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Eleven St. Michael’s researchers succeed in CIHR’s most recent grant competitions

Toronto, July 22, 2016

By Geoff Koehler

Dr. Nancy Baxter, Ann Burchell, Andras Kapus, General Leung, John Marshall, Laurie Morrison, Joel Ray, Tom Schweizer, Andrea Tricco, Katalin Szaszi and Subodh Verma.
(From left to right, starting from the top) Dr. Nancy Baxter, Ann Burchell, Andras Kapus, General Leung, John Marshall, Laurie Morrison, Joel Ray, Tom Schweizer, Andrea Tricco, Katalin Szaszi and Subodh Verma.

Eleven St. Michael’s Hospital researchers were successful in the most recent round of Canadian Institutes of Health Research grants. In total, more than $7 million was awarded to St. Michael’s researchers for CIHR’s Project and Foundation Grant competitions.

“Given the current funding environment, there were more Project Scheme applications than usual, which made it extremely competitive for scientists,” said Dr. Arthur Slutsky, vice-president of Research for St. Michael’s Hospital. “Our success shows St. Michael’s continues to be one of Canada’s high-performing research hospitals.”

Twenty per cent of St. Michael’s Project Grant applications were successful, besting the national success rate of 16 per cent. For the Foundation Grant, St. Michael’s success rate matched the national success rate—13 per cent.

CIHR Foundation Grants are designed to contribute to a sustainable foundation of health research leaders. These grants provide long-term support for the pursuit of innovative, high-impact research programs.

Dr. Nancy Baxter, a scientist with the hospital’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, received a seven-year Foundation Grant for her work which aims to reduce the public health burden of colorectal cancer. Dr. Ann Burchell, a Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute researcher and member of the hospital’s Centre for Urban Health Solutions, received a five-year Foundation Grant for her work in vaccination and screening to control sexually transmitted infections and related cancers.

CIHR’s Project Grants are designed to capture ideas with the greatest potential to advance health-related knowledge, health research, health care, health systems, or health outcomes. Project Grant funding supports projects with a specific purpose and defined endpoint.

Project Grant winners included basic and translational science researchers Drs. Andras Kapus, General Leung, John Marshall and Tom Schweizer, all of whom are with the hospital’s Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science. Researchers from St. Michael’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute—Drs. Laurie Morrison, Joel Ray and Andrea Tricco—were also successful in the round of Project Grants.

Finally, Drs. Subodh Verma and Katalin Szaszi, both member of the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, received one-year Bridge Grants from CIHR.

The list of St. Michael’s successful CIHR recipients and a brief overview of each grant is below. To learn more about the CIHR-funded projects and research programs, visit the CIHR’s 2016 Foundation Grant and Project Grant results page.

Foundation Grant:
Baxter, Nancy N Reducing the Public Health Burden of Colorectal Cancer (CRC) through policy-relevant research integrated in programmatic screening $2,314,882 7 years
Burchell, Ann N Vaccination & screening for control sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and STI-related cancers $1,061,091 5 years
Project Grant:
Kapus, Andras Characterization and cytoskeletal regulation of nucleocytoplasmic traffic and expression of mechanosensitive transcription factors. Relevance to organ fibrosis. $665,115 5 years
Leung, General Development of the MultIspectral MObile tiSsue Assessment (MIMOSA) device $386,072 3 years
Marshall, John C Regulation of Neutrophil (PMN) Inflammatory Function by Caspase-8 Phosphorylation $676,584 5 years
Morrison, Laurie J The Surviving Opioid Overdose with Naloxone Education and Resuscitation (SOON-ER) trial: a randomized study of an opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution intervention for laypeople in ambulatory and inpatient settings. $844,772 3 years
Ray, Joel G Using novel population-based datasets to produce and implement clinical prediction models for preterm preeclampsia, stillbirth, maternal ICU and long-term cardiovascular disease among Canadian women. $336,380 4 years
Schweizer, Tom A Brain imaging biomarkers of recovery from sport concussion $355,492 4 years
Tricco, Andrea C Systematic Prospective Assessment of Rapid Knowledge Synthesis - SPARKS Study $638,356 3 years,
6 months
Bridge Grant:
Szaszi, Katalin Exploring novel functions of the tight junction protein claudin-2 in kidney epithelial cells $100,000 1 year
Verma, Subodh S BRCA1 therapy for heart failure $100,000 1 year

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 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health 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.