Connections >> February 2014

24 February 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:



MSFHR People

Patient voices key to improving research impact

It’s time for patients to have a stronger voice in health research.

That was the message delivered by MSFHR Vice-President, Research & Impact, Bev Holmes in a recent appearance on Shaw TV’s David Berner show.

Holmes appeared alongside Colleen McGavin, a volunteer with the Patient Voices Network, to discuss the importance of engaging ordinary citizens in the conversation about how health research is conducted.

Holmes and McGavin identified CIHR’s national Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research as one example of how patient perspectives are coming to play an important role in improving the impact of health research. MSFHR and the BC Ministry of Health are co-leading the development of a provincial support unit for patient-oriented research under the banner of SPOR.

Research for youth, by youth

An enthusiastic group of high school students is playing a major role in the development of a mobile phone-based game to increase physical activity among kids and teens.

MobileKids is the first showcase project for KidsCan, an initiative led by scientists at the Child & Family Research Institute that aims to tackle childhood obesity and the limited involvement of children in research. MSFHR is proud to support the project by funding a knowledge broker to lead the development, implementation, and evaluation of knowledge translation strategies and activities.

Consultation process informs SPOR support unit business plan

The development of a business plan for BC’s SPOR support unit is moving forward, with completion of a draft targeted for March 31.

An ongoing consultation process will ensure the business plan is informed by a wide range of perspectives from BC’s health research community. Consultation activities include:

On Jan. 23, the business plan development team hosted a workshop to engage with individuals and teams who previously submitted expressions of interest.

An upcoming workshop with clinical trials experts from across BC will provide feedback on proposed goals for the support unit in the core area of real-world clinical trials.

Regional consultation activities are planned for March.

For more information about BC’s SPOR support unit, visit

BC health research strategy moving into implementation

The health research strategy is nearly complete and will be moving into its implementation phase in the coming weeks. Following a comprehensive consultation process in 2013, a penultimate draft is being circulated to the advisory board for any last changes or feedback.

Once the advisory board signs off on the strategy, it will be shared with various stakeholders and rolled out publicly. Concurrent to that process will be the roll out of an implementation plan to ensure the actions recommended in the health research strategy move forward.

For more information about the BC health research strategy, contact Lori Last at

MSFHR sponsorship supports upcoming events

MSFHR is proud to be a sponsor of the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research’s (CHSPR) Health Policy Conference on Feb. 25 and the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council’s (BCPSQC) Quality Forum on Feb. 26-28.

The CHSPR conference brings together researchers, policy makers, health professionals, patients and students, engaging them in a meaningful knowledge translation event to further their understanding of key topics in health services and policy research.

The Quality Forum focuses on improving quality of care across the continuum of health care in BC, providing an opportunity to learn new skills, discuss ideas and challenges, and network with others interested in improving health care in British Columbia.

More information:

MSFHR People

  • Scott Lear
    Individuals in low-income countries who own electronics, cars and other luxury items face a greater risk of diabetes and obesity compared to those who do not own these goods, according to new research led by MSFHR Scholar Dr. Scott Lear. The international study examined data from 150,000 adults in 17 countries and found a 400-percent increase in obesity and a 250-percent increase in diabetes among those who owned high-priced items.>> “Electronics, cars linked to obesity and diabetes in low-income countries, finds SFU study”The Province, Feb. 11, 2014
  • Christian Steidl
    A team of BC Cancer Agency scientists led by MSFHR Scholar Dr. Christian Steidl has identified novel gene mutations that may help physicians provide targeted treatment for lymphoma. The study, published recently in Nature Genetics, found about 20 percent of patients with Hodgkins lymphoma and a subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma carried the same mutation. Identifying this genetic target will help researchers develop treatments that are tailored to a patient’s specific illness.

    >> “New BC research lays the groundwork for personalized cancer treatment”Vancouver Sun, Feb. 18, 2014

  • Viviane Lima / David Moore / Bohdan Nosyk / Kate Shannon
    New research from the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS reveals that the expansion of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in BC between 1996 and 2012 is associated with a sustained and profound decrease in HIV transmission and mortality. Four current MSFHR Scholars, Drs. Viviane Lima, David Moore, Bohdan Nosyk, and Kate Shannon contributed to the research.

    >> Full text article available at PLoS One

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