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Health care research: $1.6 million in new funding for University of Montreal

This release is available in French.

Montreal, July 12, 2010 University of Montreal scientists have received $1.6 in new funding to advance healthcare research over the next three years, as part of a Government of Canada announcement to support 31 research projects at 12 universities across the nation. Some $13 million in funding, from the Collaborative Health Research Projects program, will be awarded over three years to foster collaborations between scientists from the natural, engineering and health sciences.

The Collaborative Health Research Projects program is an initiative of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. At the University of Montreal, the following researchers will obtain funding over the next 36 months:

Philippe Desprs, a professor at the University of Montreal Department of Physics and a scientist at the Universit de Montral Hospital Research Centre, will receive a $245,100 grant to enable the development an automated blood counter for quantitative molecular imaging. He will lead the project with collaborators Louis-Andr Hamel and Jean-Pierre Martin of the University of Montreal Department of Physics, as well as Pedro Rosa-Neto of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and Jean-Paul Soucy of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital.

Guy Rousseau, a professor at the University of Montreal Department of Pharmacology and a researcher at the Hpital du Sacr-Cur de Montral, will obtain $494,500 in funding to innovate in angioplasty interventions; a technique of widening a narrowed or obstructed blood vessel. He will collaborate with Thierry Charron from the Hpital du Sacr-Coeur de Montral and Aim Robert Leblanc of the University of Montreal Department of Physiology.

Pierre Thibault, a professor at the University of Montreal Department of Chemistry and a scientist at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC), will receive $441,905 in support to study the histone deacetylase (HDAC) or enzymes that modify newly synthesized histones to improve the therapeutic use of HDAC inhibitors and facilitate the development of novel and more specific inhibitors in clinical settings. He will collaborate with Alain Verreault, a professor at the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology who is also an IRIC scientist.

Julian X. Zhu, a professor at the University of Montreal Department of Chemistry and Canada Research Chair in Polymer Biomaterials, will obtain $453,800 to study new polymer resins made from natural compounds for dental applications. The dental resins are based on natural compounds such as bile acids in the body. They are expected to be more biocompatible and less toxic than the dental amalgam that contains mercury or currently used polymer resins containing bis-phenol A, a compound listed by Health Canada as a dangerous substance in 2008. Publication of the first papers on this research and the possible use of natural compounds in dental composites received much media and public attention in 2009. This work will help to get the new resins closer to clinical use. Professor Zhu will collaborate with Professor Daniel Fortin of the University of Montreal Faculty of Dental Medicine and Professor Sophie Lerouge of the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre. They intend to establish industrial collaborations for the formulation and testing of their dental composites.


Contact: Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
University of Montreal

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