Since 2001, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research has empowered world-class health innovation with global impact.
Over the past 16 years, we have supported nearly 1,600 individual researchers and 80 research teams. By investing in excellence, we support a vibrant health research community in BC that:
- Attracts and retains top international experts.
- Leverages funding to develop innovative ideas into new products, new treatments and new companies.
- Finds solutions to our most pressing health challenges, including cancer, genomics and HIV/AIDS.
MSFHR is dedicated to the memory of Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Michael Smith, a pre-eminent BC scientist with a long-standing commitment to support researchers throughout their careers.
Last year, we celebrated 15 years of impact on BC's health research community. Here are some highlights:
Decoding breast cancer
Working with colleagues at the BC Cancer Agency, Dr. Sohrab Shah used his background in computer science to identify the genetic composition of the deadliest form of breast cancer, opening the possibility of more effective targeted treatments.
Changing public policy
HPV infections cause nearly all cases of cervical cancer, the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in women worldwide. A multi-organization research team, co-funded by MSFHR, has proven two doses of the HPV vaccine are as effective as the standard three-dose regimen. This finding has led to policy changes by provincial and national organizations, as well as the World Health Organization that will save costs and reduce barriers to vaccination.
Dr. Linda Li, a clinician scientist with a background in physiotherapy, wants to help people with arthritis adopt healthy lifestyles and be more physically active. To do this, she is developing patient decision aids and using digital tools to help patients make healthy lifestyle choices.
Treatment as prevention
The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS has improved outcomes and reduced HIV morbidity and mortality by more than 95% and HIV transmission by more than 65% through the use of HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) and routine testing.