Don Sin

Don Sin, MD, FRCPC

Associate Professor, Respiratory Medicine 
University of British Columbia
The James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research

Briefly, over the past 5 years, he has pursued two major themes in research: 1) systemic inflammation and its potential impact on the health outcomes of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) ; and 2) more recently, the growing health burden of COPD in women in Canada . His team's major findings to date are that: 1) systemic inflammation is present in COPD patients ( Thorax 2004), independently of cigarette smoking ( Chest 2005); 2) the intensity of the inflammatory process (especially serum C-reactive protein, CRP) is related to the severity of the underlying airflow obstruction (Circulation 2003) and related to the severity of the inflammation in the small airways ( Eur Resp J 2006); 3) systemic inflammation is related to future morbidity and mortality of COPD patients (Thorax 2006) and to cardiovascular complications and lung cancer (Circulation 2003; Chest 2005); 4) serum CRP is related to progression of dysplastic (precancerous) lesions in the airways ( Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2005); and systemic inflammation may be modulated by the use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) ( Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2004). They have also shown that ICS attenuates lung inflammation ( BMC Pulmonary 2005), reduces all-cause mortality ( Thorax 2005) and improves health status in COPD ( JAMA 2004).

Over the next five years, his research program will build upon these observations to address some major gaps in knowledge. The over-arching hypothesis of the program will be that women are more susceptible to COPD and lung cancer and that lung and systemic inflammation will be in large measure responsible for this excess risk . Additionally, He will collaborate with Drs. Paul Man, Peter Paré, Andy Sandford, Jim Hogg, Stephan Van Eeden and Harvey Coxson (all iCAPTURE and UBC Investigators) and Stephen Lam and Annette McWilliams (UBC investigators) to identify the precise components of inflammation responsible for the excess risk with the aim of developing novel therapeutic compounds to attenuate inflammation and improve health outcomes of COPD patients, especially in women.