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St. Michael’s researchers do well in CIHR fall round of grants

Toronto, March 26, 2012

By Leslie Shepherd

Researchers at St. Michael’s had almost double the national success rate in the fall round of CIHR operating grants.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research awarded grants to 30.8 per cent of our applications, compared to the national average of 17.5 per cent.

Dalton Charters, director of research operations, said the success rate was exceptional for any single round of competition.

He said a contributing factor may have been the new, more rigorous peer review process in which all candidates must meet face-to-face with other sciences and experts in other areas for feedback on how to improve their applications.

Notably, Dr. Heyu Ni received two grants totaling $1.19 million. One grant, for $638,411 over five years, is to investigate novel methods of platelet aggregation. The other, for $557,347 over four years, is related to fetal and neonatal immune thrombocytopenia (FNIT), a bleeding disorder in which mothers generate antibodies that attack and destroy platelets in their fetuses and newborns.

Dr. Stephen Hwang was awarded $1.1 million over two years for his Health and Housing in Transition study, a four-year follow-up of homeless and vulnerably housed adults in three cities.

In addition, Dr. Sharon Straus, director of knowledge translation, received a CIHR team grant for $893,000 over five years for knowledge synthesis surrounding drug safety.

Also of note, a successful application for a planning grant by Dr. Jane Topolovec-Vranic was ranked No. 1 within her competition. The one-year grant of $24,702 is for planning an innovative technology-based approach to the treatment of depression following traumatic brain injury.

Operating grants also went to:

  • Dr. Richard Gilbert, $47,514 over four years for the role of Sirtuini in diabetic nephrology
  • Dr. Janet Parsons, $257,496 over two years for a photo voice evaluation of three different fostering models and their implications for perinatal care providers
  • Dr. Joanna Sale, $150,738 over two years: "What are Fracture Patients' Understanding of Risk of Future Fracture? "
  • Dr. Anne Stephenson, $199,660 over three years to study survival and transplantation for Canadians with Cystic Fibrosis
  • Dr. Duminda Wijeysundera, $987,066 over four years for the Measurement of Exercise Tolerance Before Surgery survey – an international multicentre prospective cohort study of cardiopulmonary exercise testing for improving preoperative risk stratification
  • Dr. George Yousef, $493,109 over three years to look at the role of microRNAs in renal cell carcinoma pathogenesis and their clinical utility as tumor markers
  • Dr. Yeni Yucel, $579,963 over five years to study lymphatics as a novel target to treat glaucoma

The Keenan Research Centre receives 17 per cent on top of the total grant amount for administrative costs.

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Center, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.