New WHRI Grant Facilitation Services

The WHRI is excited to announce that we have partnered with the Research and Technology Development Office (RTDO) at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute to now offer grant facilitation support to WHRI members.  Our new grant facilitator, Amber Hui, has a Masters degree in Social and Personality Psychology from the City University of New York, and strong training in quantitative and qualitative methods. She is passionate about women’s health, and interested in the intersections of race, class, and gender for women. Amber has been working with the RTDO for two years, and is available to liaise with WHRI members and their teams in all aspects of the strategic planning of grants, identifying sources of funding, helping to form collaborations, and proposal development.

Please note that, given time constraints, priority will be given to WHRI members whose planned research is taking place on the Oak Street campus, or to members who do not receive grant facilitation support through their other institutions. Amber will be available to support other asks as time permits.

If you are interested in receiving grant facilitation support, or to find out more, complete the ‘Request for grant facilitation support’ form and return it to Kathryn Dewar at


BC population-based study examines the link between diabetes medications and the risk of endometrial cancer

It is well recognized that women with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer.  There are various pharmacotherapy options for diabetes, including metformin and thiazolidinediones, which reduce insulin levels (insulin-sensitizing drugs), and secretagogues, which increase circulating insulin levels.  As hyperinsulinemia is recognized as a risk factor for the development of endometrial cancer, it was hypothesized that metformin could be associated with a lower risk of endometrial cancer compared to other medication types among women with diabetes.  We conducted a population-based study linking prescription data from PharmaNet with endometrial cancer cases from the BC Cancer Agency.  We had data on over 150,000 women who had been prescribed at least one diabetic medication in British Columbia from 1996 to 2009, and 556 women diagnosed with endometrial cancer from 2000-2009.

This study found that those who were prescribed metformin alone or with other insulin-sensitizing drugs did not have a lower risk of endometrial cancer compared to other drug types.  The patients who had the highest risk were prescribed all four major classes of medications (metformin, thiazolidinediones, secretagogues, and insulin, odds ratio 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3.3).  This prescription history is in keeping with the poorest glycemic control, or the highest extent of insulin resistance, and this is likely the reason for the highest endometrial cancer risk, rather than the effect of any medication. This observation underscores the need to reduce the risk of diabetes in the first place, in order to circumvent other health consequences including endometrial cancer.

The full article can be found here:

Dr. Jan Christilaw appointed as Member to the Order of Canada

jan_christilaw_2We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Jan Christilaw has been appointed to the Order of Canada, which was announced by the Right Honourable David Johnston over the holidays. Dr. Christilaw has spent her career working to improve health outcomes and building capacity of health care providers here in BC, throughout Canada and the developing world. In fact, most recently, Dr. Christilaw contributed her efforts with a trip to Bolivia where she provided care and service in maternal and child health.

For her contributions, Dr. Christilaw will be appointed as a Member to the Order of Canada for her leadership in obstetrical care and international work to improve maternal health in developing countries. The Order of Canada is a distinguished honour that recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

Dr. Christilaw’s commitment to women’s health and newborn care is unparalleled and we are thrilled that she is among this eminent list of Canadians who will be feted as Canada turns 150. Congratulations, Dr. Christilaw, on your well-deserved recognition!

See the full list of recently announced Order of Canada appointments here:

Congratulations to Liz McClymont, Bernard Duval Bursary recipient, Dr. Money and the HPV in HIV Team!

We would like to congratulate Liz McClymont, a master’s student in Reproductive Sciences working with supervisor Dr. Deborah Money, for receiving the Bernard Duval Bursary for first place poster at the 2016 Canadian Immunization Conference, in Ottawa, Ontario.  Liz presented data from the “HPV in HIV Study”, reporting on cervical dysplasia and attributable HPV types in a cohort of women living with HIV.


Masters student Liz McClymont receives Duval award

WHRI Investigator, Dr. Deborah Money, publishes on the safety of and immune response to the HPV vaccine in HIV positive women

WHRI Investigator Dr. Deborah Money, leading the HPV in HIV Team, published in “Vaccine”!  The team reports on their national study of the HPV vaccine in women living with HIV.  The HPV vaccine was well-tolerated with promising indicators of effectiveness in preventing HPV infection and associated cervical cancer in women living with HIV.

WHRI researcher, Sarah Munro, spoke to CBC news about her latest findings

WHRI researcher, Sarah Munro, spoke to CBC news about her latest findings showing that more women in B.C. are choosing to have repeat Caesarean sections than women in other parts of Canada.

A stock photo of a newborn baby. New research suggests more women in B.C. are choosing to have repeat Caesarean sections, and not necessarily for health reasons. (nata-lunata/Shutterstock)
A stock photo of a newborn baby. New research suggests more women in B.C. are choosing to have repeat Caesarean sections, and not necessarily for health reasons. (nata-lunata/Shutterstock)

Follow the link to the full article: