People we've funded

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Developing new anti-cancer drugs that target abnormal signaling networks in cancer

A defining characteristic of cancer cells is their ability to grow and replicate in an uncontrolled manner. Cancer cells have altered signaling pathways that allow them to bypass checkpoints that would normally prevent their rapid growth. STAT3 protein is a master regulator of cancer cell signaling and is found to be overactive in 70 % of cancers. While healthy cells can survive without STAT3, cancer cells become addicted to overactive STAT3 and are sensitive to disruptions in this pathway.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Implementation of Shared Decision Making to Improve Person- and Family-Centred Care

The healthcare system is undergoing a paradigm shift toward person- and family-centred care. While this is a critical priority, it will be challenging to put into practice. One strategy to implement this change is shared decision-making (SDM), a process that supports patients and providers to discuss the risks and benefits of options, clarify preferences, and make choices based on their informed values. Knowledge translation and implementation science (KT/IS) are key approaches for accelerating this system change.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Strengthening primary care through population-based research

Primary care includes the day-to-day services provided by family doctors, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers. High quality primary care that follows patients over time and coordinates specialist and hospital care is key to an effective and efficient health care system. Unfortunately, many Canadians struggle to get primary care where and when they need it, despite there being more family doctors per person than ever before.

My research program seeks to answer the following questions:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Effects of cellular origin on the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths mostly due to the absence of symptoms as the cancer develops. This leads to diagnosis after the tumor has already become widely invasive and cannot be surgically removed. Unfortunately, surgical removal of early stage tumors is the most effective treatment option and other treatments, such as chemotherapy, are woefully ineffective.

Thus, there are two major fronts where research could improve the outcomes of pancreatic cancer patients:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Identity in mental health: A focus for early intervention and improving social functioning

Personal identity--one's psychological sense of personal continuity--is an important aspect of mental health, informing one's motivations, behaviours, and social relations. Disruptions in identity can contribute to prevalent conditions such as personality disorders. Indeed, distorted identity is a core aspect of personality dysfunction and disorder, contributing to considerable negative health and social outcomes--and a prominent challenge for health care providers and systems.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Advancing nutritional hematology to reduce the burden of anemia and inform nutrition policy

Anemia is a condition in which there is a decrease or destruction of red blood cells causing inadequate transport of oxygen throughout the body. It is a major public health problem affecting ~25% of the global population, or ~9 million Canadians of all ages.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Promoting Mental Health and Addressing Substance Use in Canadian Youth through Collaborative Research and Intervention

Mental health and substance use (MHSU) challenges are leading health issues facing youth globally. In Canada, 20% of the youth population experiences mental health disorders, and youth aged 15-24 have the highest rates of past year substance use and related harms. To address these concerns, MHSU researchers and advocates argue for a population health approach incorporating promotion, prevention, and treatment within a 'healthy public policy' framework.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Improving microbial outbreak responses through integration of knowledge engineering and bioinformatics platform development

Infectious diseases remain a serious and constant threat despite the high standards of sanitation and health care enjoyed by the British Columbians. Moreover, British Columbians, living in a major port of entry to Canada, face an increased risk of contact with emerging infectious diseases as exemplified by SARS. An effective disease surveillance system requires multiple health organizations to work together and share information with each other.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Understanding service use decision-making and improving engagement among youth and young adults with mental health disorders

This program of research will seek to understand how youth and young adults (YYA) with mental health (MH) disorders make decisions about seeking MH services at YYA centres such as Foundry BC. Foundry BC provides health and wellness services to YYAs through integrated service care in communities across BC. Nearly 75% of MH disorders develop before the age of 25, yet less than 20 percent of Canadian YYAs receive appropriate treatment. This can cause serious problems such as relapse, rehospitalisation, increased suicide risk, and can interrupt critical identity development.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Rethink Endometriosis: Genomics and Microenvironment Influence on Biology and Malignant Potential

One million Canadian women are affected by endometriosis annually. There is little investment in research, and socioeconomic cost, >$4 billion annually in Canada, continue to climb owing to lost productivity, sick days, treatments for frequent pain, infertility and depression. Most critically, affected women may have up to a 10-fold increased risk of developing specific types of ovarian cancer. There are no biological features that predict if endometriosis will result in severe or chronic pain, infertility, or cancer.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

An Inter-provincial comparison of innovative programs that help individuals and families affected by life-limiting chronic illnesses navigate end-of-life

Dr. Kelli Stajduhar is working with a team of researchers across Canada including PI R. Urquart (NS), and Co-Is K. Pfaff (ON), G. Johnston (NS), B. Lawson (NS), C. Tschupruk (NS), and G. Warner (NS). MSFHR has contributed matched-funding to support the CIHR Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research funding.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Translating research into practice: Investigating the impact of Alzheimer's disease diagnostics in Canada (IMPACT-AD)

Early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is critical as timely access to health care and community services has the potential to slow disease progression and improve quality of life. Current approaches for diagnosis rely on traditional imaging tests and observation of the signs and symptoms of the disease. Adding the measure of proteins found in cerebrospinal fluid (biomarkers) has been shown to help correctly identify the disease and predict those with mild symptoms that are likely to progress to dementia; however, such testing is not readily available in Canada.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Supporting integration through primary health care teams: A comparative policy analysis across four Canadian provinces

MSFHR is contributing match-funding towards Dr. Nelly Oelke’s research, awarded through SPOR Networks in Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations – Provincial/ Territorial Comparative Program and Policy grant. Dr. Oelke is undertaking this pan-Canadian project across four provinces (BC, AB, ON, and QC) with a team of researchers including the following PIs: S. Montesanti (AB), S. Johnston (ON), and M. Breton (QC).

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Cultural agility in Northern BC's healthcare system: Increasing Indigenous employment participation and responsiveness to Indigenous well-being

Primary Investigator Dr. Sarah de Leeuw and Co-Investigator Dr. Margo Greenwood, together with northern and provincial partners, lead a five-year, 1.3 million research project focused on further enhancement of Indigenous health and the healthcare climate in northern BC.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Targeting amyloid propagation in Alzheimer disease: Structures, immunology and extracellular vesicle topology

Dr. Neil Cashman is one of five BC researchers supported through the British Columbia Alzheimer’s Research Award. Established in 2013 by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), Genome British Columbia (Genome BC), The Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation (PARF) and Brain Canada, the goal of the $7.5 million fund is to discover the causes of and seek innovative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2013

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