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  • Overview
  • 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
  • Oral presentation via Zoom, Poster presentation via VoiceThread.

Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (TGHRI) is excited to announce its annual Research Day, to be held virtually on Wednesday November 4th, 2020.  This year’s theme will be "Ongoing COVID-research at TGHRI".

This year's keynote speaker will be:
Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Privacy-Preserving Technologies, and Associate Professor, Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management and the Director of Research, Social Media Lab, Ryerson University.  Dr. Gruzd will be presenting “Inoculating Against an Infodemic: COVID-19 News, Social Media, and Misinformation”.

This event is a celebration of TGHRI achievements in basic and clinical research and it is an opportunity to promote interdepartmental and cross pillar collaborations among researchers.  TGHRI Research Day is open to all TGHRI Scientists, Clinician Scientists, trainees and staff.  Aside from keynote presentation and presentations by TGHRI Scientists featuring their ongoing COVID-research, participants will learn about the ongoing research at TGHRI through trainee poster presentations.  As in previous years, the first round of poster judging will take place prior to Research Day.  TGHRI faculty and leadership team will grade the posters and audio presentations online.  Highest rank presentations will be asked to give a 1-min flash presentation of their work during Research Day, and the winners will be presented with an award.  Posters and audio presentations will be available for online viewing starting November 2 until December 4.

Important Dates:

Now - October 19: Registration open
October 19:

e-Poster and 3-min voiceover presentation submission due
(*e-Poster and voiceover presentation submission are part of the registration process.  You will receive an email invitation from VoiceThread within 24 hrs of your registration to create & upload your work.)

October 19 - 25: VoiceThread website open for poster judges to launch work
October 26: Poster judges to submit evaluation
October 27 - 28: Selected 1-min flash presenters notified
October 30: Trainees to record flash presentation with the help of AV team
November 2 - December 4:       VoiceThread website open to all viewers to launch work 

*Please note online registration is mandatory.

TGHRI Research Day 2020 is organized by the TGHRI Directorate Office.  Please contact Cathy Chau at with any questions.


Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd

Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
Anatoliy Gruzd is a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Privacy-Preserving Technologies, and Associate Professor, Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management and the Director of Research, Social Media Lab at Ryerson University. Dr. Gruzd is also a Member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, a co-editor of a multidisciplinary journal on Big Data and Society, and a founding co-chair of the International Conference on Social Media and Society.

As an inter- and multidisciplinary computational social science researcher, Dr. Gruzd’s research broadly explores how social media platforms are changing the ways in which people and organizations communicate, collaborate, disseminate information, conduct business and form communities online, and how these changes impact society. 

Dr. Gruzd’s expertise lies in studying online communities and social networks, and developing new computational methods and tools to study public discourse on social media sites in a wide variety of domains. For example, one of the social media research tools that he has developed, Netlytic, is currently being used by thousands of researchers and students around the world every year.

Inoculating Against an Infodemic: COVID-19 News, Social Media, and Misinformation  

False narratives about COVID-19 have gone global and are spreading almost as fast as the virus itself. Since Canada’s first presumptive positive case was announced on January 25, there have been over 5,000 false and unproven COVID-19 related claims shared via social media and other channels. The presentation will discuss how researchers at Ryerson University’s Social Media Lab, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), are spearheading an international effort to help stem the rise and counter COVID-19 misinformation via the COVID-19 Misinformation Portal. Gruzd will also share highlights from the Lab’s recent News, Social Media, and Misinformation Survey and insights from the analysis of COVID-19 false claims that are currently making the rounds online.



1320-1340 “A New Twist on an Old Antiviral: Interferon Lambda for the Treatment of COVID-19 with Early Results from the ILIAD Trial”

Interferons make up a key first-line defense against viral pathogens. Although Type I interferons (alpha/beta) have been used for years to treat hepatitis and other viral infections, systemic toxicity has limited their uptake. Interferon lambda, a Type III interferon, drives a similar antiviral response to interferon alpha/beta but uses a different receptor with a much more limited tissue distribution. Trials in hepatitis B and C infections have shown that interferon lambda has similar antiviral activity but a better side effect profile than Type I interferons. Pre-clinical studies have shown that interferon lambda is highly effective in respiratory viral infections as a preventative or therapeutic approach with no risk of promoting the cytokine storm syndrome. We evaluated peginterferon lambda in ambulatory patients with mild-moderate COVID-19 and will present initial study results. 

Jordan Feld, MD, MPH
·“CANCOV: Canadian COVID-19 Prospective Cohort Study”

The Canadian COVID-19 Prospective Cohort Study (CANCOV) is the first Canadian study to provide a comprehensive evaluation of early to 1-year outcomes in patients with COVID-19 and their family caregivers. This study will encompass the full spectrum of COVID-19 disease, their varied clinical trajectories and associated clinical risk factors. It will also provide the scaffold for rapid knowledge to action (K2A) cycles to improve the care of these patients, inform health care resource planning, and deliver data and tools for policy makers.

We plan to recruit 2000 (1000 non-hospitalized and 1000 hospitalized) adult patients and 500 family caregivers from the four hardest hit provinces in Canada: Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. This project is built on the GEMINI and RECOVER program networks. Our interdisciplinary investigator group comprised of clinicians from different specialties, basic and translational scientists, outcomes and health services researchers, and exercise/ nutrition / rehabilitation specialists, has come together to create CANCOV, a research platform grounded in a prospective longitudinal 1- year cohort study of patients infected with COVID-19.

The cohort will provide the foundation for a suite of 5 complementary studies. Project 1: Host Genetic Profiling: Identification of host genetic variation associated with severe disease among hospitalized patients with COVID-19, with particular emphasis on those genes used for viral entry to the host. Project 2: The Transcriptomic, Epigenomic and Immunologic host response to COVID-19: Profiling of the transcriptomic, epigenomic and immunologic response of the host to COVID-19 in infected individuals. Project 3: Sociodemographic and Clinical Profile on Short-term Outcomes: Identification of the sociodemographic and clinical risk factors that are associated with poor short-term outcomes. Project 4: One-Year Clinical, Functional, Mental Health, Quality of Life and Healthcare Utilization Outcomes for COVID-19 Survivors and Caregivers: (1) Characterization of  physical, functional, neuropsychological, HRQoL, pattern and cost of health care utilization outcomes in COVID-19 survivors and family caregivers at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after hospital/ICU discharge (2) Identification of clinical risk factors and their association with 1-year outcomes. Project 5: Using AI to better understand Prognosis and Predictors of Poor Outcomes in patients across the COVID-19 infection spectrum: Development of prediction models for short-term and long-term outcomes in patients with COVID-19.

The CANCOV Program will provide the essential scaffolding upon which to fully characterize the multi- organ morbidity of COVID-19 infection in patients across the spectrum of illness, its impact on families and the unique multi-omic evaluation of associated risk factors.

Angela Cheung, PhD, MD, FRCPC and

Margaret Herridge, MSc, MPH, MD, FRCPC



1410-1430 “Antithrombotic Therapy to Ameliorate Complications of COVID-19: The ATTACC Randomized Trial”

Endothelial injury as a consequence of SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to a dysregulated host inflammatory response and activation of coagulation pathways. Macro- and micro-vascular thrombosis contributes to morbidity, organ failure and death. Therapeutic anticoagulation may improve clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 through anti-thrombotic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral activities of heparins.

Patrick Lawler, MPH, MD, FRCPC
1430-1450 “Novel Technologies to Assess Lung Function: Implications for Improved Patient Care”

The talk will provide a short outline of respiratory oscillometry and its potential utility for identification of early graft function following lung transplant and prognosis in disease severity in chronic lung disease.

Chung-Wai Chow, PhD, MD, FRCPC


1555-1615 "Strategies to Support Patient/Caregiver Mental Health while Waiting for Procedures Delayed by COVID-19: A Scoping Review"

Many patients worldwide are waiting for procedures delayed by the focus of resources on COVID-19. Waiting may cause anxiety, which can manifest physically and worsen other aspects of mental health. This study aimed to synthesize published research on the impact of waiting, determinants of impact, and strategies to support mental health among wait-listed patients and caregivers. We conducted a scoping review. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, SCOPUS, AMED, PsychInfo, Sociological Abstracts, the Cochrane Library, and Joanna Briggs Database from 2010 to July 8, 2020 for studies about mental health and waiting for procedures. We included 51 studies published from 2010 to 2019 in 19 countries that focused on organ transplant (60.8%), surgery (21.6%) or cancer diagnosis/treatment (13.7%). Most patients reported anxiety, depression and poor quality of life, which deteriorated with increasing wait time. Few studies involved caregivers (15.7%), who had similar depression and greater anxiety compared with patients. The impact of waiting on mental health was greater among women and new immigrants, and those of younger age, lower socioeconomic status, or with less-positive coping ability or longer wait times. Lack of provider communication about wait times eroded trust in the healthcare system. Six studies evaluated educational strategies to develop coping skills: 2 studies reduced depression (2 did not), 1 study reduced anxiety (2 did not) and 2 studies improved quality of life (2 did not). In contrast, patients desired acknowledgement of concerns by providers, peer support, and periodic communication about waitlist position, prioritization criteria, and anticipated procedure date. Findings highlight the need to support mental health among wait-listed patients and caregivers during the current pandemic and beyond using strategies they recommended. Ongoing research should explore how to optimize the impact of those strategies for diverse patients and caregivers.


Anna Gagliardi, PhD
“Ontario's Response to COVID-19: Balancing Trade-offs and Improving Outcomes for all Ontarians” 

Supporting stakeholders with timely evidence has a direct and immediate impact on their decision-making and population health in the short-and long-term. 
This talk will provide an overview of a suite of COVID-19 models developed by the COVID-19 Modeling Collaborative, that have supported Ontario decision-making to date with a focus on Ontario’s acute care system, including predicting ICU occupancy, medication and PPE demand as well as estimating adverse health outcomes from restricting elective surgeries during the first wave.  

Beate Sander, RN, MBA, MEcDev, PhD

Please see TGHRI Research Day agenda below.
Finalized Agenda_Nov 4, 2020.pdf
- last updated on November 4, 2020

Please refer to step-by-step instructions to submit an e-Poster and record your 3-minute voiceover presentation here.

Special thanks to our sponsors who make this event possible




Click here to check out Adaptive biotechnologies' ePoster.  
Click here to download the BD Biosciences COVID-19 e-book .    

Research Day comments and inquiries:
Cathy Chau, TGHRI Research Business Administrator – 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 - 13:00 to 17:00