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2007

Dr. Peter Burns

Dr. Peter Burns

Chair, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto

The University of Toronto has appointed Dr. Peter Burns chair of the department of medical biophysics for a five-year term beginning July 1, 2007. Burns, a senior scientist in imaging research at SRI, has served for many years on the department's executive, and has been closely involved with graduate education in the medical biophysics doctoral program. A medically focused interdisciplinary approach to physics and biology, and a predominance of hospital research institute-based faculty (primarily located at Sunnybrook Research Institute and the University Health Network) distinguish the department within U of T's faculty of medicine. Burns's contribution to the department's innovative graduate curriculum is well recognized, and he is highly regarded by the vice-presidents of research at Sunnybrook and University Health Network, with whom he will work closely as new chair.

Dr. Stuart Foster

Dr. Stuart Foster

Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Ultrasound Imaging

Dr. Stuart Foster was awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair—$1.4 million over seven years—and $268,577 in infrastructure support through the Canada Foundation for Innovation's Leaders Opportunity Fund, which will help advance his research into ultrasound microimaging systems. Noninvasive microimaging developed by Foster has allowed scientists around the world to see the smallest blood vessels in the mouse microvasculature, thus making visible previously "invisible" territory and enabling study of disease models in vivo. Further application and extension of this work could increase understanding of developmental biology, speed the development of new drugs and therapies, and provide tools for image-guided bioresearch in stem cell delivery, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Foster is a senior scientist in imaging research and the Odette cancer research program at SRI. Read more.

Dr. Robert Nam

Dr. Robert Nam

Ministry of Research and Innovation Early Researcher Award

The ministry has awarded Dr. Robert Nam an Early Researcher Award to help fund a team of research associates, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. The award, worth $100,000, matched by $50,000 from SRI, will enhance Nam's research on individual genetic and statistical predictors of prostate cancer susceptibility and progression. He and his team developed a nomogram, a graph-based risk-assessment tool that accounts for more prostate cancer variables—age, ethnicity, family history, urinary symptoms, PSA (prostate-specific antigen), free to total PSA ratio and digital rectal exam—than do current nomograms, and that has proven more effective. He also co-led a study of prostate-specific fusion gene TMPRSS2:ERG, the expression of which indicates a strong risk for disease relapse in patients who have had surgery. An associate scientist in clinical epidemiology at SRI, Nam is also a clinical oncologist at the Odette Cancer Centre.

Dr. Sandro Rizoli

Dr. Sandro Rizoli

de Souza Chair of Trauma Research

Dr. Rizoli, the director of the trauma, emergency and critical care research program at SRI has been named to this chair, a $3-million joint endowment of the University of Toronto and Sunnybrook. This posting is the world's only trauma research chair. Trauma is a field of study that the research community often overlooks for the way it exists in the midst of so many other things. Just the same, it's an area that demands attention. According to the World Health Organization's World Health Report in 2003, trauma takes more lives every year than does breast cancer. Car accidents kill about the same number of people as lung cancer. Rizoli says the de Souza appointment means more time to immerse himself in research, including the study of bleeding and the use of blood in trauma. Read more.

Dr. Juan Carlos Zúñiga-Pflücker

Dr. Juan Carlos Zúñiga-Pflücker

Named one of the "10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians" by the magazine Factor Hispano

Magazine Factor Hispano named Dr. Juan Carlos Zúñiga-Pflücker one of the "10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians" at a ceremony in Toronto on November 20. Six judges narrowed 41 nominations to 20, which they then ranked and combined with rankings from the 440 event attendees, to select the top 10. Five criteria determined ranking: influence in the Canadian mainstream; support of the Hispanic community; volunteerism; education; and achievements and awards. Born in Peru, Zúñiga-Pflücker holds the Canada Research Chair in Developmental Immunology and is a senior scientist in molecular and cellular biology at SRI. His lab was the first to create T cells, an essential component of the immune system, in a Petri dish.