FoMD in the News

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

ROSS NEITZ - 30 November 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.


Global News: University of Alberta medical school changes 30-year admissions policy on Indigenous applicants

Shey Eagle Bear (left) speaks with Elder Leonard Saddleback during a ceremony recognizing Indigenous medical school graduates in 2014.

The U of A is eliminating a quota system that caps the number of Indigenous students admitted to its medical school each year through the Indigenous Health Initiatives Program process. Coverage also appears on CBC, StarMetro Edmonton, CityNews and the Edmonton Journal.

Edmonton Journal: New lab brings fledgling health tech companies together in shared space

TEC Centre Labs

A local startup centred on the work of oncology professor John Lewis is one of the first businesses to set up shop in a new downtown shared lab space for health tech companies. Funding for the lab came from a number of sources including the U of A and its Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

The Gateway: Colleagues remember Dr. Richard Fedorak as a "driving force" in the faculty of medicine and dentistry

Dean Dr. Richard Fedorak

When remembering Richard Fedorak, colleagues, friends and mentees at the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry recalled his professional dedication and his friendly personality.


The Globe and Mail: Mental-health problems hit hard at survivors of Fort McMurray fire

Newly published research from Vincent Agyapong, a psychiatrist and U of A professor, suggests the fire cast a lasting shadow over the lives of many residents who are still experiencing elevated rates of depression and related mental health problems. Story also ran in the National Post, Huffington Post, CTV, CBC, 630 CHED, The Energy Mix and a number of other outlets across Canada.

FierceHealthcare: Healthcare Roundup-Study says muscle mass should be a vital sign; Tennessee health system to close 2 hospitals

Clinicians should be checking muscle mass as a key factor in evaluating health status, especially if a person is living with a chronic disease, according to a new study published in Annals of Medicine. Carla Prado with the U of A's Alberta Diabetes Institute is quoted.

Daily Star: Super-viruses could be engineered to exterminate certain ethnic groups, expert warn

Story refers to U of A research that synthesized the horsepox virus, leading to fears that the same techniques can be employed to recreate other members of the poxvirus family, such as the extinct but deadly smallpox virus.

Science Daily: Could bariatric surgery make men more virile?

According to a new study in Obesity Surgery, men who have undergone bariatric surgery as a long-term way of losing weight might also benefit from increased testosterone levels post-surgery. Jerry Dang with the U of A's Department of Surgery co-authored the study.

Medical Xpress: Technology could revolutionize HPV-related cancer diagnostics

A new technology being tested by University of Alberta scientists could revolutionize human papillomavirus (HPV) related cancer diagnostics and cervical cancer screening. The work was led by U of A assistant professor of surgery Vincent Biron, and Andre Isaac, a former resident in otolaryngology in the U of A's Department of Surgery.

Stratford Beacon Herald: Marijuana's medical attributes vastly overstated

Story mentions a study by Mike Allan, director of Evidence Based Medicine at the U of A's Department of Family Medicine, looking at systematic reviews of the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids. It showed that while studies were plentiful, the evidence for effectiveness of medical cannabis was relatively weak.

KPLA-FM: Household disinfectants could be making kids overweight

Sanjay Gupta, a CNN health columnist, profiles a U of A study led by professor of pediatrics Anita Kozyrskyj suggesting frequent use of household disinfectants likely increases the risk of obesity in young children by affecting their gut bacteria. No link.

Global News: New app could help patients stay strong enough for organ transplants

Gastroenterologist Puneeta Tandon discusses an exercise and nutrition app she is developing to help transplant patients stay as healthy as possible so they can endure transplant surgery and have a faster recovery.

Global News: Edmonton health matters: Lungs in a box

Story on U of A technology that has increased the number of viable lungs for transplant includes comments by associate professor of surgery Jayan Nagendran and Benjamin Adam, an assistant professor of laboratory medicine and pathology.

The Versed: Sex In The Pool May Not Be As Cool As You Think

A U of A study has revealed that in a commercial-size swimming you will likely find up to 20 gallons of pee. So in your average hotel-sized pool that equate to probably about two gallons.

UK Daily Mail: Big babies are almost three times more likely to be obese when they start school

Big babies are almost three times more likely to be obese as children, University of Alberta research suggests. Lead researcher Padma Kaul, a professor of cardiology at the U of A, is mentioned. Coverage also appears The Irish News, The Times and Daily Star.

The Gateway: Cannabis's effects on memory can last up to two days, says U of A study

A study conducted by U of A clinical professor of psychiatry Scot Purdon has finished collecting data on how long it takes to recover cognitive skills after using cannabis.

Get the Gloss: Zinc - the one supplement that could keep you cold-free this winter

Story references a 2014 U of A study showing that children who took 10 to 15 mg of zinc daily were less likely to miss school due to a cold.

Infotech Bot: Fingertip Sensors For Prosthetic Limbs Will Return Sense Of Touch

Jacqueline Hebert, an associate professor of physical medicine & rehabilitation at the U of A, was mentioned in story as one of the researchers working on this type of sensory restoration project.

CBC North: It will soon be easier for men in the Yukon to be tested for prostate cancer

A new blood test designed by oncologist John Lewis to diagnose prostate cancer is undergoing trials on men in Yukon. Lewis says the test is much more accurate than the current blood test. No link.

CBC News: It's true, living in a cold place means you're more likely to drink

An international team of researchers has found that people living in colder places with less sunlight are not just more likely to drink, but also more likely to binge drink, and also more likely to suffer alcohol-related liver disease. Juan Gonzales-Abraldes, a professor of medicine at the U of A and one of the study's authors, is quoted. The story is also carried on Yahoo News and The Weather Network.

The Telegraph: Attempts to divert patients from A&E make little difference

Attempts to reduce pressure on Accident and Emergency departments by diverting the least sick do little to cut attendances or save money, new research suggests. Lead author Brian Rowe, a professor of emergency medicine at the U of A, suggested that devoting resources to diversion could prove wasteful.


Edmonton Journal: Elise Stolte: Pot, IQ and schizophrenia. Legalization finally gives hope for a serious discussion

Assistant clinical professor of psychiatry Adam Abba-Aji is interviewed in this opinion piece on the potential dangers of marijuana use among teenagers. Story also ran in the Province, Calgary Herald, Ottawa Citizen and others.

Spectrum: Revised test offers reliable way to track autism over time

A recalibrated version of a widely used test for autism may accurately reflect autistic children's development as they grow and become verbal, according to a new study. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, a professor of pediatrics at the U of A, comments in the article.

Okotoks Online: How You Can Help With Organ Donations

Story on organ transplant need and donations includes comments by Susan Gilmour, chair of the U of A's Department of Pediatrics, about the transplant program at the university.

CBC News: Is it strep throat? Pharmacies say they could give you the answer and maybe save a trip to the doctor

In three Canadian provinces (B.C., Alberta and Nova Scotia), you can walk into some pharmacies and get a rapid "point-of-care" strep throat test. Lynora Saxinger, an associate professor of infectious diseases at the U of A, is interviewed.

CBC News: Rare polio-like illness affecting kids may have reached Alberta

One case of an unusual polio-like illness that targets children may have shown up in Alberta, but health officials say they can't provide a definitive answer because the specific condition is not tracked. U of A professor of emergency medicine Louis Francescutti is interviewed.

CBC Radio: Flu shot fight

Mark Joffe, a professor of infectious diseases at the U of A, is interviewed about how more people need to get their flu shots. No link.

CBC News: Personal drug use should be decriminalized, addictions expert says

Addictions expert Hakique Virani, an assistant clinical professor of preventive medicine at the U of A, has what may seem like a counter-intuitive solution to the Alberta's opioid crisis - the decriminalization of all drugs.

Reader's Digest: 10 Hidden Holiday Dangers to Avoid This Season

Louis Francescutti, a professor of emergency medicine at the U of A, is interviewed in this story about how to avoid holiday slips, trips and other mishaps.

Edmonton Journal: Technology could help reinvigorate Cree language; Wikipedia translations would offer some real-world practice

This commentary is co-authored by U of A student Alistair Ness and Austin Mardon, an assistant adjunct professor with the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre.

The Pathologist: The "We" in Team

Judith Hugh, a professor of anatomical pathology at the U of A, authors a commentary about the evolving role of pathologists in multidisciplinary teams.

Global News: A simple blood test could someday detect cancer. But there's a catch

"Liquid biopsy"-a blood test-is an active area of research for cancer diagnosis. While the research is still in early stages and the test is years, maybe more than a decade, away from being available to the general public, experts say it could be valuable. John Lewis, a professor of oncology at the U of A, gives expert comment.

Toronto Star: Faulty and unproven medical devices implanted in Canadian patients despite known risks

Medical devices pulled from the market in other countries because of health risks continued to be implanted into unwitting Canadians-sometimes with tragic results. U of A professor of medicine Jan Willem Cohen Tervaert comments.

CBC National: Insulin pumps linked to reports of injury and death

A CBC/Radio-Canada/Toronto Star investigation found that insulin pumps are linked to more reports of injury and death than any other medical device. Health Canada data obtained under Access to Information suggests the devices may have played a role in 103 deaths and more than 1,900 injuries over the past ten years. They've also been the subject of 40 recalls in that same period. Peter Senior, a professor of medicine at the U of A, gives expert comment on the safe use of insulin pumps. Coverage also appears on CBC Radio program The Current.

Toronto Star: 'My entire body was shutting down.' Breast implant recipients say doctors gloss over risks

Jan Willem Cohen Tervaert, a professor of medicine at the U of A and a co-author of several studies detailing connections between breast implants and autoimmune illnesses, says advice that breast implants are low-risk is challenged by research.


Global News Edmonton: University of Alberta connecting kids to the magic of science

Young witches and wizards tried their hand at a potions class in Edmonton late October.

It was just one of the 18 classes available to kids at the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at the U of A. The one-day event, organized in part by graduate students, focused on getting young people excited about science. The event was based off of the beloved "Harry Potter" series.

Avenue Edmonton: Top 40 Under 40

A number of U of A students and faculty were featured in Avenue's Top 40 under 40 list. Among those listed from the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry are Grayson Beecher, Michiko Maruyama, Steven Katz, Vijay Daniels, Irehobhude Iyioha and Scott Phillips.

The Daily Mail (UK): 'Doctors are not d***heads': Two medics hit back at controversial Twitter hashtag that saw dozens of patients retell their horror tales

U of A professor and critical care physician Peter Brindley is one of two doctors who hit back at a controversial Twitter hashtag that saw doctors being ridiculed for being "d***heads" as dozens of angry patients described how their conditions went undiagnosed for years.

Drayton Valley Western Review: Board Chair appointed for Alberta Public Laboratories

Alberta Health Services has appointed Lorne Tyrrell, a professor of medical microbiology & immunology at the U of A, as board chair of Alberta Public Laboratories, a new organization created as part of the amalgamation of the province's laboratory system.

Winnipeg Free Press: Should you go to the ER if your child has an ear infection?

The Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK) team at the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba joined forces with the U of A to produce a short video on ear infections.

Global News: Edmonton runner reunited with people who saved his life: 'Can't explain how grateful I am'

Ethan Kutanzi, an MD student at the U of A, has been awarded with a Citizen Lifesaving Award from AHS. Kutanzi was one of three Good Samaritans who performed CPR on a man who had gone into cardiac arrest after a run in Emily Murphy Park in October.

The Gateway: Medicine and dentistry students fundraise for Movember with shirtless calendar

With shirtless photos and their best facial hair, students in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and the Faculty of Pharmacy have kicked off their Movember campaign with hopes to raise $10,000 for the Movember Foundation.