SkIN Canada Skin Investigation Network of Canada

Newsletter

Funded by

Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis

IN THIS ISSUE
  • Front page
  •   Letter from SkIN Canada's Managing Director
  • Featured profiles
  •   Community Contributor
  •   Early Career Investigator
  • Research infrastructure & resources
  •   Priority Setting Initiative
  •   Catalyzing Multicentre Skin Research
  • Skin research training
  •   Training and Education Initiatives
  • Supported projects
  •   Demonstration Projects
  •   Canadian Network of Skin Trials - Pilot Projects

Research Map

Directory of Canadian skin researchers

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Featured profile

Community Contributor

Rachael Manion is the Executive Director of the Canadian Skin Patient Alliance and the Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients. She is also Chair of the Patient Advisory Council of the Skin Investigation Network of Canada (SkIN Canada) and a member of the Executive Committee. Drawing on her background as a lawyer   ………..

READ FULL INTERVIEW

First Edition | February 2022

Featured profile: Early Career Investigator

Elena Netchiporouk, MD, M.Sc., FRCPC

Junior Scientist, RI-MUHC , Montreal General Hospital

Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology and Experimental Medicine, McGill University

Dr. Netchiporouk obtained her medical degree from the Université de Montréal in 2012 and her Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada certified training in dermatology from McGill University in 2017. During her dermatology residency, she also completed a 3-year Master’s program in Experimental Medicine at McGill University. As a clinician scientist, she focuses her research on understanding the interaction between environment and autoimmune diseases affecting the skin, specifically chronic urticaria and scleroderma. As part of her clinical duties at the McGill University Health Center, she is involved in teaching and supervising medical residents. She was also the Director of Undergraduate Medical Education in Dermatology at McGill University from 2018-2021.

Who has influenced you the most?

Dr. Denis Sasseville and Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan were my research mentors during my research and clinical training at McGill University and really sparked my interest for clinical and epidemiological research in Dermatology. I was also very lucky to have had a very supportive Division Chief and Program Director Dr. Linda Moreau who made it possible for me to be the first resident in Dermatology at McGill to be enrolled in 2 programs at the same time (Experimental Medicine and Residency training in Dermatology). Since I have started my practice and independent research, I often turn to my official and unofficial mentors for advice and guidance, Drs. Murray Baron, Sasha Bernatsky, Joyce Rauch and Elham Rahme. I am very grateful for the support and guidance from all of them and they really helped to shape who I am today.

What are the greatest challenges in your research area?

I think the greatest challenge for almost all junior (and not only junior) clinician scientists in Canada is funding, because without funding you cannot produce a meaningful research and train graduate students. Often for obtaining funding you have to produce and publish preliminary results and you dedicate weeks and months to actually writing grants which can take significant amount of your nonclinical time. I think it is certainly the biggest challenge for me and many others, but despite that I feel I am privileged and grateful to have received support for my research from the Department of Medicine at the MUHC, FRSQ, MUHC Foundation, Skin Investigation Network of Canada (SkIN Canada) and CDF to both have protected time for research and startup funds to conduct my studies.

What can be done to grow the impact of skin research in Canada?

I think SkIN Canada is an excellent step forward to establish channels of collaboration across dermatologists in Canada. Through these channels of collaboration, we can have registries of patients that will allow us to study rare diseases or even common diseases but with a special focus. National biobanking process for skin diseases will also be a huge asset. SkIN Canada will allow us to share our expertise to support each other in our research A-Z from collaboration in grants writing, feedback during protocol preparation and eventually manuscript writing. We are still a small family in dermatology compared to other researchers in Canada who are mainly from other specialties. As a complex medical dermatologist, the biggest challenge I see right now is not the treatment of atopic dermatitis or psoriasis because there is a great deal of research that happened in these conditions in the last 10-20 years; we certainly have better treatments and knowledge. Huge treatment gaps remain for inflammatory skin diseases that are less common but when combined, these are daily challenges for all of us. Examples include but are not limited to sclerodermoid conditions (morphea and systemic sclerosis), immunobullous diseases, vitiligo, and inflammatory alopecias. I hope with research, in a few years we would see access to targeted effective treatments in these diseases as well. Combining efforts to study these diseases in Canada through clinical registries, epidemiological and translational research will help us improve the knowledge gaps and ultimately better care for our patients.

If you have worked with patients as part of the research team, what did you learn? If you haven’t yet, what are you looking forward to learning from patient research partners?”

The answer to both of them is yes. I think it is something extremely important because very often we see the disease from our perspective as dermatologists but unless we involve patient research partners we do not fully understand what is troubling them the most and where are the most pressuring needs from their perspective. For example, in the morphea registry (C-MORE) that we are establishing with SkIN Canada support, we immediately involved several patient partners representing different ethnic backgrounds and disease subtypes. Patient small group sessions facilitated by Canadian Skin Patient Alliance (CSPA, Rachael Manion, Executive Director) helped us to review our registry baseline, follow up and study specific questionnaires to make sure that they are easy to understand and appropriate length to avoid data misclassification and missing data. They also shed light on some extra variables of importance to them that we did not think of. We hope in conjunction with CSPA to establish a patients’ support program for morphea in the upcoming year.

Research infrastructure & resources

Priority Setting Initiative

SkIN Canada has been conducting a multi-phase project to identify the most important skin research questions for people living in Canada.

LEARN MORE

Catalyzing Multicentre Skin Research

SkIN Canada is developing a consortium of research sites that will collectively drive the formation of new multicentre research projects. Research sites in the federation will have access to a suite of resources that will make it significantly easier to implement skin research.

LEARN MORE

Skin research training

Training and Education Initiatives

Inspiring the future of skin research with talent development & education. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinvented the way we exchange knowledge, offering unique and equitable opportunities to connect virtually and educate skin researchers and patients across Canada. LEARN MORE

Supported projects
Demonstration Projects

SkIN Canada has partnered with two research projects to guide the creation of the network’s free Database Support Services.

 

READ FULL ARTICLE

Canadian Network of Skin Trials (C-NeST) – Pilot Projects

To help establish a framework for coordinating multi-centre skin studies involving community and academic research sites, the clinical trials arm of SkIN Canada initiated two pilot non-interventional research projects.

READ FULL ARTICLE

News from other organizations
CAPP – CIHR-IMHA Studentships in Psoriatic Disease

The CAPP – CIHR-IMHA Studentships in Psoriatic Disease provide undergraduate and health professional students with opportunities to undertake research projects related to psoriatic diseases with established investigators in an environment that provides strong mentorship.  We encourage applications from across Canada by April 11, 2022. The Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients (CAPP) was formed in 2012 to serve people impacted by psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. CAPP’s mission is to be a resource to these people by improving their quality of life, raising awareness, providing education, advocating for better access to care and treatments, and supporting research.

New CIHR-IMHA Funding Opportunities, including partnership with Canadian Dermatology Foundation

The Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) funds health research in order to develop and support a well-trained base of investigators with the skills and expertise needed to design and conduct innovative and diverse research and knowledge translation activities aimed at improving health.

Healthcare providers decision needs and preferences on medication use during lactation
If you are a healthcare provider, we would like to hear your perspectives on medication use during infant feeding.
Patient research partners have recently written about tokenism in research partnerships with patients

– and most importantly, what can be done to address it. Learn more about how to meaningfully include patients and patient organizations as research partners.

Applications are now being accepted for PeDRA’s 2022 Research Fellowship program

The program will provide $20,000 of support to as many as eight trainees or students to conduct one year of mentored research in the field of pediatric dermatology. Applications are due March 31, 2022 for fellowships beginning on July 1, 2022. For additional information, including eligibility criteria and instructions on how to apply, please see the Research Fellowship RFA.

SkIN Canada Executive Committee