Translational Research Program


Translational Research Committee Tasks 2018.pdf


Marc Jeschke – P/S Chair T/R committee
Chris Ahuja - SSTP PGY 4 in Neurosurgery
Margarete Akens – TECHNA-UHN O/S – Research
Marcelo Cypel - Thoracic Surgery
Andrew Dueck - Vascular Surgery
Mark Erwin – N/S – Research
Michael Fehlings – N/S VC Research and VC T/R committee
Joseph Ferenbok – Director, TRP – UoT – Ad Hoc
Tom Forbes – V/S
Boris Hinz – G/S – Research
Shaf Keshavjee – T/S
Cindi Morshead – Anatomy – Research
James Rutka –N/S - Ad Hoc
Uri Tabori – Oncologist, Haematology/Oncology, Sick Kids – Ad Hoc
Michael Taccone - SSTP PGY 4 in Neurosurgery
Taufik Valiante – N/S
Cari Whyne - Research Scientist - O/S
Albert Yee – O/S
Augusto Zani – G/S 


Marc Jeschke, MD, PhD, FACS, FCCM, FRCS(C)

Chair, Translational Research, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto

Affiliation: Professor, Division of Plastic Surgery, Departments of Immunology and Surgery, University of Toronto; Chair, Burn Research, Ross Tilley Burn Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Senior Scientist, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON

Research Interests: Regenerative medicine, skin printing and metabolic research, mainly translational

PubMed Link


Christopher S. Ahuja, SSTP

Degree working towards: PhD (IMS)
Division: Neurosurgery
Krembil Discovery Tower, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network

Supervisor: Dr. Michael G. Fehlings

Research Focus: Regenerating the traumatically injured spinal cord using human stem cells

PubMed Link:


Margarete Akens, PhD

Affiliation: Techna Institute, University Health Network; Assistant Professor, Departments of Medical Biophysics and Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Research Interests: pre-clinical model of bone-related cancer, photodynamic therapy, radiation, comparative oncology

PubMed Link


Marcelo Cypel, MD, MSc, FRCSC


Affiliation: Canada Research Chair in Lung Transplantation (Tier 2); Surgical Director ECLS Program UHN; Thoracic Surgeon, University Health Network; Associate Professor, Division of Thoracic Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Research Interests: Dr. Marcelo Cypel's research interests include lung perfusion and transplantation, gene and cell therapy to repair injured organs, and lung cancer. He has developed a successful strategy for ex vivo normothermic preservation of donor lungs (EVLP) enabling the expansion of the donor lung pool worldwide. This platform serves as a foundation for research in preservation and regenerative repair of donor lungs ex vivo, among them gene, drug and light therapies. Specifically, an innovation led by Dr. Cypel is the use of light-based therapies to inactivate Hepatitis C Virus from donor organs. This will have an impact bringing a large number of donor organs not previously available.  Dr. Cypel is a leader in basic and clinical research involving donation after cardiac death (DCD). He had a major role in implementing a DCD clinical protocol in Canada and standardized operating procedures in his lab which allow the group to test different strategies that minimize ischemic time injury.  In thoracic oncology, Dr. Cypel's research is focused on minimally invasive thoracic surgery and the use of in vivo lung perfusion model, a local delivery technique for the treatment of pulmonary metastases. Other current and future research lines include: 1) to study a lung-protective compound that prevents vascular leak during EVLP to improve post-transplantation graft function; 2) to investigate novel oxygen carriers for lung preservation in the transplant scenario; 3) to test a novel bioengineered nanofilm on the luminal surface of blood vessels of the lungs in order to prevent or delay graft rejection; 4) to explore the effects of fusion toxin proteins and monoclonal antibodies that specifically target and inactivate viral infections during EVLP; 5) to treat donor lungs during EVLP with enzymes (glycosidases) that remove blood type A/B antigen therefore lungs will become suitable for ABO incompatible transplant.  Dr. Cypel's main clinical interests include minimally invasive thoracic surgery for lung cancer, treatment of pulmonary metastases, artificial lung devices and lung transplantation.

PubMed Link:

W. Mark Erwin, DC, PhD


Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Divisions of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto; Chief Science Officer, Notogen Inc., Toronto, ON
Research Interests: Degenerative Disc Disease, regenerative medicine, stem cells, recombinant proteins, translational research
Pub Med Link:


Michael G. Fehlings, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS


Affiliation: Vice Chair Research, Department of Surgery; Professor of Neurosurgery, Gerald & Tootsie Halbert Chair in Neural Repair & Regeneration; Co-Chairman Spinal Program, University of Toronto; Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, ON

Research Interests: Spinal cord injury, CNS injury, neural repair, neuroprotection, regeneration, stem cells, clinical trials, imaging, electrophysiology, translational neuroscience research

PubMed Link: M[au] OR 9168289[uid])


Joseph Ferenbok, PhD


Affiliation: Director, Translational Research Program in Health Science, Institute of Medical Science; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON


Thomas L. Forbes, MD, FRCSC, FACS


Affiliation: R. Fraser Elliott Chair & Division Head, University Health Network; Professor & Chair, Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Research Interests: Clinical outcomes, medical devices, complex aortic aneurysms and spinal cord complications
PubMed Link:


Boris Hinz, PhD


Affiliation: Professor, Laboratory of Tissue Repair and Regeneration, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Room 457, 123 Edward Street, Toronto, ON
Research Interests: Fibrosis, wound healing, tissue repair, myofibroblast, scarring, cell contraction, tissue contracture, cytoskeleton, cell adhesion, integrins, transforming growth factor, extracellular matrix, fibroblast, inflammation, mechanics
PubMed Link:


Shaf Keshavjee, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS


Affiliation: Professor, Division of Thoracic Surgery & Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, Vice Chair Innovation, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto; Surgeon-in-Chief, Sprott Department of Surgery, James Wallace McCutcheon Chair in Surgery, Director, Toronto Lung Transplant Program, Director, Latner Thoracic Research Laboratories, University Health Network, Toronto, ON

Research Interests: Lung transplantation, ex vivo lung perfusion, acute & chronic lung injury, lung therapeutics, diagnostics, clinical translational

PubMed Link:


Cindi M. Morshead, PhD


Affiliation: Professor and Chair, Division of Anatomy, Department of Surgery; Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, The Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto,
Toronto, ON
Research Interests: Dr. Morshead's expertise is in stem cell biology and specifically, in the field of adult neural stem cells and their role in regenerative medicine strategies. Her team is actively pursuing the role of stem cells in models of injury such as stroke, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury and spinal cord injury. Her work encompasses a variety of in vitro and in vivo paradigms to promote neural repair including activate endogenous neural precursor cells using durgs, electric field application as well as cell transplantation and cellular reprogramming.
PubMed Link:

Cushing Medal

James T. Rutka, OC, O Ont, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS, FAANS


Affiliation: RS McLaughlin Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto; Division of Neurosurgery, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON

Research Interests: Brain tumours, molecular biology, translational research, invasion, genetics

PubMed Link:


Uri Tabori, MD


Affiliation: Staff Haematologist/Oncologist, Division of Haematology/Oncology; Senior Scientist, Research Institute and The Arthur & Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children. Professor of Paediatrics and Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Research Interests: research program is focused on combining biological and translational research in pediatric oncology. Specifically, we are interested in studying mechanisms underlying brain tumor immortality and recurrence in the context of predisposition to cancer. Currently our group is studying 3 major areas related to this concept: The role of replication repair deficiency and hypermutation in childhood cancer. Mechanisms of growth arrest in gliomas and telomere biology in cancer.

PubMed Link:


Michael S. Taccone, SSTP

Degree working towards: PhD (LMP)
Division: Neurosurgery (University of Ottawa)
PGCRL - The Hospital for Sick Children

Supervisor: Dr. James T. Rutka

Research Focus: Multi-pronged therapeutic targeting of metabolism in adult and pediatric brain tumours.

PubMed Link:

Taufik Valiante

Taufik A. Valiante, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Affiliation: Associate Professor Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto; Cross-Appts to Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering & Electrical and Computer Engineering; Scientist Krembil Research Institute; Director Surgical Epilepsy Program; Co-Director CRANIA (CenteR for Advancing Technological Innovation to Application)

Research Interestscomputational neuroscience, neuromodulation, cognition, post-surgery

Pubmed Link


Cari Whyne, PhD, FIOR

Affiliation:  Senior Scientist, Director of the Holland Bone and Joint Research Program; Susanne & William Holland Chair in Musculoskeletal Research, Sunnybrook Research Institute; Professor, Department of Surgery, & Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Research Interests: cancer in bone, spinal/lower extremity/thin bone biomechanics and fracture fixation/healing.

Pubmed Link:


Albert J.M. Yee, MD, MSc, FRCSC, DABOS


Affiliation: Holland Bone & Joint Program Chief and the Head of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Consultant in Surgical Oncology, Odette Cancer Centre; Professor of Surgery, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto; Co-Director, University of Toronto Department of Surgery Spine Program; Vice-Chair Research, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Toronto; Co-Chair, Bone & Joint Canada; Associate Scientist, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON

Research Interests: cancer metastases to bone, translational vertebral metastasis research, spine surgery education

PubMed Link:[Author]&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=25648441


Augusto Zani, MD, PhD, FACS

Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Division of General and Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto; Developmental & Stem Cell Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON

Research Interests: regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy, extracellular vesicles, fetal lung development, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, necrotizing enterocolitis, neonatal surgery, outcome research in pediatric surgery

PubMed Link: