Scientific Excellence Award
Dr. Philip Marsden, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Dr. Philip Marsden is the 3rd recipient of the CASTVB Scientific Excellence Award (2010).
Current work in his lab focuses upon newer aspects of the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of endothelial gene expression in health and disease. Exciting new information indicates that chromatin structure and DNA methylation play a key role in the cell-restricted expression of important endothelial genes. Furthermore, RNA binding proteins and antisense RNA interactions also play an unexpected role in regulation of endothelial gene expression, in part, through modulation of RNA stability and translational efficiency. Dr. Marsden suspects that these pathways may involve RNA interference. Epigenetic pathways and RNA interference are newer concepts in the regulation of genes in the cardiovascular system.
Dr. Bruce McManus, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
Dr. Bruce McManus is the 2nd recipient of the CASTVB Scientific Excellence Award (2009).
Dr. McManus received his PhD in Exercise Physiology and Biochemistry at the University of Toledo and his MD at the University of Saskatchewan. He trained as an Anatomic Pathologist at HarvardMedicalSchool and did his fellowship training at the NHLBI in Bethesda.
Dr. Bruce McManus has made an enormous impact on cardiovascular research at the local, provincial, national and international levels. Since Dr. McManus was recruited back to Canada in 1993 as the UBC Department Head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, he has devoted his life to research, research administration and training the future generations of biomedical researchers. He went from being the Department Head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine to founding and co-directing the James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research. He then became the inaugural Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute for Circulatory and Respiratory Health. Dr. McManus made significant contributions to the development and growth of the iCAPTURE Centre as he has played a monumental role in shaping this Centre and to the raising of millions of dollars in funding for research and education. He founded and directed the Providence Heart and Lung Institute at St. Paul’s Hospital.
Although Dr. McManus has clearly established himself as an international leader in cardiovascular research, he is also an outstanding mentor and continually puts the needs of his trainees at the top of his list with his open door policy and addressing any problems they may encounter. Often this means meeting with trainees on the weekends, early mornings or evenings. As such, his commitment to research, whether at the individual trainee level or leading the country’s national cardiovascular and pulmonary agenda, is commendable.
Dr. McManus has made numerous ground-breaking discoveries pertaining to viral myocarditis, and to chronic transplant rejection among other topics that have resulted in over 300 publications, hundreds of invited talks and numerous awards. His myocarditis work has revolutionized our understanding of viral cardiomyopathy with respect to establishing a role for the direct cytopathic effect of coxsackievirus B3 on cardiac myocytes and how this pertains to the pathogenesis of viral cardiomyopathies. In addition, his work showing the importance of blood lipids as a risk factor for cardiac allograft vasculopathy, the leading cause of organ failure in transplant recipients that survive greater than one year after transplantation. Dr. McManus is also one of the lead investigators on a large Genome Canada grant to develop biomarkers to detect and predict early and chronic transplant rejection in liver, kidney and heart recipients.
Dr. André Marette, Laval University, Québec, Quebec
The 1st annual CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award was presented at the annual meeting in Toronto as part of Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in October, 2008.
The awardee is Professor Andre Marette, PhD, a full Professor in the department of Anatomy and Physiology. Dr.Marette graduated from LavalUniversity in 1990 with a PhD in Physiology and Endocrinology. After post-doctoral training in cell biology with Dr. Amira Klip and Dr.MladenVranic at the University of Toronto, he joined the Québec Lipid Research Centre (CRML) and LavalUniversity. He is presently a FRSQ National Scientist. Dr. Marette is an international expert on the pathogenesis of insulin resistance in altered metabolic states and on the mechanisms by which exercise improves muscle metabolism. He has advanced the understanding of cellular/molecular defects leading to diabetes and opened new possibilities for pharmacological interventions. Some of his important scientific contributions include:
• Identification of nitric oxide as a novel modulator of insulin action in insulin target cells;
• Discovery that dietary fish proteins and omega-3 PUFA modulate obesity-linked insulin resistance;
• Demonstration that the mTOR/S6K1 pathway operates a nutrient-sensing negative feedback loop regulating insulin signaling to glucose metabolism;
• Novel mechanisms of regulation of muscle glucose transport by insulin and contraction; and
• Finding a novel role for the protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1 as a negative modulator of insulinmediated glucose metabolism and hepatic insulin clearance.
Dr. Marette has published over 100 papers in high-impact journals. He is currently Associate Editor at the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology & Metabolism section and also serves as internal or external referee to a number of international and national funding agencies. Dr. Marette has received several national and international research awards and honors. He is currently leading a CIHR-funded team grant on the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. He also holds a Pfizer Canada/CIHR research Chair in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and cardiovascular diseases. He has received several awards including the prestigious Young Scientist Award of the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Charles Best Lectureship Award of the University of Toronto, both in recognition for his outstanding contribution to diabetes research.