Research Unit Award

NEXUS: Researching the Social Contexts of Health Behaviour

NEXUS is a multidisciplinary research unit focused on developing knowledge, interventions and policy recommendations that are sensitive to the social contexts that shape health behaviours of individuals and practices of health care providers. Unit researchers will focus on exploring, describing and recommending actions to address the social contexts that create barriers to health, affect individual capacity to maintain a healthy lifestyle or to effectively seek and benefit from health services, and influence how systems (such as health and judicial) respond.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2003

Centre on Aging, University of Victoria

This internationally recognized research centre studies the social and psychological aspects of aging and population health and health services delivery. Unit funding will assist researchers to focus in three areas: the role of social-psychological, environmental and structural factors in promoting health and preventing illness as people age, with special attention to vulnerable populations; assessing informal and self-care approaches to health, particularly for those with poor health or disability; and assessing formal delivery of care, including specific programs and systems of care.

Primary Investigator: 
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Year: 
2003
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Centre for Health and Environmental Research

The goal of this unit is primary prevention of disease associated with environmental hazards, including regional and local air pollution; emerging water and airborne microbacterial hazards; moulds and other indoor air pollutants as well as indoor hazards such as classroom acoustical quality; and hazards particular to certain occupations. Researchers will focus on four areas: identifying basic mechanisms and risk factors for environmental influences on health; quantifying the risks; developing and evaluating interventions; and developing and evaluating strategies for communicating risks and their solutions to community stakeholders and decision-makers.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2003

Musculoskeletal Research Centre: New Coordinated Applications for Bone Health

This multi-disciplinary unit is focused on improving current treatment of fractures, developing and implementing primary and secondary prevention strategies and developing new knowledge about mechanisms underlying bone health and disease. This includes research exploring the role of bone mineral as an important determinant of joint health. The unit’s goal is the development and translation of new knowledge to optimize bone health and minimize the burden of osteoporosis and fracture.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2003
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The James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research

This unit brings together a multidisciplinary group of researchers, in the UBC departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Medicine and Pharmacology & Therapeutics, whose efforts are directed at developing effective strategies and interventions to prevent, detect and treat heart, lung and blood vessel diseases. The researchers are particularly interested in discovering how interactions between genetic and environmental factors lead to the development of particular disease manifestations, including variations in susceptibility to these diseases, severity of symptoms and the rate at which symptoms progress.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2003
Health Category: 

Centre for Complex Disorders

Serious mental disorders affect thinking, mood and behaviour. The consequences are suffering, impaired function in daily life and yearly costs estimated in Canada at tens of billions of dollars. Like diabetes, hypertension and asthma, mental disorders are complex disorders, meaning there is no single gene mutation, experience or environmental effect that can be held responsible. With a history of focused but isolated research strategies that have failed to address these complexities, present day treatments for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are no more effective than those developed 50 years ago. There is also a lack of effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. The Centre for Complex Disorders (CCD) will seek integrative and transformative solutions to these health problems, with an initial focus on psychotic illnesses, such as bipolar disorder and some types of depression. These often begin in adolescence and cause those affected to lose contact with reality, and chronically become socially isolated and unable to work. The unit’s secondary focus will be complex disorders affecting memory in old age.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2003
Health Category: 

Immunity and Infection Research Centre

This unit’s overall mission is to advance understanding of the human immune response involved in transplantation and mitigation of infectious diseases. The unit brings together a multidisciplinary team of basic scientists, clinicians and health professionals who are undertaking basic and translational research involving molecular and cellular mechanisms of immunity. Their goal: to improve transplantation outcomes and the ability to understand and deal effectively with infectious diseases.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2003
Health Category: 

Centre for Healthcare Innovation and Improvement

This unit is focused on developing and translating research knowledge into policies and practices that improve health and quality of health care for children, women and their families. It brings together full-time researchers and clinician-researchers with the multidisciplinary skill sets, resources and linkages to identify and address a wide range of health care issues. Research teams, which will include decision-makers, will evaluate specific health issues, design and test interventions for these issues, and then implement and evaluate the effectiveness of ensuing policy and practice changes.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2003

Terry Fox Laboratory

The overall goal of this unit is to make breakthroughs in the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of cancer by focusing on the role and therapeutic promise of stem cells. Studies will focus on defining molecular pathways that govern stem cell renewal, viability, their development into specific types of cells (such as bone and blood) and their ability to multiply in a variety of body tissue. Researchers are particularly interested in understanding how inherited and acquired gene mutations may influence these processes and contribute to the development of cancer.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2003
Health Category: 

Centre for Health Services and Policy Research

This centre aims to expand research efforts focused on understanding the growing role of pharmaceutical agents within the health care system. In particular, unit researchers will focus on studying population-wide aspects of the financing, delivery and use of pharmaceuticals for the purpose of informing health policy, strengthening the health system and improving health. This will include developing a comprehensive pharmaceutical data infrastructure to support the research.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2003

FIND: Fundamental Innovation in Neurodegenerative Diseases

The goal of this research unit is to understand the molecular mechanisms leading to neuronal (brain cell) death in Huntington Disease, an incurable genetic disorder that usually strikes in mid-life, causing progressive, irreversible and ultimately fatal neurological damage. With a focus on the fundamental molecular structure and function of neurons, such research also has relevance in understanding the development and effects of other degenerative neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease, and for understanding recovery from brain injury. As the study of disease reveals information about normal structure and function, this research will also contribute new knowledge about healthy brain development.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2003
Health Category: 

Cancer Control Research Unit

This unit combines the skills and talents of researchers in the BC Cancer Agency’s Cancer Control Research Program and Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre to create a critical mass of expertise in cancer epidemiology, environmental exposure assessment, genetics and biostatistics. The unit will explore the interaction between environmental toxins and genetic susceptibility in determining cancer risk, focusing on environmental, genetic and gene-environment studies in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, skin cancer, ovarian cancer and cancers of the mouth.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2003
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Solid Tumour Progression Research Unit

Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are routinely used for treating solid tumours. However, there are very few therapies that are effective in countering metastatic progression (spread to other areas of the body), which is the major cause of death associated with solid tumours. This unit aims to develop and evaluate novel compounds that control or prevent solid tumour metastasis.

Primary Investigator: 
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Year: 
2003
Health Category: 

Institute of Health Promotion Research: Strengthening Health Disparities Research in BC

Many people suffer from negative health behaviours, reduced health status and inappropriate access to and/or use of health services associated with being part of a vulnerable population. Focusing on five settings – community, workplace, clinical-community interface, school and international – this multidisciplinary unit will undertake research aimed at developing health promotion strategies to help reduce these disparities. The unit’s emphasis will be on development of better tools, methods and resources for conducting research with vulnerable populations, and improvements in knowledge translation and dissemination of research findings.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2003

Animal Determinants of Emerging Infectious Disease

This unit’s goal is to improve understanding and ability to address the emergence of infectious diseases such as West Nile virus that are passed to humans by interaction with an animal host (such as mosquitos in the case of West Nile). The unit will focus on gathering sound evidence of the origins of such diseases in animal/environmental systems as a basis for developing effective, evidence-based disease prevention and control plans.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2003
Health Category: 

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