FoMD in the News

This is a round-up of relevant news and media stories involving the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

ROSS NEITZ - 28 June 2019


CTV National News: Doctors warn about risk of eye injuries from Nerf toy guns

Young boy playing with a Nerf gun.

A study by Matthew Tennant, a clinical professor of ophthalmology at the U of A, uses a case study to warn about high-velocity projectile toys, such as Nerf guns and airsoft guns. Coverage also appears on CityNews.


Global News: Alberta mom who died shortly after giving birth donates brain, placenta to research

Sabrina Lauman was 35 years old and a few weeks pregnant when she found out she had a rare, fatal dementia. Now, the Edmonton mother's gift to research could help prevent pain for other families. Her family donated her brain, placenta, amniotic fluid and cord blood to U of A's Valerie Sim, who is an associate professor of neurology in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

CTV News: The next insulin? Researchers hope to change how cardiovascular disease is treated

Researchers hope it's the next equivalent to insulin for cardiovascular disease. A new U of A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has researchers hoping they can replicate encouraging results seen in mice for human patients. Coverage also appears in CityNews and MyCoastNow.

News-Medical: Fibrinogen a key player in health and disease, says new study

A new study from the U of A demonstrated that the blood-clotting protein called fibrinogen also regulates MMP-2, an enzyme involved in immunity and in clot formation inside blood vessels. Carlos-Fernandez Patron, a professor of biochemistry at the U of A, is quoted. Coverage also appears in NewsEdge.

WNDU News: Health trends that aren't so healthy

In a story about weight loss trends, a study from Peter Light with the U of A's Alberta Diabetes Institute is referenced. In the study, researchers determined that a culprit for winter weight gain is an absence of sunlight.

New Telegraph (Nigeria): 'Home blood pressure monitors unreliable'

Story recounts recent U of A study that showed home blood pressure monitors are 100 per cent accurate only about 30 per cent of the time.

CanTech Letter: WHO decides against declaring international emergency in Congo Ebola outbreak

Scientists at the U of A have recently published results that show just how effective the antiviral drug remdesivir is at attacking Ebola right where it counts: at the genome level. Matthias Götte, professor and chair of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, is quoted.

The Whitecourt Star: New Housing for Health project gets green light

The U of A has received a $4.4-million grant to fund a new Housing for Health project over the span of five years. The project will support healthy living through an active design to help increase physical activity, healthy eating and a sense of community involvement.

CTV News Calgary: Wildfire smoke like 'smoking cigarettes continuously': medical researcher

The health effects of wildfire smoke are more serious than most people realize, says Paige Lacy, research director of the U of A's Alberta Respiratory Centre. Lacy is studying the effects of the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire.

Vajju (New Zealand): New genetic marker for premenopausal breast cancer

U of A researchers have discovered a gene that may help with early detection in breast cancer. Women who have this gene have a 40 per cent higher chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer than those who don't. Coverage also appears in Shilfa (Israel), News-Medical, eCancerNews, MedicalXpress, Teles Relay and several other health and science based websites.


CBC Edmonton AM: Aging Well

Adrian Wagg, a professor of geriatric medicine at the U of A, gives expert comment on the definition of 'aging well' and how it's shifting with the times.

Peace Country Sun: ATV users reminded to exercise safety

Bill Sevcik, chair of the U of A's Department of Emergency Medicine, comments on why ATVs can be dangerous to ride and offers safety advice.

CBC: Could all the smoke have a long-term effect on your health?

Respirologist Ron Damant comments on the health effects of exposure to wildfire smoke and provides tips for minimizing potentially harmful exposure.

CBC News: How measles outbreak spurred renewed interest in national vaccine registry

Creating a central place for people to look up their records is just one part of a long list of reasons why public health advocates have spent more than two decades calling for a national immunization registry. Joan Robinson, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the U of A, is interviewed.

Soo Today: BEYOND LOCAL: Pressure and inability to breastfeed linked to postpartum depression, study says

Family doctor Stephanie Liu discusses the psychological impact on mothers who find it difficult or impossible to breastfeed their babies.

770 Newstalk Radio: Are safe injection sites worth supporting?

The issue of whether safe injection sites should be funded is discussed. Hakique Virani, an assistant clinical professor of preventive medicine at the U of A, is interviewed. (No link)

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 News: How some doctors want to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the operating room

In the May online issue of the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, anesthesiologist Timur Ozelsel estimates that the emissions impact of using a popular anesthetic called desflurane over the course of a single day in one operating room would be equivalent to driving anywhere from 2,500 to 16,000 kilometres.

Global News: Calorie-tracking apps can help with weight loss, but aren't perfect, experts say

Apps that promise to help you eat healthier are hugely popular, with millions of downloads. Tracking your food intake can be helpful for weight loss, said Arya Sharma, a professor of endocrinology and metabolism at the U of A.

Global News: Calgary pilot program helps recently released prisoners with hepatitis C

Monty Ghosh, a specialist in addictions and internal medicine who focuses on vulnerable populations, comments on the pilot program he launched in Calgary to ensure recently released inmates with a history of injection drug use are screened and treated for the virus. Story also appeared in several outlets across Canada. Coverage also appears on CityNews, 660 News, and National Observer.

CBC Radio: The future of genetic technology in Canada

Oksana Suchowersky, a professor of neurology at the U of A, comments on recent advances in medical technology in the health-care system that is changing how hereditary disorders are treated. (No link)


Avenue Magazine: Threads of the past

Avenue's innovation issue features a piece on the Gamma Knife at the U of A Hospital. Keith Aronyk, co-director of the Gamma Knife Unit at the University Hospital and director of the U of A's Division of Neurosurgery, is quoted in the article.

CBC News: New deputy health minister focused on 'setting the tone' to improve system

Tom Marrie, former dean of the U of A's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, will take over as deputy minister of health in Nova Scotia.

Sherwood Park News: Park man set to join Alberta Order of Excellence

Robert Burrell, Canada Research Chair in Nanostructured Biomaterials and chair of biomedical engineering at the U of A, is set to become a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence for 2019.

Cabin Radio: Fort Smith medical student propels youth to 'dream bigger'

A profile of recent grad Nicole Labine also mentions that after U of A publication Folio ran an article on Labine in early June, youth across the country started contacting her.

Edmonton Journal: Government officially axes plan for new Edmonton superlab

The provincial government announced it has cancelled contracts to construct a $590-million centralized public lab facility next to the University of Alberta's south campus. The superlab was a chance to collaborate with the U of A to develop and commercialize new lab tests, Opposition health critic David Shepherd said in an interview. Similar story ran on the CBC.

Edmonton Journal: Edmonton doctor opens opioid clinic geared to South Asian community

Psychiatrist Avi Aulakh, an expert in opioid addiction and a clinical lecturer at the U of A, opened a publicly funded clinic in November after noticing a gap in treatment for patients who come from India. Story also appeared in numerous Postmedia outlets across Canada.