Disclaimer: Most of the information in today’s blog was provided by the researchers and staff at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute who we have been working with. Other information comes from the public domain. We have been registered as student observers here for a few days through the Office of Research Administration
We completed our Tri-Council Policy Statement in Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans! We were presented our certificates by the Director of The Centre for Clinical Ethics. (Pictured above)
Our last day in the city began with a meeting with the Rescu research Program. Rescu is the largest research program of its kind in Canada. Their research focuses in deriving and evaluating processes of care and timely interventions that could improve outcomes for patients who suffer life threatening trauma and cardiac emergencies out of hospital setting. The Rescu program works closely with paramedics to research new practices that could help to improve the quality of care given to patients prior to reaching the hospital. One of the studies they conducted was on CPR and how effective the paramedics were at providing it. So, to measure if the CPR being given was reaching the right check points such as depth of compression and volume of oxygen being given between rounds of compression, pads that attached to the body were designed. These pads would give paramedics real time data on the quality of the CPR being given. We also got to practice our CPR skills and see the real time data to check if we we could give a good standard of CPR.
*The gentleman in the background is Adam, a paramedic and has given us to use a picture with him in it.
We then went to see the medical imaging side of medicine. Our hosts for this portion of our tour round the hospital have provided a short description of what they do.
St. Michael’s department of MRI research has two MRI scanners available for research studies in addition to two clinical scanners. There are 2 Philips 1.5T Intera scanners as well as 2 Siemens 3T Skyra scanners.
In addition to routine neurologic, body, cardiac, and musculoskeletal MRI imaging St. Michael’s department of MRI research has the capability of performing more advanced imaging such as:
· Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)= diffusion tensor imaging is a type of MRI scan that allows physicians to look at this diffusion of water molecules in white-matter tracts.
Advanced methods such as color coding and tractography (fiber tracking) have been used to investigate directionality. Some clinical applications of DTI are in the tract-specific localization of white matter lesions such as trauma and in defining the severity of traumatic brain injury. In surgical planning for some types of brain tumors, surgery is aided by knowing the proximity and relative position of these white matter tracts and a tumor.
· Functional MRI (fMRI)
· MRI Elastography
· MRI Cartilage Imaging
By Kishwar Ali (Research Assistant) and Anthony Sheen (MRI Research Tech.)
Our final part of the day took place at the Human Eye Bio Bank. The Human Eye Biobank for Research was founded by Dr. Yeni Yucel and Dr. Neeru Gupta at St. Michael’s Hospital. The Bank is a resource of human eye tissue accessible to researchers around the world. With over 2,000 readily available eyes for study, its growing collection includes diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, corneal disease, cataract, retinitis pigmentosa, pediatric conditions, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and stroke. All cases are examined by a specialized eye pathologist.
The Human Eye Biobank for Research addresses the problem of a shrinking supply of human eye tissue for research, and will stimulate discoveries into human eye and brain disease. Examples of how the eyes available in the eye biobank can be used are:
– Scientific breakthroughs into human diseases
– New targets for novel treatments
– Validation of animal models
– The study of the eye as a window to other diseases of the brain and the body.
Researchers can get more information on how to request tissue at http://www.humaneyebank.com.
So that’s the end of our science adventure in Canada! We have a couple days to relax before coming home (there will be blogs of this) but I hope all the readers have enjoyed reading about our time in Canada as much as we have had being in Canada
Thanks for reading
-Bonnie and Joshua