Dr. Andrew Advani

Operating Grant funded 2014-2017
St Michael's Hospital (Toronto, ON)

Dr. Advani’s research uses a mouse model to assess if low levels of the protein EZH2 leads to kidney damage in diabetes. If successful, this knowledge could be leveraged to assist in the development of new treatments for kidney disease.

Dr. Dylan Burger

Operating Grant funded 2014-2017
Ottawa Health Research Inst. (Ottawa, ON)

Dr. Burger is studying microparticles (tiny parts of cells) in urine to better understand how they form and if they cause kidney injury in people with diabetes. This knowledge could help identify a new way to diagnose kidney damage and possible new pathways for drug development.

Dr. Subrata Chakrabarti

Operating Grant funded 2013-2016
The University of Western Ontario (London, ON)

Dr. Chakrabarti is studying what happens to the cells inside the eye that can lead to damage of the retina and cause blindness. He wants to understand how diabetes-related eye damage happens, and to develop medications that can stop this complication from occurring.

Dr. John S. D. Chan

Operating Grant funded 2014-2017
Centre de Research-CHUM (Montréal, QC)

Dr. Chan is studying two proteins in the cells of mice with diabetes. He wants to see how these proteins impact insulin’s ability to prevent high blood pressure and kidney damage. This research will help understand how insulin prevents the complications of diabetes.

Dr. David Z. I. Cherney

Clinician Scientist Award funded 2010-2015
University Health Network (Toronto, ON)

Dr. Cherney’s research program focuses on factors in the body that lead to kidney disease in patients with diabetes (such as high blood pressure in kidney filtering units, early changes in the arteries and the heart and inflammation). His research program is closely aligned with the clinic at the University Health Network, which maintains a strong emphasis on the prevention of diabetic kidney disease and related cardiovascular disease by collaborating with specialists that focus on the heart, kidneys and metabolism. He hopes the results of his research will help find the best way to treat blood vessel and kidney damage in people with diabetes.

Ms. Pei-Ling (Amy) Chiu

Doctoral Student Research Award funded 2014-2017
University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)

Supervisor

Dr. Brian B. Rodrigues

Ms. Chiu is using animal models and examining single heart cells to see if diabetes changes the role of the LPL enzyme, which provides fat to the heart as a source of energy. During diabetes, the heart's uncontrolled use of fat as fuel can be dangerous, and may lead to heart disease or even death. This research may be significant in understanding how to prevent or delay diabetes-related heart disease.

Dr. Jason Dyck

Operating Grant funded 2013-2016
University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)

Dr. Dyck and his team study a protein that may be able to reduce damage to the heart and prevent diabetes-related heart disease. His team is investigating the process that tells heart cells how much fat to store as energy versus how much to use immediately for energy with the aim of finding out what goes wrong with this process and if it can be altered to help treat diabetes-related heart disease.

Dr. Pedro M. Geraldes

Scholar Award funded 2011-2016
University of Sherbrooke (Sherbrooke, QC)

Dr. Geraldes is studying two enzymes that are active when blood glucose levels are high, to find out if they stop damaged blood vessels from healing. This will help better show why blood vessel damage happens in diabetes and if it could be stopped or healed to prevent limb amputations.

Dr. Gordon Glazner

Alzheimer Society Research Program-Canadian Diabetes Association Research Grant 2014-2017
St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre (Winnipeg, MB)

Dr. Glazner is trying to find a way to reduce the progression of dementia in people with diabetes. Using mice models of Alzheimer’s and diabetes, his team is testing a new treatment that delivers a certain protein to the brain by using an implanted pump or genetically engineered stem cells. This research may provide steps towards a new treatment option for reducing dementia and other nervous system complications in diabetes.

Dr. David Granville

Operating Grant funded 2013-2016
University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)

Dr. Granville is studying an enzyme that slows the healing of skin ulcers in diabetes. He is testing how this enzyme is involved in diabetes-related skin ulcers and if it can be blocked to help speed healing.

Dr. Syamantak Majumder

Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2015-2018
St. Michael's Hospital (Toronto, ON)

Supervisor

Dr. Andrew Advani

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease in Canada and new treatments are urgently needed. Dr. Majumder is studying changes to kidney cells in hopes of providing insight into new treatments. Recent research has identified processes related to gene expression, called epigenetics, which are involved in the development of diabetic kidney disease. One of these particular processes is called histone methylation, which involves a chemical change to the proteins that DNA coils around to allow it to be packed into the cells in the body. However, this process can go wrong in diabetes. One protein that controls the process is called EZH2 and, when this protein is blocked by medications, certain kidney cells are damaged. In his current research, Dr. Majumder is examining mice with diabetes that do not have EZH2 in specific kidney cells. He wants to see if the missing protein will make kidney disease worse. Through these studies, Dr. Majumder hopes to better understand what causes kidney disease in diabetes.

Ms. Vongai Nyamandi

Doctoral Student Research Award funded 2014-2017
University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)

Supervisor

Dr. Kathleen M. MacLeod

Ms. Nyamandi is examining a specific communication pathway (RhoA-ROCK), as a possible cause of a diabetes-related heart disease, called diabetic cardiomyopathy. The results could allow researchers to understand what causes the heart to beat poorly in this situation and may aid in the development of new treatment for diabetic cardiomyopathy.

Dr. Thomas Pulinikunnil

Operating Grant 2016-2018
Dalhousie University (Saint John, NB)

Dr. Pulinilkunnil intends to identify, on a cellular level, what causes heart disease in individuals with diabetes. This newly funded CDA grant aims to identify and characterize cellular processes that influence the heart’s ability to break down, dispose and recycle cellular waste. Dr. Pulinilkunnil’s research team is using cutting edge rodent models of obesity and diabetes to examine the role of a specific protein (TFEB) in the heart that controls cellular waste clearance. This research will enable the development of treatments targeting these biochemical pathways during diabetes, hopefully improving heart function and decreasing mortality.

Dr. Brian B. Rodrigues

Operating Grant funded 2014-2017
University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)

The incidence of diabetes is increasing globally, with cardiovascular disease accounting for a substantial number of diabetes-related deaths. Dr. Rodrigues is studying the metabolic machinery that drives energy metabolism in the heart, its breakdown following diabetes, and the research direction necessary to assist in devising novel therapeutic strategies to prevent or delay diabetic heart disease.

Dr. Norbert Schmitz

Operating Grant 2016-2018
Douglas Hospital Research Institute (Montréal, QC)

Dr. Schmitz wants to know if systemic inflammation plays a role in the relationship between type 2 diabetes control, depression and cardiovascular complications. His team is using population-based survey data from Québec and conducting interviews to determine if there is an association between these conditions. If successful, the results of this study would suggest that inflammation is a risk factor for depression and poor health outcomes in people with type 2 diabetes and that treatments to target inflammation should be developed.

Dr. Gary Shen

Operating Grant 2016-2018
University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB)

In previous CDA-funded research, Dr. Shen’s group found that Saskatoon berries blocked the processes that lead to vascular inflammation, which is the trigger for the majority of heart disease in people with diabetes. The current research will add to the knowledge on this topic and focuses on the properties within these berries that cause this positive effect. The results may provide key insights into the use of Saskatoon berries as a food-based option for the prevention and management of cardiovascular complications for people with diabetes.

Dr. Gary Sweeney

Operating Grant funded 2013-2016
York University (Toronto, ON)

Dr. Sweeney is trying to find out how a certain protein released from fat cells works in people with diabetes. He hopes to learn more about why too much or too little of this protein changes how the heart works. The goal of this study is to provide new insight into treating heart failure in obesity and diabetes.

Dr. Darren Yuen

Clinician Scientist Award 2013-2016
St. Michael's Hospital (Toronto, ON)

One of the earliest signs of kidney damage is when the kidney filters the blood at a higher rate (hyperfiltration) and, if left untreated, this can lead to irreversible kidney damage. Dr. Yuen studied how and why hyperfiltration happens, and if it can be stopped. The results may provide insight into new treatments and/or prevention research for chronic kidney disease, a common diabetes complication.

Dr. Douglas Zochodne

Operating Grant 2013-2016
University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)

Dr. Zochodne previously found that when small amounts of insulin are injected right at damaged nerve sites, it stimulates nerve fibres to re-grow, which may help reduce numbness and wound healing. He is studying how this happens and if other hormones can have the same positive effect. The results may help provide new ways to stop or reverse neuropathy, a diabetes-related complication that damages the nerves controlling feeling and movement.

Dr. Douglas Zochodne

Operating Grant 2016-2018
University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)

Dr. Zochodne wants to find a way to restore lost nerve function, a common complication in people with diabetes. He is using mouse models to assess if nerve damage can be healed when certain proteins and molecules are applied to damaged nerve cells. Results from this research may recommend new pathways and molecules to be utilized as a treatment for nerve damage and wound healing in people with diabetes.