- Demonstrating International and National Research Leadership
Scientists and clinicians in Western's Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology:
- Pioneered the use of ultrasound to monitor fetal movement activity, which is a measure of health during pregnancy
- Pioneered the use of surfactant to save the lives of premature babies by assisting their lung function
- Delineated the importance of peptide growth factors in the fetus and placenta in normal fetal growth–important in the management of intrauterine growth restriction
- Discovered the role of prostaglandins in the process of normal and premature childbirth contributing to the creation of drugs to inhibit premature labour
- Developed molecular techniques to identify the strains of bacteria causing infections in premature infants
- Investigated conditions during pregnancy and labour that give rise to urinary incontinence and voiding disorders
- Introduced a new minimally-invasive technique for laparoscopic entry which has been adopted as a National Guideline for Canada and other countries
- Pioneered novel ways to treat uterine tumours without the need for hysterectomy
- Were the first in Canada to do robotically assisted hysterectomy through a tiny incision
- Were the first in Canada to do robotically-assisted cancer surgery
- Were the first in Canada to treat excessive uterine bleeding not responsive to hormonal manipulation, without the need for hysterectomy
- Were the first in Canada to do laser laparoscopic treatments for endometriosis
- Are world leaders in researching ethical issues regarding access to cancer prevention strategies, informed choice in genetic testing, public participation from in-health policy making
We have 40 faculty, including basic researchers, who focus on new discoveries, social scientists, who focus on ethical and social issues, and clinical scientists who practice medicine and translate their research findings into practice standards and treatments, all of which enable us to put everything we know into use to improve patient care.
Our proportion of basic and social scientists is the highest in the country. These basic and social scientists work in interdisciplinary research teams, which include clinicians, who are dedicated for the majority of their time to providing patient care. The result of this collaboration is that they develop a first-hand understanding of clinical care issues and learn what requires more basic research. This approach is making us world leaders in the bench-to-bedside approach to research in women's health.
Together, last year our faculty published 68 research papers in leading scientific journals and have been successful in obtaining significant funding from biomedical funding agencies.