In this issue of Forward Thinking, MSFHR's new Vice President, Research Dr. Chonnettia Jones, reflects on what success looks like for responsive and responsible research funding.

In a short amount of time, the COVID-19 pandemic has instigated rapid change and uncertainty within BC’s health research community. Lab closures, work from home arrangements, reduced access to resources, and increased caregiving responsibilities are just a few of the immediate impacts we’ve heard about from our community.

image of a laptop with various graphs on the screen

With rapid response funding from MSFHR, Dr. Janjua and Dr. Otterstatter are working in collaboration with Dr. Caroline Colijn (SFU) and Dr. Daniel Coombs (UBC) and other academic and public health partners to develop models of how COVID-19 is spreading in BC.

Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on newcomers to BC, urban Indigenous people, frontline health-care workers, and those in prisons or precarious housing is the focus of many of the funded researchers from the MSFHR COVID-19 Research Response Fund, announced today. Other research teams will investigate testing the body’s response to COVID-19, detecting future waves of COVID-19 in BC, and understanding the virus’s transmission.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) announced today the successful projects from the Rapid Research Funding Opportunity launched in May. MSFHR joined research funders from across Canada to partner on this opportunity that focuses on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on people, communities, and health systems.

How has COVID-19 affected long-term care delivery in BC? What do COVID-19 mutations mean in a pandemic response? Are physical distancing measures effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19? These are some of the questions the first 10 MSFHR COVID-19 Research Response Fund teams are tackling to further BC’s understanding and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These projects will have results available in time to inform public health responses by the fall and winter of 2020/21.