Was this page useful?

*Required Field

SJHH / Our Stories/ News


Follow/Like St. Joe's:

instagram Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube

News Archives


Next » Showing 1-6 of 649 entries.
Sep 15, 2020

St. Joseph’s Supports COVID-19 Testing Centre Volumes

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, in partnership with Hamilton Public Health Services, will be opening a COVID-19 Testing Centre at its West 5th Campus for appointments only...

» Read More
Sep 15, 2020

Hospitals working together to deliver care during the pandemic

A Message from the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Norfolk Brant Burlington Hospital Presidents and CEOs      Hospitals in Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, Norfolk, Brant and Burlington (HNHNBB region) are working together to ensure a stable system...

» Read More
Sep 3, 2020

St. Joe’s Working with McMaster HealthLabs, Air Canada, and Greater Toronto Airports Authority to Conduct Voluntary COVID-19 Testing for Arriving International Travellers

Samples collected during this study will be processed at the research laboratory of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton using proprietary testing developed by St. Joe’s researchers. McMaster HealthLabs (MHL), Air Canada, and the Greater Toronto...

» Read More
Aug 27, 2020

St. Joe’s Study Finds Patients Undergoing Dialysis Benefit from Assessment of Secondary Symptoms

Results from a new study indicate that routinely assessing secondary symptoms in patients with kidney failure who are undergoing dialysis can empower patients in their discussions with their healthcare providers. However, greater efforts are needed to...
» Read More
Aug 17, 2020

Hamilton entrepreneur Erin Dunham shares her mental health journey

Each time she blew out the candles on her birthday cake, Erin Dunham wished for the same thing. Happiness. Yet cake after cake, mental-health issues kept getting between her and her wish coming true. “I know that’s kind of...
» Read More
Aug 13, 2020

Researchers Find Clues to SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Explore Why COVID-19 Impacts Patients Differently

 Working together, researchers at St. Joe’s, McMaster University, and the University of Waterloo are searching for how the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects the lungs – and they’re challenging what has become an accepted truth about the virus.

Previously, scientists have determined that entry of SARS-CoV-2 into cells occurs through a receptor on the cell surface, known as ACE2. But the research team has found that the ACE2 receptor is at very low levels in human lung tissue.

“Our finding is somewhat controversial, as it suggests that there must be other ways, other receptors for the virus, that regulate its infection of the lungs,” said Jeremy Hirota, co-lead scientist of the team from The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at McMaster. 

“We were surprised that the fundamental characterization of the candidate receptors in human lung tissue had not yet been done in a systematic way with modern technologies.”

“Finding such low levels of ACE2 in lung tissue has important implications for how we think about this virus.” said co-lead Andrew Doxey, Professor of Biology at the University of Waterloo. “ACE2 is not the full story and may be more relevant in other tissues such as the vascular system.”

A paper on their findings has been published recently in the European Respiratory Journal. Their findings have been confirmed independently by other researchers in Molecular Systems Biology.  

Now, to explore alternate additional infection pathways and different patient responses to infection, the team is using nasal swabs that were collected for clinical diagnoses of COVID-19. These samples offer the opportunity to determine which genes are expressed by patients’ cells and associate this information with the development of the patients’ disease.

The ongoing study will better identify and treat patients who are at risk of developing serious complications and provide predictive capacity for hospitals.

“It is clear that some individuals respond better than others to the same SARS-CoV-2 virus.  The differential response to the same virus suggests that each individual patient, with their unique characteristics, heavily influences COVID-19 disease severity,” said Hirota, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Respiratory Mucosal Immunology at McMaster.  

“We think it is the lung immune system that differs between COVID-19 patients, and by understanding which patients’ lung immune systems are helpful and which are harmful, we may be able to help physicians pro-actively manage the most at risk-patients.”

Researchers will correlate positive and negative COVID-19 cases with clinical outcomes, and ultimately use this data to generate predictive algorithms related to morbidity and mortality. The aim is to use this predictive information to optimize health care delivery.

The research has received grants from the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund of the Ontario government, from the COVID-19 Innovation Challenge of Roche Canada, and from managed by the Thistledown Foundation in Canada.

“We’re looking for additional partners to collaborate with us in moving this research forward, as we believe there is an opportunity to develop diagnostic devices with this information,” said Hirota.

» Read More