FoMD in the News

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

ROSS NEITZ - 30 August 2019

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: Edmonton area group aims for Guinness baseball record, $250K cancer research donations

Fifty-six people are attempting to set a Guinness World Record by playing a baseball game for 85 hours while raising money for the Cure Cancer Foundation in support of a new drug and therapeutic development at the University of Alberta. Coverage also appears on CTV, CTV News Channel, CBC News and in several Postmedia newspapers including the Regina Leader Post and Sherwood Park News.

Edmonton Journal: University of Alberta receives $2.2 million in federal research funds

Sandra Davidge in a research lab at the University of Alberta.

Ten U of A projects are receiving $2.2 million from the federal government through the Canada Foundation for Innovation program. The projects range from ensuring food safety to reclaiming mining sites. Sandra Davidge, executive director of the Women and Children's Health Research Institute, is among the researchers receiving funding. Versions of this story ran across the Postmedia chain as well as on CTV News, CBC News and Mirage News.

CNN: UFC teams with Aurora Cannabis on CBD study in fighters

Jason Dyck

Ultimate Fighting Championship athletes will participate in a clinical study on how cannabidiol (CBD) affects pain relief. The study will be headed by Jason Dyck, a cardiovascular research scientist at the U of A, chair of Aurora's global scientific oversight committee and Aurora's VP of Global Research and Medical Affairs. Story also ran on Global News, High Times, Culture Magazine and Huffs & Puffs.


The Globe and Mail: Research finds pets may be spreading parasite found in Alberta coyotes, foxes

Stan Houston, a professor of infectious diseases at the U of A, and several other researchers document seven Alberta cases of a rare tapeworm that causes tumours in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine. The parasite is thought to spread from coyotes to rodents to dogs to people. Coverage also appears on Global News.

CBC News: University of Alberta researchers making strides toward hepatitis C vaccine

Lorne Tyrrell, a professor of Medical Microbiology & Immunology at the U of A, and summer student Martin Pasev were interviewed about advancements in the development of a hepatitis C vaccine at the U of A.

The Conversation: Fainting during pregnancy can be risky for mother and child

Padma Kaul, a professor of cardiology at the U of A, discusses research that shows women who fainted during the first trimester of pregnancy had a slightly higher risk of delivering the baby early than women who did not faint, or those who fainted during the second or third trimester.

Children born to mothers with multiple fainting episodes during pregnancy also were found to have more medical problems at birth. Coverage also appears in Newmarket Today.

CTV News: Shift work while pregnant increases risk of preterm delivery, miscarriage: U of A study

Pregnant women who work overnight shift work or longer hours have a higher potential of preterm delivery and miscarriage, according to a report from U of A researchers. Margie Davenport, an associate professor of kinesiology, sport and recreation and a member of the Alberta Diabetes Institute, is quoted. Coverage also appears on Babygaga, and CKLW AM.

Business Herald: Screen Time May Cause Behavioral and Attention Issues in Preschoolers

A large scale study based in Canada found that screen time of two hours or more can lead to behavioral and attention deficit problems in children aged 3 to 5.

The Post and Courier: 'The music does wonders.' Charleston health experts discuss how sounds help healing

Story cites a 2013 U of A study that found music can help soothe pediatric emergency room patients. U of A researchers found that pediatric patients who listened to relaxing music while getting an IV inserted reported significantly less pain compared with patients who did not listen to music.

Medical Xpress: Stress linked to worse outcomes for young women with heart disease

Stress is much more harmful for young and middle-aged women with cardiovascular disease than for other patients, new research indicates. "Younger women under the age of 55 tend to do worse than older individuals and men," said U of A cardiologist Paolo Raggi. The story also appears on

Medicine Newsline: SU2C Dream Team to develop new drug combination to stop spread of breast cancer

Stand Up To Cancer Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research have announced the launch of the SU2C Canada Metastatic Breast Cancer Dream Team to pursue the development of a new drug combination that may help stop the spread of breast cancer to other organs of the body. The dream team includes U of A oncology researchers John Mackey and Lynne Postovit. Coverage also appears in Tocuz (Ireland) and the Kingston Whig-Standard.

Free Republic: The eternal lie of the pools that turn blue if you pee in them

A U of A study concluding that an Olympic-sized swimming pool was likely to contain about 225 litres of urine was cited in the story.

Edmonton Journal: Artificial intelligence at centre of U of A project to help those with disabilities

Francois Bolduc, an associate professor of pediatrics at the U of A, is heading up a new project to create a chatbox to connect families living with neurodevelopmental disabilities with guidance and resources. Coverage is also found in TechXplore.

Daily News: Human Microbiome Genetic Diversity Comparable to Number of Stars in Observable Universe

Analysis of microbial genes in the human gut and oral microbiomes suggests the collective microbiome may contain more genes than there are stars in the observable universe. In the study, the Harvard Medical School team, working with researchers at a number institutions including the U of A, collected all publicly available DNA sequencing data on human oral and gut microbiomes.

CBC Radio: Stress is harder on women dealing with cardiovascular disease than men: study

Cardiologist Paolo Raggi is part of a global team that is shedding light on the link between mental health and cardiovascular disease in women. One of their findings showed women who have heart disease at an early age tend to have been abused as children.

MSN: Five ways climate change will damage people's health

Story references a study by U of A professor of psychiatry Peter Silverstone that found spiked rates of PTSD among 2,800 young people 18 months after fleeing the 2016 Fort McMurray fire.

CBS: Blood pressure monitors give false readings

Segment cites U of A study showing that blood pressure monitoring at home may not be accurate and shouldn't be used to modify care. (No link)

True Viral News: The surprising role fibrinogen plays in regulating the body's response to disease

A finding from U of A researchers is shining new light on the role fibrinogen has in regulating a natural defence mechanism in the body. The discovery is hoped to contribute to improved diagnosis and treatments for patients in a variety of diseases ranging from inflammation, to heart failure, to cancer.

CBC News: Worldwide database for spinal cord research launches at U of A

Researchers with the U of A and the University of California launched the world's first open data commons for pre-clinical spinal cord injury research to make it easier for researchers and health-care professionals to access information. Karim Fouad (Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine) and Ian Winship, an associate professor of psychiatry at the U of A, were quoted in the story.

CBS Oklahoma: Reduced sunlight may contribute to winter weight gain

Health show cites study led by U of A professor of pharmacology Peter Light showing that fat cells just beneath our skin shrink when exposed to the blue light emitted by the sun. (No link)

The Independent: Excessive screen time is killing children's imaginations, say nursery workers

Story mentions a recent U of A study that suggested excessive screen time could be linked to behavioural and attention problems among children.

Her Family: Turns out having a family pet can benefit kids before they're even born

Story mentions research by U of A professor of pediatrics Anita Kozyrskyj showing that having a pet in the house can lower children's risk of allergies and obesity.

News Medical: Discovery of protein that may be key to treating tropical diseases

In a new study led by U of A cell biologist Rick Rachubinski, a protein was discovered that could be key in treating tropical diseases such as sleeping sickness. Coverage also appears in Science Daily.


The BMJ Opinion: Matt Morgan and Peter Brindley: Why it's time we all woke up to the importance of sleep

In this opinion piece, Peter Brindley, a professor of critical care medicine at the U of A, writes that for too long medicine has been a "cult that deifies workaholism and mocks those who fuss about sleep." He argues that there needs to be a cultural shift.

The Conversation: Is it safe to drink alcohol while breastfeeding?

Stephanie Liu, a clinical lecturer with the Department of Family Medicine, writes on the topic of alcohol consumption while breastfeeding. The story also appears in Newmarket Today.

CBC Radio Edmonton AM: Higher demand for rabies vaccine

Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease expert at the U of A, is interviewed about rising demand for the rabies vaccine in Alberta.

CBC Radio: What is chronic wasting disease?

Valerie Sim, a neurologist with the U of A's Centre for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases, explains what chronic wasting disease is and discusses the disease's prevalence and threat to humans.

Radio Canada International: New study warns of climate change's (extra) ill-effects on children

Climate change is increasingly affecting kids younger than five, according to a new Canadian Paediatric Society guidance document led by U of A clinical professor of pediatrics Irena Buka.

Quanta Magazine: Bacterial Complexity Revises Ideas About 'Which Came First?'

Contrary to popular belief, bacteria have organelles too. Scientists are now studying them for insights into how complex cells evolved. Joel Dacks, an evolutionary cell biologist at the U of A, gives expert comment.

CBC Radio: Smoked out: How wildfires are changing Canadian summers

Radio documentary features Mike Flannigan (ALES) explaining why climate change is leading to catastrophic wildfires, which are changing summers. Laurier Fagnan (Campus Saint-Jean) talks about his former summer job fighting wildfires and how smoke affects performance. Pediatrician Anne Hicks, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the U of A, talks about effects on children.

Edmonton Journal: No levels acceptable: Canadian Pediatric Society warns about effect low-exposure lead has on children

Pediatrician Irena Buka has co-written an advisory warning about the dangers of lead water service pipes, which affect 1.6 per cent of Edmonton homes. Coverage also appears in other newspapers in the Postmedia chain and on Global News and CTV.

Christian Science Monitor: Grieving for the environment, without saying 'climate change'

Vincent Agyapong, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the U of A, talks about depression in PTSD for survivors of the Fort McMurray wildfire and increasing anxiety over a changing climate, even if patients don't describe it in terms of climate change.

630 CHED: Ask a doctor: The impacts of multiple myeloma

Michael Chu with the U of A's Department of Oncology talks about ongoing research into a form of cancer that is affecting former Edmonton Oilers equipment manager Barrie Stafford.

Chatelaine: Everything You Need To Know About Using AHAs And BHAs To Get Glowing Skin

Zaki Taher, a dermatologist and associate clinical professor of medicine at the U of A, discusses use of exfoliating acids for skin care.


Taber Times: Research laboratory named after organ donation advocate

A research laboratory at the U of A was renamed earlier this summer in Taberite Karen Hamilton's name in her memory as the first-ever patient to receive a set of reconditioned lungs using the Ex Vivo Organ Perfusion machine. A related article is featured in the Taber Times.

Coverage also appears in the Lethbridge Herald.

Global News: What are medical schools' policies on pharma interaction?

Global News reached out to medical schools across Canada and asked for their policies on industry donations and conflicts of interest disclosures. The U of A participated. A related story can be seen here.

Edmonton Journal: Nick Lees: Visionary surgeon turning Edmonton into a leader in brain science

Keith Aronyk, the director of the Division of Neurosurgery at the U of A, is the driving force behind the University Hospital Foundation's Brain Centre Campaign that raised $60 million in eight years, $17.2 million of which went to the Gamma Knife and 3T MRI.

St. Albert Gazette: Rock'n August pushes past $1M donation mark; Close to 1,500 cars flash their colours during five-day event

The car festival raised more than $1 million in its 23-year tenure. Through the Alberta Diabetes Foundation at the U of A, Rock'n August supports the work of James Shapiro and Andrew Pepper in ongoing research for anti-rejection islet-cell transplants.

Finsmes: Tevosol Raises $2M in Seed Funding Round

The brainchild of Darren Freed and Jayan Nagendran, Tevosol's Ex-Vivo Organ Support System is a portable perfusion machine built around the living, working organ at normal body temperature that will help surgeons recover, resuscitate, transport, evaluate and transplant more donor organs. The company intends to use some of the funds to complete a proof-of-concept human trial at the U of A.

University Affairs: Canada's faculties of medicine commit to improving Indigenous health

Nicole Labine, a recent U of A medical school grad, said she's glad to hear that all of Canada's medical schools will be building these kinds of connections with Indigenous communities.

St. Albert Gazette: St. Albert students spend summer with cell science

Two St. Albert students broke new ground in cellular research this summer as part of the Heritage Youth Researcher Summer program at the U of A. The program gives Grade 11 students a six-week paid summer internship in a health research lab to get them interested in medical research.

CTV News: New U of A ultrasound app could improve healthcare around the world

Radiologist Jacob Jaremko talks about how new technology to analyze ultrasound images will make diagnosing health problems possible even from remote locations. Coverage also appears on City News Edmonton and Medical Xpress.

Edmonton Journal: Former EPS chief Knecht to lead review of Alberta's supervised consumption sites

U of A clinical professor of psychiatry Charl Els has been named to a UCP government panel to review how supervised consumption sites have affected crime rates and home values, among other things, in their communities.