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Joint Hamilton Health Sciences/McMaster University researchers fare better than the National average success rates in both CIHR’s Pilot Foundation Grant and Transitional Open Operating Grant funding programs

  • August 17, 2015
  • News

Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced the successful candidates for two separate health science research grants on July 28. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) provide funding for these projects. CIHR is the federal agency responsible for supporting high-impact health research projects in Canada.

The Foundation Grant competition is in its inaugural year and is a federal program, which provides long-term support over seven years for the pursuit of innovative, health research in Canada.

Foundation Grant 2015 comparison between National CIHR totals and McMaster totals

CIHR McMaster
Total eligible Applications reviewed by CIHR-1366 Total McMaster Applications submitted-51
Total Grants funded by CIHR-150 Total McMaster grants funded-7
National Success rate-11% McMaster Success rate- 13.7%

 

CIHR awarded five of seven grants to joint Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS)/McMaster Investigators. Of the 150 researchers receiving awards across Canada, HHS cardiologists Dr. Salim Yusuf and Dr. P.J. Deveraux received the two largest grants. Both Drs. are clinicians at the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI), professors of medicine at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University and in total, they received $18 million for research from CIHR!

Their research covers a range of topics: Dr. Salim Yusuf’s studies include over 190,000 people in 25 countries drawn from five continents. These studies explore the diversity in health among a range of cultures. Dr. Deveraux plans to lead four studies involving 40 000 patients with a focus on how clinicians can more easily provide cardiac surgery for senior patients vulnerable to complications.

Three other successful candidates for the Foundations Grant include:

Mark Tarnopolsky, MD, is a neuro-metabolic and neuromuscular specialist with Hamilton Health Sciences and a professor of pediatrics and medicine at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Dr. Tarnopolsky received a grant of $1,779,000 for additional research on exercise, aging, and neuromuscular disorders.

Sonia Anand, MD, is a vascular medicine specialist for HHS and a professor of medicine for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Dr. Anand’s grant of $2,322,000 will allow her team to investigate the determinants and interventions expected to lessen cardio-metabolic conditions such as diabetes and obesity among various cultural groups in Canada.

Premysl Bercik, MD, associate professor of medicine for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, and Stephen Collins, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute joined forces and received $2,547,000. Their study examines how intestinal bacteria interface with the brain.

A second funding program, the Transitional Open Operating Grant program, provided similar success for joint HHS/McMaster University researchers.

2015 Transitional Open Operating Grants Programs comparison between National CIHR totals and McMaster totals

CIHR McMaster
Total eligible applications reviewed by CIHR-2682 Total McMaster Applications submitted-93
Total grants funded by CIHR-500 Total McMaster grants funded-21
National Success rate-18.6% McMaster Success rate-22.6%

 

Nine of the twenty-one grants awarded in this program went to joint HHS/McMaster physicians, researchers, and scientists:

Darren Bridgewater, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine
Research focus/interests: Pediatrics Renal Failure

Magdalena Janus, PhD
Associate Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences and Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Research focus/interests: Child Mental Health
Offord Centre for Child Studies

Sarah McDonald, MD
Associate Professor, Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Research focus/interests: Maternal and Child Obesity Prevention and Intervention

Matthew Miller, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences
Research focus/interests: Understanding the Relationship of Viral Pathogens and their Hosts
McMaster Immunology Research Centre

Bernardo Trigatti, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences
Research focus/interests: Molecular Mechanisms of Atherosclerosis Development
Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute (TaARI)

Elena Verdu, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
Research focus/interests: Pathogenesis of Chronic Inflammatory Disorders
Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute

Michael Walsh, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Research focus: Epidemiology of Acute Kidney Injury Perioperative and Glomerulonephritis
Population Health Research Institute

Geoffrey Werstuck PhD
Associate Professor, Departments of Medicine, and Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences
Research focus/interests: Links between Diabetes Mellitus and Development and Progression of Cardio Vascular Disease
Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute (TaARI)

Ryan J. Van Lieshout MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences
Research focus/interests: Developmental Origins of Adult Disease, Prenatal Programing of Psychiatric Disorders
Offord Centre for Child Studies
 

Medical research is a highly competitive global enterprise and HHS/McMaster University has the good fortune to have some of the best research groups in the world. These groups collaborate with colleagues who are enormously talented, top-notch researchers who, through their combined commitment to research, make enormous advancements in the world of health sciences. Yet, even with all of the talent in our midst, being awarded funding for research projects is always a “touch and go” process for the researchers who submit grant applications.

Frank Naus, VP of Research for Hamilton Health Sciences shares that, “we are all very familiar with the funding challenges in the current research environment. The awarding of these grants to HHS clinicians/scientists, whose programs and research provide us with some of the very best information on causes and consequences of medical diseases, advance health care not only in Hamilton, and Canada, but globally”.