Over $600 million in funding will support health researchers seeking to improve disease prevention and treatment, and strengthen healthcare for Canadians
CALGARY, July 28, 2015 /CNW/ - Top Canadian health researchers are receiving up to seven years of funding to tackle pressing health issues, such as cancer, autism, heart disease and dementia, thanks to an investment announced today by the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health.
Over $600 million is being awarded through 650 grants to researchers working at universities and hospitals across Canada. This includes the first 150 recipients of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Foundation Grants and recipients from the CIHR Open Operating Grants competition. Foundation Grants provide long-term support for Canada's research leaders to undertake innovative and high impact programs of research. The Open Operating Grants invest in research and knowledge translation projects across the full spectrum of health.
Together, these two programs support the best ideas proposed by Canada's health researchers. Recipients of these grants were selected through a rigorous peer-review process – the internationally accepted benchmark for ensuring quality and excellence in scientific research.
- The Government of Canada is the single largest contributor to health research in Canada, investing roughly $1 billion every year, primarily through grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
- Over $600 million is being awarded to support health researchers from across Canada, including researchers in Alberta whose work has the potential to change lives.
- The announcement complements other important Government of Canada investments in health research, including the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF). This $1.5 billion investment over the next decade will help Canadian post-secondary institutions excel globally in research areas, including close to $114M for Medicine by Design, a University of Toronto project aiming to realize the promise of stem cells to treat and cure degenerative diseases.
- Economic Action Plan 2015 also provided an additional $15 million per year to CIHR to expand the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research and support additional research to better understand and address the health challenges posed by anti-microbial resistant infections.
"Our Government understands the importance of investing in health research; the knowledge created and discoveries made provide us with the foundation for health innovations and the information necessary to make important improvements in healthcare. We are proud to support Canada's health researchers whose outstanding work is producing scientific breakthroughs and helping Canadians lead healthier lives."
Minister of Health
"Within each project lies the promise of a stronger and healthier future for us, for our children, and for our grandchildren. Thanks to the tireless work of health researchers, Canadians have access to better prevention strategies, better diagnostics, better treatments, better care, and – hopefully – even cures."
Minister of Health
"As MP for Calgary Centre, I am pleased to see all the great health research that is taking place right here in our city. The fantastic work being done, every day, to improve the health and well-being of children at the Alberta Children's Hospital, as well as in research institutions and hospitals all over the province, speaks to the incredible talent of our researchers and the value they bring in helping make Canada a stronger, healthier country."
Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre
"Canada is home to exceptional health researchers. Our new Foundation Grants will provide stable, long-term support to some of these top minds so that they have the time and resources needed to find new ways of preventing disease, managing chronic conditions and enhancing health care delivery. The investment being announced today means better prevention, better treatment, and better healthcare now and for future generations."
Dr. Alain Beaudet
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
"The new Foundation Grants and Open Operating Grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research are a tremendous investment in our leaders in health research. They not only support the outstanding academics and clinicians who help solve some of Canada's most critical health issues, they also support our emerging research stars. The University of Calgary is home to some of the world's leading experts in health research, especially in the areas of brain and mental health and infections, inflammation and chronic diseases. Our entire university community is honoured to be recognized by CIHR for our research excellence and to be among the first recipients of these new grants."
M. Elizabeth Cannon, PhD, FCAE, FRSC
President, University of Calgary
"The long-term support the CIHR Foundation grants provide optimizes opportunity for what research should be - taking the most promising, leading-edge ideas and making them happen."
Dr. Adam Kirton
CIHR Foundation Grant recipient
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Neurosciences
Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened health care system for Canadians. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 13,700 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
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The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is Canada's federal funding agency for health research. CIHR provides leadership and close to $1 billion in funding to support more than 13,700 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
As announced on July 28, 2015 by Minister of Health Rona Ambrose, over $600 million is being awarded through CIHR to support 650 health research projects and programs of research from across Canada. This includes the first 150 recipients of the new CIHR Foundation Grants which will provide long-term support for Canada's research leaders to undertake innovative and high impact programs of research.
Twenty-three of the Foundation Grants were awarded to new/early career researchers who have demonstrated high potential early in their research careers. The average total grant size of a Foundation Grant is of $2.7M over 5 to 7 years.
A total of 500 grants were also awarded from the CIHR Open Operating Grants competition which invests in research projects proposed by researchers across the full spectrum of health. Recipients of these grants were selected through a rigorous peer-review process. Over 1000 peer reviewers dedicated their time and expertise to review the research proposals.
These are examples of projects that will be carried out by grant recipients across the country:
- Dr. Janice Eng at the University of British Columbia will develop, evaluate and implement new treatments to improve the recovery and health of Canadians who are living with the effects of a stroke.
- Dr. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum at the University of Alberta will improve early detection, diagnosis and treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder.
- Dr. Tracie Afifi at the University of Manitoba will look for new ways to prevent child abuse and strengthen Canadian families.
- Dr. Yvonne Bombard at the University of Toronto will improve the evaluation of new genomic technologies and their adoption in clinical practice.
- Dr. Eric Boilard at Université Laval in Quebec City will explore the role of blood platelets in disease and identify targets for the development of new treatments for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Dr. Roy Duncan at Dalhousie University in Halifax will study proteins responsible for cell to cell fusion and their potential as tools for the development of new ways to treat disease or deliver medication.
SOURCE Canadian Institutes of Health Research
For further information: Media Relations, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 613-941-4563, [email protected]; Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200