Dr. Marie-France Hivert

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

Having gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) increases the risk of short-term and long-term complications in both mother and child. Dr. Hivert wants to know how genes and the cellular environment affect the ways that blood glucose (sugar) levels are regulated during pregnancy, and may be related to the risk of obesity and conditions related to metabolism later in life.

Dr. Aaron Leong

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award funded 2013-2016
Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA)

Supervisor

Drs. James B. Meigs and Jose C. Florez

Dr. Leong is exploring how certain type 2 diabetes genes influence the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease in people from different ethnic backgrounds. He is also assessing whether metformin (a diabetes drug) works the same way on people with different genes. Genetic research in diabetes could pave the way for personalized medicine to improve the health of individuals and the general population.

Dr. Sylvie Lesage

Operating Grant funded 2013-2016
Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (Montréal, QC)

Dr. Lesage is studying specific immune system cells, called DN T cells, in hopes of identifying what goes wrong in type 1 diabetes. The outcomes of this project could result in the development of new and novel therapies for the treatment of type 1 diabetes, and may even provide insight into a cure.

Dr. Maria Rozakis-Adcock

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

Dr. Rozakis-Adcock and her team have discovered a novel gene which they believe is important in the regulation of blood glucose (sugar). During this study, the team aims to find out how this gene helps control glucose levels normally and during diabetes. Dr. Rozakis-Adcock's research could help understand how the liver is involved in type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related conditions, and could lead to new ways to treat type 2 diabetes.

Ms. Zahra Sohani

Doctoral Student Research Award funded 2014-2016
McMaster University (Hamilton, ON)

Supervisor

Dr. Sonia S. Anand

Ms. Sohani is examining the differences in how body fat is stored in South Asians compared to white Europeans and exploring how the genes interact with the environment to foster type 2 diabetes. Understanding the ethnic differences may shed light on the natural processes of diabetes and identify areas to be targeted to cure the disease.

Dr. Joe Eun Son

Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2015-2018
The Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, ON)

Supervisor

Dr. Chi-Chung Hui

Dr. Son is assessing how specific genes function in the brain and lead to a higher risk of obesity by creating an imbalance of energy throughout the body. Did you know about 80-90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese? Finding ways to limit obesity in society can significantly reduce the risk of many diseases, including diabetes, heart attack and stroke. Specifically, Dr. Son is using a mouse model to examine the genes Irx3 and Irx5 in the brain and their impact on energy balance throughout the body. This research could provide better understanding of the genetic risk factors leading to obesity and diabetes, and could possibly lead to advances in treatments or help prevent these diseases.

Mr. Bryan R. Tennant

Doctoral Student Research Award funded 2013-2016
Child and Family Research Institute (Vancouver, BC)

Supervisor

Dr. Brad Hoffman

Mr. Tennant's research team has found a gene, called Myt3, which may help regulate the function and survival of the insulin-producing beta cells. By understanding how diabetes reduces the amount of this gene in insulin-producing cells, the team can explore tools to protect Myt3 and develop novel therapies. Overall, this work may eventually lead to improved health outcomes for people with type 1 diabetes.