Introducing Spark, MSFHR’s new digital publication

21 January 2015

In every field and walk of life, storytelling is at the heart of communication.

With an extended community of more than 1,500 funded researchers, 65 research teams, and dozens of partners, MSFHR is privileged to be at the centre of many great stories. Our search for a way to share these stories with our diverse audiences – researchers, clinicians, government, patients, and the public – led us to develop Spark, our new quarterly publication.

By now, we hope you’ve had a chance to explore Issue 1: “Directions for the Future”. If not, please check it out here.

A completely digital platform, Spark allows us to dig deeper into the stories of individuals, institutions, and issues that are making a difference to health research in BC.

In our first issue, we put a lens on people, responsiveness, and coherence, the strategic directions that informed our work over the past year and will shape our ongoing efforts to add value to BC’s health system.

In preparing this issue, we had the chance to meet four recent MSFHR Scholars who are doing great things to improve health in diverse fields. Having the opportunity to interview them and hear them talk about the impact of their work and how MSFHR has benefitted their careers brought new meaning and perspective to the work we do

It is remarkable to hear first-hand the value we bring to individual researchers and the province as a whole, and these conversations help us gain a deeper appreciation of the role MSFHR plays in BC’s health research community. We hope you’ll feel the same.

Thanks to a beautiful digital template developed by Signals, we are able to seamlessly weave these researcher voices – along with other multimedia elements – throughout Spark to bring the individual stories to life.

Not surprisingly, our researchers provided more good material than Spark could accommodate, so we are sharing extended video clips of these four scholars below. These vignettes add context to each researcher’s profile and offer a more detailed description of their respective research projects. You can jump to each video using the links below.

As we publish future issues of Spark, we look forward to using this blog space to highlight additional content that supports each story.

For subsequent issues, look for a thematic focus around high-impact topics that affect health research in BC. Spark will be complementary to our monthly newsletter Connections but will focus on telling stories of a scope greater than a monthly digest permits.

All of us at MSFHR are very excited by the possibilities Spark presents, and we can’t wait to share the next issue with you. Until then, we’d love your feedback on Issue 1 at or via the comments below.

Dr. Sohrab Shah

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Dr. Christopher West

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Dr. Linda Li

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Dr. Sarah de Leeuw

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