Board of Directors
Ivan V. Litvinov, MD, PhD, FRCPC (President)
Assistant Professor, Co-Director of Research Division of Dermatology
FRQS, Chercheur Boursier
McGill University Health Centre
Dr. Ivan V. Litvinov is an Attending Staff at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, and an Assistant Professor in the McGill University Department of Medicine. Dr. Litvinov earned his Ph.D. degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and his medical degree at McGill University. Dr. Litvinov also completed his dermatology residency training at the MUHC.
Dr. Litvinov practices as a clinician-scientist at the Royal Victoria Hospital (Glen Site). Dr. Litvinov is a recipient of the provincial FRQS chercheur-boursier award. Dr. Litvinov’s directs a translational research laboratory within the Cancer Research Program of the MUHC and leads a hematology-dermatology multidisciplinary clinic at the Glen.
Dr. Litvinov, working in concert with other MUHC physicians, researches and provides tertiary dermatology care to patients with graft versus host disease, skin lymphomas, mastocytosis and other complex skin conditions. Dr. Litvinov working with Dr. Sasseville Co-Directs Research within the Division of Dermatology at McGill University.
Lucie Germain PhD (President-elect)
Full Professor, Department of Surgery, Faculty of medicine, Université Laval
Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) on Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering
Scientific Director, LOEX and Researcher, CHU de Québec - Université Laval Research Centre
Dr. Lucie Germain pursues a career in regenerative medicine. Her work is dedicated to postnatal stem cells and the reconstruction of human tissues for experimental and clinical applications. The LOEX team has discovered a new method of tissue engineering, the self-assembly approach and applied it to produce a bilayered skin substitute which is very similar to native skin and allow the preservation of stem cells, and a reconstructed human cornea. With her colleagues, she realized a true fulfillment of translational research. Her work led to three clinical trials involving engineered-tissues produced in vitro applied to the treatment of venous ulcers, severely burned patients and limbal stem cell deficiency of the cornea.
Andrew Leask, PhD (Vice president)
College of Dentistry
University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Andrew Leask is a full professor in the Department of Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of British Columbia in 1986, and his PhD in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Chicago in 1992. Dr. Leask conducted Postdoctoral studies in Biological Sciences at Stanford University in California.
Dr. Leask is a member of several professional societies including the American Society of Cell Biology and the International CCN Society. He is also on the editorial board of several journals, and a member of several grant review panels. Dr. Leask is also an award recipient, having received the fifth OTS Breathe New Life Award at the Better Breathing 2010 Conference
Research vision: To develop therapies for connective tissue (fibrotic) disease including scleroderma and melanoma. My work has shown that activated adhesive signaling exerted by connective tissue myofibroblasts, operating in part through the CCN family of matricellular proteins, is necessary and sufficient for perpetuating fibrosis. We are currently elucidating the precise role of the CCN family and signaling components both upstream and downstream of CCN action to identify specific reagents that could be used clinically to block fibrosis. We are also interested in exploiting why gingiva do not scar as a way of uncovering insights into scar less repair.
Anie Philip, PhD (IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT)
Professor, Department of Surgery, McGill University
Director, Plastic Surgery Research, McGill University
Graduate Program Director, Experimental Surgery, McGill University
Dr. Philip’s lab focuses on the regulation of TGF-beta signaling in the skin and cartilage. In the skin, her research is centered on the development of novel TGF-beta antagonists for the treatment of aberrant wound healing, fibrosis and cancer metastasis. In the cartilage, the work focuses on understanding the interplay between TGF-beta receptors and co-receptors in regulating chondrocyte function. Research in Philip lab is supported by grants from Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the US Department of Defense (DOD).
Julie Fradette, PhD (Secretary)
Full Professor, Dept. of Surgery
Researcher, Centre de recherche en organogénèse expérimentale de l’Université Laval / LOEX.
Division of Regenerative Medicine, CHU de Québec Research Centre-Université Laval.
Director of the Quebec Network for cell, tissue and gene therapy (ThéCell) www.reseauthecell.qc.ca/
Dr. Fradette (PhD) is a Full Professor at Université Laval, and a researcher at the Centre LOEX a research center of the CHU de Québec-Université Laval since 2005. Her research activities focus on adipose-derived stem/stromal cells (ASCs) and their use in regenerative medicine. Her expertise encompasses tissue engineering of skin and various connective tissues including human adipose tissue. During her graduate studies, she studied skin epithelial stem cells for improvement of skin substitutes. Her postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh established that ASCs and adipose tissue can be used for gene delivery. Her research program is now focused on how human mesenchymal cell’s potential can be harnessed for tissue reconstruction using cell-based, scaffold-free strategies. Current studies performed in her laboratory aim at promoting the vascularisation of thick reconstructed tissues produced under xenogenicfree culture conditions for clinical applications, as well as the production of a trilayer reconstructed skin featuring a hypodermis. In addition, ongoing preclinical studies are assessing the efficacy of tissue-engineered biological dressings (made of ASCs or adipocytes) to accelerate the healing of hard-to-heal skin wounds (diabetic and irradiated tissues). Since 2015, she is the director of the ThéCell network for cell, tissue and gene therapies for the province of Québec, Canada.
Robert Gniadecki, MD, PhD, DMSci, FCDA (Treasurer)
Professor, University of Alberta
Director, Division of Dermatology
Section Chief, Dermatology, AHS Edmonton Zone
Dr. Robert Gniadecki received his MD degree from Warsaw Medical School (Poland) in 1991 and three years later he obtained his Ph.D. from the Faculty of Health Sciences at Copenhagen University (Denmark) and became a specialist in dermatology in 2001 (certified in Denmark and Canada). In 2010 he was appointed as a full clinical professor at the University of Copenhagen and in 2015 at the University of Alberta, Canada. Dr. Gniadecki has served as a president of the Danish Dermatological Society, treasurer of the Canadian Dermatology Foundation and board members of the ESDR (European Society of Dermatological Research) and ISCL (International Society of Cutaneous Lymphomas). He is a member of several editorial boards including the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology, Dermatology, and Frontiers in Medicine. Dr. Gniadecki published >200 peer-reviewed papers. Among major clinical and scientific accomplishments are: development of the low-dose protocol of total skin irradiation for patients with cutaneous lymphomas, the discovery of lymphoma stem cells and introduction of photophoresis and Mohs surgery to dermatology in Denmark. His current scientific activities focus on genomics the experimental therapeutics of cutaneous lymphoma and autoimmune skin diseases and the clinical aspects of the biological treatment of psoriasis.
Dieter P. Reinhardt, PhD (Regional Director - Quebec)
Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry
Dr. Reinhardt is cross-appointed at McGill University in the Dept. of Anatomy and Cell Biology of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Dentistry.
He holds a Canada Research Chair Tier 1 in Cell-Matrix Biology.
His laboratory is interested how cells form and maintain extracellular matrices, and how these matrices in turn regulate cell behavior as it relates to human disease.
Jeff Biernaskie, PhD (Regional Director - Prairies)
Associate Professor, Stem Cell Biology and Tissue Regeneration
Dept of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine; Dept of Surgery
Cumming School of Medicine
University of Calgary
Dr. Biernaskie holds the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society Chair in Skin Regeneration and Wound healing at the University of Calgary. His research program is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying tissue regeneration and the potential to exploit tissue-resident stem cells toward restoration of function following injury or disease. He is specifically interested in how skin and brain stem/progenitors cells are regulated during homeostasis and how factors like injury, advanced aging and the immune system impact their function.
Aziz Ghahary, PhD (Regional Director - British Columbia)
Director of BC Professional Firefighters' Burn and Wound Healing Research Group
Department of Surgery/ Plastic Surgery
Dr. Aziz Ghahary received his Ph.D in Medical Physiology from the University of Manitoba in 1988 and after 2 years as post - doctoral training, he accepted an assistant professorship position in the Department of Surgery at the University of Alberta in 1990. He was then promoted to associate and full professor in 1996 and 2003, respectively. In 2005, he was then, recruited by the Department of Surgery/ Plastic Surgery as a full professor and the director of the BC professional Firefighters’ Burn and Wound Healing Research Group. During the last 12 years, 14 Ph.D. and 5 master students have been successfully graduated from his lab.
Funding and publications: Dr. Ghahary has been awarded more than 52 research grants from local, national and international granting agencies. He is one of the well-funded investigators in UBC. He has published or co-published over 185 peer reviewed articles, presented over 220 abstracts and major presentations at national and international conferences.
Discovery and Patents: Dr. Ghahary has 7 patents from which one is related to a protein called stratifin also known as 14-3-3 sigma. He then found a very high level of eta isoform of 14-3-3 protein in sera of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. This biomarker has now been patented and licensed to the biggest diagnostic company in US and Canada, Quest Diagnostic and Lifelab, respectively. The early RA diagnostic test called JOINTstat, is now available in Canada and US. This has been approved for diagnosis in Europe, Australia, Japan and New Zealand.
Veronique Moulin, PhD (Director of Educational Programs)
Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval
Dr. Moulin is professor at Université Laval, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery but also a researcher at the LOEX Center at Université Laval and at the Research Center of the CHU de Quebec. Her work focuses on the normal and pathological mechanisms of the skin healing. To perform this, she uses different cell culture models reconstituted by tissue engineering to reproduce in vitro fibrotic skin diseases (hypertrophic scars, scleroderma). At the same time, she uses the tissue engineering method to reconstruct cutaneous substitutes to treat skin deficient patients, after burns, for example.
Joshua Vorstenbosch, MD PhD FRCSC
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Royal Victoria Hospital
Dr. Joshua Vorstenbosch, MD PhD FRSCS is an attending plastic surgeon at the McGill University Health Centre, an Assistant Professor of Surgery at McGill University, and a Junior Scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. Dr. Vorstenbosch earned both his medical degree and PhD at McGill University, where he studied under the supervision of Dr. Anie Philip. He also completed a fellowship in microvascular oncologic reconstruction at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Dr. Vorstenbosch’s research lab focuses on the healing response following implantation of biomaterials. Using human capsular tissue surrounding breast implants as a model, he studies the cellular and molecular singling at the tissue-implant interface. His lab is investigating what differentiates normal tissue tolerance to an implant from the development of chronic inflammation, which often leads to pathologic fibrosis or in rare cases, cancer.
In his clinical practice, Dr. Vorstenbosch performs complex oncologic reconstructive surgery, primarily following breast cancer. He offers a full breadth of reconstructive options ranging from using a patient’s own tissue to using implants. Dr. Vorstenbosch is also leading the development of a surgical lymphedema program at the MUHC to provide surgical treatment to patients affected by lymphedema.
Stéphane Roy, PhD
Full Professor, Dept. of Stomatology, Faculty of Dentistry
Accredited professor, Dept. of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine
University of Montreal
Dr. Roy is a full professor in the Dept. of Stomatology, Faculty of Dentistry and an Accredited professor in the Dept. of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montreal. He is also the Director of the Laboratory for Research on tissue regeneration in vertebrates, Affiliated research center researcher at the Hospital of the Sacred Heart, And a Member of the Ethics Committee of the University of Montreal. Fields of interest: Study the molecular and cellular basis regulating epimorphic regeneration and scarless wound healing in vertebrates. We are interested in the role played by the TGF-beta signaling pathway as it is important for wound healing in every vertebrate and we have shown it to be essential for tissue regeneration in axolotls (Mexican salamander).
Past Board Members:
Boluwaji Ogunyemi, MD, FRCPC
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine (Dermatology)
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Dr Ogunyemi is an Attending Staff at the Health Sciences Centre, Janeway Children’s Health Centre, and St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in St. John’s, Newfoundland where he is active in teaching and supervising Memorial University medical students and residents.
He earned his undergraduate degree from Western University followed by a Graduate Diploma in clinical epidemiology and Doctor of Medicine from Memorial University of Newfoundland. He then went on to complete dermatology residency at the University of British Columbia where he was honored as chief resident and the first Royal College of Physician and Surgeons Convocation Speaker in the specialty of dermatology. He is currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Medical Teaching at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Dr Ogunyemi’s research interests include medical education, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis epidemiology, occupational dermatology and history of medicine. Dr Ogunyemi has received over three dozen awards for leadership, academics, research, writing, advocacy & community service from the National Institutes of Health, Canadian Dermatology Association, American Academy of Dermatology, Canadian Dermatology Foundation, Canadian Rheumatology Association, and the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation of Canada. Major recent awards and distinctions include the Harry Jerome Award in Health Sciences, Western University Young Alumni Award, and the Memorial University Alumni Tribute Award.