With funding from MSFHR and LJHMF, Dr. Shannon Dames is exploring how combining psychedelic medicines with talk therapy can profoundly improve mental health.
With funding from MSFHR and Plantiga, Dr. Christopher Napier is advancing AI-powered wearable technology to remotely monitor biomechanics.
Dr. Laura Cowen, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Victoria, is leading a team in developing a model that estimates rates of unreported COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island and forecasts the likelihood of transmission in high-risk groups, like the elderly and people experiencing homelessness.
MSFHR is partnering with Genome BC and Genome Canada to fund a new study exploring the use of pharmacogenomics to improve drug treatments for people with depression.
MSFHR and Mitacs have partnered to support joint applications so researchers can access both Mitacs and MSFHR funding with one application. MSFHR and Mitacs have partnered to support joint applications so researchers can access both Mitacs and MSFHR funding with one application.
By partnering with organizations like the BC Schizophrenia Society, MSFHR is able to optimize provincial investment in health research and support more talented researchers than we could alone.
In partnership with St. Paul’s Foundation, we have co-funded four researchers studying HIV transmission, substance use among vulnerable populations, and ways to combat the opioid overdose crisis.
This article is the second in a series designed to help readers “connect the dots” on various initiatives underway in the province that support and advance the actions outlined in Directions for Health Research in BC.
Key stakeholders involved in the consultation process to develop a health research strategy for BC identified nearly a dozen actions that they felt would help create a more vibrant, thriving health research community in the province.
One of these, Standardizing Best Practice Research Processes across BC, is supported by two province-wide projects – standardizing research contracts and harmonizing ethics approvals.
The BC Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (BCCRIN) has worked with universities, health authorities and research institutes over the past few years to develop a harmonized research contract to boost BC’s competitiveness in clinical trials research. This template may be used when a private company is interested in initiating a clinical trial at a BC academic or research institution and has the most appeal for smaller biotechnology firms who don’t have the in-house infrastructure to support contract development.
A second area where progress is being made is in the harmonization of ethics review processes for research studies. The BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative, a collaborative effort among BC’s regional health authorities and four major research universities, is currently supporting the pilot implementation and evaluation of harmonized ethics review models. A harmonized model for the review of minimal risk studies has been underway since December 2014. A model for the review of above minimal risk studies began June 1, 2015 and will continue until the end of 2015. The aim is to have both models approved for full implementation by late 2015.
The models are designed to improve the timeliness and efficiency of the ethical review process, improve the system effectiveness for health research ethics review and facilitate maximal reciprocity between BC institutions for the ethical review of health research conducted within BC.