Volume 25, Number 15

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April 5, 2017

The Legacy of Past Decisions

A Message from Trevor Young and Scott Mabury

When the Medical Sciences Building (MSB) first opened, nearly 50 years ago, it represented the best thinking at the time. It emphasized individual wet labs and traditional bench sciences. It also used construction processes and materials that were thought to be at the pinnacle of building science. But times change, our models for research adjust and our knowledge about occupational health has advanced. However, we continue to live with decisions made a half century ago.

As part of an effort to ensure MSB meets the current needs of our research community, we are undertaking a major renovation thanks to a historic investment by the federal and provincial governments. First announced in July 2016, the Lab Innovation for Toronto (LIFT) project will enable U of T to invest $190-million to upgrade nearly half of U of T’s research labs by April 2018 — including projects in MSB valued at $40-million. This will provide much needed improvements to our facilities. The University’s policy is to conduct asbestos abatement whenever major renovations occur. The aim is to reduce the presence of asbestos, once widely used, from U of T buildings over the coming years.


Trevor Young
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions

Scott Mabury
Vice-President, University Operations
Professor of Environmental Chemistry



U of T’s Lewis E. Kay named Canada Gairdner International Award Laureate

Professor Lewis Kay has been named a 2017 Canada Gairdner International Award laureate for his role in developing modern nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which has helped elucidate the structure and dynamics of proteins and other large molecules.


Air Sampling Shows Medical Science Building "Safe for General Occupancy," Report Finds

The Medical Sciences Building is “safe for general occupancy,” concludes a new report that looks at more than 200 air samples taken in and around the building from February 4 to March 24, 2017.


Rehab Works Wonders — Especially For the Wealthy

The World Health Organization has released a guideline on how countries can expand rehabilitation services globally. Professor Andrea Furlan and her colleagues did the research for more than half of the new recommendations.


Pillars of Health: Making Connections in Health Innovation

More than 200 students, researchers and physicians gathered this week to brainstorm solutions on problems in health care systems, hosted by U of T’s Health Innovation Hub.


Making Memories

Memories — those we remember fondly and those we wish we could forget — are the focus of Professor Sheena Josselyn’s research. In a recent study she showed how scientists can eliminate bad memories from mice. 


Shining Light on Mental Health

The second Miner’s Lamp Award dinner hosted by the Department of Psychiatry and IAMGOLD Corporation raised funds for research on the prevention and early detection of severe mental illness, and featured a personal talk by Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.


Privilege 101: Understanding Privilege & Oppression

Dismantling the social structures that give advantage (or privilege) to some and disadvantage to others is complicated work. Later this month, Professor Stephanie Nixon will lead a new one-day continuing education course on this issue, with the goal of improving health equity.


New Promise in Treating Ebola

This deadly disease still has no vaccine, and no approved treatment — so findings by Professor Eleanor Fish, showing a drug used for hepatitis and MS can ease symptoms and increase survival, offer new hope.


Coming: Canada’s Largest Meeting on Heart Failure

This spring, the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research will join the Canadian Heart Failure Society for a two-day international conference, to inspire front-line health-care workers and basic scientists in the cause of improving the lives of Canadians with heart failure.


Purple Day and the Future of Epilepsy Care

As we mark Purple Day, an annual international celebration to spread epilepsy awareness, research is leading to improved epilepsy therapies, with deep brain stimulation and early-detection leading the way.


Expert Panel on Prevention of Sexual Violence at U of T

Consultation is underway on the draft principles of U of T’s Expert Panel on Education and Prevention of Sexual Violence. All members of the University community can provide feedback online

Honours and Awards


Professor Benoit Mulsant

2017 Distinguished Scientist Award, American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry


Professor Beverley Orser

2017 Gold Medal, Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society
2017 Peter Dresel Award, Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University


Professor Amit Oza

2017 Presidential Medal, Society of Gynecologic Oncology of Canada



Let's Talk About Islamophobia

April 6, 2017 from 6:00 to 8:30PM

C. David Naylor Student Commons, Medical Sciences Building


Learners, staff members, and faculty members at the Faculty of Medicine are welcome at this open forum for a conversation about Islamophobia in medicine and how to create a more inclusive, respectful, and accepting community.


RSI Awareness Project: Autism

April 6, 2017 from 11:00AM to 12:30PM

500 University Ave., Room 140


The Rehabilitation Sciences Institute’s awareness project this month features a discussion on autism, including a talk by Professor Yona Lunsky on new approaches to supporting families dealing with the disorder.


Regenerative Medicine Symposium

April 11 and 12, 2017

MaRS Auditorium and Toronto General Hospital


This 10th annual symposium features keynotes by U of T Professor Peter Zandstra and Professor Giuseppe Orlando from Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina, and several student presentations.


2017 CCME Reception

April 30, 2017, 6:30PM

Delta Hotel, Winnipeg


Join Dean Trevor Young at the Canadian Conference on Medical Education, where you can hear news from U of T Medicine and catch up with fellow alumni, faculty and students.


A Matter of Life: Care in Physical and Severe Mental Illness

October 6, 2017

Chelsea Hotel, Toronto


Save the date: the Medical Psychiatry Alliance’s annual conference will focus on new ways of caring for patients who have co-existing physical and severe mental illness. Registration coming soon.

Have a general-interest event you want to include in MedEmail? Tell us about it here.

In the News

Wounded healers

Professor Mark Bernstein and Professor Emeritus Paul Garfinkel in the National Post

Seven wonders of science

Professors Lewis Kay in The Globe and Mail

How mobile apps reduce follow-up visits after surgery

Professor John Semple in Forbes

This genetic mutation increases men’s risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer

Professor Alexandre Zlotta on Global News

Prostate cancer patients report that surgery offers worst outcome on quality of life

Professor Neil Fleshner on CBC News

Doctors' Notes: Why tuberculosis remains a problem in Canada

Professor Sarah Brode in the Toronto Star

Doctors' Notes: New research aims to curb diabetes complications

Professor George Fantus in the Toronto Star

Call for Applications


Staff IMPACT Awards

Nominate administrative, research or technical staff for the Faculty of Medicine’s annual Staff IMPACT Awards. Deadline is April 28, 2017.


Recently Awarded Research Grants

Upcoming Award Deadlines

What's New in Research Funding

Departmental News and Events

Updates on CIHR Funding

Popular Science magazine and the U.S. National Science Foundation honoured the best science visualizations from the last year in their third annual Vizzies awards. This image by University of Pennsylvania neuroscientist Greg Dunn and his team depicts half a million neurons at work in the brain.


Next issue publication date:
April 19, 2017
Submission deadline:
April 12, 2017

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