Over $10 million in funding announced from CIHR

Health researchers from across London were awarded more than $10 million from Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), with $2.8 million through Lawson Health Research Institute and $7.3 million through Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. A total of 15 projects were funded.

CIHR’s Project Grant program is designed to capture ideas with the greatest potential for important advances resulting in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health and health care for Canadians. 

Congratulations to all of the successful applicants!

Projects through Lawson Health Research Institute: 

Karen Bosma, and Laurent Brochard: “Proportional Assist Ventilation for Minimizing the Duration of Mechanical Ventilation: The PROMIZING Study.”

Critically ill patients frequently require the life-sustaining technology of mechanical ventilation, but prolonged use can place patients at risk for long-term functional impairment and increased mortality, and is also costly to the health care system.

The PROMIZING Study is an international, multi-centre randomized clinical trial that will identify ways to reduce the duration of mechanical ventilation for patients at greatest risk and to determine whether a novel mode of ventilation developed in Canada could replace the standard of care.

“It is vital that Canada continue to invest in high impact, hospital-based research such as the PROMIZING study which enable researchers to develop and test treatments, technologies, and procedures that will improve clinically relevant, patient-important outcomes while also improving the efficiency of our healthcare system.” – Dr. Karen Bosma

Diane Bryant, and Alan Getgood: “Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction using Bone Patellar Bone or Quad Tendon Autograft with or without Lateral Extra Articular Tenodesis in Individuals who are at High Risk of Graft Failure (STABILITY II)”

Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) is complicated by high failure rates in young active individuals, which is associated with worse outcomes and higher rates of osteoarthritis. 

Currently, there are different types of grafts being used to rebuild a torn ACL. There is a need to evaluate whether one method is better at reducing failure, minimizing complications and creating better outcomes in terms of functional performance. This study will determine the best graft choice for young patients at risk of ACLR failure which will ultimately lead to positive effects on activity and quality of life. 

Patrick Luke and Rabindra Bhattacharjee: “Therapeutic potential of bloodless oxygenated perfusion of donor kidneys for prolonged storage and protection for transplantation.”

Kidney failure among Canadians has tripled over the last 20 years. Transplantation improves the quality of life and survival of patients at a much lower cost than dialysis. However, only 40 per cent of patients receive functional kidneys due to lack of living organ donors. 

To increase the number of kidneys available for transplantation, surgeons are accepting orgrans from deceased donors. Currently, during storage, the organs can suffer injuries from a lack of oxygen as well as cold temperatures and the conditions are not conducive to use drugs that can prevent damage. 

The study is looking at the effects of a bloodless oxygen carrying perfusion liquid that will allow the storage of human donor kidneys for long periods of time at room temperature, and will also evaluate if certain drugs can maximize the preservation of these organs. 

“Hospital-based research institutes are uniquely positioned to conduct patient-centred research. Investment through CIHR supports the physicians and researchers who are committed to improving treatments for patients at the front line of care.” – Dr. Patrick Luke

Emil Schemitsch: “The DECIPHER Study: DEterminants of Function and Clinically Important outcomes in Proximal Humerus Fractures in the Elder Population: A National CohoRt.”

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.

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.

“Such an analysis has the potential to significantly affect patient care and Canadian practice patterns, as well as inform the development of future pivotal clinical trials. DECIPHER will have an important impact on patient care, health system costs and future research directions locally, nationally and internationally.” - Dr. Emil Schemitsch. 

Projects through Schulich Medicine & Dentistry: 

Subrata Chakrabarti, with collaborators Bekim Sadikovic, Krishna Singh, and Stephanie Frisbee:  “Novel mechanisms in diabetic cardiomyopathy.” 
Peter Chidiac and Jeffrey Dixon:  “Allosteric regulation of GPCR signaling by extracellular nucleotides.” 

Bryan Heit: “Role of ELKS1 and Rab17 in Differential Antigen Sorting and MHC II Trafficking Following Efferocytosis and Phagocytosis.”
Marlys Koschinsky and Michael Boffa: “B Apo(a):apoB100 interactions as key  determinants of Lp(a) biosynthesis.” 

Shawn Li: “Novel anticancer immunotherapy targeting the molecular mechanisms of T cell suppression by immune checkpoints.” 

Julio Martinez‐Trujillo and Michael Poulter: “Reverse engineering working memory circuits in the primate brain:  Implications for the study of memory deficits.”

Maria Mathews and Jennifer Shea with collaborators, Ivy Bourgeault, Emily Marshall, Amy Bombay, Nicole Doria, Julia Lukewich, and Amanda Myers: “Increasing Indigenous Participation in  the Physician Workforce.”

Charles McKenzie, and Timothy Regnault: “Hyperpolarised 13C MRI of Placental Metabolism in Intrauterine Growth Restriction.” 
Marco Prado: “A Regulation of chaperone‐mediated proteostasis by STI1.”

Lloy Wylie and Lana Ray with collaborators Christopher Mushquash, Victoria Smye, Nadine Wathen, Cheryl Forchuk, and Brock Pitawanakwat: “Educating for Equity: Building  Culturally Safe Care through Indigenous Narratives.” 

Xiufen Zheng: “The role of circular RNA in heart transplantation”