Research at University Health Network
Technology Transfer
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Joseph A Fisher MD, FRCP(C)
Senior Scientist, Toronto General Research Institute (TGRI)
Keywords: cerebrovascular reactivity; cardiac output; breathing circuit design; treatment carbon monoxide poisoning; life support systems 

Research Interests
Over the last 15 years my laboratory has advanced the science of control of blood gases in spontaneously breathing and ventilated subjects. We have led the way in applying this to advance the understanding of cardio-respiratory physiology, and the control of brain blood flow. We have applied our technology and methods to magnetic resonance imaging as diagnostic tests that are capable of assessing the neurological and ocular vascular component of a number neurological and ocular diseases.

Our work has been translated to actual products to improve health. Examples of the latter are:
  • A small, inexpensive, easy to apply portable device that can eliminate carbon monoxide from the blood as fast as a hyperbaric chamber. The same principle applies to accelerate the elimination through the lungs of any volatile hydrocarbon including solvents, ethanol and inhaled anesthetics.

  • A small, 55 lb self-contained critical care and monitoring system currently used to provide life support to badly injured soldiers during initial resuscitation and evacuation

  • A precise, versatile anesthetic delivery module for civilian use, but sufficiently rugged to provide anesthesia outside the strict operating room environment (other hospital locations, or even outside in the field). Whereas most anesthetic machines weigh well in excess of 40 kg, our module weighs less than 3 kg.

I have a clinical background in my two specialties of anesthesiology and internal medicine. I have supervised approximately 25 graduate students and have authored or co-authored about 145 peer reviewed publications, have 30 issued patents and about a dozen patents pending related to the above mentioned, as well as other, areas.

Additional Appointments
  • Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada

  • Chief Scientist, Thornhill Research Inc.

Selected Publications

  • Measuring cerebrovascular reactivity: What stimulus to use? J. Fierstra, O. Sobczyk, A. Battisti-Charbonney, D.M. Mandell, J. Poublanc, A.P. Crawley, D.J. Mikulis, J. Duffin and J.A. Fisher. JPhysiol. Epub Nov 11, 2013 PMID 24081155

  • CO2 Blood Oxygen Level-dependent MR mapping of cerebrovascular reserve in a clinical population: safety, tolerability and technical feasibility. Spano VR, Mandell DM, Poublanc J, Sam K, Battisti-Charbonney A, Pucci O, Han J, Crawley, Fisher JA Mikulis DJ. Radiology 2012.

  • The in vivo oxyhaemoglobin dissociation curve at sea level and high altitude. Balaban DY, Fuffin J, Preiss D, Mardimae A, Vesely V, Slessarev M, Zubieta-Calleja MR, Greene ER, MacLeod DB, Fisher JA. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology. Jan 8 2013.

  • Non-invasive accurate measurement of PaCO2 in a pediatric animal model; implications for critical care. Fierstra J, Winter J.D., Machina M., Lukovich J, DuffinJ., Kassner A. Fisher J.A. J Clin Monit Comput. Oct 26, 2012.

  • Rapid elimination of CO through the lungs: coming full circle 100 years on. Fisher J.A. , Iscoe S., Fedorko L., Duffin J. Exp Physiol 2011 Dec;96(12):1262-9.

  • Increased lung clearance of isoflurane shortens emergence in obesity: a randomized colled study. Katznelson R., Naughton Fl., Friedman Z., Lei D., Duffin J., Fedorko L., Wasowicz M., Van Rensburg A., Murphy J., Fisher J.A. Acta Anaesth Scand. 2012 Sep;55(8):995-1001.

  • Exhausted Cerebral Auto-regulation is spacially associated with Cortical Thinning. Fierstra J, Poublanc J, Han JS, Silver F, Tymianski M, Crawley AP, Fisher JA, Mikulis DJ. J Neurol Nuerosurg Psych. 2010 Mar;81(3):290-3.
  Joseph A Fisher MD, FRCP(C)

Phone Numbers

Staff and Trainees
Marat Slessarev
David Preiss
George Volgyesi

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