FoMD in the News

A round-up of news stories featuring the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

ROSS NEITZ - 30 August 2018

This is a round-up of relevant news and media stories involving the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. We appreciate you relaying information which is relevant to faculty members in your respective areas.


The World News: 'I have tried to end my life': Hernia mesh patients overwhelmed by pain

Surgical mesh

Several women who have had hernias repaired with plastic surgical mesh say the subsequent pain they have endured has driven them to contemplate-and sometimes even attempt-suicide. Doctors, they add, have offered little in terms of solutions. Jan Willem Cohen Tervaert, a professor of medicine at the U of A, is interviewed on his research on this issue. Story also runs in CTV National News, The Sunday Post (Scotland), Medical Device Network and Medical Plastics News.

Thyroid cancer patients may need more aggressive treatment: Alberta researchers

Karen Chu

Researchers said patients whose thyroid cancer showed lymph-node metastasis at the time of surgery and an extension of the tumour beyond the thyroid, were more likely to be disease-free after five years if they were treated with high-dose radioactive iodine. Todd McMullen, an associate professor of surgery at the U of A, and Karen Chu, an assistant clinical professor of oncology, are quoted.

St. Albert Gazette: Reconciliation and medicine

Indigenous Health Academic Day

Almost 100 U of A family medicine students spent August 8 at Poundmaker's Lodge learning about Indigenous health. The event aimed to teach students about subjects such as residential schools and how Canada's past actions against Indigenous people affect their health today. Story also covered by StarMetro News.


The Epoch Times: Clinical Trial of Viagra on Pregnant Women Halted After 11 Babies Die

The deaths of 11 babies whose mothers were given sildenafil-commonly known as Viagra-during pregnancy as part of a clinical trial, have sparked an immediate shutdown of the experimental treatment. A related research project at the U of A is mentioned.

Nine: Why weight gain seems inevitable in winter (and why it isn't)

A story about winter weight gain references a U of A study from U of A professor of pharmacology Peter Light. Published in Scientific Reports this year, the study determined that the fat cells that sit beneath your skin shrink when exposed to blue light wavelengths emitted from the sun.

St. Albert Gazette: Connecting families affected by intellectual disabilities

Doctors, health advocacy groups and families gathered for the first-ever neurodevelopmental disability conference in Alberta. The conference, held at the U of A July 24 and 25, helped to identify the current gaps in patient care and to catalyse international research collaborations. François Bolduc, an associate professor of pediatric neurology who helped organize the conference, comments.

ABC News: Fruit good for pregnant moms and their babies

Research from the U of A's Department of Pediatrics is referenced in this health report. Report also runs on a CBS affiliate.

CBC News: Researchers only starting to study long-term health impact of wildfire smoke

Scientists still have much to learn about the possible health impacts. Nicola Cherry, a professor of preventive medicine at the U of A, is interviewed about her work looking at the long-term health impacts of those who fought the Fort McMurray fires in 2016. Related stories also appear on CBC and MSN News.

Edmonton Journal: Kids with cerebral palsy achieve goals during treatment at 'brain camp'

Kids living with cerebral palsy completed "brain camp" at Edmonton's Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in July, where they made arts and crafts between short electrode treatments as part of a national research trial. John Andersen, an associate professor of pediatrics at the U of A supervised the Edmonton camp. Coverage also appears on Global News and Radio-Canada.

Vue Weekly: The University of Alberta's GelCycler Mark II Can Detect E. Coli and Other Pathogens Quickly, and Cheaply, and It's Nearly on the Market

Tech capable of detecting E. coli, and other foodborne pathogens, is growing closer and closer to commercialization, potentially providing a breath of fresh air for meat sellers in Edmonton.

Civilized: Here's How Much Urine Is In The Average Public Pool

The average commercial-sized pool has a volume of 20,000 gallons. And nearly 20 gallons of that is urine, according to researchers from the U of A.

Global News: Company taking new technology to Germany

A new blood test to screen for prostate cancer, developed at the University of Alberta, won a business competition and is on its way to Germany for international competition. John Lewis, the Frank and Carla Sojonky Chair in Prostate Cancer Research at the U of A, is interviewed. (No link)


Global News: Fox or coyote tapeworms acting like 'aggressive tumours' threaten dogs, humans: expert

An aggressive "tumour like" tapeworm is on the rise in Alberta and Ontario, experts warn. Stan Houston with the U of A's Division of Infectious Diseases comments in the article.

Malay Mail: Sun safety: the experts give their tips on how sunscreen can protect the whole family this summer

In a story about sun safety, Robert Gniadecki, a professor of dermatology at the U of A, gives expert comment. Related coverage also appears in All4Women.

CBC News: With new Canada Food Guide due soon, debate over 'healthy eating' continues

For the first time in 11 years, Health Canada is gearing up to release a revamped food guide, even as debate continues beyond the pages of diet and wellness websites about the best foods to promote optimal health. Blair O'Neill, a professor of cardiology at the U of A, is interviewed.

Calgary Herald: We need to increase our understanding of schizophrenia

For those who aren't as fortunate to have close friends and family to help them through the hard times that schizophrenia can bring, perhaps it is up to us as a community to learn and reach out, write a group of co-authors including student Tina Tai and adjunct professor Austin Mardon who is with the U of A's John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre.

CBC News: Power imbalance makes medical students vulnerable to abuse: ethicist

Medical students are sometimes powerless if they try to speak up against their superiors, says ethicist Brendan Leier, an assistant clinical professor at the U of A's John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, after a Winnipeg oncologist was disciplined because of "flagrantly unprofessional" intimate relationships that he pursued with two students. A follow-up story is also found on CBC News.

StarMetro Calgary: The rise of ecoanxiety: How smoke in Alberta might affect your mental health

Experts say that lingering smoke, or other results of climate change, can have unseen mental health impacts. Vincent Agyapong, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry with the U of A, comments in the article.

Prevention: 11 Possible Reasons Your Legs Cramp Up at Night

Leg cramps are common, but getting rid of them can be tricky. Scott Garrison, an associate professor of family medicine at the U of A, comments in the article.

Xtra: What does 'undetectable' really mean?

University of Alberta infectious disease specialist Stephen Shafran gives expert comment in a story exploring the topic of 'undetectable' viral load in people living with HIV.

StarMetro Calgary: Some Albertans want to escape the smoke so badly, they're buying bottled air, company says

An Edmonton company that sells Alberta air is seeing a spike in sales in the province during wildfire season because people just want a breath of fresh air. Vincent Agyapong, an associate clinical professor at the U of A, studied the mental-health effects in Fort McMurray after the 2016 wildfire, and said it's not surprising.

Boomer Talk Radio: Latimer case raises questions

Heidi Janz, an assistant adjunct professor with the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, is interviewed about the rights of people with disabilities. (No link)

CBC Calgary: Opioid manufacturers being sued

The province of B.C. is suing opioid manufacturers, alleging they knew the drugs were highly addictive and lied about it. Hakique Virani, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the U of A, gives expert comment. (No link)


CBC News: Brad Necyk knows what living with mental illness is like, and his VR art shares the patient's POV

Brad Necyk, a U of A alum who is working towards a PhD in the Department of Psychiatry, works through a manic episode, and the month of depression that followed, making paintings, composite photographs and writings that will be shown in Toronto. Coverage also appears in Vue Weekly.

Edmonton Journal: Wildlife: The fascinating and helpful world of local herbalist Robert Rogers

An article about Robert Rogers, an assistant clinical professor with the U of A's Department of Family Medicine, and his knowledge of herbs.

Edmonton Sun: Sun 20 Questions: Shawna Pandya

Alumna Shawna Pandya is interviewed.

The Gateway: Diplomatic feud between Saudi Arabia and Canada could affect 130 Saudi students at the U of A

Approximately 130 Saudi students studying at the U of A could be affected by political tension between Canada and Saudi Arabia. Of those, 32 are working on their postgraduate medical training.

Lethbridge Herald: Providing options after foster care

An article on foster care co-authored by U of A student Felicia Julienne Cuecaco (Education) describes the experience of Austin Mardon, an assistant adjunct professor with the Department of Psychiatry and the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, as a foster parent.

Edmonton Journal: Canadian Medical Association awards two Edmontonians

Two Edmontonians will receive awards at the opening of the Canadian Medical Association's annual general meeting and council in Winnipeg this Tuesday. Cara Bablitz, who graduated with a U of A medical degree in 2011, will receive an Award for Young Leaders (Early Career) for her work in palliative career and Indigenous health. Story also runs in the Edmonton Sun.

Global News Edmonton: Alberta Indigenous students learning about health-care careers

The U of A's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry opened its doors to Indigenous students from Edmonton and northern Alberta communities for the annual Health Sciences Careers Academy.

Rimbey Review: Rimbey plays host to 56 medical students

Fifty-six medical and nursing students from the U of A spent the weekend in Rimbey working on their skills and enjoying small-town life.