FoMD in the News

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

ROSS NEITZ - 27 September 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.


The Globe and Mail: Young Alberta transplant patient gets Star Wars-themed 3D model of his heart

Eight-year-old Mason Thomas and mom Brandie Thomas get their first look at a 3-D printed model of Mason

The work of creating this model, including collecting data from CT scans to make the printing instructions followed by 10 hours of a giant printing machine spitting out one tiny layer at a time, involved a collaboration between experts from Alberta Health Services' Servier Virtual Cardiac Centre, the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and the Faculty of Engineering. Charles Larson, pediatric cardiac intensivist at the Stollery Children's Hospital and a clinical lecturer with the U of A's Department of Pediatrics, comments in the story. Coverage also appears in Global News, CityNews, CBC News, CTV News,, The Canadian Press, National Post, Star Edmonton, CISN 103.9, the Edmonton Journal and other Postmedia papers across Canada.

The Globe and Mail: More than one-third of high-school students in Fort McMurray show signs of PTSD, study finds

Dr. Peter Silverstone

Study co-author Peter Silverstone, a professor of psychiatry at the U of A, comments on research showing that rates of mental illness rose among youth in Fort McMurray in the wake of the wildfire that devastated the area in 2016. Related coverage also appears on Global News, CTV News, CBC News, CBC Radio One, 630 CHED, The Star, Fort McMurray Today, My McMurray, CJCI Country 97, My Bulkley Lakes Now, and several PostMedia newspapers including the Edmonton Journal, the Telegraph and The Guardian.

Edmonton Journal: Treating Alzheimer's: U of A research closes in on possibility

Dr. Jack Jhamandas in lab

A study led by U of A neurologist Jack Jhamandas has brought researchers one step closer to what they say could be an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Coverage also appears in Postmedia papers across Canada, on CTV News, CBC Radio Active, nationally syndicated radio show Charles Adler Tonight, and in The Daily Mail (UK), Edmonton Examiner, Bionity, ArchyNewsy, Drug Target Review and Science Daily.


Edmonton Journal: U of A augmented reality project highlights the science behind sports

Researchers at the U of A are developing algorithms to animate human motion from wearable sensors into a 3-D augmented reality experience. The program could work for athletes and patients alike. Hossein Rouhani, an assistant adjunct professor of biomedical engineering, led the research.

Global News: Health Matters, Sept. 4: Overweight, obesity dropping in AB kids

The number of overweight and obese preschool-aged children is declining in Alberta, according to a study from the U of A. Severe obesity rates, however, remain unchanged. Coverage also appears on CTV, CityNews and

Global News: Alberta girl with ALS-like disorder to receive award for courage

A young patient who is receiving a courage award is profiled. The story mentions that she is enrolled in a U of A clinical trial to create a drug specific for her body.

dLife: Implantable 'Tea Bag' In Development Releases Insulin For Children With Diabetes

Greg Korbutt, a professor of surgery at the U of A, is working in collaboration with scientists at the University of Arizona and St. Vincent's Institute to develop an implantable device for children with Type 1 diabetes that senses glucose levels and releases insulin when needed.

CTV News: Hospital infections declining in Canada: study

A study led by Geoffrey Taylor, a U of A professor of infectious diseases, has found that hospital infections are declining in Canada. Coverage also appears on Global News, Healio, Healthcare Purchasing News, and Mirage News.

Edmonton Journal: Clearing the air: U of A researchers looking into link between pollutants and premature births

U of A researchers Alvaro Osornio-Vargas (FoMD) and Osmar Zaiane (Science) are trying to better understand the health impacts air pollutants have on premature births. Coverage appears in several papers across the Postmedia chain and in Daily Heralds.

Technology: How babies absorb calcium could be key to treating osteoporosis in seniors

New U of A research reveals the mechanism that allows breastfeeding babies to absorb large amounts of calcium and build healthy bones-a discovery that could lead to treatment for osteoporosis and other bone diseases later in life. Coverage also appears in City News Edmonton, My Medical Mantra, dailyhunt and NewsBeezer (Kenya).

Knowledge Translation Alberta: The Power of Stakeholder Engagement: Improving Patient Supports through Stakeholder Collaboration

Roseanne Yeung, a clinical endocrinologist at the U of A, and research assistant Jamie Boisvenue, speak on their research into gestational diabetes mellitus and the importance of stakeholder engagement.

Forbes: Yes, People Can Edit The Genome In Their Garage. Can They Be Regulated?

Article on biohacking mentions that a team from the U of A created an extinct relative of smallpox from scratch using biohacking. It showed the ease with which someone could create a bio-weapon.

The Daily Mail (UK): Children who spend hours watching television and playing video games do worse at school

Story refers to U of A research that found toddlers who use screens for more than two hours a day are seven times more likely to develop ADHD.

Drug Target Review: Researchers find DNA therapy could treat patients with DMD

U of A researchers have used a promising new therapeutic to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy in human muscle cells and mice models. Toshifumi Yokota, a professor of medical genetics, is interviewed. Coverage also appears on Newsbeezer, Science Daily and Daily Heralds.


The Star Edmonton: Breakthrough HIV medication now fully covered for Albertans

Albertans with HIV will now have access to a new treatment free of charge, as the province becomes the latest to cover a breakthrough medication. Stephen Shafran, a professor of infectious diseases at the U of A, comments. Coverage also appears on 630 CHED and New Kerala (India).

NBC News: Vitamin E now a focus of the investigation into some vaping illnesses

Vitamin E acetate is now a focus of the investigation into vaping-related respiratory illnesses. As a resident physician at McMaster University Medical Center, Dilini Vethanayagam, now an associate professor of respirology at the U of A, published a case report on a woman who had vaping-related lipoid pneumonia. Coverage also appears on Global National, CBC News, CBC News Network, nationally syndicated radio show Charles Adler Tonight and Daily Heralds.

CBC Radio One: Attempts to control measles outbreaks

Lynora Saxinger, an associate professor of infectious diseases at the U of A, is interviewed about BC's attempt to control measles outbreaks by mandating unvaccinated students stay home from school for three weeks in the event of an outbreak. (No link)

Medical Health News: Supercooling tripled the shelf life of donor livers

A new technique to keep donor organs colder than ice cold could greatly extend the length of time that those organs are viable for transplant. James Shapiro, a professor of surgery at the U of A, gives expert comment.

CTV News: Medical professionals concerned over growing trend of patients recording visits

A recent study published by the University of Saskatchewan shows the rising popularity of smartphones in hospital spaces has patients and clinicians at odds over the desire to record medical procedures. Bill Sevcik, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the U of A, gives expert comment. Coverage also appears on Global News and iNews880.

Live Science: Just 2 Labs in the World House Smallpox. The One in Russia Had an Explosion.

A fire reportedly broke out after an explosion at a secret lab in Russia where the variola virus that causes smallpox is kept. David Evans, a U of A professor of medical microbiology & immunology, comments in the article that a fire would not likely create an infection hazard. Coverage also appears on

Today's Parent: How to raise a green kid without freaking them out

Irena Buka, a clinical professor of pediatrics at the U of A, comments in the article that young children pick up more than we realize from our own conversations and the media, she says, but often don't fully understand what they pick up, which can lead to anxiety and depression.

CBC News: Hand washing rates at Edmonton hospitals improve, but could be better

The latest hand hygiene performance measures from Alberta Health Services show that over the past six years, Edmonton hospitals went from worst to near-benchmark for how regularly hospital staff wash their hands. Louis Francescutti, a professor of emergency medicine at the U of A, and Geoff Taylor, a professor of infectious diseases, are quoted in the story.

Motherly: The pressure to exclusively breastfeed is hurting mothers' mental health

Story references the experiences of Stephanie Liu, a clinical lecturer with the Department of Family Medicine, who wrote about her own distressing nursing experience for The Conversation. After extolling the benefits of breastfeeding to her patients for years, she wrote nursing didn't come easy, but the guilt did.

Spectrum News: Standard screen misses majority of toddlers with autism

A new study shows a popular screening tool for autism misses more than 60 per cent of children with the condition. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, a professor of pediatrics at the U of A, provides expert commentary. Coverage also appears in Daily Heralds and MD Edge.

The Globe and Mail: Formal complaint filed against Alberta judge who allegedly launched a racially based attack on witness

Dozens of doctors, lawyers and academics from across Canada have filed a complaint about the conduct of an Alberta judge who last week ruled a southern Alberta couple wasn't responsible for their toddler son's death. Three members of the U of A's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry are among the complainants. Coverage also appears in the Edmonton Journal and other Postmedia papers across Canada and on CBC, Global News and CTV News.


Sherwood Park News: World's Longest Game touches all the bases

Story notes that the 84-hour-long game, which was held to raise funds for a promising anti-cancer drug being developed at the U of A, unofficially set a world record and raised about $500,000.

The Epoch Times: American neurosurgeon born in Africa flies home to Nigeria to perform free brain surgery monthly

A feature on Nigerian-born doctor Wale Sulaiman, who earned a PhD in neuroscience from the U of A.

Global News: Want to join the Canadian ski patrol? Here's what you need to know

MD students Zosia Czarnecka and Andrew Woodman explain the volunteer work they do as part of the Marmot Basin ski patrol.

Education News Canada: U of A summer programs bring underrepresented youth closer to professions in health care and research

A profile on the U of A's Heritage Youth Research Summer program and the Venture Healthcare program. The programs give high-school students and undergraduate students first-hand experience with health-care careers and settings.

Global News Edmonton: Head of program's resignation raises questions about accessibility to transgender care in Alberta

The gender program in Edmonton is without its leader after Michael Marshall resigned. Marshall's entire team, with the exception of a part-time nurse, was funded by University of Alberta grants that Marshall himself secured. Those grants are expiring in early 2020.

Global News Edmonton: Health Matters: Transgender Health and Growing Up Celiac

Families of kids with celiac disease now have a new guide. U of A pediatric gastroenterologist Justine Turner helped develop the Growing Up Celiac workbook. Coverage also appears on CBC News, CBC Radio Active, The Gateway and

The Province: Sasha Letourneau, Kevin Liang and Finola Hackett: Medical students take a stand on climate change

Finola Hackett, a recent graduate of the U of A's MD program, co-authors an opinion piece about how climate change is a threat to the health of Canadians.

Edmonton Journal: Q and A: New dean of Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the U of A

Brenda Hemmelgarn, born in St. Walburg, Sask., has more than 35 years of experience in the health-care field and the next part of her journey will be as the new dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry for the University of Alberta, starting Jan. 1, 2020. Coverage also appears on CBC Radio Active.

Peace River Gazette: Three new physicians bring total of town's doctors to 14

Kathryn Wood, Adam Mildenberger and Karen Neupane all received their medical training at the U of A. Coverage also appears in The South Peace News.