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Types of Research

The Department of Medicine is committed to giving best care for our patients through research and novel discoveries and translating these scientific “breakthroughs” quickly and efficiently into clinics where they can impact patient care. To achieve this vision, our department members are working closely with local, national and international collaborators.

Here are just some ways that research at Province Health Care, a University of British Columbia Medical School-affiliated hospital, is impacting patient care in Greater Vancouver and throughout the world:

Drs. Evan Wood, and Julio Montaner, HIV specialists at St. Paul’s Hospital, are finding innovative solutions to reduce the growing burden of HIV and AIDs in Vancouver and throughout the world and leading the charge to completely eradicate HIV/AIDs once and for all! (Wood E, Tyndall MW, Zhang R, Stoltz JA, Lai C, Montaner JS, Kerr T. Attendance at supervised injecting facilities and use of detoxification services. N Engl J Med. 2006 Jun 8;354(23):2512-4; Montaner JS, Hogg R, Wood E, Kerr T, Tyndall M, Levy AR, Harrigan PR. The case for expanding access to highly active antiretroviral therapy to curb the growth of the HIV epidemic. Lancet. 2006 Aug 5;368(9534):531-6.)

Dr. Peter Dodek, an intensivist at St. Paul’s Hospital, in collaboration with national collaborators, has developed evidence-based clinical guidelines to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia in intensive care units. Pneumonia is a major problem in the intensive care unit, affecting up to 60% of patients and causing death and disability. By developing these guidelines and implementing them in the hospital, patient lives are being saved! (Dodek P, Keenan S, Cook D, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2004 Aug 17;141(4):305-1).

Drs. Keith Walley and Russell, intensivists at St. Paul’s Hospital, have identified new genetic markers that can be used to predict which patients in the intensive care unit will have bad health outcomes. This discovery will lead the way to beside tests that doctors can use to pinpoint patients who will have bad outcomes and to target them with appropriate medications (Sutherland AM, Walley KR, Manocha S, Russell JA. The association of interleukin 6 haplotype clades with mortality in critically ill adults. Arch Intern Med. 2005 Jan 10;165(1):75-82).

Drs. Karin Humphries and Ron Carere, cardiovascular researchers and heart specialists at St. Paul’s Hospital, are studying why women with normal coronary vessels are presenting to hospitals with “heart attacks” and “angina.” Their work will lead to a new understanding of why women develop heart disease and to new management strategies to reduce heart disease in women (Humphries KH, Pu A, Gao M, Carere RG, Pilote L. Angina with "normal" coronary arteries: sex differences in outcomes. Am Heart J. 2008 Feb;155(2):375-81.)

Dr. Adeera Levin, a kidney specialist at St. Paul’s Hospital, along with her colleagues are leading the way to understand the impact of anemia (low hemoglobin) in patients with chronic kidney failure and to understand the effect of other diseases (e.g. heart disease) on health outcomes of patients with kidney disease. Their work is paving the way for optimal management of kidney failure and treating patients in a more holistic way (Levin A. Understanding recent haemoglobin trials in CKD: methods and lesson learned from CREATE and CHOIR Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2007 Feb;22(2):309-12)

Drs. Van Eeden, Sin and Levy, lung specialists, have created a unique multi-disciplinary clinic to treat patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; formerly called emphysema and bronchitis) to help these patients breathe better and live more functional (and healthier) lives. Their efforts are paying off. This clinic has received international attention for its innovative approach to COPD disease management, winning a major award at the 2007 Global Perspectives on Chronic Disease Management and Prevention Conference, which was co-hosted by the World Health Organization. The COPD clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital is making a difference in the lives of patients with COPD in Vancouver.

These are few of the many examples of how Department of Medicine members at St. Paul’s Hospital are making a major difference in the care of patients in Vancouver and elsewhere.