The GI program strongly supports resident research activity. Residents are supported throughout the entire process, from the development of an idea, through to grant application, execution, analysis, and ultimately publication and presentation. Our residents are encouraged to conduct research simultaneously with their other clinical responsibilities, and a research block has been introduced into the PGY5 year if additional protected time is required.
The Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit (GIDRU) at Queen’s University is internationally renowned as a leading centre for GI research. Residents directly benefit from the broad base of expertise and its researchers are proactive in recruiting residents for lab work. The GIDRU is a multidisciplinary group of investigators (8 MDs and 8 PhDs) all of whom are pursuing research related to gastrointestinal/hepatobiliary physiology and pathophysiology. Many projects are collaborative. Most investigators have postgraduate students from the basic sciences – a reality that enriches the research experience for trainees. The main themes include basic and clinical motility, neurophysiology, inflammation and repair and hepatic transport. Investigators routinely use animal models, cell cultures, isolated cell preparations, sophisticated imaging and molecular biology. GIDRU actively integrates with the GI Clinical Trials group (8 Staff). Trials include both in-house and pharmaceutically sponsored projects in IBD, liver disease, acid peptic diseases and motility. Research by trainees is facilitated by the Director of GIDRU who can assist in choosing a supervisor/mentor and project.
Trainees may choose to spend their elective time blocks entirely in pursuit of their research goals. In special circumstances trainees with a long-term interest in academic practice may be assigned additional protected time for research purposes. Trainees focused on clinical community-based careers are not expected to devote time to wet lab projects.
All research undertaken is at a level that should allow peer-reviewed publication. Selected trainees may elect to supplement their research training with courses offered by the university. Additional research support is available in the form of a Clinical Trials Group and the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group based at Queen’s. A biostatistician is also available to any trainee in the program for advice on trial/experimental design and interpretation.
Research is a key strength of the GI program; many of our graduates have had sophisticated research careers and now hold important academic appointments across North America.