Meet our researchers and explore the types of research currently underway
Our researchers are shaping the future of health care by practicing evidence-based knowledge and bringing new discoveries to the work we do.
The Oncology Clinic sees a multitude and variety of cancer patients on a daily basis. All of our medical oncologists and hematologists are leaders and collaborators in clinical trials, dedicating themselves to providing patients with cutting-edge new drug therapies by offering clinical study drug trials.
This interdisciplinary research team includes a dedicated oncology research nurse, oncology pharmacists, a lab technician as well as the physicians: Dr. John Blondal, Dr. Dorothy Lo, Dr. Rania Lingas, Dr. Urszula Zurawska and Dr. Christie Kim.
They are involved in many clinical trials, for example:
- The Multiple Myeloma Study offering patients Bone Therapy
- For pancreatic patients a trial offering an immunotherapy drug with Canadian Cancer Trial Group of Canada
- The hematologists are involved with our Network partner St. Michael’s Hospital in the Gaucher Study
- The clinic will also be collaborating with Dr. Jain (Urologist) in a trial for bladder cancer patients.
Critical Care Research
Critical care research trials are a crucial part of research at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. We have a wide array of studies, such as Observational studies and Interventional studies that are being conducted in our ICU. The excellent team of nurses and other professionals in the ICU are an integral part of our success in these research trials.
Dr. Rob Cirone and Dr. Joanne Meyer, our Clinical investigators from the St. Joseph’s ICU, collaborate with investigators from various institutions such as Sunnybrook; St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Hamilton; St. Michael’s Hospital. We are always looking forward to being part of new and exciting multi-centered clinical trials.
A few of the trials that are currently being conducted in the ICU at SJHC are listed below:
- Use of Probiotics in ICU patients who are mechanically ventilated to prevent Severe Pneumonia and Endotracheal Colonization Trial, Randomized control trial: PROSPECT Trial
- Length of Antibiotic use actually needed for clinical effectiveness in ICU patients with bacteremia, Randomized Controlled Trial: Balance Trial
- An ICU observational study to identify barriers to early rehabilitation for critically ill patients admitted to these ICUs: ICORE
- The Frequency of Screening and SBT Technique Trial: The FAST Trial
- Standard versus Accelerated initiation of Renal Replacement Therapy in Acute Kidney Injury (STARRT-AKI): A Multi-Centre, Randomized, Controlled Trial
Two of our investigators in the Department of Surgery include Dr. Shiva Jayaraman and Dr. Melanie Tsang. They are actively involved in both prospective and retrospective research.
Currently, they are recruiting surgical patients for multi-center trials, including the PERIOP-01 trial and the HeLiX trial. PERIOP-01 looks at the use of extended prophylactic doses of Tinzaparin around the time of surgery for colon cancer and its impact on cancer survival. HeLiX (Hemorrhage During Liver Resection: traneXamic Acid) is a randomized controlled trial looking at the impact of peri-operative tranexamic acid vs placebo on blood transfusions for patients undergoing liver resection. They are always looking for opportunities to collaborate on other research studies
Paediatric research encompass a variety of projects within the department’s pediatric clinics including the just for kids clinic, neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric inpatient ward, and the school clinic based out of Parkdale Public School that focuses on behavior and development.
Our clinicians’ focus includes research on determinants of health, team wellness, self-regulation, parenting support, and the impact of interventions on patients and families. This interdisciplinary team includes paediatric nursing, lactation consultants, occupational therapists, dieticians, and parent advocates.
Also part of the multidisciplinary team is Dennis Samuels, a pharmacist with an interest in drug trials, and the research Steering Committee comprised of Dr. Justine Cohen-Silver, Dr. Brian Chisamore, Dr. Katie Mennie, Dr. Aparna Swaminathan, Dr. Jessie Van Dyk, Dr. Anne Wormsbecker, and Dr. Heather Yang.
Active projects include:
- Compliance with First Line Antibiotics in the Community Management of Acute Otitis Media in Children.
- School Based Health Care: A Model for Improving Educational Achievement and Wait-Times for Developmental Assessment for Children in Inner City Schools: A Mixed Methods Study.
- Systematic Review of School Clinics-Justine Cohen-Silver P.I
In the future, we are looking at more collaboration with other centres. If you are interested in contacting us or being part of our research projects, please contact Dr. Justine Cohen-Silver, Justine.Cohen-Silver2@unityhealth.to
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death and hospitalization. At St. Joseph’s Health Centre, our cardiologists treat patients with a variety of conditions including coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, arrhythmias and heart failure.
The goal of the cardiovascular research program at St. Joseph’s Health Centre is to improve outcomes for our patients by advancing knowledge. Our researchers collaborate with other centres to participate in pragmatic outcomes-based research, with the main goal of improving the care we provide patients in a community hospital setting.
St. Joseph’s Health Centre is home to clinicians focused on improving clinical care through participating in cardiovascular outcomes research. This interdisciplinary team includes:
- Dr. Richard Choi, MD – cardiovascular outcomes research
- Jennifer Comello, RN – heart failure outcomes research
- Dr. Cameron Gilbert, MD – arrhythmia, cardiac device research
- Janice Klutt, RN – heart failure outcomes research
- Dr. Peter Mitoff, MD – heart failure outcomes research
We have participated in several multi-site, national trials including:
- PACT-HF: pragmatic trial to assess patient-centred interventions aimed at reducing heart failure re-hospitalization
- PARASAIL: Phase IV trial of Sacubitril/Valsartan use in a community HF Clinic (industry sponsored)
- COACH: use of a validated risk stratification tool for patients presenting to the emergency department with acute heart failure and follow up in a rapid HF clinic
Our Renal Program at St. Joseph’s Health Centre provides a spectrum of clinical services including ambulatory care for a variety of nephrological issues, pre-dialysis care in a specialized MCKC clinic, and in-patient hemodialysis.
Dr. Joanna Sasal, St. Joseph’s site investigator, and our researchers collaborate with principle investigators from Canadian and international investigator centres. Our research focuses on issues related to dialysis such as the study we recently completed looking at the impact of specifically designed video program to encourage patients and their families’ participation in in-centre and home exercise program.
Studies we are currently conducting include:
- International dialysis outcomes and practice pattern study (DOPPS6)
- MyTEMP, which assesses changes in dialysate temperature and its impact on cardiovascular outcomes
- Protection Against Incidence of Serious Cardiovascular Events with daily fish oil supplementation in dialysis patients (PISCES).
In the future, we are looking at more collaboration with other centres to incorporate not only dialysis, but potentially also the pre-dialysis population. If you are interested in contacting us and being part of our research projects, please contact St. Joseph’s Research Office.