Connections >> December 2013

8 January 2014

Connections is MSFHR’s monthly e-newsletter. Each issue highlights the top MSFHR news from the past month and showcases the impact of research we’ve funded.

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In this issue:




New $7.5M fund to advance Alzheimer’s research in BC

MSFHR, Brain Canada, the Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation, and Genome BC are very pleased to announce the creation of a $7.5 million fund for research into Alzheimer’s disease in BC.

Up to 70,000 British Columbians are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, a number that will rise as the population ages. With no truly effective therapy to prevent or cure this disease, there is an urgent need to increase support for high-quality, multidisciplinary research.

Five new projects will be funded through this opportunity, each valued at up to $1.5 million.

MSFHR initiated the creation of the partnership with $1.5 million from the Government of British Columbia targeted to advance research in the province into biological causes and therapeutic treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

2013/14 Scholar Program competition accepting applications

Applications are now open for MSFHR’s 2013/14 Scholar Program Competition. With a maximum term of five years, Scholar awards help new investigators launch independent research careers and build strong research programs.

Complete application instructions are available on the MSFHR website. The application process includes two stages: letters of intent must be submitted by January 28, 2014, and full applications are due February 28, 2014.

SPOR Updates

SUPPORT Unit business plan under development

The development of a business plan for BC’s SPOR SUPPORT Unit is moving forward.

The initiative’s business plan development team has met twice to focus on how to capitalize on the unique opportunity presented by SPOR to change the way research is conceived, conducted, and applied in BC. Over the next several months, the team will spearhead the collaborative development of a business plan submission to CIHR outlining the scope and vision for BC’s SUPPORT Unit.

MSFHR commits matching funds to BC SPOR network

MSFHR is pleased to announce it will provide $75,000 in matching funds to help develop the BC network selected through CIHR’s Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations initiative.

CIHR recently issued a call for applications to this initiative as part of SPOR. The networks supported through this funding opportunity will enhance collaboration among patients, health service providers, policy/decision makers, and health researchers across Canada.

Partner profile: Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation

Since 1962, the Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation has been supporting charitable causes in Vancouver. One of the foundation’s objectives is support of complementary and alternative medicine, particularly in the treatment of cancer.

As part of its support for health research, the foundation has partnered with MSFHR since 2007 to jointly fund three research trainees exploring projects related to cancer treatment. For MSFHR’s 2013 Research Trainee competition, the partnership funded BC Cancer Agency post-doctoral researcher Dr. Hamid Pahlevaninezhad, who is researching how imaging technologies can help manage lung cancer through earlier detection and treatment.

Our data should fuel innovations in health care

In a recent Vancouver Sun opinion piece, MSFHR President & CEO Dr. Diane Finegood calls for greater use of data to fuel innovation in health care and health research.

Finegood writes that data represents a quantum leap in health researchers’ ability to understand the origins of disease, devise more effective treatments, and ensure our health system is the best it can be. Timely and secure access to data will help BC maximize its advantages in this area and deliver the best possible care to all British Columbians.

Aubrey J. Tingle Prize presentation scheduled for Jan. 14

Renowned prostate cancer researcher Dr. Martin Gleave will receive MSFHR’s Aubrey J. Tingle Prize at a special presentation to be held January 14, 2014. Gleave, executive director of the Vancouver Prostate Centre, is the fourth winner of the annual prize named in honour of MSFHR’s founding president and CEO.

Following the award presentation, Gleave will deliver a lecture entitled “Bridging the Mind to Market Gap in Translational Cancer Research: The Vancouver PC-TRiADD Model”. Both the lecture and award presentation are open to the public.

The event runs from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Paetzold Auditorium & Atrium, 1st Floor, Jim Pattison Pavilion, Vancouver General Hospital, 555 West 12th Ave. Please RSVP to if you wish to attend.

Year in review

As 2013 draws to a close, we at MSFHR are pleased to reflect on an exciting and productive year.

Over the past 12 months, we have made great progress working with our partners and other stakeholders to strengthen BC’s capacity for world-class health research.


Spark is a new blog dedicated to issues and outcomes in British Columbia’s health research community. We are proud to feature new content every Friday contributed by BC researchers working across a broad range of health disciplines. Below is a selection of posts from the past month.

  • “Words of Wisdom”
    Claire Schiller and Dr. Maureen Ashe describe a new study that aims to help older adults maximize recovery from hip fracture by developing an informative and interactive toolkit.
  • “Back to the Future”
    Kristin Brown, Dolores Langford, and Dr. Maureen Ashe describe a pilot study, which provides older adults recovering from hip fracture, with the right information at the right time to help them remain independent at home and active in their community.
  • “B4 and After”
    Megan McAllister and Dr. Maureen Ashe describe the B4 Clinic, a novel specialized fracture follow-up clinic that aims to address gaps in care and help older adults maintain mobility.

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