Dr. Cheryl Barnabe

2014 Young Investigator Award

Dr. Cheryl Barnabe has established a successful program in epidemiology and health services research on the topic of arthritis in indigenous populations, as well as a new imaging technology for monitoring bone damage in rheumatoid arthritis.

Since her start on Faculty at the University of Calgary in 2012, she has won eight peer-reviewed grants as principal investigator from such diverse agencies as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions, The Arthritis Society (TAS), Canadian Initiative for Outcomes in Rheumatology Care (CIORA), and the MSI Foundation; she is likewise a co-investigator on another six grants. She has 31 publications, mostly as first author. Cheryl has developed faculty-wide, national, and international research collaborations, and supervises multiple undergraduate students and three PhD candidates.

Cheryl’s dedication to indigenous health has not faltered since her medical school training in Manitoba. She has developed meaningful research collaborations with the Chiefs and Elders of several Alberta communities, and provides rheumatology clinical services in both rural and urban First Nations communities. She is also an Executive Committee member of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Indigenous Health Advisory Committee.

Her graduate thesis work was in the adoption of a novel imaging technology to quantify bone damage in rheumatoid arthritis. In 2011, she founded an international research collaboration called SPECTRA to advance the validation work of this technology, which now brings together 11 labs from North America, Europe, South America and Asia. They have been awarded “Study Group” status at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), and are being mentored for international recognition as a new outcome measure in rheumatology trials through Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT).

In 2013, Cheryl was awarded with the CRA (CIORA) and The Arthritis Society (TAS) Clinician Investigator salary Award, the Associate Dean’s Letter of Excellence for Undergraduate Medical Education Teaching at the University of Calgary, and the Young Faculty Award for Excellence in Research from the CRA.

As such, the CRA is proud to honour Cheryl with the Young Investigator Award for her tremendous efforts.