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St. Michael’s psychologist receives $1.5 million in federal funds from CIHR for HIV/AIDS research across Canada

Toronto, December 4, 2012

By Leslie Shepherd

Dr. Sean B. Rourke
Dr. Sean B. Rourke (centre) with Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq (right)

Dr. Sean B. Rourke, a psychologist who heads the Neurobehavioural Research Unit at St. Michael’s Hospital, has received $1.5 million from the federal government for a community-based HIV/AIDS research centre.

Dr. Rourke is the lead and director for the CBR Collaborative Centre in HIV/AIDS, which will focus on building capacity to carry out innovative HIV/AIDS research across Canada.

This centre connects with and builds on his CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS, a population health and health services. REACH is a national partnership among people living with HIV, community-based organizations, front-line service providers, health researchers from more than 25 academic institutions (over 250 members) across Canada, and federal, provincial, and regional policy makers.

The CBR Centre will also be linked with his Universities without walls, an education and training initiative funded by CIHR (STIHR) to support the next generation of HIV researchers in Canada.

His was one of only two community-based centres to receive federal funding in an announcement by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq on Nov. 27. Another $1.5 million went to the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network to support the Aboriginal HIV and AIDS Community-Based Research Collaborative Centre, which will bring Aboriginal communities and researchers together to address specific challenges for Aboriginal Canadians.

The funding comes from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research HIV/AIDS Research Initiative.

“Our CBR centre will mobilize and inspire regional teams of researchers and community-based agencies across the country,” Dr. Rourke said.

“Grounded in their regions, these teams will conduct relevant, rigorous research that will respond to local issues and needs. The findings will lead to better interventions and services for people living with or at risk of HIV, enhancing their health and well-being. At the national level, the centre will build healthier communities and further our efforts to get ahead of the HIV epidemic by bringing regional teams together into a network that will learn from one another, share their findings, build on each other's knowledge, and transfer and adapt successful interventions from one region to another.”

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 Centre, 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.

Media contacts

For more information or to interview Dr. Rourke, please contact:

Leslie Shepherd
Manager, Media Strategy
St. Michael's Hospital
416-864-6094 or 647-300-1753
shepherdl@smh.ca