Dr. Jacqueline Beaudry

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award funded 2014-2017
Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute/Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto, ON)

Supervisor

Dr. Daniel J. Drucker

Dr. Beaudry is using a mouse model to see if removing glucagon (the glucose raising hormone) receptors from certain fat cells decreases insulin sensitivity and increases diabetes and obesity. This study will provide further insight into potential glucagon-based therapies for obesity and diabetes.

Dr. Hsiao-Huei Chen

Operating Grant funded 2014-2017
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (Ottawa, ON)

In previous research, Dr. Chen found that a diet rich in fat impairs the function of a key protein important to limit inflammation and help the brain to control metabolism. Dr. Chen is using mouse models to exploit this protein to see if inflammation can be suppressed to lower the susceptibility to obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Heather Denroche

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award funded 2014-2017
University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)

Supervisor

Dr. C. Bruce Verchere

Dr. Denroche’s team recently found that deposits of a hormone (called islet amyloid polypeptide), which can be found in the pancreas, attract immune cells that cause inflammation. Dr. Denroche is investigating how this process occurs, whether this process contributes to the development of diabetes and if this can be prevented with anti-inflammatory drugs. The results of this research may uncover new diabetes treatments.

Dr. Alexandre Fisette

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award funded 2013-2016
CHUM Research Centre (Québec, QC)

Supervisor

Dr. Stephanie Fulton

Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids affect the way nerves communicate, but little is known about the role of a specific omega-3 receptor regarding how food makes us feel, how much we eat and how much energy we use. Dr. Fisette aims to understand the central role of this receptor in the relationship between obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Sanjoy Ghosh

Operating Grant funded 2012-2015
University of British Columbia-Okanagan (Kelowna, BC)

Dr. Ghosh and his team investigated how omega-6 fatty acid causes damage in the mitochondria, the energy-producer of cells, and assessed if the damage can be reduced by supplementation with omega-3s. This research aimed to identify the process by which common dietary fats are increasing obesity and diabetes‐related heart disease in Canada.

Dr. Anthony J. G. Hanley

Operating Grant funded 2014-2017
University of Toronto (Toronto, ON)

Obesity can cause chronic inflammation in the whole body, which can cause health problems, like type 2 diabetes. Dr. Hanley and his colleague, Dr. Phil Connelly, are examining a molecule involved in inflammation of fat tissues in hopes of better understanding its relationship with inflammation and the development of type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Gabriel Lachance

Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2015-2018
Université Laval (Québec, QC)

Supervisor

Dr. André Marette

Dr. Lachance is studying a molecule that could provide clues to the early detection of diabetes. Approximately 80% of obese people will develop diabetes as a result of their body’s inability to sense the effect of insulin. This condition is called insulin resistance and it is reversible, especially if treated in the early stages. However, scientists are still searching to understand the initial link between obesity and diabetes, which could help with early detection. Researchers have recently determined that, in obesity, a molecule called nitric oxide (NO) reduces the effect of insulin. The impaired insulin production then leads to higher blood glucose levels and results in type 2 diabetes. Dr. Lachance is examining how NO is produced to better understand the early signs of diabetes. Results from this study could provide new knowledge on how to more effectively identify diabetes and prevent its progression.

Dr. Tony Lam

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

Dr. Lam and his team are studying how the brain is involved in controlling blood glucose by regulating hormone action. This research could lead to new ways to treat or prevent type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Tony Lam

Operating Grant 2016-2018
University Health Network (Toronto, ON)

Dr. Lam and his team are studying how the brain is involved in diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. They are using rodent models to examine the hormonal actions in the brain that alter glucose, energy and lipid balance in the body and to see if these processes are defective in diabetes and obesity. This research could lead to new ways to treat or prevent type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related complications.

Dr. Megan Levings

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

Dr. Levings is studying a certain type of immune cells (called Treg cells) in humans and mice to understand how Tregs normally control inflammation in fat tissues, and to find out why they stop working properly in obesity. This work will show new links between metabolism and the immune system, and may lead to new ways to stop inflammation in obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Emilio Mottillo

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award funded 2013-2016
McMaster University (Hamilton, ON)

Supervisor

Dr. Gregory R. Steinberg

Dr. Mottillo is studying how a particular enzyme involved in controlling metabolism works in brown fat, which acts as the body's furnace to burn energy and generate heat. Utilizing this information could lead to new ways to activate and increase the amount of brown fat, stimulating energy use and could lead to new treatments for obesity and its related disorders, including diabetes.

Dr. Jonathan D. Schertzer

Operating Grant funded 2012-2017
McMaster University (Hamilton, ON)

Dr. Schertzer aims to find out how a certain protein in the immune system helps protect the body against insulin resistance and if eating probiotics can help activate this protein. Results from this work may show that probiotics are an effective, inexpensive way to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Gregory Steinberg

Operating Grant 2013-2016
McMaster University (Hamilton, ON)

Dr. Steinberg and his team are trying to understand the role that a certain hormone plays in reducing fat in the liver of obese mice. The outcomes of this study could help in the development of better ways to prevent or treat type 2 diabetes.

Dr. John Ussher

Scholar Award 2015-2020
University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)

Dr. Ussher’s research examines a fuel source in the body, called ketone bodies, which he believes may contribute to obesity-related diabetes. The research community has put a lot of effort into understanding how increased sugar and fat in our diets negatively impact the skeletal muscle and cause obesity-related diabetes. However, this strategy has not yet resulted in any successful new drugs for this disease. Dr. Ussher is investigating the ketone body, a different energy source, which is made in the liver during starvation. It has been suggested that the body of someone with diabetes thinks it is starving, even though their organs are being supplied with a high amount of sugar and fats. This triggers ketone bodies to be continually made and used for energy, even though these people are not starving. Dr. Ussher’s research compares mice in two different situations to see if increasing ketone body metabolism can cause diabetes, and if decreasing ketone body metabolism can treat diabetes. This research may lead to the discovery of new drugs that can treat and/or prevent obesity-related diabetes.