Research for men’s health boosted through chair appointment

Funding allows for outside-the-box innovation to improve health and recovery.

Two new chair appointments for scientists at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute will provide opportunities to develop innovative approaches to men’s health issues and for spinal cord injury, helping to bring medical discoveries from bench to bedside.

Congratulations to Dr. Larry Goldenberg, CM, OBC, Vancouver Prostate Centre Director of Development and Supportive Care, who has been appointed to the inaugural Mohammad Mohseni Chair in Men’s Health VGH (Vancouver General Hospital).

Congratulations also to Dr. Brian Kwon, Director of Research for the Vancouver Spine Research Program and Associate Director of Clinical Research at the International Collaboration On Repair Discoveries (ICORD), who has been appointed as the inaugural recipient of the Marcel Dvorak Chair in Spine Trauma VGH.

Seventy per cent of chronic illnesses in men can be prevented by lifestyle behaviour changes earlier on in life

Dr. Larry Goldenberg, professor of urologic sciences at the University of British Columbia, wants men to understand that they are not invincible.

Part of Dr. Larry Goldenberg’s men’s health chair appointment will look at ways to engage men to pay attention to their lifestyle behaviours.

“There’s a great need to pay attention to men’s health in this country. One hundred years ago men and women had equal average lifespans but a century later there’s a gap between them,” explains Dr. Goldenberg. “Men don’t take care of themselves as well, they don’t tend to go to the physician as often, they take more hazardous jobs, and have more reckless behaviour and higher rates of suicide.”

One of the greatest challenges is effectively communicating health care messages to men. Part of Dr. Goldenberg’s men’s health chair appointment – the first of its kind in Western Canada and only the second in the country – will look at finding ways to engage men and help them pay attention to how their actions affect their health.

“We’re trying to keep it as simple as possible – the message isn’t complex,” says Dr. Goldenberg. “Don’t change much. You don’t have to make wholesale changes in your life. It’s the little things: eat a little bit more broccoli, take the stairs, park the car a little farther away.”

In addition to creating online health education and communication tools, Dr. Goldenberg will help develop a research consortium around the health care needs of men and work with national colleagues to create provincial and national databases on men’s health care needs.
Changing health behaviours, as simple as eating more vegetables, have the potential to reduce chronic diseases.

“I’m delighted, honoured, and privileged to be the first Mohammad Mohseni Chair in Men’s Health at Vancouver General Hospital,” he adds. “Mr. Mohseni is a wonderful man. He’s extremely generous and looking forward to seeing us develop our men’s health programs both clinical research and educational.”

Who We Are
VCH Research Institute comprises more than 1,500 personnel engaged in research in seven research centres, three research programs, and many evolving research areas. We are home to 700 principal investigators, as well as graduate and post-graduate trainees, conducting both clinical and discovery science. Our work creates technology transfer jobs and is fostering a new generation of knowledge and innovation leaders.

To house this diversity of research, we oversee approximately 350,000 square feet of research space within VCH. VCH Research Institute includes B.C.’s largest academic and teaching health sciences centres:

Vancouver General Hospital
UBC Hospital
GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre
VCH Research Institute also includes 7 community hospitals and health centres on the BC coast.


Reprinted from Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute website, www.vchri.ca