Dr. Bruce Verchere

Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Director, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics
Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Department of Surgery, UBC

Dr. Verchere's research is aimed at understanding how insulin-producing beta cells normally function and why they are dysfunctional and/or are destroyed in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

With this understanding, he aims to devise new ways to protect beta cells, thereby slowing or preventing disease onset, and to enhance beta cell survival following transplantation of pancreatic islets into diabetic patients.

Dr. Verchere's publications.

Dr. Shazhan Amed

Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, UBC

Dr. Amed's research involves the treatment and prevention of childhood obesity and diabetes. Obesity is the single most important risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes and therefore, Dr. Amed is interested in developing and evaluating community-based programs designed to prevent childhood obesity.

Dr. Amed is also interested in developing and evaluating innovative ways to provide the health services necessary for children with diabetes in order to optimize their care and prevent long term complications of this disease.

Dr. Amed was a recipient of a Lawson Foundation grant for the project "Scaling Up SCOPE's Live 5-2-1-0 Initiative" as part of the Foundation's Child & Youth Diabetes Strategy. $252,000

Dr. Amed's publications.

Dr. Jean-Pierre Chanoine

Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, UBC

Dr. Chanoine focuses on the study of nutrition and childhood obesity, from the laboratory to the patient and the community. The main line of research aims at understanding the physiological events leading to the onset of obesity, with emphasis on the regulation of ghrelin, a newly discovered hormone secreted mainly by the pancreas in the fetus and the neonate.

Dr. Chanoine's projects include laboratory-based gestational diabetes research, clinial projects aimed at investigating the role of ghrelin in neonatal appetite regulation and community projects propose an original intervention to prevent the development of obesity in school children.

Dr. Chanoine's publications.

Dr. Angela Devlin

Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Professor, Department of Pediatrics, UBC

Recent evidence suggests that a mother's diet during pregnancy can influence the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in their adult children. Dr. Devlin's research focuses on determining how this occurs.

Dr. Devlin's publications.

Dr. Jan Peter Dutz

Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Professor and Head, Department of Dermatology & Skin Science, UBC

Immunization as a possible treatment for cancer is a recent concept. One of the limitations of current vaccine protocols is inefficient priming for cytotoxic T lymphocytes, which are important in the control of viral infections and tumours. Skin dendritic cells are potent antigen presenters to the immune system. However, the skin historically has been regarded as a barrier and has not been intensively studied as an organ of immunization.

Dr. Dutz's laboratory is engaged in studies to optimize the use of the skin as an organ to alter systemic immune responses. In separate projects, Dr. Dutz is studying the priming or activation of T cells involved in models of systemic lupus erythematosus and juvenile onset diabetes mellitus.

Dr. Dutz's publications.

Dr. William Gibson

Investigator and Senior Clinician Scientist, Laboratory for Obesity Genetics and Indirect Calorimetry (LOGIC), BC Children's Hospital
Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, UBC

Dr. Gibson's major interest is in genes that affect body weight regulation, whether their effects are on food intake, energy expenditure or nutrient distribution to fat or lean tissue. By studying rare genetic disorders and rodent models of obesity and leanness, Dr. Gibson hopes to derive valuable lessons that are relevant to obesity and cardiovascular disease in the general population.

Dr. Gibson is a clinical geneticist with an interest in severe obesity and lipodystrophy. His group applies state-of-the-art assessment of body fat mass, fat distribution and circulating hormones to individuals with severe obesity and genetic lipodystrophy syndromes.

Dr. Gibson's publications.

Dr. Brad Hoffman

Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, UBC

Dr. Hoffman researches the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that control the transcriptional networks that drive endocrine pancreas development, function, and proliferation.

Understanding how the genes critical to endocrine pancreas development, as well as β-cell function and proliferation are regulated is essential for the development of novel strategies for the production of insulin- secreting cells, and for improving the efficacy of available transplantable material.

Dr. Hoffman's publications.

Dr. Brenden Hursh

Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, UBC

A main focus of my academic work involves the development and assessment of clinical programs for children with type 1 diabetes. This includes the development of a diabetes telehealth program to provide improved access to specialist care for children across the province. I am also currently involved in an assessment of the BC Children’s Hospital insulin pump program. I am engaged with Child Health BC in work around provincial planning for type 1 diabetes care, and I have a specific interest in the development and assessment of diabetes care for children in the school setting.

My current diabetes research interests include assessing the effectiveness of coaching for families of children with type 1 diabetes. We have also recently completed a study documenting the prevalence of acute kidney injury in children with diabetic ketoacidosis.

Dr. Hursh's publications.

Dr. Megan Levings

Investigator and Director, Childhood Diseases Research Theme, BC Children's Hospital
Professor, Department of Surgery, UBC

Research in Dr. Levings's laboratory is focused on a novel subset of CD4+ T cells, termed T regulatory (Treg) cells, which control immune homeostasis.

Current work is focused on determining how Treg cells differ from normal CD4+ T cells at both the biochemical and molecular levels, and elucidating their role in transplantation tolerance, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. A long-term goal is to develop methods to generate Treg cells in vitro for use as a cellular therapy to replace standard immunosuppression in the context of organ transplantation or to restore tolerance in the context of autoimmunity.

Dr. Levings's publications.

Levings Lab website.

Dr. Dan Luciani

Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, UBC

Dr. Luciani and the diabetes research group seek to clarify the complex mechanisms that link β-cell function, β-cell failure and various pathways of β-cell death. Currently his work is focused on studying how the cellular "suicide" machinery also plays important roles in normal β-cell function and thereby may control if β-cells adapt or fail during the cellular stress associated with diabetes.

Dr. Luciani studies these mechanisms from the level of genetic changes to the impact of these on single cell function and the progression of diabetes. In this way the Luciani lab hopes to identify and characterize new targets for diabetes prevention and therapy.

Dr. Luciani's publications.

Dr. Francis Lynn

Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, UBC

Dr. Lynn studies how the pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin and fail in diabetes, form during embryonic development.

He aims to apply that knowledge to drive stem cells towards beta cells in order to cure diabetes.

Dr. Lynn's publications.

Dr. Daniel Metzger

Investigator and Pediatric Endocrinologist, BC Children's Hospital
Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, UBC

Dr. Metzger's research is primarily involved in the development, prevention and treatment of type 1 (insulin-dependent or juvenile-onset) diabetes.

Dr. Metzger is an investigator in several multicenter clinical trials involved in preventing type 1 diabetes. He also maintain a large website providing resources for families of children with diabetes and other endocrine disorders, and for the professionals caring for these patients. Most recently, working with local and provincial resources, Dr. Metzger has helped initiate an endocrine treatment program for transgendered youth.

Dr. Metzger's publications.

Dr. Dina Panagiotopoulos

Investigator and Pediatric Endocrinologist, BC Children's Hospital
Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, UBC

The first aspect of Dr. Panagiotopoulos's research relates to the prevention of type 2 diabetes and its associated co-morbidities in youth with mental health conditions treated with atypical antipsychotic (AAP) medications. She has also conducted diabetes screening and found high prevalence of pre-diabetes in youth residing in First Nations communities in B.C. which led to the program development of a culturally appropriate Actions Schools! BC and Healthy Buddies program. Further, in collaboration with other researchers at BCCHR, Dr. Panagiotopoulos led the evaluation of the Shapedown program at BC Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Panagiotopoulos is also the Clinical Core Leader within the CIHR New Emerging Team in Childhood Autoimmunity.

Dr. Panagiotopoulos's publications.

Dr. Tricia Tang

Affiliate Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, UBC

Dr. Tang's research program focuses on diabetes prevention and control in ethnic minority, high risk and medically underserved communities. Overwhelming evidence has demonstrated that participation in self-management interventions leads to improved diabetes-related health and psychosocial outcomes. However, in the absence of ongoing, long-term support, these improvements are short-lived (less than six months).

Dr. Tang's research team develops, implements and evaluates sustainable and capacity-building models to promote lifelong diabetes self-management efforts. By drawing on community-based resources such as peer support, it is possible to implement diabetes prevention and self-management interventions in a cost-effective and practical way that can potentially lead to clinical and psychosocial benefits particularly for high-risk and low-resource communities.

Dr. Tang's publications.

Dr. Stefan Taubert

Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Associate Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, UBC

In humans, failure to properly govern energy metabolism can result in diabetes and obesity.

Dr. Taubert's lab studies how deregulation of gene expression evokes the metabolic imbalances that underlie these diseases. Because the regulatory networks that control gene expression are evolutionarily conserved, Dr. Taubert's lab uses the cytologically and genetically tractable roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans to discover and characterize novel regulators.

In addition to this discovery research in nematodes, the lab tests whether the mammalian orthologues of these genes affect similar processes in cultured cells and in mammalian model organisms.

Dr. Taubert's publications.