with the web coverage on Health Canal, Futurity, WebMD, Psychiatry Advisor and Pharmacy Times

Red meat and cancer
Dr. Alexander Sender Liberman, MUHC colorectal surgeon, was on CTV News to put the World Health Organization's study about the link between red meat and the risk of developing cancer into perspective.

Has mother's milk gone sour?
Dr. Michael Kramer of the RI-MUHC is the lead researcher for the Promotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial, the largest study of its kind on the topic. Kramer was interviewed on the topic resulting in a controversial outcome. Read the full article in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The many problems caused by lupus
Dr. Christian Pineau, director of the MUHC Lupus Clinic, was interviewed on CTV News to raise awareness about lupus – this little-known autoimmune disease that affects millions worldwide and about 1 in 2,000 Canadians. 

Research is lacking on marijuana's effects in patients with rheumatic diseases
A research team led by Dr. Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, MUHC rheumatologist, discovered that there is scant scientific evidence supporting any use of cannabinoids in rheumatic diseases. Read a post about her findings on Inverse.

October

Montreal researcher's study shines light on heart attacks in young Canadians
Dr. Louise Pilote, director of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the MUHC is leading a pioneering study into young adults who have suffered heart attacks, who account for at least 20 per cent of the cases of acute cardiac episodes in Canada. Read her interview in the Toronto Star. She also gave an interview to the website Pharmacy Learning Network about one of her recent studies on cardiovascular quality and outcomes.

Marijuana and pain treatment
Dr. Mark Ware, RI-MUHC researcher and director of Clinical Research of the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the MUHC, was interviewed by La Presse +  and Radio-Canada International about the Quebec Cannabis Registry – the world's first research database on the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Dr. Ware regularly gives interviews regarding questions surrounding medical cannabis use. 

What's behind your thirst?
Dr. Charles Bourque, RI-MUHC researcher, and Cristian Zaelzer, postdoctoral fellow, from the Centre for Research in Neuroscience of the RI-MUHC, have made a recent breakthrough that advances our understanding of how the brain detects and prevents dehydration. Their findings could have important clinical implications since this protein could be a target for the development of treatments and diagnostic tests for many health problems associated with the imbalance of bodily fluids commonly seen in the emergency room. Read the article on Tech Times and Listen to the interview (in French) with Dr. Bourque at L'heure de pointe Toronto on Radio-Canada Première.

Expectant dads get depressed too
Dr. Deborah Da Costa and her team from the RI-MUHC shed light on fathers' mental health by releasing the first study to report the prevalence of antenatal depression symptoms among Canadian men. This may have important clinical implications for depression screening and early prevention efforts in expectant fathers. This study received huge local and international media coverage. A few of the many interviews with Dr. Da Costa include CTV News,  CBS NEWS, Radio-Canada International, TIME, NPR show On Point, Le Soleil, etc.  

September

Dr. Alain Dagher, researcher at the NEURO and the RI-MUHC, was interviewed by Journal de Montréal and Health Medicine Network about a new study, published in the September issue of eLIFE Journal, which maps the progression of Parkinson's Disease (PD) within the brain. The findings of this study hold exciting therapeutic implications. In the longer term, it will help researchers develop new techniques to assess the efficacy of drugs that could target the culprit protein and might eventually lead to treatments that will prevent, slow, halt or even reverse the progression of PD.

Dr. Simon Wing, MUHC endocrinologist and RI-MUHC researcher from the Experimental Therapeutics and Metabolism Program, was interviewed by Radio-Canada International about a recent study that was published in the September print edition of the FASEB Journal. Dr. Wing's team has identified a new gene involved in muscle wasting that could be a good target for drug development. This discovery could have huge clinical implications given the fact that half of all cancer patients suffer from a common muscle wasting syndrome called cachexia, which impairs response to therapy and increases mortality.

Moreover, Dr. Stéphanie Chevalier, one of the study co-authors and RI-MUHC researcher from the Experimental Therapeutics and Metabolism, was also interviewed by Radio-Canada radio (Toronto). The news was also covered by TVA Nouvelles.

Montreal businessman, Mr. François Angers, is partnering with the Montreal General Hospital Foundation to establish a $4 million research fund that will look for treatments and cures for sarcoma, a type of deadly bone cancer. Dr. Robert Turcotte, medical director of the MUHC's Sarcoma Program, was interviewed by La Presse and his colleague Dr. Krista Goulding was on Global TV. Read more.

Dr. Mark Ware, RI-MUHC researcher from the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program, was interviewed by Québec Science magazine for an article about the latest research on medical cannabis. The October Edition of Québec Science is now available in kiosks!

Dr. Suzanne Morin, RI-MUHC researcher from the Experimental Therapeutics and Metabolism Program, was interviewed by La Presse about her research on calcium supplements.

August

Dr. Kaberi Dasgupta, MUHC endocrinologist and RI-MUHC researcher from the Experimental Therapeutics and Metabolism Program, was interviewed by Le Journal de Montréal, Radio Canada International and CBC Radio One 88.9 FM (link not available) about a recent study which demonstrated that gestational diabetes signals future diabetes risk not only in mothers, but also in fathers.

Dr. Dao Nguyen, MUHC respirologist and RI-MUHC researcher from the Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program, was interviewed by La Presse, CTV, Radio-Canada and Breakfast TV Montreal about a recent discovery involving cystic fibrosis. Dr. Nguyen's team identified the mode of action of bacteria that makes patients with cystic fibrosis very sick and directly contributes to the progression of chronic lung disease in cystic fibrosis patients. It also leads to other pulmonary diseases such as emphysema.

Dr. Alain Ptito, neurologist and RI-MUHC researcher from the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program, was interviewed by Radio-Canada (Abitibi) about depression among athletes.

Dr. Maryam Oksoui and Dr. Michael Shevell, MCH clinicians and RI-MUHC researchers from the Child Health and Human Development Program, were interviewed by local and national media, including CTV, TVA, CBC Radio One, CBC TV, Canadian Press, Globe and Mail, The Gazette, La Presse, Le Devoir,  Journal de Montréal, about their recent study that sheds a surprising light on the causes of cerebral palsy – the most common cause of physical disability in children. Their findings, which indicate that there is a genetic component in some cases, could have major implications on the future of counselling, prevention and treatment of children with cerebral palsy.