Sent on behalf of Dr. Robert Inman, Medical Director of the Arthritis Program, UHN and
Dr. Mohit Kapoor, Arthritis Research Director, UHN.
New Medical Director of the Arthritis Program
Dr. Robert Inman was recently appointed as the Medical Director of the Arthritis Program at UHN. Dr. Inman completed his undergraduate degree at Yale University, and his medical degree at McMaster University. He did his training in Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University and his fellowship in Rheumatology at Cornell University, based at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. He completed his research fellowship at the Hammersmith Hospital in London. He then moved to the University of Toronto where he was appointed Associate Professor and subsequently Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Immunology, and attending physician at Toronto Western Hospital. He is currently Director of the Spondylitis Program at Toronto Western Hospital, and a Co-Principal Investigator, an Executive Committee member and incumbent President of the Spondyloarthritis Research Consortium of Canada (SPARCC). He is also the Deputy Physician in Chief–Research, University Health Network.
New Interim Director of the Hand Program
Dr. Heather Baltzer was recently appointed as the Interim Director of the Hand Program at UHN. Dr. Baltzer is a hand surgeon and a clinician investigator at UHN with a cross appointment to UHN's Division of Orthopedics. Dr. Baltzer completed her Master of Science in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto prior to her medical school training at the University of Toronto. She completed her plastic surgery residency in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Toronto. She then went to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for her Hand, Wrist and Microsurgery fellowship.
TWH Spine Surgeon Featured in the Toronto Star
Dr. Raja Rampersaud was recently featured in the Toronto Star series CHANGEMAKERS. Dr. Rampersaud is a surgeon and a clinician scientist at the Division of Orthopaedics, UHN. He was featured for his six-year pilot study which he launched to shorten waiting time for patients with lower back pain. Dr. Rampersaud's vision for providing patients better, faster, and more effective care for lower back pain.
ACR Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award 2018
Dr. Dafna Gladman, a world-renowned clinician scientist at Toronto Western Hospital, was awarded the 2018 American College of Rheumatology Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award. This award is given annually to a clinical scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology. Dr. Gladman's research program focuses on the prognosis, genetics and treatment of rheumatic diseases, especially psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Chinese Canadian Legend Award Chinese Canadian Legend Award 2018

Dr. Angela Cheung, Founding Director of UHN's Osteoporosis Program and Senior Scientist at Toronto General Research Institute, was recently awarded the 2018 Chinese Canadian Legend Award. The award is given by the Asian Business Network Association in recognition of individuals with significant community involvement or contribution. You can check out Dr. Cheung's contributions.

Arthritis Society Clinician Investigator Award
Dr. Zahi Touma, a clinician scientist at Toronto Western Hospital, was recently awarded the 2018 Canadian Rheumatology Association (CIORA) – Arthritis Society Clinician Investigator Award. Dr. Touma has received this award for his research investigating cognitive impairment in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).  With this award Dr. Touma plans to extend the research in his lab into the investigation of the utility of multimodal brain imaging to better phenotype cognitive impairment in SLE. Learn more about Dr. Touma's research in cognitive impairment in systemic lupus erythematosus.

The Arthritis Society Awards Recipients

Every year, the Arthritis Society awards the most outstanding scientists and clinicians to drive their research into finding a cure for arthritis. Five out of this year's 12 trainee awards were received by trainees from the Arthritis Program at UHN. You can learn more about the work of these brilliant trainees.   


Osteoarthritis Research Day 2018
This year's Osteoarthritis Research Day was hosted by the Division of Orthopaedics at Toronto Western Hospital and the UHN Buchan Arthritis Research Centre. The event was chaired by Dr. Rajiv Gandhi and took place on October 25, 2018 under the title Pain in Osteoarthritis: Current status and mitigation strategies. It explored the current status of pain research as well as the future of cannabinoids in arthritis. Attendees this year included Arthritis Program clinicians, basic and translational scientists, trainees, internationally renowned guest speakers as well as senior decision makers from the industry sectors.

Psoriatic Arthritis Research Program Annual Team Meeting
The Annual Psoriatic Arthritis Research Program Team Meeting was held on November 1, 2018 at the BMO Centre. This annual event brings together all investigators, collaborators, research trainees and staff involved in the Psoriatic Arthritis Research Program including investigators from Memorial University, the University of Waterloo and Cambridge University, UK. The team meeting is attended by stakeholders including representatives from industry, program donors and the Psoriatic Arthritis Program patient advisory committee. This year's event included presentations on current clinical, genetic and biomarker studies, as well as studies of microbiome and advanced biostatistical methodology. 

International Preceptorship on Spondyloarthritis (SpA)
The Spondylitis and Psoriatic Arthritis Programs at UHN is creating its mark in the international forefront. Spearheaded by Drs. Robert D. Inman and Dafna. D Gladman respectively, an international preceptorship on SpA was conducted at the BMO Education and Conference Centre at Krembil on September 20-22, 2018. Participants included rheumatologists from South America, Asia, and Canada. The program aimed to provide an update on the comprehensive management of the articular and extra-articular aspects of SpA, focusing on ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA), comorbidities, as well as presentations on medical imaging, ultrasound, surgical management, and non-pharmacologic treatment.

Annual Ralph T. Manktelow Lectureship 
in Hand Surgery Program
On October 19, 2018, the Toronto Western Hospital and the University of Toronto hosted its 17th Annual Ralph T. Manktelow Lectureship in Hand Surgery Program. The event was attended by nearly 100 fellows, surgeons, physicians, hand therapists, occupational therapists, and researchers across the GTA. The invited speaker was Dr. Lawrence Robinson, a clinician and a senior scientist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
In Psoriatic Arthritis, Identifying Spinal Involvement - a Marker of Severity - Requires Imaging
A recent study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases conducted by researchers at the Arthritis Program recommends that all patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) be screened for inflammation in their back joints, regardless of whether or not they are experiencing back pain. By comparing predictions made by rheumatologists to the X-rays of PsA patients, Dr. Vinod Chandran and his team found that rheumatologists predictions alone did not perform well in detecting axial arthritis in PsA patients. Furthermore, they showed that more than a third of PsA patients with axial arthritis detected by X-rays had not experienced significant back pain. Screening all PsA patients for back joints inflammation would "... enable rheumatologists to better identify patients with potentially severe PsA early so that their treatments could be better optimized to slow joint damage" says Dr. Chandran, an affiliate scientist at Krembil. 
New Link Between Ankylosing Spondylitis and Gut Inflammation
A long standing collaborative study established between the Haroon Lab in the Krembil Institute and the Ciccia Lab in University of Palermo in Italy was recently published in Arthritis & Rheumatology. The study showed that  innate immune cells may be contributing to gut inflammation in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). They went on to show that the expansion of these cells is supported by a special type of innate immune cells that initiate a pathway leading to significant inflammation and active arthritis. Targeting this novel pathway could be the new way to treat AS patients.
One Step Closer to a Disease Modifying Therapy in Osteoarthritis
Research team led by Dr. Mohit Kapoor comprised of Dr. Akihiro Nakamura and collaborators has recently published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases. Their previous work on identifying biomarkers for spine osteoarthritis has led them to find a molecule that had an active role in degenerating spine cartilage. In this most recent publication, they successfully showed that blocking this molecule can limit cartilage degeneration. They are currently testing the safety of this treatment in order to begin clinical trials. Their rigorous work has had a strong effect in the research community and is being featured in numerous news agencies. The journal article was recently featured in Nature Reviews Rheumatology.​

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