McMaster launches global research network


[img_inline align=”right” src=”” caption=”F:R.Joffe,S.Rowand. B:P.George, J.Hirsh, S.Yusuf”]A new institute at McMaster University brings together researchers from across Hamilton with colleagues at approximately 700 hospitals in 52 countries in a global network to address population health issues.

The projects of the Population Health Institute have sponsorship by the World Health Organization and the World Heart Federation and links with core laboratories specializing in thrombosis, biochemistry, genetics and vascular research.

The Institute will focus on the prevention of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and other chronic diseases in multiple populations. Special populations include:

7 the elderly;

7 individuals of different ethnic backgrounds;

7 developing populations in Canada and other countries.

The Institute will also explore factors associated with the quality of care.

The new Institute is primarily research-focused but will additionally offer post-graduate courses and seminars. The members of the Institute hold appointments with departments at McMaster University across a broad range of faculties.

The Institute developed from the Program of Preventive Cardiology and Therapeutics Research, which was established in 1992 under the directorship of Salim Yusuf. Over the last five years, the group's activities have broadened to study not only how to treat individuals who have already suffered illnesses but also to understand better ways of preventing illnesses in populations.

Although this group primarily focused on cardiovascular disease and diabetes, other research interests were developed to include dementia and disability in the elderly, infectious diseases as they relate to chronic conditions, women's health and genetic epidemiology related to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The group now involves a team of about 70 researchers.

“The new Population Health Institute formally recognizes and brings together these existing research efforts, and will provide the potential to build upon clinical and basic science strengths and expand its population health focus into new areas,” says Yusuf, who will head up the Population Health Institute.

“The Population Health Institute has already trained several productive researchers at McMaster and, in addition, will serve to train young research scientists from Canada and abroad,” says Russell Joffe, dean of health sciences. “Formation of this research institute will enhance the ability of scientists in diverse fields to collaborate not only within Hamilton, but across several other countries worldwide.”

Members of the institute hold external career awards or research fellowships and an endowed chair in cardiovascular research. The new Population Health Institute derives most of its support through external peer review funds and from industry contracts. The Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation also provides additional support.