CIHR Clinician-Investigator Team

Dr. McDonald is pleased to contribute to a CIHR Clinician-Investigator Team with Dr. Beth Murray-Davis, co-Principal Investigator (MW, PhD, McMaster), and other co-Principal Investigators Drs. Nir Melamed (MFM, Sunnybrook) and Howard Berger (MFM, St Michael’s).

PIs mentors RAs RC DOH Net 2018

The CIHR-funded McMaster-University of Toronto team grant includes:

Karizma (RC), Dr. Joel Ray (Mentor), Dr. Haroon Hassan (analyst), Dr. Nir Melamed (co-Principal Investigator), Dr. Beth Murray-Davis (co-Principal Investigator), Dr. Howard Berger (co-Principal Investigator), Dr. Sarah McDonald (Mentor), and 2 of our great research assistants.

Congratulations Dr. Grabovac!

Congratulations to Dr. Grabovac who had two more opportunities for Knowledge Translation of the team’s research findings recently with the publication of her letter to the editor, “Making it more safe for periviable infants” in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, as well as the acceptance of a third publication! Congratulations, Dr. Grabovac, on continuing to work with such passion and excellence to improve the health of women and infants! Your hard work is paying off!

Her letter to the editor is available at:

Congratulations to our presenters!

Several team members had the great opportunity to for knowledge translation of our research findings with presentations at the Canadian National Perinatal Research Meeting on February 14-17, 2018 in Banff, Alberta. Congratulations to:

  • Dr. Marinela Grabovac on her oral presentation: “Interventions to try to prevent preterm birth in women with a history of conization: a systematic review and meta-analyses”20180216_221054
  • Dr. Catherine Dagenais on her poster presentation: “What is the safest mode of delivery for extremely preterm cephalic/non-cephalic twin pairs? A systematic review and meta-analyses”IMG_4121
  • Kristen Viaje on her poster presentation: “A clinical care pathway for obese pregnant women: a pragmatic pilot cluster randomized controlled trial”29746349_2022145964669963_1559960473_o-e1522167688228.jpg

Their conference abstracts are available at:

Congratulations also to Julianne Feng on her poster presentation “Mode of Birth for extremely preterm vertex singletons: systematic review and meta-analysis” at the Bachelor of Health Science Poster Day 2018 on March 26.


Thank you all for your work on knowledge translation of our research findings!

Fall Presentations

Dr. McDonald enjoyed presenting a talk and workshop at the national Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) Continuing Medical Education (CME) 2017 entitled “Little BIG Talk: Progesterone and preterm birth” Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) Continuing Medical Education (CME) 2017. November 30, 2017. Toronto – ON and “Progesterone and preterm birth: Workshop”. Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) Continuing Medical Education (CME) 2017. November 30, 2017. Toronto – ON.

Dr. McDonald was pleased to give other presentations this fall:

“Evidence for progesterone in women with a previous PTB, or current short cervixSouthern Ontario Obstetrical Network (SOON) Alliance for the Prevention of Preterm Birth and Stillbirth (The Alliance), Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, November 28, 2017 – Toronto, ON

“Progesterone for Prevention of Preterm Birth”. Family Medicine Forum (FMF) 2017, The College of Family Physicians of Canada. November 10, 2017 – Montreal, QC. (national conference)

“Revisiting Antenatal Corticosteroids: Tailoring the Timing and Use of a Powerful Drug”. McMaster University, Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynecology Grand Rounds, McMaster University Medical Centre, November 1, 2017 – Hamilton, ON

As a member of the External Advisory Committee, Dr McDonald enjoyed participating in the Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System meeting in Ottawa Nov 21-22, 2017.

Welcome Dr. Michael Yu!

We warmly welcome Dr. Michael Yu to the team, who has joined us as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Perinatal Predictive ModelingDr. Yu has a medical degree from Tianjin Medical University in China, and a MPH and PhD from the University of Eastern Finland.

He brings a great depth of research experience and we look forward to working together to improve the health of women and infants!

Welcome Dr. Lina Santaguida!

Welcome Dr. Lina Santaguida !  

Dr. Santaguida is an Assistant Professor in McMaster’s Department of Research Methods, Evidence & Impact and will be joining the team.

Beyond a PhD from U of T, she has vast experience in methodology in systematic review, successful grants with CIHR, AHRQ and other agencies, ‘real world’ research experience including management of large projects, and a host of other skills.

A very warm welcome, Lina!  We look forward to working together with you to improve the health of women and infants! 

“Researchers find best strategy to prevent chronic lung disease in preterm infants”

The study “Association of Noninvasive Ventilation Strategies With Mortality and Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Among Preterm Infants: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis” was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in August 2016. This study was co-authored by Dr. Sarah McDonald, the originator of the study, and Dr. Tetsuya Isayama, the lead author.

Together, they compared different ventilation strategies in order to determine how to best ventilate preterm infants and concluded that Less Invasive Surfactant Administration (LISA) was the best.

The study was featured in several online news sites:

  1. Medscape- Reuter Health Information:
  2. Medical Xpress:
  3. Hamilton Spectator:
  4. Clinical Advisors:
  5. Deutsches Ärzteblatt:
  6. McMaster University:


Article: Isayama T, Iwami H, McDonald S, Beyene J. Association of noninvasive ventilation strategies with mortality and bronchopulmonary dysplasia among preterm infants. A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2016;316(6):611-624; doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.10708