McMaster faculty awarded $37.2M for health research

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McMaster health researchers will receive a total of $37.2M from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research to further their high-impact research.


McMaster University health researchers will receive a total of $37.2M from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research to further their high-impact research, the federal government announced today.

The funds will support research ranging from a better understanding of how to combat bacteria to improving critical care, and from studying cardiovascular issues around the world to examining the relationship between the gut and the brain.

The results of two national research award competitions, worth $600 million, were announced by Health Minister Rona Ambrose in Edmonton today.

Eight McMaster scientists took a total of $30 million in the inaugural competition for Foundation Grants, a new federal program which provide long-term support of seven years for the pursuit of innovative, high-impact research programs. These included:

  • Salim Yusuf, MD, professor of medicine for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and a cardiologist. He will receive $9,793,000 for studies on the causes, consequences and impact of cardiovascular disease around the world.
  • P.J. Devereaux, MD, professor of medicine for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and a cardiologist for Hamilton Health Sciences. He will receive $8,439,000 for his investigation into predicting and preventing major vascular complications of surgery.
  • Premysl Bercik, MD, associate professor of medicine for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, and Stephen Collins, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute are both clinician-scientists at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences. Their award of $2,547,000 will further research into how intestinal bacteria communicate with the brain.
  • Eric Brown, PhD, is a professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. His research focus on understanding survival strategies of bacteria will receive $2,750,000.
  • Sonia Anand, MD, is a professor of medicine for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and a vascular medicine specialist for Hamilton Health Sciences. Her grant of $2,322,000 will advance research into the causes, and the interventions to reduce, cardio-metabolic conditions such as diabetes and obesity among ethnic groups in Canada.
  • Deborah Cook, MD, professor of medicine for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and a critical care physician with St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. She will receive $2,253,000 for improving the outcomes of critically ill patients.
  • Mark Tarnopolsky, MD, professor of pediatrics and medicine for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and a neuromuscular and neuro-metabolic specialist with Hamilton Health Sciences. His grant of $1,779,000 is for research on exercise and aging and neuromuscular disorders.

In addition, 15 McMaster researchers will share a total of $7.3 million in research funds from CIHR’s open transition operating grant competition.

These researchers are: John Hassell, Matthew S. Miller and Bernardo Trigatti from biochemistry and biomedical sciences; Warren Foster, Derek Lobb and Sarah McDonald from obstetrics and gynecology; Darren Bridgewater of pathology and molecular medicine; Magdalena Janus of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences; Michelle Kho of rehabilitation science; Colin Nurse of biology; Jean-Eric Tarride of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics; Yaron Shargall, Elena Verdu, Michael W. Walsh and Geoff Werstuck of medicine.

“McMaster researchers do well in the national competition for health research funds for good reasons,” said John Kelton, dean and vice-president of McMaster’s Faculty of Health Sciences.

“We are one of the top research universities in Canada. Our success reflects the enduring reputation of Hamilton, McMaster and our hospitals for innovative, high-quality research which furthers health care not just in Canada, but around the world.”