About the Program’s Investigators

DR. SUSY HOTA (Clinical Lead & Co-Principal Investigator):

dr-susy-hotaDr. Hota received her Medical Degree from the University of Toronto in 2002 and completed Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease Residencies at the University of Toronto and a Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Toronto in 2011.

Dr. Hota is currently employed as a Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control and as an Infectious Disease Specialist at the University Health Network in Toronto, Canada and an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Her broad research interests include the epidemiology and treatment of Clostridium difficile infection and preparedness for infectious diseases emergencies. She was the principal investigator on a randomized controlled trial evaluating FMT vs. oral vancomycin taper for recurrent CDI.

DR. SUSAN POUTANEN (Microbiology Lead & Co-Principal Investigator):

S M Poutanen Dr. Poutanen received her Medical Degree from the University of Toronto in 1996 and completed Internal Medicine and Medical Microbiology Residencies at the University of Toronto and an Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Stanford University, California.  She received her Masters of Public Health with a focus on Epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002.

Dr. Poutanen is currently employed as a Medical Microbiologist and Infectious Diseases Physician at Mount Sinai Hospital & University Health Network in Toronto, Canada and an associate professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology and Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Her broad research interests include the epidemiology and detection of antimicrobial resistance and the diagnosis of and preparedness for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, such as Clostridium difficile infection. She was the microbiology lead for randomized controlled trial evaluating FMT vs. oral vancomycin taper for recurrent CDI.

DR. JOHANE A. ALLARD (Bariatric Lead, Gastroenterology Co-Lead & Co-Investigator):

johane-allard-214pDr. Johane P. Allard is Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada and is crossed-appointed at the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Institute of Medical Sciences. She trained in gastroenterology at McGill University before completing a research fellowship funded by the National Institute of Nutrition at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Allard is a clinician investigator, with a research focus in nutrition and gastrointestinal disorders. She is currently conducting several studies funded by peer-reviewed agencies in patients requiring nutrition support, people with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and patients with morbid obesity undergoing bariatric surgery. She is also conducting research on malnutrition in Canadian hospitals and has developed a research program on the intestinal microbiome related to the Metabolic-Syndrome. Her publications are primarily in the area of micronutrients, oxidative stress, nutrition support and NASH.

Dr. Allard is also the Director of the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Toronto and the Director of the Nutrition Support Program at the University Health Network (UHN). She works with a multidisciplinary nutrition support team and is the Chair of the Nutrition Review Committee. She is also the past-chair the Royal College of Physician and Surgeon Examining Board in Gastroenterology and co-founder of the Canadian Nutrition Society and member of its Advisory Board.

DR. BRYAN COBURN ( Microbiome Co-Lead & Co-Investigator):

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Dr. Bryan Coburn is a clinician-scientist in the division of Infectious Diseases at the University Health Network, a scientist in Advanced Diagnostics at the Toronto General Research Institute and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

 

 

 

DR. KENNETH CROITORU (Gastroenterology Co-Lead & Co-Investigator):

dr-kenneth-croitoruDr. Kenneth Croitoru completed medical school at McGill University in 1981 and then trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology from 1982-1986. He went on to do post-doctoral training as an MRC Research Fellow in Mucosal Immunology at McMaster University. On completion of this research training he joined the Division of Gastroenterology at McMaster in 1992 where he went on to serve as Training Program Director and Associate Director of the Division. He served as the Chair of the CCFC Medical Advisory Board and helped develop the CCFC IBD Research Institute where he served as Chair of the Executive Committee until 2008.

Dr. Croitoru joined the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital as a Clinician Scientist and is a full Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.  His research is focused on investigating the fundamental mechanisms of intestinal inflammation, in particular the role of T cell effector and regulatory function in the intestinal mucosal in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Dr. Croitoru has achieved both national and international recognition for his IBD research. He has served on review committees for the CIHR, Canadian Association of Gastroenterology and the NIH. He is on the editorial board of the IBD journal. He has been an invited speaker at numerous international meetings and institutions and has organized a number of national and international meetings on IBD research.

Dr. Croitoru will also establish a clinical practice in general gastroenterology and endoscopy at Mount Sinai Hospital with a focus on patients with IBD.

DR. HERBERT GAISANO (Metabolic Lead, Gastroenterology Co-Lead & Co-Investigator):

dr-herbert-gaisanoDr. Herbert Gaisano received his MD (1981) from the University of Phillipines, and his Gastroenterology training at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota. He is currently a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Gaisano oversees a vigorous research program. His laboratory is focused on the molecular mechanisms that regulate exocytosis.

Dr. Gaisano and colleagues were the first to identify the combinations of SNARE proteins which mediate the distinct exocytic events in the acinar cell  and the pancreatic islet beta cell. Insights from Dr. Gaisano’s research are of direct impact on normal secretory biology and pathobiology, particularly in understanding the dysregulated insulin secretion in diabetes and pathologic membrane fusion in pancreatitis and also membrane ion channel biology of cardiac and gastrointestinal muscles in health and in disease.

DR. DAVID GUTTMAN ( Microbiome Co-Lead & Co-Investigator):

dr-david-guttman

Dr. David Guttman received his Ph.D. in 1995 from Stony Brook University in New York and was NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago. He moved to Toronto in 2000 and is currently a Professor and Associate Chair for Research in the University of Toronto Department of Cell & Systems Biology. He is also the founder and Director of the Center for the Analysis of Genome Evolution & Function.

Dr. Guttman’s research program focuses on deciphering how bacteria adapt to, and manipulate their hosts. His group addresses questions related to the evolution of bacterial host specificity and virulence, bacterial evolutionary and comparative genomics, and studies of human and plant-associated microbiomes.

Dr. Guttman has been awarded a Canada Research Chair in Comparative Genomics, a Premier’s Research Excellence Award, and an NSERC Discovery Accelerator Award. He was elected as Chair of the American Society for Microbiology for Division R (Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology), and serves on the editorial boards of mBio, PLoS Pathogens, and PLoS Genetics.

DR. DANA PHILPOTT (Immunology Co-Lead & Co-Investigator):

dr-dana-philpottDr. Dana Philpott is an Associate Professor in the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto and co-director of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation / Ontario Research Fund- Host-Microbiome Research Network, where she has established the first gnotobiotic mouse facility in Toronto. Dr. Philpott oversees FMT programs involving animal models.

Dr. Philpott did her post-doctoral training at the Institut Pasteur in Paris and was head of a research group there before being recruited to Toronto in 2006.

Her research employs animal models of inflammatory bowel disease and considers how innate immunity and the microbiome shape immune homeostasis within the intestine.

DR. VALERIE TAYLOR (Psychiatry Lead & Co-Investigator):

dr-valerie-taylorDr. Valerie Taylor is Psychiatrist-in-chief at Women’s College Hospital and Head of Women’s Mental Health and Co-Director of the Equity, Gender and Population Division. She is an Associate Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and holds a part-time appointment as Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at McMaster, where she heads the bariatric surgery psychiatry program.

She obtained an Honours degree in Biology/Biochemistry at Memorial University, where she also attended medical school. She completed her FRCPC training in psychiatry at McMaster University in 2004, a 2-year post-doctoral research fellowship in mood disorders in 2006, a 4-year fellowship in clinical investigation in 2008 and her PhD in medical science in 2009.

Dr. Taylor’s clinical and research focus looks at the association between obesity, chronic physical illness and mental health, specifically depression and bipolar disorder.

DR. DANIEL WINER (Immunology Co-Lead & Co-Investigator):

daniel-winer-croppedDr. Daniel Winer is an Endocrine Pathologist, University Health Network Scientist (TGRI) and Professor at the University of Toronto.