Helping Botswana doctors build surgical capacity

"Our results are now equal to, and in some areas, even better than those of our North American partners”
Vitaly Kazakov

When Georges Azzie first arrived in Gaborone, Botswana, he was the only paediatric surgeon in that country. Not anymore.

Over the last decade, the University of Toronto associate professor has been spending three months a year in Gaborone performing surgeries and working with colleagues to address Botswana’s surgical care and education needs.

Using tiny technology to aid in the fight against cancer

Sarah McDonald

This year’s McLean award winner Aaron Wheeler believes the solution to the colossal challenge of personalizing medicine for cancer patients may be a tiny one.

The McLean award is funded jointly by U of T alumnus William McLean and U of T’s Connaught Fund. The $100,000 prize is awarded annually to support outstanding basic scientific research at the University of Toronto in the fields of physics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, engineering sciences, and the theory and methods of statistics.

Low-carb diet cuts risk of colon cancer

But study finds no evidence inflammation plays a role
Jim Oldfield

Researchers at the University of Toronto have found that gut bacteria drive a common form of colon cancer, and that a low-carbohydrate diet can prevent the disease.

The researchers found that microbes in the intestine convert carbohydrates into metabolites that spur cancer growth. A low-carbohydrate diet shut down this process and led to a 75 per cent reduction in cancer incidence.

Everyone says sitting is the new smoking. How dangerous is it really?

"it's possible that employers could be held accountable in the future"
Jenny Hall

Study after study has highlighted the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle that includes extended periods of sitting, and the catchphrase “sitting is the new smoking” has gained traction in the media and in popular consciousness.

Understanding how wounds heal, helping those with chronic wounds heal faster

New research from IBBME
Erin Vollick

You fall and scrape your knee. After cleaning the wound, you plaster a bandage over it and presto! In two to three days, your injury is nothing but a memory.

But what really just happened – how did your wound actually heal?

Using a student-designed software program called MEDUSA, a special type of microscope and a tool called fluorescent tagging, a group of researchers from the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) has been studying just that.

Cerebral palsy rates higher among children with Canadian-born mothers

Lower rates for children of mothers who immigrated to Ontario
Leslie Shepherd

Babies born to mothers who immigrated to Ontario from other countries have significantly lower rates of cerebral palsy than those of Canadian-born mothers, especially those from the Caribbean and East Asia, new research has found.

“Predicting who is at highest risk of having a child with CP remains an international priority,” said lead author Dr. Joel Ray, who notes that CP rates have not declined much over the last decade.

Sex on Stage: How one public health professional is turning sex education upside down

Nicole Bodnar

While some are horrified by the overtly sexual movies and TV shows consumed by today’s youth, a PhD candidate at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health has a slightly different stance.

Designing cleaner, safer ways to cook in South India

U of T students and faculty work together to reduce fuel consumption, indoor air pollution
Jessica Lewis

How do you design a stove that is cleaner and more energy-efficient than an open fire or rudimentary appliance, but inexpensive enough that even those with low incomes can use it?

How do you convince people who have been using a particular kind of stove or cooking practice for generations to adopt something new?

That’s what a team of students and professors from across the University of Toronto went to South India to discover.

Reducing the harm of drug use for men in prison

"Incarceration offers a unique opportunity to initiate interventions”
Nicole Bodnar

The prevalence of drug use prior to incarceration among men in Ontario correctional institutions remains very high, underlining the need for drug intervention programs and services.

In the first Canadian study of the last decade to examine drug use of recently incarcerated men, University of Toronto researchers in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) found that drug use, including injection drug use, continues to be a big issue in this population.

Worse than toilets: hospital elevator buttons a hidden source of bacteria

“We were surprised by the frequency of bacterial colonization"
Sybil Edmonds

Elevator buttons are more likely to be colonized by bacteria than toilet surfaces, a new study of three large urban hospitals has found.

“Elevators are a component of modern hospital care, and are used by multiple people with ungloved hands who will later go on to make contact with patients,” said University of Toronto professor, Dr. Donald Redelmeier, co-author of the study and staff physician, division of general internal medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and researcher with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).

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