About Us

Living with diabetes carries long-term health risks. These long-term risks are called complications and they include eye disease, kidney disease, nerve disease and heart disease. Kidney disease due to diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure and people with kidney disease are much more likely to also suffer from heart disease. The Advani Lab is committed to conducting research on the causes of kidney disease and heart disease. Through this research we aim to develop new and better treatments for diabetes and its complications, reducing the burden of the condition on the millions of people affected.

Our discovery research will take time before it can benefit the health of patients. But we're not willing to wait. Whilst we are working on the discovery of new treatments, we are looking at ways to improve the lives of people living with diabetes today. Our focus is on improving the lives of young adults living with Type 1 diabetes. We are doing this through interview-based research, peer support and educational videos, including our popular DiaBiteSize YouTube series.

Research

Our research program is focused on the discovery and development of new treatments for kidney disease and heart failure, especially kidney disease or heart failure caused by diabetes; and on improving the lives of people living with Type 1 diabetes today. To help us achieve these goals we have three research strands:

1) Understanding the roles that epigenetic processes play in kidney disease and heart failure.

2) Repurposing existing therapies and exploration of the glucose-independent effects of diabetes treatments.

3) Learning about the experiences of young adults living with Type 1 diabetes.

Research Interests

Our Research Interests include but are not limited to:

  • Diabetes complications
  • Diabetic kidney disease
  • Heart failure
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Epigenetics
  • Long non-coding RNAs
  • Histone modifications
  • Islet biology

Selected Research

Link to publications

News

9th August 2019

    Our paper describing the dysregulated expression but redundant function of the long non-coding RNA, HOTAIR in diabetic kidney disease has been published in the journal Diabetologia.

12th July 2019

    Our paper describing the differing perspectives of young adults living with Type 1 diabetes, first-authored by Ben Markowitz and conducted in collaboration with Dr. Janet Parsons has been published in JAMA Network Open.

10th July 2019

    The Advani Lab received a new 5 year Project Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for a project entitled "Reshaping the epigenetic landscape to improve outcomes after acute kidney injury".

4th July 2019

28th June 2019

    A very fond farewell to our great friend Tamadher Alghamdi after she successfully completed her PhD studies. We wish you all the very, very best, Tamadher.

1st June 2019

    A belated farewell to Bridgit Bowskill, who has been so important in helping our lab grow over the past several years. We wish you and your family all the best, Bridgit and thanks for all that you have done.

18th May 2019

    Congratulations to Ben Markowitz on winning the Whiteside Award from the University of Toronto Institute of Medical Sciences, awarded to a graduating MSc student who has made outstanding scholarly contributions.

26th April 2019

    Hearty congratulations to Tamadher Alghamdi on the successful defense of her PhD thesis.

17th December 2018

    Congratulations to Ben Markowitz on the successful defense of his Master's thesis. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours, Ben.

5th November 2018

    Congratulations to Ben Markowitz on winning the prize in clinical science at the St. Michael's Hospital Research Training Centre Research Day.

13th September 2018

    Our paper describing the epigenetic effects of histone phosphorylation on endothelial activation in diabetic kidney disease, first-authored by Tamadher Alghamdi, has been published in the journal, Diabetes.

5th September 2018

    Our article reviewing the actions of HDAC inhibitors in diabetic kidney disease, first-authored by Mitchell Hadden, has been published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

28th August 2018

    Our paper describing the opposing cardiac effects of DPP-4 substrates in young mice and aged diabetic mice, first-authored by Dr. Sri Batchu, has been published in the journal, Diabetes.

28th August 2018

    Congratulations to Dr. Veera Ganesh Yerra on being awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from Diabetes Canada.

7th August 2018

23rd June 2018

    Our paper entitled "Histones and heart failure in diabetes", first authored by Veera Ganesh Yerra, has been published in the journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences.

23rd June 2018

    Congratulations to Mitchell Hadden on receiving a Banting and Best Diabetes Centre-Novo Nordisk Studentship.

23rd June 2018

    Congratulations to Tamadher Alghamdi and Ben Markowitz on each receiving travel awards from the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre to present their research at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association.

23rd June 2018

    A belated congratulations to Bridgit Bowskill and her husband Andrew on the birth of their beautiful son, Alex.

23rd June 2018

    We wish Hana Klassen Vakili all the very best as she pursues new opportunities in the U.S..

11th May 2018

    Congratulations to Tamadher Alghamdi on winning the Laidlaw Manuscript Prize from the University of Toronto Institute of Medical Science.

27th March 2018

4th February 2018

    Our paper reporting the effects of HDAC6 inhibition, first authored by Angela Brijmohan, has been published in Frontiers in Pharmacology.

31st January 2018

    Our DiaBiteSize explainer video on diabetic ketoacidosis, created in partnership with Dr. Janet Parsons, has received a Special Commendation from the Institute of Human Development and Child and Youth Health of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

31st January 2018

    Congratulations to Mitchell Hadden on being awarded an SMH-LKSKI Scholarship.

11th December 2017

    Our paper describing how shifts in podocyte histone H3K27me3 regulate glomerular disease has been published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation. A great team effort led by our lab's great friends Syamantak Majumder and Karina Thieme.

18th November 2017

    Our paper examining the effects of SGLT2 inhibition in FSGS, conducted in partnership with Dr. David Cherney's group, has been published in the American Journal of Physiology- Renal Physiology.

30th October 2017

    Welcome to Veera Ganesh Yerra who has joined us as a new Post-doctoral Fellow.

15th October 2017

    Some changes in the lab over the past couple of months. Firstly, we say a sad farewell to Dr. Karina Thieme who has returned to Sao Paulo having completed her Research Internship Abroad. Karina- you are, and will continue to be, sorely missed. We also welcome Hana Klassen Vakili who has joined us as a new Post-doctoral Fellow and Mitchell Hadden who has joined us as a new graduate student. Welcome Hana and Mitchell!

21st July 2017

    Congratulations to Ben Markowitz, co-supervised by Dr. Janet Parsons, on receiving a Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology Award.

16th July 2017

    A heartfelt thank you to Diabetes Canada for awarding Andrew Advani a 5 year Diabetes Investigator Award. We look forward to continuing to work with you to find new ways to improve the lives of people with diabetes throughout Canada.

16th July 2017

    Today we bid a fond farewell to Angela Brijmohan as she leaves the lab to start medical school at Queen's University.

26th June 2017

    A very fond farewell to our lab's great friend Syamantak Majumder as he leaves to take up an Assistant Professor position back home in India.

26th June 2017

    Congratulations to Angela Brijmohan for successfully defending her Master's thesis.

26th June 2017

    Our paper entitled "EP4 inhibition attenuates the development of diabetic and non-diabetic experimental kidney disease", first authored by Karina Thieme, has been published online in Scientific Reports.

26th June 2017

    Aside from our fundamental work in the lab, we are actively involved in both patient engagement and knowledge translation. Together with Dr. Janet Parsons at St. Michael's Hospital we have created a video for patients about the risks, symptoms and treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis. Click here to view our first DiaBiteSize explainer video.

15th May 2017

    WE HAVE VACANCIES FOR POST-DOCS TO START IMMEDIATELY. The Advani Lab has received new grants from CIHR, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Kidney Foundation and Banting and Best Diabetes Centre totalling a little over $1M. We have vacancies for post-docs who wish to gain training in epigenetic mechanisms in kidney disease, heart failure or islet biology. Recent successes from our trainees include first authored papers in JASN (2016 & 2017) and Diabetes (2016); national research awards and fellowships; and independent faculty positions. Interested candidates should send a CV to advania@smh.ca.

19th April 2017

    Our paper entitled "Janus Kinase 2 Regulates Transcription Factor EB Expression and Autophagy Completion in Glomerular Podocytes", first authored by Tamadher Alghamdi, has been published online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

15th November 2016

    Some news updates from our lab over the past three months. In August, Karina Thieme joined us as a post-doctoral fellow visiting from Brazil for a year. Welcome Karina! In September, Ben Markowitz published an article in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes discussing the challenges faced by emerging adults with diabetes. In October, Sam Majumder published an article in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications reviewing the actions of VEGF in the diabetic kidney. Congratulations Ben and Sam!

5th August 2016

    Congratulations to Angela Brijmohan on being awarded a Queen Elizabeth II/Dr. Arnie Aberman Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology.

21st June 2016

    Congratulations to Angela Brijmohan on being awarded a Banting and Best Diabetes Centre-Novo Nordisk Studentship.

20th May 2016

    Congratulations to Angela Brijmohan on winning the Alan Wu Poster Competition at the University of Toronto, Institute of Medical Science Scientific Day.

17th May 2016

    We welcome Sarah McGaugh and Nikita Thakkar as new summer students and we send our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to Giuliana Guarna, a friend of the lab and previous summer student, who has been accepted into medical school at McMaster University.

14th May 2016

    Congratulations to Angela Brijmohan on winning the Best Abstract Award at the Canadian Society of Nephrology.

6th May 2016

    Our paper entitled "The therapeutic hope for HDAC6 inhibitors in malignancy and chronic disease" has been published in Clinical Science.

18th April 2016

    Congratulations to Tamadher Alghamdi and Angela Brijmohan on placing first and second in the St. Michael's Hospital Research Training Centre Oral Competition.

12th February 2016

    Our article describing the therapeutic effects of IP receptor agonism in diabetes has been published in the journal Diabetes.

3rd December 2015

    Tamadher Alghamdi presented her abstract on the regulation of endothelial-podocyte crosstalk in diabetes at the World Diabetes Congress in Vancouver.

2nd December 2015

    Andrew Advani was awarded the Dr. Charles Hollenberg Young Investigator Award (Basic Science) by the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

3rd November 2015

    Our article describing a role for the histone methyltransferase EZH2 in protecting podocytes from injury in diabetes has been published online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

22nd September 2015

    We welcome Ben Markowitz as a new MSc candidate.

12th September 2015

    Our article on the epigenetic regulation of podocyte function in diabetes in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications is available online.

20th August 2015

    Congratulations to Angela Brijmohan on being awarded a Queen Elizabeth II/Dr. Arnie Aberman Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology.

20th August 2015

    Congratulations to Sri Batchu on being awarded a Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence Fellowship Award.

14th July 2015

    Congratulations to Angela Brijmohan on being offered a Yow Kam-Yuen Graduate Scholarship in Diabetes Research from the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre.

2nd July 2015

    Congratulations to Syamantak (Sam) Majumder on being awarded a 3-year Post-doctoral Fellowship from the Canadian Diabetes Association

1st July 2015

    Congratulations to Sri Batchu on being awarded a 3-year Keenan Family Foundation KRESCENT Post-doctoral Fellowship

Funding

Research in the Advani Lab is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Kidney Foundation of Canada and Diabetes Canada.

Contact Us

The Advani Lab is always interested in hearing from highly motivated and accomplished individuals interested in post-doctoral fellowships or graduate studentships.

    Dr. Andrew Advani, 6-151, 61 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 2T2
  • Email: advania@smh.ca
  • Phone: 416-864-6060 Ext. 8413
  • Fax: 416-867-3696