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Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health

50 Charlton Avenue East ● Jurivanski Innovation Tower ● Hamilton Ontario ● www.firh.ca

Innovative Education, Translational Research, Exemplary Clinical Care The Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health (FIRH), is a world-renowned centre for the investigation and treatment of respiratory diseases. FIRH provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient respiratory care as the regional respiratory service for the City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integrated Network (LHIN). The strength of Firestone continues to be its focus on improving patient outcomes. This is accomplished by improved diagnostic acumen, patient monitoring and understanding of the pathobiology of pulmonary diseases resulting in better treatment. FIRH’s ‘patient-centred focus on care’ is achieved through the tremendous efforts of allied health care professionals, including nurses, respiratory therapists and technicians, and through the efforts of FIRH’s administrative staff.

Wanted Research Volunteers Have you any interest in participating in a research study at Firestone ?

It is really easy to let us know. The first step is to fill out a questionnaire that gives us permission to contact you. Your information is always confidential and if we call you, you can say “no-thanks” at any time. If you want to participate in a study, we will talk to your physician to make sure it is appropriate. Some studies offer payments. Others provide some expense reimbursement. All studies have been approved by St. Joseph’s Research Ethics Board Your participation in our studies allows us to learn how to diagnose, manage and treat illness.

FIRH has a unique clinical service that encompasses the spectrum of respiratory medicine together with thoracic surgery services; all are located on one site. FirestoneNEWS ● Spring 2011 ● page 1


Updates and News Welcome to Dr. Kjetil Ask, Dr. Antje Ask, and Dr. Marcel Tunks Dr. Kjetil Ask recently joined McMaster University and the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health as an Assistant Professor of Medicine. His research focus will be on molecular mechanisms of chronic lung disease, with a specific interest on the role of immunophillins in Endoplasmic Stress and the Unfolded Protein Response. Dr. Kjetil Ask, originally from Norway, did his University studies in Burgundy, France. He began to study pulmonary pathology in 1997 as an undergraduate student in Dr Phillippe Camus’ laboratory in Dijon, France. After completing a Master’s degree equivalent, the Diplome d’Etude Approfondie, in 1999, he spent 4 years as PhD student working on mechanisms of drug-induced lung disease with Dr Camus. After defending his PhD in Pharmaceutical Biochemistry in 2003, he moved to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada to join the group of Dr Jack Gauldie at McMaster University. Dr. Ask worked for four years as a Post-Doctoral fellow with Drs Jack Gauldie and Martin Kolb in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine. The focus of his work was to study the pathobiology of pulmonary fibrosis, for instance by performing therapeutic interventions in animal models. In 2008, he started his second post-doctoral fellowship at the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Dr Ask worked in the Translational Medicine Branch under the supervision of Drs Martha Vaughan and Joel Moss, where he investigated the role of an Endoplasmic Stress resident immunophillin linked to vesicular trafficking.

Dr. Antje Ask is the current TD fellow at the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joseph’s Hamilton. She is interested in translational medicine in the field of chronic lung diseases, with a special focus on endothelial processes involved in the development of pulmonary hypertension. Currently, she is involved in building up “research station” in the clinic area in order to raise awareness about ongoing research studies at the FIRH, and to facilitate patient access to the various research projects. Dr. Ask had received her medical degree at the University of Wuerzburg, Germany, where she completed two years of residency training in respirology and radiation-oncology before coming to Hamilton in 2006. She was a post-doctoral fellow in the FIRH from 2006-2009, investigating markers for pulmonary fibrosis. She then spent one year at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, working on pulmonary hypertension in sickle cell disease, before returning to Hamilton in September of 2010.

FirestoneNEWS ● Spring 2011 ● page 2


Updates and News Dr. Marcel Tunks is one of our newest members to the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health. Dr. Tunks was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario at St. Joseph’s Healthcare. Dr. Tunks went to Medical School at the University of Toronto and graduated in 2004. Afterwards, he went back to the University of Toronto where he studied Internal Medicine which he completed in 2007. In 2009 he graduated from McMaster University’s Respirology Training Program. He continued with McMaster where he fulfilled his Clinical Scholar training until 2010. He also acquired additional training in cardiopulmonary exercise testing in both acute and chronic non-invasive mechanical ventilation. Dr. Tunks primary interest is in chronic respiratory failure, pulmonary physiology and the assessment of dyspnea. In 2010 he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, at McMaster University. Dr. Marcel Tunks is best known for his roles in inpatient and outpatient respirology as well as Medical Step-down/CCU attending at St/ Joseph’s Healthcare. His duties also include doing respiratory consultations at the Juravinski Hospital and implementing a sub-unit planner for the respirology section of Medical Foundations such as; Michael G DeGroote School of Medicine. In 2011 Dr. Tunks will be taking on the role of Site Director for the Respirology Residency at St. Joseph’s Healthcare.

Dr. Nicole Drost Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health in 2009. Dr. Drost focusses on Respiratory and Sleep Medicine. is a graduate of the Ottawa University School of Medicine. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Dalhousie, and then came to McMaster in July 2006 to study Respirology. Before deciding on McMaster for Respirology training, Nicole did a one-month elective at St. Joseph’s Healthcare. Nicole completed a Clinical Scholarship at McMaster in Sleep Medicine in 2008, and joined Firestone in 2009 focussing on Respirology and Sleep Medicine.

FIRH is also the home for the Respirology Residency Training Program of the Division of Respirology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University. Welcome ! Dr. Anushya Chelvanathan, PGY4, commenced her Respirology training July 1, 2010. Anushya completed her Internal Medicine training at McMaster University. Dr. Jacob Gelberg, PGY4, commenced his Respirology training on July 1, 2010. Jacob completed his Internal Medicine training at Queen’s University. Dr. Saima Husain, PGY4, commenced her Respirology training on July 1, 2010. Saima completed her Internal Medicine training at Queen’s University. FirestoneNEWS ● Spring 2011 ● page 3


Welcome Back ! Dr. Naomi Spitale PGY5, returned to her 2nd year of Residency training in September 2010. Dr. Jodi Goodwin PGY4, returned to her 1st year of Residency training July 1, 2010. Dr. Farhan Al-Enezi commenced his 2nd year Clinical Fellowship July 1, 2010. Dr. Juliana Li, PGY5, returns to the Respirology program to complete her 2nd year of training. Dr. Salima Amlani, PGY5, returns to the Respirology program to complete her 2nd year of training. Dr. Ali AlMusawi, PGY5, also returns to his 2nd year of training.

Congratulations ! Dr. Rebecca Amer completed her Residency training on June 30, 2010. Rebecca has become Active Staff at SJHH in Internal Medicine. She has accepted a Faculty position at McMaster University also in Internal Medicine. Dr. Natya Raghavan completed her Residency training on June 30, 2010. Natya continues her education, accepting a Clinical Research Fellowship at the University of Queen’s, Kingston. Dr. Anees Sindi completed his Residency training in Respirology on June 30, 2010. and will continue his education in Critical Care Medicine, commencing July 1, 2010 at SJHH and McMaster. Dr. Marcel Tunks completed his Clinical Scholarship year on June 30, 2010. Marcel graduated from the Adult Respirology Program at McMaster University/SJHH in June 2009.

Faculty News Dr. Paul O'Byrne has been named as a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada. The Royal Society of Canada (RSC) is the senior national body of distinguished Canadian scholars, artists and scientists. It is Canada’s national academy. This is a prestigious award that recognizes Dr. O’Byrne’s work over a long period of time. "The work that has been recognized by the Royal Society has all been conducted at McMaster University and St. Joseph's Hospital and could not have been done without the outstanding colleagues with whom I work, and the supportive environment of these institutions. I am enormously grateful for both."

Dr. Parameswaran Nair has had his Canada Research Chair in Airway Inflammometry renewed for another 5 years. Dr. Nair’s work involves measuring inflammation by non-invasive methods, such as in sputum, to improve treatment during exacerbations and to modify smooth muscle biology to limit chronic changes associated with airway diseases such as asthma and COPD. The research is leading to a better treatment of airway diseases such as asthma and COPD.

Dr. David Higgins, a clinical respirologist at FIRH, has been appointed as the President of St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.

Dr. Mark Inman, FIRH Scientific Officer, has been promoted to "Professor", Department of Medicine, McMaster University, as of July 1 2010.

Dr. Susan Wasserman, has been promoted to "Professor", Department of Medicine, McMaster University, as of July 1 2009.

Dr. Stewart Pugsley, who received the Mission Legacy Award at St. Joseph's Healthcare and the Sister Joan O'Sullivan Award at St. Joseph's Healthcare, has been appointed as the Clinical Director.

FirestoneNEWS ● Spring 2011 ● page 4


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FirestoneNEWS ● Spring 2011 ● page 5


Effective System Integration

Firestone = McMaster University + St. Joseph’s Healthcare The purpose of the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health is to conduct research to increase understanding of respiratory health and disease across the life cycle through collaborative basic and clinical investigations with the expectation of improving patient care. Providing leadership and strategic direction for the Firestone Institute in 2009/2010 are; Dr. Paul O’Byrne, Executive Director; Dr. Stewart Pugsley, Clinical Director; and Dr. Martin Kolb, Research Director. Members of the FIRH faculty hold important administrative posts locally, including Dr. Paul O’Byrne, who is the current Chair of the Department of Medicine at McMaster University; Dr. Gerard Cox, who is the Division Director of Respiratory Medicine; Dr. Lori Whitehead, who is the Program Director for Respiratory Training at McMaster University; Dr. Mark Inman, FIRH Scientific Officer and Dr. Malcolm Sears, who is the Principal Investigator for the national Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) FirestoneNEWS ● Spring 2011 ● page 6


Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health Integrating Clinical, Education, Research Clinical, research and educational activities are integrated and collaborative within FIRH. The intent is to provide exemplary clinical care, in tandem with basic and translational research inquiry, while educating and mentoring health care professionals to treat, research, teach, and lead. The strength of FIRH continues to be its focus on improving patient outcomes. The proximity of research teams to clinical services has, on the one hand, allowed conduct of highly relevant and well-powered clinical studies, and on the other, has ensured rapid incorporation of new knowledge into the care of patients. This integration also strongly influences the education of physicians and allied health care professionals. Education FIRH research faculty train young investigators to become independent researchers, encourage partnerships across disciplines nationally and internationally, and create synergies with the public and private sectors. FIRH hosted three significant international education events.

The “Inhalation Challenge for Airway Disease Symposium” involved over 45 physicians from the United States of America and from Canada who participated in an interactive session. The summary of this meeting appeared recently in a peer-reviewed publication. The “Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health Symposium on Asthma Management” program saw 25 physician specialists from Mexico participate in a two-day workshop. The “Current and Emerging Therapies in Respiratory Diseases: Difficult Challenges, Fresh Approaches” program provided a two-day accredited CME event for over 150 physicians from Spain. In addition, FIRH faculty mentored several post-doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students. Research FIRH conducts research to increase understanding of respiratory health and disease across the life cycle through collaborative basic and clinical investigations with the expectation of improving patient care. Research is wide-ranging, not only from bench to bedside, but to population health and policy; extending from studies of smooth muscle physiology and intracellular signalling through

experimental disease models to clinical trials which enhance patient quality-of-life. The research productivity of FIRH is attested to by the high quality and impact of the peer reviewed publications. In 2009/10, FIRH faculty authored 93 peer-reviewed publications, including several in high impact international publications. The research efforts also resulted in FIRH faculty registering 3 patents. Patient-Centred Focus Clinical and research activities are closely integrated and collaborative, leading to comprehensive investigation of mechanisms and outcomes. In 2009, FIRH Clinics handled over 65,000 patient contacts which represents a considerable increase since 2005. Thirty physicians hold over 75 separate clinics during a typical week in the clinic. Thank you to those who continue to support the efforts of the Institute. Thank you to the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation and the many people who contributed to support our clinical, research and educational initiative this past year. http://stjoesfoundation.ca

FirestoneNEWS ● Spring 2011 ● page 7

FirestoneNEWS Spring 2011  

The Spring 2011 Edition of the Firestone Institute Newsletter

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