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Health researchers in London bring in over $11 million of national funding

17 projects funded through Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Two researchers working in a lab

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) announced more than $11.3 million in funding through their project grants program for 17 health research projects across Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University.

“The funded projects represent a wide range of research and expertise from London’s health research community, with real impacts for health and health care,” says Dr. David Hill, Lawson Scientific Director. “Congratulations to those successful applicants who have secured this funding on a very tough competition.”

Projects include a national study on transgender health; a community-based family treatment program for children with epilepsy; imaging of blood clots in the brain; equity in mental health care for children and youth; and, a smartphone intervention focused on diet and food literacy.

See the full list of successful applicants

Cooling the Brain after Resuscitated Cardiac Arrest to Prevent Brain Injury

There are 40,000 cardiac arrests each year in Canada. A high number of patients won’t survive the event and nearly half of the survivors suffer from brain damage that can have a huge impact on their ability to live independently. The current guidelines recommend cooling of the whole body to protect the brain against the damaging effects of cardiac arrest. However, in the clinic there are several hurdles for this treatment that can create complications. Enhanced brain protection may be achieved by selectively cooling the brain but a simple, effective and non-invasive method to do so is needed.

Dr. Ting-Yim Lee and his research team are studying a simple means to cool down the brain by blowing compressed air into the nostrils which would essentially chill the warm blood coming through the nasal cavity on its way to the brain. Using an animal model, their aim is to show that the method can be used safely and is able to protect the brain after cardiac arrest.

Dr. Ting-Yim Lee


Shoulder fractures are becoming increasingly common for older adults and cause considerable limitations and impacts for their daily life. While different approaches are taken to treat shoulder fractures, there is a lack of knowledge and evidence to show which of those methods are the most effective and for which patients.

Dr. Emil Schemitsch and his research team are proposing the first nation-wide, multi-centre observational study with over 600 patients with the ultimate goal of determining what specific factors influence important outcomes for patients. The DECIPHER study will seek to answer important questions about which treatment and rehabilitation strategies are best for different patients, strengthening the clinical strategy for managing these difficult and prevalent injuries. It will also provide an economic analysis to understand the impact for healthcare system costs.

Dr. Emil Schemitsch

Congratulations to all of the successful applicants:

  • Greta Bauer and Ayden Scheim - Trans PULSE Canada: A National Study of Transgender Health
  • Maria Drangova - Characterizing cerebral thrombus composition with Phase‐based MRI
  • David Edgell, Bogumil Karas, and Gregory Gloor - ConCRISPR: Conjugative delivery of a hybrid CRISPR/Tev nuclease system for specific microbiota modulation in the mammalian gut
  • Jason Gilliland - Evaluation of a Smartphone Based  Intervention for Improving Food Literacy, Food Purchasing, and Diet Quality Among Youth in Urban, Suburban, and Rural Environments
  • Douglas Hamilton - Novel Biomaterials‐Based Strategies to Stimulate Periodontal Tissue Regeneration
  • David Haniford - Regulation of Salmonella pathogenesis by transposon‐encoded small regulatory RNA
  • Steven Laviolette - Effects of Neurodevelopmental Exposure to Cannabinoids on Prefrontal Cortical Function:  Implications for Neuropsychiatric Disorders
  • Ting-Yim Lee - Selective Brain Hypothermia via Intranasal Cooling to Limit Brain Injury  Post Cardiac Arrest (Funded through Lawson Health Research Institute)
  • Stephen Lomber - Cortical Plasticity Following Deafness
  • Vania Prado - Cholinergic influence in aging and brain pathology
  • Graham Reid and William Gardner - Equity in Mental Health Care for Children and Youth
  • Jason Roberts - The Role of Electrophysiology Testing in Survivors of Unexplained Cardiac Arrest: The EPS ARREST Study
  • Emil Schemitsch - The DECIPHER Study: DEterminants of Function and Clinically Important outcomes in Proximal Humerus Fractures in the Elder Population: A National CohoRt (Funded through Lawson Health Research Institute)
  • Walter Siqueira and Elizabeth Gillies - Novel Drug Delivery System for the Combat of Dental Caries by using Salivary Peptides
  • Kathy Speechley and Karen Bax - A Community-Based Family Treatment Program for Children with Epilepsy: A Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Andrew Watson - Understanding and Treating Obesity Related loss of Embryo Developmental Competence
  • Donald Welsh - Kir Channel Regulation by Membrane Lipids:  An Enabler of Hemodynamic Sensing in the  Cerebral Circulation


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