How a concussion started a career

In the clinic and the lab, Michael Hutchison is making his mark
Lanna Crucefix

It was the second concussion he received as a University of Toronto Varsity Blues hockey player that really piqued Michael Hutchison’s interest.

“Although the injuries were identical in terms of the diagnosis, I felt completely different,” he says. “I wanted to know why.”

Hope for ALS patients? Discovery of a gene's function offers clues

“This is an extremely important finding"
Katie Babcock and Heidi Singer

U of T researchers have found a missing link that helps to explain how ALS, one of the world’s most feared diseases, paralyses and ultimately kills its victims.

The breakthrough is helping them trace a path to a treatment or even a cure.

“ALS research has been taking baby steps for decades, but this has recently started changing to giant leaps,” said Karim Mekhail, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology. 

U of T researchers shed new light on biology underlying schizophrenia

Genes, pathways identified by international team could inform new approaches to treatment
Heidi Singer

It's the largest genomic study published on any psychiatric disorder to date.

As part of a multinational, collaborative effort, researchers from the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have helped identify more than 100 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of developing schizophrenia.

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.

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