ARCHIVED - Ontario - Your Health Research Dollars at Work 2006-2007This page has been archived.
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The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) supports health research in Ontario.
Ontario at a Glance
Ontario receives the largest share of CIHR funding - approximately $292 million in 2006‑07, an increase of about 103% from 2000-01. This funding supports more than 2,930 projects by principal investigators in 35 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 Ontario
Universities in Ontario are known for their expertise and research achievements in a variety of areas. Here are some examples of research in progress:
Caring for dying Canadians
Dr. Mary Louise Kelley, Lakehead University
For many seniors suffering from a terminal illness, a hospice becomes home in their final days. Rural seniors, however, face particular challenges, including the distance between the hospice and their families. CIHR-supported researcher Dr. Mary Louise Kelley of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay wants to know how hospice volunteers interact with seniors from rural areas and how hospice care affects these seniors' quality of life. By learning more about the role that hospice volunteers play in the lives of rural seniors, we can gain a greater understanding of how to best use hospice care in end-of-life situations. This CIHR-funded study will later be expanded to the national level.
Heart disease - Are you at risk?
Dr. Robert Roberts, University of Ottawa
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the number-one cause of death in Canada. More than half the risk of CAD lies in our genes. CIHR-supported researcher Dr. Robert Roberts of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute is trying to identify genes associated with CAD. His team has already identified 162 gene sequences that are strongly associated with the disease. Dr. Roberts is now expanding his study to confirm that these genes play a role in CAD. Once they have discovered which genes predispose a person to developing CAD, researchers will be able to identify who is at risk and develop better treatments, as well as ways to prevent CAD in the first place.
Making difficult decisions
Dr. Kevin Coughlin, The University of Western Ontario
As medical technology advances, doctors are able to save extremely premature babies earlier and earlier in their development. However, with these technological advances comes an increased risk of mental and physical handicaps, particularly when infants are born at less than 25 weeks of gestation. A growing number of ethical questions surround how best to care for infants at the extreme limits of prematurity. Dr. Kevin Coughlin, a CIHR-funded researcher from the University of Western Ontario, is working with parents and health-care providers to study key steps in the difficult decision-making process they are confronted with. The research will decrease conflict and provide direction for future guidelines and health-care policies.
Air pollution and cancer: What's the connection?
Dr. Paul Villeneuve, University of Toronto
Can the air you breathe affect your risk of developing cancer? While air pollution has been shown to have a negative impact on human health more generally, the relationship between long-term exposure to pollution and the risk of certain types of cancer is not well understood. Dr. Paul Villeneuve, a CIHR-funded researcher at the University of Toronto, is mining data from income tax databases, cancer incidence records and air pollution monitoring stations in ten Ontario cities to see if there is a link between pollution and cancer. Dr. Villeneuve's findings could help guide air quality policies and identify groups of people who are at the highest risk of developing air pollution-related cancers.
Recognizing Regional Leaders in Health Research
Dr. Cornelia Wieman
CIHR Governing Council Member
Dr. Cornelia Wieman is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. A member of the Little Grand Rapids First Nation (Anishnawbe) in Manitoba, Dr. Wieman is Canada's first female Aboriginal psychiatrist. From 1997-2005, she practiced as a consultant psychiatrist at Six Nations Mental Health Services, a community mental health clinic based on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Dr. Wieman has been actively involved in many Aboriginal health initiatives, such as the Vision 2020 strategy, a province-wide effort to train more Aboriginal physicians in Ontario. Dr. Wieman joined CIHR's Governing Council in spring 2007.
Drs. Anne W. Snowdon and John L. Mann
CIHR Award Winners
Each year, about three classrooms worth of elementary school children die in road crashes in Canada. With the support of DaimlerChrysler Canada, Dr. Anne W. Snowdon of the University of Windsor and a team of researchers developed "Bobby Shooster Rides Safely in his Booster", a multi-media education program for families. The education program, when tested in Ontario, led to a significant increase in parents' knowledge of accurate use of safety seats for children. The program is now being tested in six Canadian provinces. In 2006, Dr. Snowdon and Dr. Mann of DaimlerChrysler Canada received the CIHR Partnership Award for their efforts to improve child safety.
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
160 Elgin St., 9th Floor, Ottawa ON K1A 0W9