INMD Connections – February 2012

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Message from Philip Sherman, INMD Scientific Director

Philip Sherman at EGCD

Photo: Philip Sherman at EGCD

It was a great pleasure to co-host with the Institute of Genetics (IG) a National Workshop on Environments, Genes and Chronic Disease held February 7-8 in Ottawa. This Workshop explored Canadian strengths and opportunities for increasing research capacity related to interactions between natural and built environments, human behaviour and genes, on the pathogenesis and pathobiology of chronic, non-communicable diseases.

Sally Brown, Facilitator, and Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR

Photo: Sally Brown, Facilitator, and Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR

We were honoured to have Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR, open the Workshop and Dr. Jane Aubin, CIHR Chief Scientific Officer and Vice-President of Research, moderate a plenary discussion on potential opportunities for partnerships.

The topic of Environments, Genes and Chronic Disease crosses a number of disciplines, and INMD and IG were pleased to welcome Workshop attendees from across the country representing diverse research areas. Six outstanding researchers shared their perspectives at the workshop:

  • Robert Hegele, Univ. Western Ontario: Gene-Environment Interactions in Cardiometabolic Disease
  • Laurie Chan, Univ. Ottawa: Measuring Environmental Exposures Workshop Report (led by CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health in November, 2011)
  • Atul Butte, Stanford Univ.: Environment-Wide Association Study on Type 2 Diabetes (via WebEx)
  • Daniel Krewski, Univ. Ottawa: Assessing Environment-Gene Interactions
  • Gilaad Kaplan, Univ. Calgary: The Environment and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Challenges and Future Directions
  • Catherine Laprise, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi: Environment-Gene Interactions in Asthma
Small group session at the Workshop

Photo: Small group session at the Workshop

The Workshop included three break-out sessions during which participants discussed knowledge gaps and challenges in the area of environments, genes and chronic disease, and then considered how Canadian strengths may be harnessed to support future research in this area. We are currently compiling the information received to create a workshop report, which will be posted on the INMD website in the coming months.

On behalf of INMD and IG, I thank all of the speakers and moderators for sharing their expertise. I would also like to express our greatest appreciation to Workshop participants for sharing their knowledge, opinions and valuable time with CIHR. We look forward to working with partners to further develop this timely and important topic into a research initiative.

Wishing you all the best,

Philip M. Sherman, MD, FRCPC

Proposed Changes to Open Suite of Programs and Enhancements to the Peer Review Process

CIHR has developed a Design Discussion Document to provide an overview of the design elements that are being considered in CIHR's new Open Suite of Programs and peer review system and to solicit feedback on the proposed changes. This document outlines how CIHR is proposing to change the way investigator-initiated research is funded and peer reviewed. INMD encourages you to read the document and provide your thoughts to CIHR.

Feedback will be accepted until March 30, 2012.

Congratulations to Funding Recipients!

INMD wishes to congratulate the researchers who were successful in the following INMD-supported Priority Announcements. Follow the links for more details on each project.

Principal Investigator Institution Project Title
Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (Bridge Funding)
Scot Stone University of Saskatchewan The role of DGAT2 in triacylglycerol synthesis and lipid droplet formation
INMD Start Up Funds (Bridge Funding) - Clinician Scientists
May Faraj Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal ApoB-lipoproteins, adipose tissue NLRP3 inflammasome and insulin resistance
Joel Ray St. Michael's Hospital (Toronto) Abdominal visceral fat measured in early pregnancy and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus
INMD Start Up Funds (Bridge Funding) - Assistant Professors
Jehannine Austin University of British Columbia A prospective study of the role of genes and folates in postpartum psychopathology in women at increased risk.
Przemyslaw Sapieha Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (Montréal) Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Intake and Metabolism for Age Related Macular Degeneration
INMD Start Up Funds (Bridge Funding) - New Investigators
Jan Ehses University of British Columbia Targeting anti-inflammatory macrophages to treat type 2 diabetes
Elena Verdu McMaster University The role of intestinal microbiota in host responses to dietary gluten and to gluten binders.
Bariatric Care
Isabelle Dionne Université de Sherbrooke Metabolic Characteristics of Overweight Postmenopausal Women First-Degree Relatives of Type 2 Diabetes patients (FDR): How are they different from non-FDR and how do they respond to exercise training?
Katherine Mary Morrison McMaster University Canadian Pediatric Weight Management Registry (CANPWR): Identifying the characteristics of successful change in Canadian pediatric weight management programs


Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition in Genomics and Personalized Health

Genome Canada and CIHR are working together to advance the personalized health research agenda. The 2012 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition in Genomics and Personalized Health will support projects that demonstrate how genomics-based research can contribute to a more evidence-based approach to health and improve the cost-effectiveness of the health-care system.

CIHR's participation in this competition marks the launch of the CIHR Personalized Medicine Signature Initiative and is the first in a series of funding opportunities to be launched under this initiative.

Community-Based Primary Healthcare

CIHR and its partners are pleased to announce the launch of the Innovation Team Grants: Community-Based Primary Healthcare (CBPHC) funding opportunity. CIHR and its partners will provide funding for teams undertaking programmatic, cross-jurisdictional and interdisciplinary research to develop, implement, evaluate, and compare innovative models for chronic disease prevention and management in CBPHC and improving access to appropriate CBPHC for vulnerable populations.

Funds available
Up to $ 31,665,000 over 5 years is available to support Canadian-based teams (additional funds from Australian and New Zealand partners are available to components of teams based in those countries).

Important Dates
Phase 1: Letter of Intent
Application Deadline: 2012-05-01
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2012-07-03

Phase 2: Full Application
Application Deadline: 2012-10-15
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2013-04-01
Funding Start Date: 2013-04-01

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