Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact

News Archives: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2013-14 |2006-12

Photo of Dr. David MeyrePhoto of Dr. Zena Samaan"Obese but happy gene" challenges the common perception of link between depression and obesity

Researchers at McMaster University have discovered new genetic evidence about why some people are happier than others.

McMaster scientists have uncovered evidence that the gene FTO — the major genetic contributor to obesity — is associated with an eight per cent reduction in the risk of depression. In other words, it’s not just an obesity gene but a "happy gene" as well. more ►


Photo of Dr. Parminder RainaLarge, 20-year Canadian study launched on health and aging

Researchers from across the country were at McMaster University on Friday to celebrate the official grand opening and launch of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA).

The CLSA is a national, long-term study of health and aging. Over the next 20 years, 50,000 men and women aged 45 to 85 will be followed as part of the study. more ►


Photo of Dr. P.J. DevereauxBlood test identifies increased risk of death following surgery

A simple blood test can help identify people who are at high risk of dying within the month after non-cardiac surgery, a study by McMaster University researchers has found.

Knowing who is at risk through the test called Troponin T (a protein marker of heart injury) can help physicians target patients who need enhanced observation or interventions, says the major study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Currently, troponin levels are not commonly measured after surgery. more ►


The blood thinning effect of heparin is well established, but should it be used in cancer treatment?Photo of Dr. Holger Schünemann

For decades, the blood thinner heparin has been used to prevent and treat blood clots. Could it be just as effective in treating cancer?

In an editorial published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from McMaster University and the University at Buffalo suggest conclusive answers to key questions on the benefits of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) for cancer patients remain elusive — despite promising results from large studies. more ►


Dr. Amiram Gafni Photo of Stephen BirchMcMaster health economists ranked among most influential

Five current and former faculty members of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics have been ranked among the most influential health economists in the world in a report prepared for the World Bank.

Stephen Birch and Amiram Gafni, both professors of the department, and the late Bernie O’Brien, a professor of the department who died in 2004, are included in the top 100 health economists in the world, based on a measure of health economics publications and the number of times they have been cited. Birch and Gafni were tied for 35th on the list with several others, and O’Brien was tied for 44th. more ►


Photo of Brian HaynesHaynes receives Order of Canada

Dr. Brian Haynes has a prestigious addition to the national recognition he has received for his contributions in medical information research and for advancing evidence-based medicine in Canada and abroad.

The McMaster University professor was among 74 new appointees to the Order of Canada announced in 2010 by Michaëlle Jean, then Governor General of Canada. The McMaster University professor was installed by Governor General David Johnston into the Order of Canada on Sept. 16, 2011. more ►


Holger SchünemannEstonian Handbook for Guidelines Development" launched

On 14 October 2011, the Medical Faculty at the University of Tartu, Estonian Health Insurance Fund and the World Health Organization launched the "Estonian Handbook for Guidelines Development" as an outcome of a 2-year preparation process.

The "Estonian Handbook for Guidelines Development" provides guidance for health-care providers and public health specialists about evidence-based options for diagnosis and care of patients that help to improve the quality of care in Estonia. The handbook contains recommendations about important clinical questions, the guidelines which support the implementation of evidence-based medicine, a systematic approach to the health system, improvements of the quality of care and a harmonized clinical approach. more ►


HRM PhD student receives prestigious Fulbright Student AwardCatherine Kreatsoulas

A McMaster PhD candidate has received a prestigious Fulbright Student Award to conduct research in epidemiology at Harvard University.

Catherine Kreatsoulas will spend nine months in the United States researching the discrepancies in cardiovascular disease and health that exist among population groups. Her project will seek to show how the focus of cardiovascular disease prevention and research can create a better understanding of the "causes of the causes," also known as the social determinants of health. more ►


McMaster tops in Canadian health research

Two of the top six achievements in Canadian health research this past year are the work of research teams in CE&B: POISE-1 investigators P. J. Devereaux, Gordon Guyatt, Salim Yusuf and Homer Yang (University of Ottawa); and orthopedic trauma care researchers Mohit Bhandari, Gordon Guyatt and Stephen Walter. more ►

P.J. Devereaux Salim Yusuf Gordon Guyatt Mohit Bhandari Stephen Walter


McMaster professor called in by World Health Organization

Holger SchünemannA McMaster University professor is joining the committee helping the World Health Organization (WHO) decide on priorities for health research world-wide.

Dr. Holger Schünemann, professor and chair of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, has agreed to serve for a four-year term on the WHO's Global Advisory Committee on Health Research.

As part of the 18-person committee he will be advising the Director-General of the World Health Organization on global health research, monitoring research activities and evaluating the research from a scientific and technical policy point of view. more ►


The McMaster Health Forum led by John Lavis, is named a WHO Collaborating Centre.

John LavisThe McMaster Health Forum will play a greater international role in supporting evidence-informed policymaking for health systems with its new designation as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre.

The four-year designation is the culmination of a year-long process and ongoing work with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and WHO, led by John Lavis, director of the Forum, and Holger Schunemann, chair of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, to design and coordinate plans for how PAHO's and the WHO's priorities in the field of knowledge translation could be advanced by this new collaborating centre. more ►


Two of McMaster's five new Canada Research Chairs call HEI home: David Meyre and Parminder Raina!

David MeyreDavid Meyre, Tier II Canada Research Chair in Genetic Epidemiology, comes to McMaster from the Institut de Biologie de Lille in France. The associate professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics studies the genetic determinants of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. His research is focused on the interaction of genes and ethnicity, and genes and the environment, with the goal of better genetic prediction of high risk individuals.

Parminder RainaParminder Raina will add a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Geroscience to his considerable list of achievements while at McMaster. The professor from the Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics is also the Raymond and Margaret Labarge Chair in Research and Knowledge Application for Optimal Aging, Director of McMaster's Evidence-based Practice Center and Co-Director of the R. Samuel McLaughlin Centre for Research and Education in Aging and Health. Raina is leading the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) to bring together the capacity, knowledge and expertise of experts in the physical, psychological and social health domains to unlock some of the greatest mysteries of aging that have the most impact on the health of Canadians over time.


Unlocking the mysteries of aging

Parminder Raina$30 million support announced for the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) to be based at McMaster with Parminder Raina as Principal Investigator.

The Government of Canada today announced a new study that will increase the understanding of common health problems affecting seniors. David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. more ►


McMaster/CE&B researchers top most-cited list

P.J. DevereauxTheir research, published in the The Lancet in May 2008, has been identified as a “fast breaking paper in field of clinical medicine” by Thomson Reuters' Essential Science Indicators. PJ Devereaux is one of the co-principal investigators of the study.

First, a McMaster University study discovered beta-blockers can increase the risk of certain cardiac complications around the time of surgery. Now the study has become one of the most-cited findings in its discipline. more ►


Schmidt and Roberts Win First Annual “SCT/ImpACT Trial of the Year” Award

Congratulations to Barbara Schmidt, Rob Roberts and their colleagues for winning the first annual “SCT/ImpACT Trial of the Year” award from the Society for Clinical Trials for their study on caffeine treatment for premature infants published in NEJM last year. more ►



The Michael Gent Endowed Chair in Healthcare Research. First Chair holder: Dr. Brian Haynes.”

During 33 years at McMaster University, professor Michael Gent led the group that established the international gold standard for doing the best quality medical research, particularly clinical trials.

As a result of the global reputation for high quality research, McMaster has a popular graduate program in health research methodologies and attracts millions of dollars in clinical trial research each year to investigate the effectiveness of drugs and medical procedures.

Today the professor emeritus returns to campus from his home in Scotland to celebrate the creation of an endowed chair in his name, the Michael Gent Chair in Healthcare Research at McMaster University. The prestigious position, endowed with $2 million, will be held by the chair of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the first chair holder is a former student of Michael Gent, Dr. Brian Haynes. more ►


Announcement from Dr. Brian Haynes, Department Chair

Juile Emili

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Julie Emili as Director of the Community Medicine Residency Program, effective April 1, 2008. Dr. Emili is an Associate Medical Officer of Health for the City of Hamilton and spends part of her time in family practice, being certified in both Family Medicine (2002) and Community Medicine (2005). Julie completed her MD and both residency programs at McMaster and has completed the requirements for her Health Research Methodology masters degree. Actively involved in the CMRP since her graduation, she is wonderfully well equipped to meet the challenges of combining training in family medicine, public health and research into one residency program. Welcome, Julie, and congratulations!

Elizabeth Richardson

On behalf of CMR residents, HEI faculty and staff, I thank Dr. Elizabeth Richardson for her excellent service as CMRP Director over the past five years. Elizabeth designed a challenging and exciting new CMR training path that integrated the three major components of the program (Community Medicine, Family Medicine, and graduate studies) throughout the five years. This integrated and focused path increased demand for the Program and greatly increased the number of residents since she started. Elizabeth guided the program through a successful Royal College review and turns over leadership of the program in great shape for the next external review in 2009. Elizabeth will continue to be engaged in the program and is looking forward to spending more time in teaching and mentoring roles. Elizabeth: we welcome your continued support for the program and related initiatives in the Faculty, and wish you continued success as Medical Officer of Health with the City.

John EylesResearchers extend their REACH to South Africa Stephen Birch

McMaster researchers John Eyles (School of Geography and Earth Sciences, and CE&B/CHEPA) and Stephen Birch (CE&B/CHEPA) will be Researching Equity in Access to Health Care (REACH) in a project that pairs their expertise with researchers in South Africa to examine inequalities in that country's health care system. Eyles, a social geographer, and Birch, a health economist – both recognized globally for their contributions to the understanding of health inequities – were awarded a Teasdale-Corti Team Grant allocating up to $1.6 million over four years. more ►


Deborah Cook
Deborah Cook
is one of Ontario’s best university teachers! The Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities named her a winner of the 2007 Leadership in Faculty Teaching Award (LIFT). This award recognizes and encourages teaching excellence at Ontario's colleges and universities and is given to faculty who “influence, motivate and inspire” students and “demonstrate leadership in teaching methods” for the diverse student body in Ontario.



George Torrance
George Torrance
, professor emeritus in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, CHEPA member and former dean of the DeGroote School of Business, was honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the International Society of Pharmaco-economics and Outcomes Research at its 2006 annual conference. Torrance has been a leading researcher, teacher and practitioner in the field of health economics and outcomes research for more than 30 years. more ►