Murray Baron, M.D.
Dr. Murray Baron
Chief, Division of Rheumatology, Jewish General Hospital
Director of the Canadian Scleroderma Research Group
Professor of Medicine, McGill University
Dr. Murray Baron is the chief of the Division of Rheumatology at the Jewish General Hospital, where he has practiced since 1981. He graduated from McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and, after stints as a family doctor in Newfoundland and British Columbia, trained in internal medicine at the University of British Columbia and rheumatology at the University of Toronto. He is a Professor of Medicine at McGill University.
He runs a division with five full-time academic rheumatologists and one part-time rheumatologist, which is similar to the numbers at the McGill University Health Centre, McGill’s other teaching hospital. Among the other rheumatologists, one has a strong interest in medical education, another in the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound as a diagnostic tool, and a third in the use of videocapillaroscopy as a clinical and research tool in the rheumatic diseases, especially scleroderma. One member is a full-time academic with a particular interest in scleroderma as well. In addition, Dr. Brett Thombs, an academic psychologist from the department of psychiatry, has a cross appointment in rheumatology and has also published extensively the area of scleroderma.
Major Research Activities
Dr. Baron’s primary research interest is in an uncommon rheumatic disease called scleroderma. In this disease, there is fibrosis of multiple organs leading to severe morbidity and increased mortality. Because the disease is rare, Dr. Baron has established the Canadian Scleroderma Research Group (CSRG). Over 15 rheumatologists from across Canada see patients once a year and enter a large amount of data into a central database. Biological specimens, such as blood and skin, are also collected. Research is performed on the data by clinical researchers at McGill and elsewhere, and on the bio-specimens at multiple laboratories that Dr. Baron has brought into his group.
Since its inception in 2004, over $4.5 million dollars has been brought in from peer review agencies by Dr. Baron and his colleagues in the CSRG. More than 60 articles have been published in the scientific literature since the CSRG was formed. The CSRG, under Dr. Baron’s direction, has become a well recognized leader in scleroderma research in the world.
In addition, Dr. Baron has established the International Systemic Sclerosis Inception Cohort (INSYNC). This new research group will focus attention on recent onset scleroderma to be able to better appreciate what happens from very early on in the disease.
Dr Baron is the incoming president of the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium.
He has also created CANCoRC, the Canadian Consortium of Rheumatology Cohorts, in an attempt to strengthen Canadian rheumatology research by seeking common funding and identifying commonalities across rheumatic disease research teams.
Mervyn Gornitsky, M.D.
Dr. Mervyn Gornitsky
Research Director, Department of Dentistry, Jewish General Hospital
Chief Emeritus, Department of Dentistry, Jewish General Hospital
Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University
Dr Mervyn Gornitsky is Research Director of the Department of Dentistry at the Jewish General Hospital. He is a Professor Emeritus at McGill University, Faculty of Dentistry, and Chief Emeritus of the Department of Dentistry at the Jewish General Hospital. Dr Gornitsky’s distinguished careers in academic dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery have spanned over 50 years. He was granted a fellowship at the inception of examination by the Royal College of Dentists of Canada in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in 1967. He has contributed more than anyone in Canada to the development of departments of dentistry in Canadian hospitals. He was chair of the Hospital Dental Services Committee for Quebec for 15 years and Chair of the Council on Hospital Dental Services for the Canadian Dental Association for six years.
He is a fellow of the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, L’Académie dentaire du Quebec, and a member of the Pierre Fauchard Academy.
Major Research Activities
Dr Gornitsky is the principal investigator on a CIHR Operating Grant entitled “Oral Manifestations of Systemic Sclerosis and its Impacts on Quality of Life.” This is a Canadian multi-site study involving 180 scleroderma patients and 360 matched controls. Between 2008 and 2012, he has given numerous presentations and participated in knowledge transfer activities on systemic sclerosis throughout Canada and abroad.
He was the recipient of the 2011 Weekend to End Women’s Cancer (WEWC) Research Fund Competition grant for “Altered Salivary Redox Homeostasis in Patients with Breast Cancer”, and in 2014, for the “Development and validation of salivary tau as a biomarker for early Alzheimer’s Disease” from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation (Weston Brain Institute).
Dr Gornitsky was awarded the Micheline-Blain award for lifetime achievements and exceptional involvement in oral health research from the Network for Oral and Bone Health Research – (RSBO – FRQS) for 2013-14.
Marie Hudson, M.D.
Tel.: 514-340-8222 ext. 3476
Dr. Marie Hudson
Physician-Scientist, Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, McGill University
Dr. Marie Hudson is a rheumatologist, epidemiologist, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at McGill University. She is a physician-scientist and member of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Community Studies at the Jewish General Hospital. She is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada and is funded as a researcher by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé.
Major Research Activities
Dr Hudson pursues research in systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases. In particular, she is one of the founding members of the Canadian Scleroderma Research Group (CSRG), a CIHR-funded, multi-centre group of researchers that follows a cohort of over 1400 SSc patients across Canada. She has published landmark studies documenting the magnitude of impairment in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) with scleroderma. She is particularly interested in scleroderma lung disease, its natural history, its optimal treatment, and its impact on HRQoL. Dr Hudson is also involved in a number of studies in other rheumatic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and inflammatory myositis. In particular, she is the Director of the Canadian Inflammatory Myopathy Study.
She is the recipient of the 2011 Canadian Rheumatology Association Young Investigator Award.
Ariel Masetto, M.D.
Dr. Ariel Masetto
Assistant professor at the Division of Rheumatology of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMSS) of the Université de Sherbrooke since 2006.
Associate professor at the Division of Rheumatology of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the Université de Sherbrooke since 2014.
Graduation and residency at the University of São Paulo Brazil.
Continuing medical education targeted at primary care practitioners. Involved in a number of rheumatology-related educational activities through close collaboration with the Centre for Continuing Education of the FMSS.
Scleroderma; collaborator of the Canadian Scleroderma Research Group. The main research objectives focus on the treatment of common problems in scleroderma, such as malabsorption syndrome, fecal incontinence and digital ulcers.
Laetitia Michou, M.D.
Jean-Luc Senécal, M.D.
Dr. Jean-Luc Senécal
Dr. Senécal holds an MD degree from University of Montreal. As a rheumatologist, he developed his interest for scleroderma during his fellowship at the University of Connecticut Health Center. He is Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Montreal Faculty of Medicine. He is also founder and Director of the Laboratory for Research in Autoimmunity and the Connective Tissue Diseases Clinic, Division of Rheumatology, Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM).
Dr. Senécal holds the University of Montreal Scleroderma Chair, resulting from a joint initiative with Sclérodermie Québec. He heads the CHUM Scleroderma Research Group, a team of 15 researchers, graduate students and research personnel. The strength of this team lies in the close collaboration between basic scientists and clinician researchers. Dr Senécal’s research interests are focused on the autoimmune pathogenic mechanisms of SSc, with the ultimate goal of discovering new therapies. He also studies a large cohort of patients with the aim of improving the diagnosis of scleroderma and its manifestations.
Over 125 peer-reviewed articles have been published by Dr. Senécal in international journals. His research funding includes the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Sclérodermie Québec, Scleroderma Society of Canada and Scleroderma Society of Ontario. He is recipient of the Distinguished Investigator Award of the Canadian Rheumatology Association (2006) and the Jeff Shiroky Research Award of the Laurentian Conference of Rheumatology (2007).
Brett D. Thombs, Ph.D.
Tel.: 514-340-8222 ext. 5112
Dr. Brett D. Thombs, Ph.D.
Professor and William Dawson Scholar, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University
Senior Investigator, Lady Davis Institute of Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital
Dr. Thombs is Professor and William Dawson Scholar in the Department of Psychiatry, McGill University and a Senior Investigator, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Quebec. His research focuses on identifying and assessing key problems faced by patients dealing with medical illnesses, determining mental health and behavioral interventions that are likely to improve patients’ health and well-being, and assessing how research methods may affect the applicability of research to clinical settings. An important area of his work focuses on developing strategies to improve quality of life and reduce disability among people living with scleroderma. He has received grants for research in scleroderma from the FRSQ, CIHR, and SSHRC and has authored or co-authored more 50 peer-reviewed articles related to scleroderma. Dr. Thombs is the Founder and Director of the Scleroderma Patient-centered Intervention Network, a CIHR-funded collaboration of more than 50 investigators and more than 35 recruiting sites from 8 countries. SPIN is working closely with members of patient organizations around the world, including Scleroderma Quebec, to develop an international network that can be used on an ongoing basis to test accessible, low-cost tools to help people live better with scleroderma and to make these tools available on an ongoing basis. SPIN has enrolled almost 800 patients in a cohort to collect information about problems important to people with scleroderma and is developing a series of online tools to help address some of these problems.