Dr. Stephen Lye < Back Next >
WHO: Associate Director of Research and Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld; Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary Chair in Women's and Infants' Health Research; Scientific Co-Chair of the Centre of Excellence in Women’s and Infants’ Health of Mount Sinai Hospital.
WHAT: Dr. Lye is a recognized leader in the field of women’s and infants’ health. His research holds promise for a new understanding of preeclampsia, a leading global cause of maternal and infant illness and death.
Dr. Lye’s lab is also leading the way in pre-term labour insights. Pre-term birth is a serious clinical problem associated with high newborn death and disease rates, and its numbers are increasing worldwide. Doctors can’t tell whether a woman is experiencing false or true pre-term labour, but Dr. Lye has been working on a diagnostic test to distinguish one from the other. Once it meets regulatory approval, this test will have a significant impact on patient care, preventing unnecessary hospitalization costs and negative impact on fetal health. (Drugs given to stop labour can have damaging side effects when, as is often the case, they are not needed.)
Dr Lye has also joined an Australian study investigating the developmental origins of health and disease. This project recruited 3,000 pregnant women, recorded their birth parameters and has followed their offspring for 16 years, studying a range of factors, including growth, physiology and psychosocial development. Dr. Lye will be genotyping the children and the parents – a process that will reveal important data about the complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors involved in health and susceptibility to illness.
WHY: In spite of significant medical advances in the past 40 years, there has been no reduction in the incidence of pre-term birth, even though it is associated with high newborn death and disease rates and with significant cognitive and behavioural problems in children and youth. There is compelling evidence that sub-optimal conditions for early development and pre-term birth are linked with risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity and depression in adulthood.
A better understanding of the complex genetic and environmental factors involved in pregnancy and birth will have a significant impact on Canadian health care by minimizing neonatal death and disability and improving lifelong health.
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