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Fall 2019 (Volume 29, Number 3)

Awards, Appointments, and Accolades

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Dr. Sasha Bernatsky – AAC 2018 Knowledge Translation Practice Award

Dr. Sasha Bernatsky, Professor of Medicine at McGill University, was the recipient of The Arthritis Alliance of Canada‘s (AAC) 2018 Knowledge Translation (KT) Practice Award. “Throughout my career, I have always strived to communicate my research results effectively, not only to the scientific community but also to other stakeholders including policy makers, patients, and others. It is truly an honour to receive the AAC’s KT award.” says Dr. Bernatsky. Her research focuses on outcomes in rheumatic diseases, including morbidity, mortality, environmental factors and the economic impact of conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). She has established herself as a leader in research and knowledge translation in the field, publishing an average of 20 papers yearly and has an h-factor of 45.

Dr. Bernatsky is an active member in numerous research networks, leading international initiatives on rheumatic disease research. As co-P(Principal Investigator), she helped develop the CAnadian Network for Advanced Interdisciplinary Methods for comparative effectiveness research (CAN-AIM) to provide new, accurate data on long-term, real-world outcomes for the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network (DSEN), a joint initiative between the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and Health Canada. She works closely with Health Canada and other knowledge users to respond to queries that highlight priority areas in studying drug therapies, including drugs for RA and ankylosing spondylitis.

Dr. Vinod Chandran – Elected to the GRAPPA executive committee

Dr. Vinod Chandran, a rheumatologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, was elected to the executive committee of the Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA) at the recently held annual meeting of the organization in Paris, France. GRAPPA is an international non-profit, educational and scientific organization of rheumatologists, dermatologists, radiologists, geneticists, methodologists, epidemiologists, patient research partners, and industry representatives that aims to increase awareness of psoriatic disease, develop and validate assessment tools for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, promote clinical and basic research and foster interdisciplinary collaboration and communication with advocacy organizations, industry, regulatory agencies, and other concerned bodies. The organization currently has more than 900 members.

Dr. Rayfel Schneider – 2019 Council Award

At its most recent meeting, the College presented its Council Award to Dr. Rayfel Schneider, an international leader in the development of new treatments and standards of care in juvenile arthritis and associated inflammatory diseases. Dr. Schneider is a staff physician at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, and is currently a Professor of Pediatrics and the Associate Chair (Education) in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto. He previously served as the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at SickKids and as the university’s Pediatric Rheumatology Program Director.

“As a Canadian physician in Ontario, I know full well that I belong to an incredibly privileged group,” he told Council, in accepting the award. “We have the opportunity to engage in meaningful work, with intrinsic value and potentially significant impact. We have the opportunity to journey together, with patients and families, on their most intimate and sometimes vulnerable journeys. And we have the opportunity to be inspired by their courage and resilience,” he said.

Over the course of his 30-year career, Dr. Schneider has built a solid reputation as a devoted and talented physician, and is viewed by peers, co-workers patients and families as being extremely knowledgeable and caring. He is a key contributor to ground-breaking pediatric rheumatology research and is an internationally recognized expert in systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Dr. Schneider’s scientific contributions have led to new biologic therapies to manage juvenile arthritis – changing the trajectory and prognosis for young patients through more effective, less toxic treatments.

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