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Diabetes and GI Research

PHRI has long investigated the effects of medications and lifestyle approaches on diabetes, with landmark studies such as ORIGIN, which discovered the long-term CV safety of injected insulin. We are looking at causal biomarkers that might help to put type 2 diabetes into remission.

Team Members in Diabetes

Hertzel Gerstein

Deputy Director; Senior Scientist

Hertzel Gerstein
Deputy Director; Senior Scientist

Hertzel Gerstein is Deputy Director, PHRI, and our Senior Scientific Program Lead, Diabetes, as well as a Professor, Medicine, McMaster University. He is also Director of the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism and Director of the Diabetes Care and Research Program. He has pioneered the application of large simple outcome trials to people with diabetes globally, and developed the concept of dysglycemia as an important risk factor for many of the serious health outcomes that afflict people with an elevated glucose level regardless of diabetes status. He currently leads clinical trials and epidemiological studies related to: a) the prevention and therapy of diabetes and its many consequences, and b) the role of dysglycemia and relative insulin insufficiency on the development of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment and other chronic conditions. Key studies in which he has played or continues to play a major leadership role include HOPE, MICRO HOPE, ACCORD, DREAM, EpiDREAM, ORIGIN, TIDE, ACE, ELIXA and REWIND.

Hertzel Gerstein has published more than 300 papers, editorials and commentaries, mainly on diabetes-related issues and co-edited the textbook Evidence-Based Diabetes Care. He is an Associate Editor for ACP Journal Club, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Diabetes and Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology. He has received several honors including the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Young Scientist Award (1999), Frederick G. Banting award (1999), Charles H. Best award (2007) and Lifetime Achievement Award (2012).

Guillaume Paré

Director, CRLB- GMEL; Senior Scientist

Guillaume Paré
Director, CRLB- GMEL; Senior Scientist

Guillaume Paré is Director of the Clinical Research Laboratory and Biobank (CRLB) – Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory (GMEL). He is also Deputy Director of the Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute (TaARI), a Professor of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, a Professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, and a University Scholar at McMaster University. He holds the Cisco Professorship in Integrated Health Biosystems.

His clinical interests are centered on lipoprotein disorders, obesity and cardiovascular disease prevention, with research interests in cardiovascular genetics, biomarker development and pharmacogenomics. Gui’s research combines high-throughput biomarker screens with genetics, bioinformatics and epidemiology to identify novel cardio-metabolic biomarkers. He has published more than 200 papers and has been cited over 27,000 times.

A medical biochemist with board certification from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Gui completed a Master’s in Human Genetics at McGill University under the supervision of renowned geneticist Thomas Hudson. He further trained in genetic epidemiology with Paul Ridker at Harvard Medical School.

Zubin Punthakee

Scientist

Zubin Punthakee
Scientist

Zubin Punthakee is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine (endocrinology and metabolism) and Pediatrics, at McMaster University. His research interests are: clinical trials of diabetes management; association between obesity and insulin resistance/diabetes, especially in youth; health care delivery and outcomes during transition from pediatric to adult care; and long-term outcomes of pediatric endocrine diseases.

At PHRI, he has held leadership roles in the TIDE trial, ORIGINALE study and RICH LEGACY study. He has published more than 22 articles, been supported by Research Career Awards from Hamilton Health Sciences and the Department of Medicine at McMaster University, and holds research grants from agencies including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Natalia McInnes

Investigator

Natalia McInnes
Investigator

Natalia McInnes is the Joint Principal Investigator for the Diabetes Remission program at PHRI, and Assistant Professor in the Division of Endocrinology, McMaster University. She has received peer-reviewed research funding from CIHR and Canadian Diabetes Association and is supported by the Medicine Internal Career Award from McMaster University. Her research interests include remission of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, and the relationship between dysglycemia and ectopic fat deposition.

She received her medical degree from the University of British Columbia. After completing her Internal Medicine and Endocrinology training, she pursued MSc in Health Research Methodology at McMaster University.

Marie Pigeyre

Investigator

Marie Pigeyre
Investigator

Marie Pigeyre is an Investigator at PHRI, and Assistant Professor in the Division of Endocrinology, McMaster University. She has received peer-reviewed New Investigating Funding from Hamilton Health Sciences, and is supported by the Medicine Internal Career Award from McMaster University.

She completed her clinical and research post-doctoral fellowship in epidemiology, genetics and biomarkers at McMaster University in 2019, preceded by a PhD in Epidemiology and Genetics, medical degree, and endocrinology training at the University of Lille in France (2007).

David Jenkins

Associate Senior Scientist

David Jenkins
Associate Senior Scientist

David Jenkins is a Professor, Departments of Medicine and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, a staff physician in the division of endocrinology and metabolism, Director of the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center, and a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital., Unity Health Toronto.

Educated at Oxford University, he was the first researcher to demonstrate the breadth of metabolic effects of viscous soluble fiber on blood glucose and cholesterol lowering of relevance to prevention and treatment of diabetes and heart disease. David  Jenkins’ studies on combining cholesterol lowering food components (dietary portfolio) have been recognized as creating an effective dietary alternative to drug therapy (statins) for lower risk people.

Katherine Morrison

Associate Scientist

Katherine Morrison
Associate Scientist

Katherine Morrison is Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, and a Principal Investigator for childhood risk factors research at PHRI. She has received various awards including the Excellence in Pediatric Research Award, and a Heart and Stroke Foundation Fellowship in Preventive Cardiology. Katherine is supported in her research by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Hamilton Academic Health Sciences Organization, and McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Sathish Thirunavukkarasu

Investigator

Sathish Thirunavukkarasu
Investigator

Sathish Thirunavukkarasu, an Investigator at PHRI, has received the Hamilton Health Sciences’ New Investigator Fund. His main research interests are to investigate the risk factors associated with chronic diseases, specifically diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and develop effective and cost-effective strategies for the prevention of these diseases, with a particular focus on low- and middle- income countries. He is an investigator on the PURE study at PHRI. He is also interested in implementation science and translation of evidence into clinical and public health practice. Sathish has published 61 research articles, including in some high impact factor journals such as The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Nature Reviews Endocrinology, Diabetes Care, PLoS Medicine, and BMC Medicine. His research papers have received more than 4100 citations. His Google Scholar h-index is 18 and i10-index is 24.

Sathish received his Medical Degree and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from India and a PhD in Diabetes Epidemiology from the University of Melbourne in Australia. After completing two years of Post-Doctoral training in diabetes research at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Imperial College London, he joined PHRI in April 2019.

Diana Sherifali

Associate Investigator

Diana Sherifali
Associate Investigator

Diana Sherifali is an Associate Professor, School of Nursing, McMaster University, and clinical nurse specialist in the Diabetes Care and Research Program at Hamilton Health Sciences. She is also Director of the McMaster Evidence Review and Synthesis Team based in the School of Nursing. Her research focuses on optimizing the management of diabetes and quality of life of people with diabetes across the lifespan.

She received the inaugural Heather M. Arthur Population Health Research Institute / Hamilton Health Sciences Chair in Inter-Professional Health Research at McMaster University in 2019.

Reema Shah

Research Fellow

Reema Shah
Research Fellow

Reema Shah completed her MD and internal medicine residency at the University of Toronto, and her endocrinology and metabolism residency at McMaster University. After residency, she completed the Clinician Investigator Program at McMaster University and Master of Public Health degree at Harvard University. Reema is interested in clinical research in the area of diabetes and its complications. She is being supervised by Dr. Hertzel Gerstein.

Tara McCready

Program Director

Tara McCready
Program Director

Tara McCready, PhD, oversees a variety of collaborative programs at PHRI, and serves as Project Manager for PHRI research studies and registries.

She was recruited to PHRI as a Program Director for the Canadian Network and Centre for Trials Internationally (CANNeCTIN), a national network funded by the CIHR/CFI Clinical Research Initiative program to improve the prevention and treatment of cardiac and vascular diseases and diabetes.

Previously the Executive Director of the Canadian Maternal, Infant, Child and Youth Research Network, Tara holds a PhD in Biochemistry and a MBA in Technology Commercialization from the University of Alberta.

Stephanie Hall

Senior Research Coordinator

Stephanie Hall
Senior Research Coordinator

Stephanie Hall has more than 25 years of experience working in research for McMaster University. With PHRI since 2006, she has managed multiple large international trials. In her current role, she coordinates various studies in diabetes care. Stephanie has a business degree, and a degree in Health Care Administration.

Jennifer Cunningham

Senior Reseach Coordinator

Jennifer Cunningham
Senior Reseach Coordinator

Jennifer Cunningham has more than 20 years’ experience working in research at PHRI. Starting with a few months assisting in research accounting in the then CCC Project Office in 1998, she began her PHRI career with study teams in 2000. Since then, Jennifer has had many roles at PHRI, from data management to her current role in senior coordination; and has worked on and managed multiple studies, from large international cardiovascular, national gastrointestinal, to policy changes and vulnerable/marginalized people studies within our own local community.

completed

ACCORDION

Diabetes

The objective of the ACCORDION study was to elucidate and clarify the long-term effects of...

completed

Diabetes Hamilton

Diabetes

The objective of the Diabetes Hamilton study was to learn more about how diabetes affects...

completed

DREAM

Diabetes

The objective of the DREAM study was to evaluate whether ramipril and/or rosiglitazone prevent the...

completed

DREAM ON

Diabetes

The objective of the DREAM ON study was to show that rosiglitazone substantially reduced the...

completed

EFAS

Diabetes

The aims of the EFAS pilot study were: To characterize early effects of Roux-en-Y surgery...

completed

IN-CHARGE

Diabetes

The objective of the IN-CHARGE study was to test whether providing personalized diabetes self-management recommendations...

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