CIHR Funds Research in Medical Education

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Centre for Education Research & Innovation (CERI) is pleased to announce that two of its faculty were among the outstanding researchers from Western University recently awarded research grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Dr. Lorelei Lingard, CERI Director and Senior Scientist, Professor, Department of Medicine and Adjunct Professor, Department of Family Medicine, received $179, 837 (two years) with her collaborators, Dr. Malcolm Arnold, Dr. Valerie Schulz, Dr. Joshua Shadd, Dr. Moira Stewart, Dr. Joanna Bates, Dr. Gil Kimel, Dr. Fred Burge, Dr. Glendon Tait, Dr. Denise Marshall, and Dr. Patricia Strachan, to study the team dynamics involved in integrating palliative care for patients with advanced heart failure. Using constructivist grounded theory and studying teams in three provinces, Dr. Lingard's research will explore the heart failure care team as a complex adaptive system, with the goal of identifying educational opportunities and systems-based initiatives to support and enable palliative care integration for patients with advanced heart failure.

Dr. Sayra Cristancho, CERI Scientist, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics received $117, 882 (two years) with her collaborators, Dr. Lorelei Lingard and Dr. Richard Novick, to study the features of expert decision-making in the specific context of challenging situations - those situations characterized by unexpected and/or difficult events. Traditionally, surgical decision-making has been studied as an individual, cognitive activity happening "in the head" of the surgeon. In reality, surgery takes place in a dynamic and complex environment where the cognitive aspects of decision-making interface with external features such as team interactions. Further, during challenging situations, the dynamics of the surgical environment become easily unstable and adjustments both in the mind of the surgeon and in the environment are constantly taking place. Using systems engineering methods and constructivist grounded theory, Dr. Cristancho's research will develop a theoretical framework of the process through which experienced surgeons use their interactions with the surgical environment to adjust their decision-making process during challenging situations. An important impact of this research is providing evidence to support certification boards in articulating clear expectations around decision-making as part of the Medical Expert competency of the CanMEDS framework, to ensure high standards of surgical training.

Schulich Medicine & Dentistry had another 10 CIHR operating grants awarded:

Brian Corneil of Robarts Research Institute has received nearly $151,000 (5 years) for "Behavioural and neurophysiological effects of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the primate oculomotor system,"

Bryan Heit from Microbiology and Immunology -$76,000 (5 years) for "Molecular mechanisms regulating apoptotic body phagocytosis and its impact on the development of Atherosclerosis,"

Morris Karmazyn of Physiology and Pharmacology -$149,000 (5 years) for "Treatment with ginseng as an effective cardiac sntihypertrophic and antiremodelling strategy,"

Dale Laird of Anatomy and Cell Biology -$125,000 (5 years), "Role of Cx26 and Cx30 in skin aging,"

Steven Laviolette of Anatomy and Cell Biology -$113.000 (5 years), "Role of the amygdala-prefrontal cortical circuit in opiate motivation, learning and memory,"

Dr. Wei-Ping Min of Surgery and Pathology, $102,000 (3 years), "Concurrent gene silencing of multiple TLR signaling pathways using targeted nonoparticles for DC-mediated immune tolerance in heart transplantation,"

Giles Santyr of Robarts Research Institute -$100,000 (5 years) "Hyperpolarized Xenon-129 MRI of radiation-induced lung injury,"

Dr. Joseph Torchia from Oncology -$159,000 (5 years) "The role of the ZNF217 oncoprotein in genome stability and cell cycle control,"

Dr. Peter Williamson of Psychiatry -$148,000 (5 years) for "Candidate Neuronal Circuits in Schizophrenia."