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The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) supports health research in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Atlantic Canada at a Glance
Some of Canada's most innovative and relevant health research happens in the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. CIHR awarded approximately $22 million for health research in Atlantic Canada in 2006-07, an increase of about 120% from 2000-01. This funding supports more than 320 projects by principal investigators in 13 funded institutions.
Figures include the Canada Research Chairs and the Networks of Centres of Excellence.
Figures are rounded to the nearest million.
CIHR-Funded Health Research in Atlantic Canada
Universities in Atlantic Canada are known for their expertise and research achievements in a variety of areas. Here are some examples of research in progress:
How fast are you aging?
Dr. Arnold Mitnitski, Dalhousie University
You may be older than you think. Dr. Arnold Mitnitski of Dalhousie University is developing a mathematical model to calculate a person's "biological age". Biological age is determined not just by one's age but also lifestyle and health. The higher your biological age, the greater your chances of experiencing an age-related illness. With the help of CIHR funding, Dr. Mitnitski will be using several large databases to study how people's biological ages change over time. The concept of biological age could someday lead to better preventative medicine and more efficient health services.
How physically active are Canadian kids?
Dr. Mark Tremblay, University of New Brunswick (Fredericton)
Every year, the National Physical Activity Report Card for Children and Youth provides a snapshot of the activity levels of Canadian kids. This report card helps policy-makers make informed choices about how to get kids more active. With the help of CIHR funding, Dr. Mark Tremblay of the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton) held a think tank workshop in fall 2006 to bring together interdisciplinary experts from across Canada to discuss ways of creating better report cards to improve the quality of data collected and, ultimately, create better programs for kids.
Cranberries for healthy arteries?
Dr. Robert Hurta, University of Prince Edward Island
Dr. Robert Hurta of UPEI is studying whether eating cranberries can prevent hardening of the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when the muscle cells lining arteries change the way they grow and behave, leading to the formation of plaques that can restrict blood flow and cause hypertension, heart attack, or stroke. Cranberries may contain naturally occurring compounds that prevent or slow the development of atherosclerosis. With CIHR funding, Dr. Hurta will be studying how these cranberry compounds affect the growth and gene activity of cells in the arteries of rabbits. His findings could shed light on the role that diet plays in maintaining a healthy circulatory system.
Fighting vision loss in seniors
Dr. Hélène Paradis, Memorial University
Researchers are getting a clearer picture of the causes of vision loss in seniors. CIHR-funded researcher Dr. Hélène Paradis of Memorial University has identified a protein, called tubedown-1, which helps maintain healthy vision. Dr. Paradis is investigating whether patients suffering from vision loss due to age-related macular degeneration have insufficient amounts of tubedown-1. This research could lead to treatments for age-related vision loss that boost or mimic tubedown-1.
Recognizing Regional Leaders in Health Research
Dr. Nicole Letourneau
CIHR Award Winner
Dr. Nicole Letourneau, a researcher and associate professor at the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton), designs and tests programs to promote the healthy development of children at risk, particularly those who are exposed to domestic violence or whose mothers suffer from depression. She is a Canada Research Chair (elect) in Healthy Child Development and a member of the Advisory Board of CIHR's Institute of Gender and Health. Dr. Letourneau recently received the Peter Lougheed/CIHR New Investigator Award for Canada's Premier Young Researcher. The award is CIHR's most important career development award, given to Canada's brightest young researchers at the beginning of their careers.
Dr. Patrick John McGrath
CIHR Governing Council Member
Dr. Patrick John McGrath, a professor of psychology, pediatrics and psychiatry at Dalhousie University and a psychologist at the IWK Health Centre, is a renowned expert in the diagnosis and treatment of pain in children and the innovative delivery of mental health care. As a CIHR Distinguished Investigator and a Canada Research Chair at Dalhousie University/IWK Health Centre, Dr. McGrath has received numerous honours for his outstanding research, including the Order of Canada (Officer) in 2003. He was a member of the Institute Advisory Board for CIHR's Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health and is on the Board of the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation. Dr. McGrath is currently a member of CIHR's Governing Council.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's agency for health research. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to catalyze its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 11,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
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