With several major funding announcements made across Canada this week, we’re excited to congratulate our members on securing funding for important research projects.

CIHR Project Grants

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIIHR) Project Grants support research projects with a defined endpoint, allowing researchers to pursue innovative, high-risk research questions with potential to improve health outcomes in Canada. Investigators at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health have recently received a combined total of $5,447,900 in CIHR project grants for brain health research.

  • Dr. Vanessa Auld, Professor in the Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, received  five years of CIHR project grant funding for her project, Mechanisms of tricellular junction formation and regulation.
  • Dr. Thalia Field, Assistant Professor, Division of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, was awarded a grant for her project, SECRET: Study of rivaroxaban for CeREbral venous thrombosis. Dr. Field also received a Planning and Dissemination grant from CIHR in for an additional project, Engaging Persons with cerebral venous thrombosis for meaningful Outcomes and peER support (EmPOwER).
  • Dr. Andrei Krassioukov, Professor, Division of Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Co-Director at ICORD, received funding for his project, Transient Hypertension and Vascular-Cognitive Impairment after Spinal Cord Injury: Benefit of Passive Exercise.
  • Dr. Christian Naus, Professor, Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, received five years of funding for his project, Pannexin1 mediation of stroke recovery responses: Sex and sex steroid influences.
  • Dr. William Panenka, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, was awarded funds for his project, Characterization of traumatic brain injury as a contributor to chronic neuropsychiatric and neurocognitive impairment in a marginally housed population.
  • Dr. Anthony Phillips, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, received five years of funding for his project, Role of ionotropic glutamate receptors and synaptic plasticity in development of novel fast-acting antidepressants.
  • Dr. Helen Tremlett, Professor, Division of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, received more than $1.2 million for her project, Prescription Drug Safety and Effectiveness in Multiple Sclerosis [DRUMS]: a population-based, multi-province platform for comprehensive pharmacovigilance.
  • Dr. Catharine Winstanley, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, was awarded funds over four years for her project, The effects of reward cues on risky decision making: the role of dopamine and relevance to addiction.
  • In addition, Dr. Cheryl Wellington (Project: Precision Fluid Biomarkers of Traumatic Brain Injury) and Dr. Jeremy Seamans (Project: How is anxiety represented in the anterior cingulate cortex?) received bridge funding on existing CIHR project grants.

CIHR Impact Grant

Dr. Terrance Snutch, Professor, Cellular & Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Director, Translational Neuroscience at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, received a CIHR Impact Grant for his project, Advances in the Epigenetics of Addiction and Epilepsy with MinION Sequencing.

Impact grants are funded through the Canadian Epigenetics, Environment and Health Research Consortium (CEEHRC), and are intended to support significant progression in epigenetic research where there is the potential to overcome significant challenges or hurdles to translation.

Canadian brain bank network funded by CIHR

CIHR announced yesterday that Canadian researchers will receive $2.5 million to establish a coordinated system for brain donation and to participate in international dementia research projects, with $1 million to establish a Canada-wide brain banking network.

This research was funded under the international component of the CIHR Dementia Research Strategy. Dr. Robin Hsiung and Dr. Ian MacKenzie are involved in the Canadian ADNI Brain Bank Network (CABIN), which will provide the personnel and physical infrastructure needed to contribute to the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) program and more broadly support brain donation and tissue banking for dementia research programs in Canada.

Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters

The Dynamic Brain Circuits in Health and Disease Research Excellence Cluster was awarded $100,000 for programming over the next year. The Cluster is supported by the Office of Vice-President, Academic and Provost and the Vice-President, Research + Innovation, with financial contributions from the UBC Excellence Fund. Read more about the Cluster at braincircuits.ubc.ca, and discover more about UBC Research Excellence Clusters at research.ubc.ca.

Genome Canada funding

Researchers associated with the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health received Genome Canada funding for several projects.

Dr. Jehannine Austin and her team received $4.2 million for GenCOUNSEL: Optimization of genetic counselling for clinical implementation of genome-wide sequencing.

GenCOUNSEL, which brings together experts in genetic counselling, genomics, ethics, health services implementation and health economics research, is the first project to examine the genetic counselling issues associated with clinical implementation of genome-wide sequencing.

Dr. Wyeth Wasserman and his team were awarded $10.4 million for their project, Silent Genomes: Reducing health-care disparities and improving diagnostic success for Indigenous children with genetic disease, a project that aims to improve health outcomes for Indigenous Peoples’ of Canada by enhancing equitable access to diagnosis, treatment and care.

Read more: UBC Medicine receives 40% of national genomics funding