Yuliya Shcherbina

22
Jan 2014
0 Comments
CANADA AM

Canada AM to broadcast the Tina Ceroni story

Posted by

Back in December 2013 we told the story of Tina Ceroni, an accomplished athlete and personal trainer who was diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome.…

Back in December 2013 we told the story of Tina Ceroni, an accomplished athlete and personal trainer who was diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome. The extremely rare neurological disorder triggered a series of episodic attacks during which her muscles would tighten mercilessly — putting her life at risk.

Tina underwent stem cell transplant treatment at Ottawa General Hospital under the care of Dr. Harry Atkins in April 2011. She is now back running and cycling and has resumed her career as a personal trainer.

Tina is scheduled to share her story, with help from Dr. Atkins, on CTV’s Canada AM tomorrow morning at 8:05. Catch it live or watch for a link to it to appear here soon.

Click to read more Close
21
Jan 2014
0 Comments
policy options timothy caulfield

Do organ donor policies need a rethink?

Posted by

Each of us could be a potential organ or tissue donor and save the lives of those in need of a transplant.…

Each of us could be a potential organ or tissue donor and save the lives of those in need of a transplant. For example, stem cells contained in bone marrow could help in treating people with blood disorders.

However, while almost 4,500 Canadians currently are on waiting lists for organ donations, almost one-third will never receive them.

So what will it take to get more potential donors to make the commitment?

Prof. Timothy A. Caulfield, a member of Canadian Stem Cell Foundation’s Science Leadership Council, considers the problem in a recent Policy Options article.

“Our current laws are looking antiquated,” he says.

Prof. Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Alberta, is studying policy options that could increase the number of donations.

If Canada is falling behind the United States and the European Union, then a “legislative rethinking seems warranted,” he writes.

Prof. Caulfield acknowledges that many approaches to increase donations come with considerable controversy. For example, offering financial incentives for donations can turn the process into a for-profit enterprise, with some people donating their organs only to get a financial award. He cites concerns that poorly a devised incentive system “runs an enormous risk of exploiting the most vulnerable and poorest members of our society.”

But the current “ban everything” approach just isn’t working, he writes.

“We need organ donation legislation that will allow innovative and ethically acceptable strategies to be tested and implemented,” he says. To do that, we need evidence-based answers to questions such as “Will a closely regulated, domestic incentive system necessarily result in exploitation?”

Click here to read the article.

Click to read more Close
13
Jan 2014
0 Comments
CordBlood-home logo

Save cord blood, save lives

Posted by

In September, when the first public umbilical cord blood bank opened in Ottawa, Canada joined — albeit last — the rest of the G8 countries to have a national collection program.…

In September, when the first public umbilical cord blood bank opened in Ottawa, Canada joined — albeit last — the rest of the G8 countries to have a national collection program.

Things have been rolling along since then.

On Friday, the BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre in Vancouver was named the fourth collection site across the country, with Brampton and Edmonton designated in October and November respectively. “We are honoured to have BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre as one of our collection hospitals,” Dr. Graham Sher, Chief Executive Officer at Canadian Blood Services, which manages the public bank, said in a media release. CBS expects to collect about 18,000 cord blood units over the next six years.

Healthy women 18 years older who are delivering at the Vancouver hospital can soon voluntarily donate their baby’s cord blood during a testing period that will last until mid-year. The collection site officially launches later this year.

The donated cord blood will be available to patients unable to find donors among their families or donor lists. Cord blood cells are a rich source of stem cells, which can be transplanted to treat diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma.

With Vancouver being such an ethnically diverse city, the newly created collection facility will increase the possibility of patients from different ethnical backgrounds — including Asians, Aboriginal People and multi-ethnic people — finding a match.

“Finding a bone marrow match was more of a problem for me because I’m black” Hector Walker, who received his bone marrow transplant from cord blood cells in 2010, told the Vancouver Sun. “Even my brother wasn’t a match.

“Life is so unpredictable. People should understand they can save someone’s life by doing this,” he said.

Click to read more Close
09
Jan 2014
0 Comments

Tricky science made simple, Part II

Posted by

Some time ago we wrote about a remarkable video animation project designed to make stem cells easier to understand for non-scientists.…

Some time ago we wrote about a remarkable video animation project designed to make stem cells easier to understand for non-scientists. While we told you about the first video from StemCellShorts, we forgot to follow up when two fresh instalments came online.

The two videos cover the topics: “What is an embryonic stem cell?” narrated by Dr. Janet Rossant, Chief of Research at The Hospital for Sick Children’s Research Institute, and “What is an induced pluripotent stem cell?” voiced by Dr. Mick Bhatia, Director of the  McMaster Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Research Institute. Click here to watch them.

The videos are part of StemCellShorts, a series of about-a-minute-long animated videos produced by Ben Paylor, a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia, and Dr. Mike Long, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto.

And more are on the way. The Canadian Stem Cell Foundation has joined Stem Cell Network to fund the production of five more videos that will cover other such topics as stem cell tourism, blood stem cells, and neural stem cells — each narrated by a world-leading Canadian authority. They are to be unveiled in time for the Annual Meeting of International Society for Stem Cell Research in Vancouver on June 18-21, 2014.

Click to read more Close
08
Jan 2014
0 Comments

Actor Michael York’s ‘other’ birthday

Posted by

It all started when Michael York began developing dark circles under his eyes. The British movie star, famous for his roles in Cabaret and Austin Powers, first attributed the changes to a lack of sleep or age.…

It all started when Michael York began developing dark circles under his eyes. The British movie star, famous for his roles in Cabaret and Austin Powers, first attributed the changes to a lack of sleep or age.

In a recent talk at the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the actor explained how he eventually realized something was seriously wrong: his skin was getting worse and he was feeling ill.

It took years to get a correct diagnosis: amyloidosis — the term for a group of rare diseases in which one or more organs accumulate deposits of abnormal proteins known as amyloid. He was also diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells.

In July 2012, he underwent a successful stem cell transplant to treat his diseases.  “July the 10th is my other birthday,” the much-honoured actor says of the day he received the cells.  Mr. York has been able to return to performing and is currently working on a documentary film.

He tells his story in this video, calling regenerative medicine “the future” and “the most exciting thing on the horizon.”

Click to read more Close
07
Jan 2014
0 Comments
Dr Michael Rudnicki

‘They desire a better country’

Posted by

The end of the year brought new recognition to Dr. Michael Rudnicki, one of Canada’s leading stem cell scientists and a member of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation’s Board of Directors.…

The end of the year brought new recognition to Dr. Michael Rudnicki, one of Canada’s leading stem cell scientists and a member of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation’s Board of Directors. Dr. Rudnicki has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada for contributing to scientific breakthroughs in the area of muscle development.

“Stem cell research is really an area of strategic strength in Canada,” Dr. Rudnicki, CEO and Scientific Director of the Stem Cell Network, told the Ottawa Citizen in its report of the latest appointments.

From the discovery of stem cells in 1961 by Drs. Jim Till and Ernest McCulloch until today, Canada has played a leading role in stem cell research. Clearly, Canadian researchers “desire a better country” or desiderantes meliorem patriam, as the motto of the Order of Canada says.

The Order of Canada recognizes outstanding lifelong contributions made by Canadians in different fields. The honour of the Officer is the second highest recognition, awarded for a lifetime of achievement and merit of a high degree, especially in service to Canada or to humanity at large. Dr. Rudnicki’s appointment means the Foundation’s Board of Directors now includes six Order of Canada honorees, including L. Jacques Ménard, who holds the highest rank awarded, Companion.

Other honorees include rock stars Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo and actress/filmmaker Sarah Polley.

Dr. Rudnicki is a Senior Scientist and the Director of the Regenerative Medicine Program and the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He is also a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and holds the Canada Research Chair in Molecular Genetics.

His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that regulate the determination, proliferation, and differentiation of stem cells tissue regeneration. His lab identified proteins that play a fundamental role in muscle stem cell function and that could be used to treat muscle diseases. Muscle diseases, such as Muscular Dystrophy in its different forms, are caused by genetic deficiency. There is hope that stem cells can help repair or replace damaged genes.

Click to read more Close
Back to Top