Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, also known as Physiatry, is the branch of medicine concerned with the comprehensive diagnosis, medical management and rehabilitation of people of all ages with neuromusculoskeletal disorders and associated disabilities. Physiatrists work in a diverse range of subspecialty areas to help patients with a variety of impairments related to conditions such as stroke acquired brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputation, and various musculoskeletal disorders. Physiatrists play a vital role in our health care system and as the Canadian population continues to age, the demand for their services will only continue to grow.
Department of Medicine Chair, Stephen Archer’s research has revealed that in serious human diseases (such as pulmonary hypertension, lung cancer, cardiac arrest and neurologic disease) the cell’s power source, known as mitochondria, displays an abnormal structure.
Dr. Archer discussed his findings in a recent New England Journal of Medicine article, Mitochondrial Dynamics — Mitochondrial Fission and Fusion in Human Diseases.
“This explosion in the understanding of the once secret lives of mitochondria will almost certainly advance our understanding of an important mechanism for cell death and cell growth,” says Dr. Archer. “This basic understanding offers new molecular targets for therapies of neurologic diseases, cancer and pulmonary hypertension.”
Five original research papers from Dr. Archer’s lab and other labs around the world have discovered the molecular basis for these structural changes in mitochondria. This new field of study is called mitochondrial dynamics and it reveals how abnormalities in the life cycle of mitochondria (including the ways mitochondria divide (fission), join together (fusion) and are eliminated) result in disease causing changes in cell growth and survival.
This rapidly evolving discipline has already identified several new targets for therapy for diseases ranging from Parkinsonism and pulmonary hypertension to cardiac arrest.
In the NEJM article, Dr. Archer advocates for research into new drugs that target fission and fusion. He is also working on new ways to image the bacteria-sized mitochondria, such as new “super resolution” light microscopes, which will allow researchers to see the organelles better and thereby better understand their function.
Paul Belliveau (Department of Surgery) has received The John Provan Outstanding Canadian Surgical Educator Award from the Canadian Undergraduate Surgical Education Committee (CUSEC). The award is one of the most prestigious national awards of its kind, and is given bi-annually to honour exceptional contributions to undergraduate surgical education in Canada.
“I am overjoyed,. But at the same time humbled by the fact that many other deserving candidates did not get it”, says Dr. Belliveau. “It is an inspiration to continue to strive for excellence in our Undergraduate Education Competencies program.”
Widely known for his deep commitment to his patients and to Queen’s medical students, Dr. Belliveau, has served for many years as a member of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. As a long-standing Course Director in year two of medical school, he began the implementation of small group learning as a teaching/learning method. He has also served as a Course Director in Clerkship, as well as a frequent and well-regarded teacher of surgery. He has served as Chair, Undergraduate Surgical Education Committee, a member of the Undergraduate Admissions Committee, and founding member of the Undergraduate Evaluation and Assessment Committee.
Dr. Belliveau received his award at the 14th Bi-Annual CUSEC Symposium. Dr. Brian Taylor, Chair of Nominations Committee, commented, “Suffice it to say that Dr. Paul Belliveau has been a tremendous surgical ambassador in carrying out Dr. Provan's legacy and message of not only supporting and mentoring your clerks and final year students, but also in taking the surgical message directly to the first and second year students.”
“This is a very prestigious national honour and we are thrilled that Paul Belliveau’s outstanding contributions to surgical education have been recognized,” says Richard Reznick, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences. “The efforts of innovative educators like Dr. Belliveau are a big reason why a seat in Queen’s M.D program is the most sought-after in Canada.”