CMI Strategic Funding Opportunities

Emerging Team Grant: Canadian Microbiome Initiative

In July, 2009, The CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity announced the launch of the Emerging Team Grant: Canadian Microbiome Initiative (CMI). This initiative will provide an opportunity for multidisciplinary teams of Canadian researchers to analyze and characterize the microbes that colonize the human body in order to: understand of the composition and distribution of the microbial flora in different body sites; gain new insights on the function of the normal flora in healthy individuals; and probe the links between the human microflora and disease.. It is expected that successful teams will take advantage of the international microbiome research database where appropriate.

Total amount available for this initiative is $13.275 million, with the possibility of increased funding through additional partnerships.

Letters of Intent are due November 2, 2009 and funding will commence in September 2010.

This funding opportunity is supported by:

  • The CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity in partnership with:
  • The CIHR Institute of Cancer Research,
  • The CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis,
  • The CIHR Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes,
  • The CIHR Ethics Office,
  • The Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,
  • The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada,
  • Genome British Columbia,
  • Genome Prairie,
  • Institut Rosell - Lallemand Inc.

Collaborators include:

  • The Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study,
  • The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA),
  • The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPT),
  • the International Human Microbiome Consortium (IHMC)

The specific objectives of this funding opportunity are:

  • To characterize communities of microbes found in different body sites in healthy individuals to determine if individuals share a common microbiome;
  • To explore the interactions between microbes and determine how perturbations at one site can affect microbes at another body site;
  • To investigate the role the microbiota play in human health and to probe the associations between the human microbiome and a variety of diseases and health conditions;
  • To establish links and collaborations between researchers with expertise in different fields e.g. genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, immunology, physiology, microbial ecology, ethics;
  • To establish links and collaborations between research teams currently studying microbes at different body sites e.g. oral, gastrointestinal, respiratory tract;
  • To promote research that utilizes existing Canadian infrastructures such as large-scale genomics and bioinformatics platforms and cohort studies;
  • To create competitive Canadian teams that are able to contribute to, and benefit from, the work of the IHMC and other international opportunities;
  • To identify and address potential ethical and legal issues associated with microbiome research and the emerging technologies as an integral part of research teams.

For information about this funding opportunity, please visit: our website or contact Dr. Judith Bray.

The CIHR-III Catalyst Grant in Human Microbiome Research

In June 2008, III, in partnership with the CIHR Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (INMD), launched a Human Microbiome Catalyst Grant competition to support one-year grants of up to $100,000 that will enable Canadian researchers to make a contribution to the creation of new knowledge in the area of the human microbiome and its translation into an understanding of how the microbes in the human body affect both the normal healthy and disease states. This catalyst grant funding opportunity garnered a great deal of interest from the research community and attracted 21 applications. With funding support from the CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICRH), the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health (IGH), INMD, and the CIHR Ethics Office, the following 12 projects received one year funding to support individual researchers working in the area of the human microbiome to begin forming teams as an initial step towards the pursuit of additional funding opportunities in the national and international realms.

Researchers funded in the CIHR-III Microbiome Catalyst Grant competition

PI Institution Project Title
Allen-Vercoe, Emma University of Guelph Investigating the potential effects of host-derived stress hormones on the human gut microflora
Finlay, Barton University of British Columbia The Role of the Gastrointestinal Microbiota in Asthma
Holt, Rob BC Cancer Research Centre Linking Infectious Agents to Cancer: A Metagenomics Approach
Hwang, David University Health Network Assessing the impact of polymicrobial pulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis via metagenomics
Kozyrskyj, Anita University of Alberta The impact of antibiotics on intestinal microbiota of infants
Manges, Amee McGill University Microbial metagenomics of the intestinal microbiota and the etiology of Clostridium difficile-associated disease in hospitalized patients
Money, Deborah University of British Columbia Metagenomic characterization of the human vaginal microbiome
Neufeld, Josh University of Waterloo Establishing a complete taxonomic baseline for the human microbiome
O'Doherty, Kieran University of British Columbia Developing Ethical and Regulatory Guidelines for Research on the Human Microbiome and its Applications: Speaking to the Experts and Stakeholders
Rioux, Kevin University of Calgary Characterizing the fecal microbiome and bacteria-derived volatile organic compounds in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
Stintzi, Alain University of Ottawa Role of the gut microbiome in Pediatric Gastrointestinal Illnesses
Surette, Michael University of Calgary Elusive respiratory pathogens in the oropharyngeal flora

For more details see the Overview of the Canadian Microbiome Initiative.