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St. Michael’s is top hospital in Early Researcher Awards

Toronto, May 5, 2014

St. Michael's 2014 Early Researcher Awards winners
From top: Dr. Kim Connelly, Dr. Greg Fairn, Lianne Jeffs, Dr. Jonathon Maguire and Dr. Duminda Wijeysundera.

The Ministry of Research and Innovation handed out five Early Research Awards to St. Michael’s researchers – the most garnered by any Ontario hospital in the 2013 competition (Round 9).

The ERAs provide $140,000 to a research project with the recipient hospital providing $50,000 towards each grant. At St. Michael’s, this is shared between Research and the clinical department the researcher is affiliated with.

Congratulations to the following winners:

  1. Dr. Kim Connelly, Medicine, will focus on diabetes and heart failure, specifically looking at oxygen free radicals and how they are produced and removed from the heart.

  2. Dr. Greg Fairn, Surgery, explores both the cell biological roles of lipids and the proteins that regulate their distribution. Understanding the function of lipids within the cell and these proteins will help us understand the disorders such as male infertility, bile acid accumulation in the liver, diabetes, obesity and neurological degeneration, and aid in the development of potential treatments.

  3. Lianne Jeffs, Nursing, is investigating ways to improve health care transitions and system performance.

  4. Dr. Jonathon Maguire, Pediatrics, is leading the largest vitamin D clinical trial in children and one of the largest clinical trials ever conducted on young Canadian children to determine whether high dose daily vitamin D supplementation in early childhood can prevent colds and asthma attacks during the Canadian winter.

  5. Dr. Duminda Wijeysundera, Anesthesiology, is leading a multi-centre cohort study in order to improve the evaluation of physical fitness for major surgery.

The Ontario Early Researcher Award program provides funding to new and promising researchers while providing benefits for Ontario and job opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research assistants. Read more.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.