PHA Canada Announces the 2018 Mohammed Family PH Research Scholarship Award Recipient

PHA Canada is Pleased to Announce the 2018 Mohammed Family PH Research Scholarship Award Recipient


The Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Canada (PHA Canada) is pleased to announce that the second recipient of the Mohammed Family PH Research Scholarship is Dr. Ping Yu Xiong, a 3rd year Internal Medicine resident in the Department of Medicine and a PhD candidate in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences at Queen’s University’s Faculty of Health Sciences in Kingston (ON).

Scholarships of up to $10,000 are offered by PHA Canada to promote and support PH researchers in Canada. The Mohammed Family PH Research Scholarship is named to recognize the incredible contribution of the Mohammed Family to the Canadian PH community.

Picture1.pngDr. Ping Yu Xiong
Department of Medicine & Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queens University (Kingston, ON)

Under the supervision of:
Dr. Stephen L. Archer, Head of The Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University (Kingston, ON).

Dr. Ping Yu Xiong completed his Undergraduate Degree at the University of British Columbia in 2010 and Doctor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa in 2014. Subsequently, he went to Queen’s University in Kingston (ON) to continue his post-graduate medical training in Internal Medicine. There, he met Dr. Stephen L. Archer, Head of the Department of Medicine and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair with a special interest in oxygen sensors and regulators, and the development of experimental therapies for pulmonary hypertension (PH). After doing a research elective in Dr. Archer’s lab, Ping decided to pursue a research career in the PH field through the Clinician Investigator Program where Ping is now pursuing a PhD degree in addition to his residency training. He spends 80% of his time doing research and 20% doing clinical work. Since commencing his PhD study in September 2016, Ping has published three first author academic articles.

Ping is dedicated to finding new therapies to treat pulmonary hypertension and new ways to improve the diagnostic speed and accuracy for people living with PH.

Ping’s Project: Significance of Elevated Right Ventricular Systolic Pressure on Echocardiogram
Research team: Dr. Stephen L. Archer, Dr. Christine D’Arsigny, Dr. Zardasht Jaff, Dr. Don Thiwanka Wijeratne, Dr. Ping Yu Xiong, Queen’s University (Kingston, ON)

Echocardiograms can estimate right heart pressure, which can in turn be used to calculate pulmonary pressure, but the results may not be very accurate. Indeed, to accurately measure blood pressure in the pulmonary circulation, a right heart catheterization needs to be performed. This is an invasive procedure involving passing a catheter through the right atrium and ventricle into the pulmonary artery. If the mean pulmonary arterial pressure is >= 25 mmHg, the diagnosis of PH can be made. As a result, PH is difficult to diagnose and the diagnostic process can take months, if not years. Furthermore, due to limited research in this field, there is a lack of effective therapies and PH remains a deadly illness. More research is needed in this field, and below is one of the projects that I am currently working on.

Our project examines PH patients who have had an echocardiogram done between 2013 and 2016. By studying these patients’ echocardiogram results—specifically the right ventricular systolic pressure—their clinical history, and laboratory investigations, we are hoping to gain a better understanding of the echocardiographic, clinical, and laboratory profile of patients with PH vs. patients without PH.

Knowledge gained from this study could improve clinicians’ ability to recognize the presence of pulmonary hypertension, thus speeding up the diagnosis and treatment process for this illness.


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