PACE program adds new site co-lead in Calgary

By Rasheed Clarke

Dr. Cynthia Seow brings a wealth of experience in inflammatory bowel disease research to the program’s centre at the University of Calgary
Since its creation in 2016, the Promoting Access and Care through Centres of Excellence (PACE) network’s Calgary site has focused on developing clinical care pathways for healthcare professionals to help patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis manage flare-ups while minimizing the repeated use of steroids. That work of limiting steroid use, and the potential side effects of steroids, will be furthered by the addition of Dr. Cynthia Seow to the PACE team as the new Calgary site co-lead.
“Dr. Seow will no doubt be an asset to the PACE team, and we’re grateful to have her insight and understanding of Crohn’s and colitis to help further our research,” says Mina Mawani, President and CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.
Dr. Seow completed both medical school and specialized training in internal medicine and gastroenterology in Australia, and followed that with a two-year clinical research fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital, concurrent with a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology at the University of Toronto.
She has been a part of the University of Calgary since 2009, holding a combined clinical and research position. Her research has focused on the pharmacokinetics of biologic IBD therapies, and materno-fetal outcomes in IBD. Dr. Seow also currently runs the University of Calgary’s IBD pregnancy clinic, which provides preconception counselling and follow-up care for pregnant women living with Crohn’s or colitis.
The placement of Dr. Seow as Calgary site co-lead was aided by Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s Women in IBD initiative, which aims to identify gaps in the IBD field where highly qualified female experts are underrepresented.
“We want to ensure that women specializing in Crohn’s and colitis are given the chance to expand their work and to bring their unique perspectives for the benefit of everyone impacted by inflammatory bowel disease,” says Kate Lee, VP of Research and Patient Programs at Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.
The work carried out by Dr. Seow and her colleagues at the University of Calgary will be shared with healthcare professionals across the PACE network.
“Dr. Seow and Dr. Panaccione will help us expand the clinical care pathway program in Alberta to other provinces, so we can bring consistent, high-quality care to IBD patients across Canada,” says Dr. Geoff Nguyen, PACE network lead and clinician scientist at Mount Sinai Hospital.
To learn more about the PACE network and its sites across Canada, visit

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 150 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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