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Contact Information

Shawn Aaron, MD, FRCPC
613-737-8899 ext. 74729

Dr. Shawn Aaron
Professor, University of Ottawa
501 Smyth Road
Ottawa, ON
K1H 8L6

Phone: 613-737-8899 ext. 74729
Fax: 613-739-6807

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Research Activities

Dr. Aaron is Principal Investigator and Director of the Canadian Respiratory Research Network, a CIHR Emerging Network that is co-funded by CIHR, The Canadian Lung Association, and industry partners ($8 million in funding from 2013-2018).

Current Activities:
Dr. Aaron's team is currently conducting trans-Canadian studies examining under-diagnosis of asthma and COPD in Canadian communities.  The study will explore the prevalence and economic/health burden of undiagnosed airflow obstruction in Canadian communities and will implement treatment strategies to address the burden of undiagnosed obstructive lung disease.
Dr. Aaron is Principal Investigator and Director of The Canadian Respiratory Research Network, a CIHR Emerging Research Network whose goal is to bring together researchers across disciplines to work together in a coordinated fashion in order to improve understanding of the origins and progression of chronic airway diseases in Canada.

Previous Accomplishments:
Dr. Aaron has established and directed trans-national networks of investigators that have produced innovative clinical and health-services research studies in chronic lung disease. HIs research has had a significant impact on health policy decisions and has helped direct evidence-based clinical care.  
-A multicenter trial established that outpatient treatment with prednisone prevents relapse of acute exacerbations of COPD (Aaron, NEJM 2003).  This treatment recommendation was incorporated into Canadian and international (GOLD) COPD guidelines.
- A multicenter trial established that treatment with triple inhaled therapy improves outcomes in COPD patients (Aaron, Annals Int Med 2007). This treatment recommendation was incorporated into Canadian and international (GOLD) COPD guidelines.
- A Canadian/Australian trial proved that combination antibiotic susceptibility testing did not improve outcomes in CF exacerbations (Aaron, Lancet 2005). Funding for clinical synergy laboratories was withdrawn by the US and UK CF Foundations following study publication.
-A multicenter cohort study demonstrated that Canadian CF patients are infected with the Liverpool Epidemic Strain of P. aeruginosa, and that infection with this strain is associated with greater risk of death or lung transplant (Aaron, JAMA 2010). This study resulted in new infection control guidelines in the US and Canada with prohibition of attendance of CF patients at events.
- A multicenter Canadian study on over-diagnosis of asthma (Aaron, CMAJ 2008) was front page news in The Globe and Mail, National Post, and on both national nightly newscasts.  This study helped to establish guidelines for proper diagnosis of asthma in communities.
- A multicenter Canadian study established that adult asthma can commonly go into remission, and that many Canadian asthma patients no longer have active asthma and may be over-treated in the community (Aaron et al, JAMA 2017).

Related research exploring the microbiology of cystic fibrosis, and cystic fibrosis pulmonary exacerbations, has been published in the past several years in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, PNAS, Thorax, Journal of Clinical Microbiology, and the European Respiratory Journal.

Dr. Aaron is an expert on clinical trial design. In addition to his clinical research in COPD, asthma, and CF, he has co-authored papers related to methodologic issues in clinical trials, statistical methods for analysis of COPD exacerbation outcomes, use of decision aids for patients with lung disease, prevalence of obstructive lung disease in the community setting, and assessment of optimal use of lung function testing in the community and in a tertiary care setting.