Geoff Werstuck

Geoff Werstuck

PhD, McMaster University 1993
Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, and Medicine

Geoff.Werstuck@taari.ca

Geoff Werstuck received post-doctoral training at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Werstuck says his career interests have expanded over the years in what he describes as a “natural progression of things” as he moved toward more applied research with direct relevance to health-care.

Research Interests

Werstuck’s current research goal is to determine why people with diabetes have a significantly higher risk of dying from heart attacks and strokes than those without diabetes.

The last few decades have witnessed a worldwide increase in the incidence of diabetes.

Werstuck says there’s been a dramatic decrease in deaths due to heart attacks and strokes since the 1950’s, but he predicts a rebound in these numbers with the increase of people with diabetes.

This increase is driven by changes in lifestyle and an escalating rate of obesity, both of which mean the number of individuals with diabetes is expected to reach 366 million by the year 2030.

Therefore, the diabetes epidemic is, and will continue to be, a global health crisis.

Werstuck says this will be a huge problem for the Canadian health care system because there is no cure for diabetes, only treatment.

Complications associated with diabetes make it a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputations in adults as well as a leading cause of cardiovascular disease.

In fact, Werstuck says, over 75 per cent of people with diabetes will die of a heart attack or stroke. He says the treatment and prevention for this possibility is limited by a lack of understanding of how diabetes causes heart disease – a problem he and his laboratory are trying to fix.

To do this, Werstuck and his laboratory employs a broad range of experimental strategies and techniques, spanning from the study of individual molecules to people.

The specific goals of Werstuck's research are to:

  1. Identify how diabetes and high blood sugar levels affect the blood vessels to cause heart disease
  2. Develop drugs that protect blood vessels from high blood sugar.
  3. Test and improve these treatments so they can be used in people with diabetes

Werstuck has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. His research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and the Canadian Diabetes Association.

                                                                                     


For the McMaster Biochemistry Werstuck web page, click here.

For the McMaster Medicine Werstuck web page, click here.

Lab Profiles

Ji Zhou, MD, Research Associate
Jim Fredenburgh, PhD, Research Associate
Iqbal Jaffer, MBBS, MD Fellow, PhD
Tammy Truong, MSc, PhD Candidate
Vishal Patel, MSc Candidate
Alan Stafford, MSc, Research Assistant- Retired
Beverly Leslie, Research Assistant - Retired

Lab Profiles

Nima Vaezzadeh, PhD Candidate
Ran Ni, PhD Candidate
Shana Aadl Shaya, MSc Candidate

Lab Profiles

Dhruva Dwivedi, PhD, Research Associate
Ellen McDonald, Research Coordinator
Peter Grin, MSc Candidate
Neha Sharma, MSc Candidate
Nicole Zytaruk, RN, Research Coordinator

Lab Profiles

Kim Nagel, Clinical Research Coordinator
Helen Atkinson, Research Assistant
Netnapha Paredes, Research Assistant
Laura Calvert, MSc Candidate
Gabriela Chang, MSc Candidate
Sajjad Afraz, MSc Candidate