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At the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation at St. Paul's, Research Assistant Basak Sahin studies a cartridge from the Nanostring™ nCounter Analysis System, which performs gene expression analysis. St. Paul’s continues to be at the forefront of laboratory medicine, including plans for a “digital registry” that will enable doctors around the world to collaborate on diagnoses.
Research + Innovation

In a league of their own

by Kris Wallace


St. Paul’s Hospital is renowned for its compassionate care. But we’re also a research powerhouse. In this regular feature, we look at some of the most exciting made-at-St-Paul’s studies, breakthroughs, discoveries.

There are many ways to define research excellence: funding, papers published, outcomes and impact. By every measure, researchers at Providence are batting a thousand. And we’re not just saying that, the Government of Canada says it, too. At the end of 2020, Providence was home to 11 Canada Research Chairs with more expected to be named in the next award cycle.

Chairholders represent the very best in their fields. They contribute to the depth of our knowledge, quality of life, global competitiveness, and commitment to inspire and train the next generation.

Receiving a chair is an incredible achievement for the researcher. It’s also a significant cash infusion for the organization. Tier 1 chairs receive $200,000 for seven years; Tier 2 chairs get $100,000 for five years.

Here are just a few of the Canada Research Chairs at Providence and how they’re swinging for the fences with their game-changing work.

The Providence All-Stars

Image of Dr. Tillie Hackett
Dr. Tillie Hackett.

Dr. Tillie-Louise Hackett. Tier 1 Chair in Asthma and COPD Pathobiology and Therapeutics. Hackett is a principal investigator at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation (HLI) at St. Paul’s. Among her many life-changing studies, she’s using ultra-high resolution imaging to identify lung disease at its earliest stage, before it’s detectable by other means.

Image of Dr. Don Sin
Dr. Don Sin.

Dr. Don Sin. Tier 1 Chair in COPD. Sin is a respirologist at St. Paul’s Hospital, HLI’s director, and holder of the inaugural De Lazzari Family Chair in Heart Lung Innovation. Sin has published more than 550 peer-reviewed papers and is ranked #1 in Canada and #2 in the world for expertise in COPD.

Image of Dr. Kate Shannon
Dr. Kate Shannon.

Dr. Kate Shannon. Tier 2 Chair in Gender Equity, Sexual Health and Global Policy. Shannon is the executive director of the Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE) at Providence. Her research aims to advance gender-transformative and equitable sexual and reproductive health and justice.

Image of Dr. Eugenia Oviedo Joekes
Dr. Eugenia Oviedo Joekes.

Dr. Eugenia Oviedo-Joekes. Tier 1 Chair in Person-Centered Care in Addiction and Public Health. As part of the team at CHÉOS, in St. Paul’s Hospital, Oviedo-Joekes investigates how our health care systems can meet the diverse needs of people living with opioid use disorder. Her goal is to improve the uptake and effectiveness of treatments such as injectable opioid agonist therapy.

Image of Dr. Darryl Knight
Dr. Darryl Knight.

Dr. Darryl Knight. You’ve met a few of our all-stars, now meet the fellow who could be described as the team’s coach. In 2004, Knight was recruited away from his home in Australia to become Providence’s Canada Research Chair in Airway Disease. Today, he’s VP of Research and Academic Affairs. Who better than a hall-of-famer to lead our current roster of champions!

Go to bat for our superstar scientists and help them pursue this life-changing research. Please give today!