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CV: Dr. Marc Jeschke

June 1, 2010


The new medical director of the Ross Tilley Burn Centre and senior scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute sits down to answer a few questions from Dilys Chan.

Bio basics: Medical director of the Ross Tilley Burn Centre at Sunnybrook, senior scientist in SRI’s Trauma, Emergency & Critical Care Research Program and associate professor of surgery at the University of Toronto. Arrived in May 2010 from Shriners Burns Hospital for Children. Received MD from Eberhard Karls University, master of medical science from the University of Texas and PhD from the University of Regensburg, Germany.

What brought you here from the U.S.?

The Toronto burn unit is a well-known burn centre—the largest in Canada. Paired with opportunities at Sunnybrook Research Institute to establish a translational scientific program, it was an outstanding offer.

Tell me about your current research.

Our research focuses on stress. Of course, burn plays an important role, but we also look at other factors, such as endotoxemia, sepsis and surgical stress. We look at the inflammatory or stress-induced cellular changes. The focus is on how to improve outcomes for burn patients by attenuating this dramatic or vast inflammatory response. In severely burned patients, they lose all their muscle. They’re really sick.

What are the most rewarding parts of your work?

I’m a very big supporter of clinical translation science. So, I do clinical research, but I also do basic science research in cell cultures, with preclinical models. When you operate [on patients] or do patient care, questions can arise that have not been answered in the literature. The benefit of being an academic clinician is that you are able to think about the questions, educate yourself and then ask, “Is this important enough to design an experiment around?” My fascination is driven by saving patients’ lives, based not only on what is known, but also on what can be discovered.

What do you do outside of work?

I have a big family—I’m married, have four children and a dog. That’s the centre of my life as well. In whatever time is left, I enjoy literature, music, opera and the symphony. I try to conduct sports and get outdoors.

Have you found any new hobbies in Canada?

Not yet—I’m sure it will come! The outdoors here are very beautiful. Of course, I like good food.

Toronto is pretty good for that.

Oh, yeah. Fantastic, fantastic food.