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CIHR news: health research touching lives

This release is available in French.

Ottawa (May 7, 2008) The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health announced today funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for 764 health research projects across Canada, totalling over $298 million. Minister Clement was joined by Dr. Patrick McGrath, a member of CIHRs Governing Council, Dr. Po-Yin Cheung, a neonatologist and CIHR-funded researcher from the University of Alberta, and Luis and Oksana Delgado from Edmonton, whose 22 month old son Adrian received medical care from Dr. Cheung when he suffered low oxygen and its complications at birth. Using state-of-the-art resources and knowledge from his research, Dr. Cheung and his health-care team helped Adrian make a full recovery.

The Government of Canada is committed to investing in knowledge, science and innovation, said Minister Clement. In Budget 2008, we increased CIHRs budget by $34 million and we made a number of other strategic investments designed to further strengthen Canadas research capacity. The research being supported with the funding announced today will help us address important health issues affecting Canadians, such as cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS. Im very pleased the Delgado family could be with us today. Their story provides a wonderful example of how health research is helping Canadians.

With funding from CIHR, Dr. Cheung has been investigating ways to reduce damage to the heart from resuscitating oxygen-deprived newborns. He is one of the recipients of the funding announced today.

This funding from CIHR is very important because it will allow me to continue my work discovering novel ways to improve the recovery of babies born with oxygen-deprivation, said Dr. Cheung.

The 764 research projects funded underwent a rigorous peer-review process before being approved and exemplify CIHR's comprehensive, problem-based approach to funding excellence in health research. The funded research projects will be carried out over periods of one to five years. Here are some additional examples of the projects funded:

  • Deborah Money (University of British Columbia) will evaluate how the HPV vaccine works in HIV-positive women and whether it can help protect women against HPV and its related health issues.
  • Dr. Janet Smylie (St. Michaels Hospital, University of Toronto) will work with First Nations and Mtis communities to make parenting and child health programs more responsive to the needs of First Nations and Mtis children and their families.
  • Dr. Sylvain Martel (cole polytechnique de Montral, Universit de Montral) will use an MRI scanner to deliver microbeads with anti-cancer drugs directly into liver tumours.

CIHR funds the best ideas and the brightest minds, and the projects announced today are no exception, said Dr. McGrath. CIHR is proud to be supporting the work of outstanding researchers like Dr. Cheung. The talented researchers leading the projects announced today will advance knowledge in many important areas, and provide a stimulating environment for young Canadians training for careers in health research.


Contact: David Coulombe
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

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