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Sixteen researchers have been awarded grants by the Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton, with support from St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation, to examine a wide range of health issues.

One of the winning projects to receive funding will study the effects of bariatric surgery in relation to the incidence and type of breast cancer among women. Obesity has been linked to increased prevalence of breast cancer, though little research exists that examines the effects of bariatric surgery for weight loss and its relationship to breast cancer.

Another project receiving funding from the 2019 awards program aims to develop and pilot a novel intervention to treat those with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and psychosis. Though not a core feature of BPD, psychosis is evident in as many as fifty percent of cases, but is often neglected by treatment providers who may be unaware that their patients are suffering from the “invisible” symptoms of psychosis.

The grants are part of the Research Institute Awards Program. All academic award recipients are selected from a lengthy peer-review process.

“Our highly competitive annual awards program funds discovery across the research disciplines at St. Joe’s,” said Dr. Gail Martin, Executive Director of the Research Institute. “Each year the strength and variety of the research proposals grow, demonstrating the bright future for our research endeavours.”

The award recipients will be recognized at the Research Institute’s annual Celebrate Research event on Thursday, October 24, 2019 at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Charlton campus. Each academic award includes a funding commitment to be used by the award recipient in pursuit of their research.

The 2019 academic award recipients are listed below, along with their respective affiliations with McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences and the corresponding project titles.


St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation Collaboration Grant (1 Award)

  • Dr. Vickas Khanna (Department of Surgery)
  • Dr. Harsha Shanthanna (Department of Anesthesia)
  • Dr. Lehana Thabane (Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact)
  • Dr. Matilda Nowakowski (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences)

Project Title: Determinants of Long-term Outcomes after Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Prospective Multicentre Cohort Study.


Constantine Douketis New Researcher Award (2 Awards)

  • Dr. Lawrence Mbuagbaw (Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact)

Project Title: Outcomes of Antiretroviral Drug Resistance Testing In Ontario, Cost Effectiveness and Gender Analysis.

  • Dr. Aristithes Doumouras (Clinical Fellow, Department of Surgery)

Project Title: The Effect of Bariatric Surgery on Breast Cancer Incidence Characteristics, Outcomes and Mortality.


Teresa Cascioli Charitable Foundation Research Award in Women’s Health (1 Award)

  • Dr. Beth Murray-Davis (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology)

Project Title: Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Screening and Counselling Practices of Antenatal Health Care Providers in Ontario: A Mixed Methods Study.


Dr. Ian & Shirley Rowe Research Fund to Explore Innovative Ways of Managing Psychosis in the Community (1 Award)

  • Dr. Katherine Holshausen (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences)

Project Title: Psychotic Symptoms in Borderline Personality Disorder: An Examination of Acuity and Piloting of a Novel Treatment to Improve Functional Outcomes in Community Living.


CARSTAR Automotive Canada Research Innovation Fund (1 Award)

  • Dr. Michael Amlung (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences)

Project Title: Implementation of an Optimized Contingency Management Protocol for Reducing Tobacco Use among Inpatient Clients with Schizophrenia.


Research Institute Studentship Award (2 Awards)

  • Dr. Seper Ekhtiari (Supervisor: Dr. Vickas Khanna, Department of Surgery)

Project Title: Bone Irrigation and Antibiotic Cement Trial Evaluating Re-operations in Arthroplasty (BACTERIA): A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.

  • Bethany Easterbrook (Supervisor: Dr. Margaret McKinnon, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences)

Project Title: Moral Injury among Canadian Servicewomen and Female Veterans.


Research Institute Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award (1 Award)

  • Dr. Toyoshi Yanagihara (Supervisor: Dr. Martin Kolb, Department of Medicine – Respirology)

Project Title: The vascular-parenchymal crosstalk regulates lung fibrosis.


Forensic Psychiatry Research & Innovation Awards

McMaster Psychiatry Resident’s Travel Bursary

  • Dr. Stephanie Bouskill (Psychiatry Resident)


Forensic Psychiatry Research Award for Trainees

  • Dr. Andrew Olagunju (Clinical Fellow, Psychiatry)

Project Title: Mental health services for Indigenous population: a comparative analysis of Ontario Review Board reports.


Forensic Psychiatry Conference Travel Bursary Award

  • Casey Upfold (Research Assistant, Forensic Psychiatry)


St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Psychiatry Program Research Award

  • Dr. Heather Moulden (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences)

Project Title: Morality and related constructs in a forensic psychiatric population.


Nominations for the Anne & Neil McArthur Research Award and the Research Staff Recognition Award close on July 31, 2019. The winners of those awards will be announced at a later date. Remember to save the date for Celebrate Research – Thursday, October 24, 2019.

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