Team Members


Von der Weid Soles
Leading the provincial research team are Dr. Pierre-Yves von der Weid (University of Calgary), who brings extensive basic science expertise in the area of the lymphatic system, and Mr. Ian Soles (Edmonton), expert in Combined Decongestive Therapy, with over twenty years of clinical experience in treating lymphedema.



In Calgary, investigators include:



Dr. John Conly, Director of Infection Prevention and Control, Alberta Health Services, has extensive experience in investigating and managing infections in lymphedema patients.






Dr. Paul Kubes, Director of the Snyder Institute who brings knowledge in the basic research of the immune system in human disease.






Dr. Shan Liao of the Snyder Institute, recently recruited from Harvard, has developed a murine model allowing real-time intravital imaging of the lymphatic system, which helped her to confirm in vivo the central role of nitric oxide in the suppression of normal lymphatic contraction during inflammation.


In Edmonton, investigators include:

Christopher Cairo


Dr. Christopher Cairo in the Department of Chemistry and a Principal Investigator in the Alberta Glycomics Centre uses fluorescent labelling methodologies to improve mechanistic understanding of cell membrane biology and the immune response.





Dr. Richard Fedorak, former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta, was a recognized international expert in gastrointestinal inflammatory disorders and had utilized the science of metabolomics to develop novel urine and blood-based diagnostics and biomarkers for a number of disorders. Richard passed away on November 8, 2018, having seen the establishment of the endowed chair in lymphatic disorders under his leadership.





Dr. John Lewis of the Department of Oncology utilizes nanoparticles as tools for real-time intravital imaging of the vascular system.






Dr. Liang Li of the Chemistry Department works on developing analytical mass spectrometry for proteomics, metabolomics and lipidomics. He is interested in applying sensitive analytical tools for large scale quantitative metabolomic, lipidomic and proteomic profiling of biofluids including lymph, interstitial fluid, sweat, blood and urine for disease biomarker discovery.




Dr. Jaggi Rao of the Department of Medicine is a Board-Certified Dermatologist and full Clinical Professor. He is the Medical Director of the Alberta DermaSurgery Centre and a consultant for the Salutaris Lymphedema Centre.






Dr. Gita Sharma leads the Indigenous and Global Health Research Group (IGHRG), following a multi-disciplinary approach. Her focus has been on assessing diet-disease associations and the prevention of chronic diseases through dietary and lifestyle intervention.





Dr. Jonathan Veinot of the Department of Chemistry designs and prepares well-defined non-toxic silicon and silica nanomaterials with tailorable fluorescent and chemical properties. These materials have been used in proto-type drug delivery, fluorescent imaging of breast cancer cells, as well as contrast agents for MRI.





Dr. David Wishart, Director of the Metabolomics Innovation Centre, an expert in metabolomics, nanobiology and bioinformatics, is interested in developing novel metabolite biomarkers of vascular disease and exploring the functional role of the lymphatic vasculature in fat metabolism.




Dr. Jiang Yin, Program Manager. Working closely with the team to achieve the province-wide goals of the research program, Dr. Yin is responsible for helping to develop the strategic plan, implementing the ALNET vision and mission, advancing research and innovation activities and expanding ALNET’s relationships with patients, health care professionals and stakeholders in industry, academia and government.



Kipnes Kay Fields
A Scientific Advisory Board has been established to provide strategic guidance on the development, progression and knowledge translation of the program. This group includes Dr. Dianne Kipnes, a psychologist, philanthropist, and herself a lymphedema patient, and Dr. Cyril Kay and Dr. Anthony Fields, who bring extensive experience in basic research and clinical care, respectively. Dr. Cyril Kay is one of Canada’s foremost protein biochemists and has been involved in various capacities with a number of provincial initiatives including the Alberta Health Research Strategy and the Alberta Science and Research Authority. Dr. Kay is the former Vice President, Research for the Alberta Cancer Board and developed an integrated Cancer Research Program for Alberta. Dr. Anthony (Tony) Fields, after a long career as a medical oncologist and senior health administrator with the Alberta Cancer Board and Alberta Health Services (AHS), is currently Chair of AHS’s Provincial Advisory Council on Cancer and Chair of the Health Quality Council of Alberta.