Vanier Scholars

There were eleven Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships given to University of Calgary PhD students, two of which were secured by the McCaig Institute’s Kristen Barton and Dr. Claire Barber.

This national award is given to students whose research have great potential and who are seen as future world-class leaders in their fields.

PhD candidate Dr. Claire Barber is a rheumatologist whose research focuses on the development and testing of cardiovascular quality indicators for rheumatoid arthritis.  Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects 1% of the population and is a major cause of disability in Canada. Patients with RA have a substantially increased rate of death due to cardiovascular disease compared to the general population. Some of this is due to the effects of chronic inflammation although there is also substantial evidence that patients with RA are under-screened and managed for traditional cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and high cholesterol.  Claire has developed a set of 11 cardiovascular quality indicators through a rigorous process that involved an international panel of clinicians and experts. The prestigious Vanier scholarship will help her to continue her research and test her quality indicators in clinical practice and develop strategies for improving the quality of care for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. 

Kristen Barton is a MD and PhD candidate who was recognized as a program leader in the Medicine combined MD/PhD program. Kristen’s research is in joint injury and osteoarthritis development. Specifically, her project is in controlling inflammation after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and the impact on the development of osteoarthritis. Kristen is aiming to complete a residency program in orthopaedic surgery.