People we've funded

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Identifying oncogenic signaling pathways that mediate immune exclusion in ovarian cancer

Despite major advances in our understanding of the mechanisms behind the body’s immune response against cancer, several obstacles limit the success of immunotherapy as a cancer treatment. In particular, the physical exclusion of immune cells from tumour beds is associated with poor prognosis and a limited response to immunotherapy.

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2018

High-throughput automated mouse model to pilot translational brain stimulation during recovery from stroke

There are 62,000 strokes in Canada each year–one every nine minutes–and 405,000 Canadians are living with the effects of stroke. Stroke rehabilitation is a large field with a need for further research and treatment development.

Dr. Balbi will investigate brain stimulation and movement-based stroke rehabilitation by studying brain activity and forelimb movement in mice stroke models.

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2018

Defining mechanisms of lineage transformation in lung cancer to combat resistance to targeted therapies

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in Canada. A major reason for the poor prognosis is the lack of effective drugs for treating advanced tumours.

New understanding of the mutations driving lung cancer has led to the development of targeted therapies that selectively inhibit mutated genes, leading to rapid cancer regression in specific subsets of patients. However, while these therapies improve patient survival and quality of life, they are not curative as all patients develop drug resistance.

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2018

Re-establishing cognitive function in models of mental illness by boosting neural activity in the prefrontal cortex

The frontal cortex (FC) of the brain plays a critical role in higher cognitive functions including attention, working memory, and planning future goal-directed actions. Cognitive deficits arising from deceased neural activity within the FC (hypofrontality) are features of many forms of mental illness, including schizophrenia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dementia and addiction. Neurochemical, physiological and pharmacological research implicates reductions in the function of key neurotransmitter systems: catecholamines, glutamate and GABA.

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2018

JAK-STAT pathway mutations in B-cell lymphomas: Implications for the tumour microenvironment and treatment failure

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system where tumours develop from abnormal growths of white blood cells. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas (NHL) are the fifth most common cancers diagnosed in Canada. Of those, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common.

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2018

Overcoming antibiotic resistance with anti-biofilm peptides

Antibiotics are arguably the most important and successful medicines. However, the frequent growth of bacteria as biofilms, bacterial communities that grow on surfaces in a protective matrix, is of great concern. Biofilms account for two thirds of all clinical infections and are especially difficult to treat with conventional antibiotics. They are a serious problem in trauma patients with major injuries, as well as individuals with implanted medical devices.

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2018

Defining the dynamics behind ryanodine receptor function using malignant hyperthermia mutant channel

In order for skeletal muscle to contract, signals alert the muscle cells to release calcium from their internal stores. The skeletal muscle ryanodine receptor (RyR1) acts as the essential gatekeeper for these calcium pools. A single mutation within a person’s RyR1 can result in an unpredictable and life-threatening complication called malignant hyperthermia (MH).

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2018

Brain channelopathies – Target validation and novel therapeutic strategies

MSFHR supported Dr. Terry Snutch’s award as one of five interprovincial teams from across Canada funded through Brain Canada’s Multi-Investigator Research Initiative (MIRI). The MIRI supports the research of multidisciplinary teams and aims to accelerate novel and transformative research that will fundamentally change the understanding of nervous system function and dysfunction and its impact on health. MSFHR committed funding over three years to support the work of Snutch’s BC-based research activities and research led by fellow MIRI recipient Dr. Neil Cashman on the role of protein misfolding in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

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2013

Deliberative public engagement to inform cancer control decision-making in Canada

MSFHR is providing matching funds for Dr. Stuart Peacock’s research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Cancer Control (CIHR-ICR) Partnerships for Health Systems Improvement (PHSI) program. PHSI projects focus on health system improvements through applied and policy-relevant health systems services research that is useful to health system managers or policy-makers and strengthen the Canadian health system.

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2017

Delivery of self-management through a peer-support telehealth intervention in patients with cardiovascular disease: The Healing Circles Project

MSFHR is contributing matched funding for Dr. Scott Lear’s research, one of 22 projects as part of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) eHealth Innovation Partnership Program (eHIPP). eHIPP was designed to address gaps in health care—including supporting seniors with complex care needs in their home—by stimulating collaborations between health researchers and Canadian innovative technology companies. MSFHR is also contributing funds towards the eHIPP research projects of Drs. Ellen Balka and Kendall Ho.

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2015

CCNA Team 13: Frontotemporal dementia

Dr. Robin Hsiung’s research is part of the Canadian Consortium for Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) initiative funded by a national partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and 14 organizations from the public and private sectors across Canada, including MSFHR. The CCNA was created in 2014, bringing together more than 350 clinicians and researchers from across Canada.

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2015

Silent genomes: Reducing health care disparities and improving diagnostic success for children with genetic diseases from Indigenous populations

MSFHR is providing matching funds for the research of Dr. Laura Arbour under the Genome Canada/ Canadian Institutes for Health Research Large-Scale Applied Research Project (LSARP): Genomics and Precision Health. Additional support is provided by Genome BC, the BC Children's Hospital Foundation, BC Provincial Services Health Authority and the University of British Columbia (UBC).

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2018

Seniors Adding Life to Years (SALTY)

MSFHR is providing matching funds to support the work of a BC team lead by Dr. Kelli Stajduhar as part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Team Operating Grant: Late Life Issues initiative. Other funding partners include Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, Alberta Innovates Health Solutions and Alzheimer Society of Canada.

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2016

Locally produced brain insulin in memory and Alzheimer's disease: A multi-disciplinary approach to a key question

Dr. James Johnson is one of five BC researchers leading teams 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.

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2015

Novel retinal biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease

Dr. Faisal Beg 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.

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2015

Diabetic retinopathy screening - National tele-ophthalmology

MSFHR is providing matching funds to support the research of Dr. David Maberley as part of Diabetes Action Canada, one of five national chronic disease networks established through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR) Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Networks in Chronic Disease, connecting researchers, health professionals, policy-makers, and patients across the country.

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2016

CHILD-BRIGHT: Child Health Initiatives Limiting Disability – Brain Research Improving Growth and Health Trajectories

MSFHR is providing matching funds to support the research of Dr. Dan Goldowitz as part of CHILD-BRIGHT, one of five national chronic disease networks established through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR) Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Networks in Chronic Disease, connecting researchers, health professionals, policy-makers, and patients across the country.

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2016

Validation of connexins and pannexins as a target for Alzheimer's disease

Dr. Christian Naus is one of five BC researchers leading teams 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.

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2015

Implementing land-based resiliency in First Nations youth: The 'This is Who We Are' Program

Dr. Adrienne Chan’s work is funded through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples Initiative. MSFHR is providing match funding, with additional support provided by the Fraser Health Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health. The goal of the Pathways Initiative is to facilitate research on the design, implementation and scale-up of effective programs and policies that address pressing Aboriginal health issues in four priority areas, including suicide.

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2017

The Canadians Seeking Solutions and Innovations to Overcome Chronic Kidney Disease (Can-SOLVE CKD) Network

MSFHR is providing matching funds to support the research of Dr. Adeera Levin, as part of the Canadians Seeking Solutions and Innovations to Overcome Chronic Kidney Disease (Can-SOLVE CKD) Network, one of five national chronic disease networks established through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Networks in Chronic Disease, connecting researchers, health professionals, policy-makers, and patients across the country.

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2016

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