"This flu network speaks to the very core of the Public Health Agency of Canada's mandate to protect Canadians from the threat of emerging diseases," says Dr. David Butler Jones, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, "Supporting this initiative in partnership with CIHR gives us all an ideal mechanism to learn more about influenza in Canada and how to improve our responses to current and future outbreaks."
Minister Aglukkaq also announced funding to support the work of two national pandemic outbreak research teams:
Dr. Guy Boivin at Universit Laval and his team will work with a national team to track the evolution of the H1N1 flu virus, evaluate its susceptibility to antiviral drugs, and identify new potential therapeutic compounds to combat viral resistance.
Dr. Babak Pourbohloul at the University of British Columbia and his team will work with the Canadian Consortium for Pandemic Preparedness Modelling to create mathematical models to rapidly analyze the transmission and spread of the influenza virus and evaluate the effectiveness of various public health intervention strategies.
The work of these teams will help public health officials across Canada in their efforts to plan, design and evaluate interventions to address the virus and protect the health of Canadians. These teams are funded through CIHR's pandemic preparedness strategic research initiative, and they were pre-selected through a competitive, peer-review process conducted by CIHR.
In the 2006 Federal Budget, the Government committed $1 billion over five years to further improve Canada's pandemic preparedness. Support of $10.8 million over three years has been allocated for the network from this 2006 funding.
|Contact: David Coulombe|
Canadian Institutes of Health Research