Fall 2015 (Volume 25, Number 3)

Awards, Appointments, Accolades

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Dr. Joan Wither was the winner of a European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Abstract Award in June 2015 for her work entitled “Presence Of An Interferon Signature In Anti-Nuclear Antibody Positive Individuals Prior To The Onset Of Systemic Autoimmune Rheumatic Disease.” This abstract stemmed from a prospective, multicentre, observational study, in which the researchers examined antinuclear antibody (ANA) positive patients with no clinical symptoms of systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARD); those who were ANA positive and had at least one SARD symptom; and those who had been recently diagnosed with a SARD. Central to this investigation was whether progress from asymptomatic autoimmunity to clinical disease can result in patients developing immunologic changes that might help predict disease onset.

Dr. Wither is a senior scientist at Toronto Western Research Institute, part of the University of Toronto’s Health Network. Her research focus is the immune mechanisms that lead to the development of systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases
(e.g., systemic lupus erythematosus [SLE]).


Dr. Regina Taylor-Gjevre received the University of Saskatchewan’s Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching in the College of Medicine for 2015. The University of Saskatchewan Provost’s Awards are presented to an individual faculty member in each College annually. These Awards recognize evidence of outstanding teaching and educational leadership.

The award was based on Dr. Taylor-Gjevre’s contributions to both undergraduate and postgraduate education. These contributions included the postgraduate rheumatology program directorship from 2007 to 2014, and ongoing undergraduate education and educational administration. She is the course director for rheumatology/MSK within the undergraduate curriculum and, since 2014, she has also been Co-Chair for the Foundations of Clinical Medicine I-III courses within the first two years of the undergraduate medical program. She had previously received the 2011 Faculty of Medicine Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Taylor-Gjevre is a Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Saskatchewan.

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