Celebrating Health Research

Welcome to CIHR’s Celebrating Health Research storybook, where you can read about the life-changing research happening right here in Canada – presented by researchers and patients in their own words.

Hear from researchers about why they pursued a career in health research, and learn about the health problems they’re tackling and the new scientific knowledge they’re creating.

You can also read the stories of patients who have been involved in or touched by health research.

Be sure to check back often, as we’ll be adding new stories all the time.


The right research for a bright future: Reducing the risk of preterm birth

Ms. Kamala Adhikari Dahal
University of Calgary

Using aspirin to prevent HIV infections

Dr. Keith Fowke
University of Manitoba

Helping children with disabilities to achieve their full potential

Dr. Alexander MacIntosh
University of Toronto

Saving lives through cleaner hospitals

Dr. William Anderson
University of Waterloo

Eating well to keep cancer at bay

Dr. Rachel Murphy
University of British Columbia

A dark cloud on the horizon

Dr. Jennifer O’Loughlin
Centre de recherche CHUM

Prostate cancer: With research, there is hope

Drs. Vincent Giguère and Étienne Audet-Walsh
Goodman Cancer Research Centre, McGill University

Helping those who help others

Dr. Sylvie Lambert
McGill University

Advancing our understanding of type 2 diabetes

Dr. Barry I. Posner
McGill University Health Centre

Healthy moms, healthy babies

Dr. Cindy-Lee Denis
University of Toronto

Helping people with developmental disabilities overcome barriers to achieve their best health

Dr. Yona Lunsky
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES)

Heel2Toe: Gait training for seniors

Dr. Nancy Mayo
McGill University

From the laboratory to bedside: the fascinating saga of the five decades of health research

Drs. Nabil G. Seidah and Michel Chrétien
Montreal Clinical Research Institution (IRCM)


Dr. Yung-Hua Li
Dalhousie University

Drug addictions in Canada: Rising to the myriad of challenges

Dr. Bernard Le Foll
Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH)

Breast cancer survivor turned author

Ms. Martina Wood
Breast Cancer Survivor and Patient Advocate, Mississauga

Rearranging genes to fight bacteria

Dr. Marc Ouellette
CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity
Centre Hospitalier de l'Université Laval (CHUL)

Helping people who are substance users to shape their health care

Dr. Karen Urbanoski
University of Victoria

The invisible injury: Raising awareness of concussions

Dr. Brian Christie
University of Victoria

COMPASS: Guiding new directions in the advancement of youth health

Dr. Scott Leatherdale
University of Waterloo

It’s not about nature versus nurture: Both make us who we are

Dr. Marla Sokolowski
University of Toronto

Occupational health risks of the sharing economy

Dr. Ellen MacEachen
University of Waterloo

Mitigating the community health impacts of mining

Dr. Craig Janes
University of Waterloo

Gathering evidence for stronger tobacco control

Dr. David Hammond
University of Waterloo

CRISPR/Cas9: New DNA technology offers ray of hope

Dr. Jacques P. Tremblay
CHU de Québec-Université Laval Research Center

Poverty devastates health and life outcomes: It’s a fact!

Dr. Noralou Roos
University of Manitoba

Access to quality dental care is far from universal

Dr. Mario A. Brondani
University of British Columbia

Looking back with pride

Dr. Margaret Lock
McGill University

Battling antibiotic resistance by finding targets for new antibiotics

Dr. Hans-Joachim Wieden
University of Lethbridge

From the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside: One researcher’s dream for a cure

Dr. James Rutka
Sick Kids Hospital Research Institute and University of Toronto

Why worm infections matter!

Dr. Theresa W. Gyorkos
McGill University

Drafting a blueprint of how our body works

Dr. Gary Bader
University of Toronto

United by a common passion

Mr. Thilina Bandara
University of Saskatchewan

Eating disorders do not discriminate by gender

Dr. Brad A. MacNeil
Kingston Health Sciences Center, Hotel Dieu Hospital

Midwifery integration

Dr. Kellie Thiessen
University of Manitoba

Harnessing the power of epigenetics to save little lives

Dr. Richard Keijzer
University of Manitoba

It all adds up to a challenging and rewarding career

Dr. Rhonda Rosychuk
University of Alberta

Meet the CIHR Fertility Health Research Team

Dr. Phyllis Zelkowitz
McGill University, Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital

Type 2 diabetes: A fascinating research puzzle

Dr. Hertzel C. Gerstein
McMaster University

Participating in research helped me grieve

Mrs. Valerie McDonald


Making the powerful care in order to make the world a better place

Dr. Françoise Baylis
Dalhousie University

It is an exciting time to be working in the life sciences

Dr. Corey Nislow
University of British Columbia

Listening to patients has been an enlightening journey

Dr. Sunita Vohra
University of Alberta

How I am contributing to Canadian health research

Ms. Shannon Thompson
University of Ottawa

The study of individual differences in pain perception

Dr. Jeffrey S. Mogil
McGill University

A breath of fresh air!

Dr. Jim Hu
Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto

Living well without dialysis

Dr. Sara Davison
University of Alberta

Birth medicine: 3D modeling of how babies are born

Dr. James Andrew Smith
York University

Harnessing the power of the body’s healing mechanism

Dr. Shalina Ousman
University of Calgary

Combatting sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of infection that can trigger organ failure

Dr. Jim Russell
Centre for Heart Lung Innovation at St. Paul’s Hospital

Improving strategies for health professionals

Dr. Evelyne Vinet
McGill University

A health research trifecta!

Dr. Terence J. Coderre
McGill University

Physiotherapists are “unsung heroes”

Dr. Dina Brooks
University of Toronto

The pathway to a health research career begins at home

Ms. Ashley Ross
University of Waterloo

From patient to professor: Paying it forward

Dr. Kevin Willison
Lakehead University

Improving end-of-life care in Canada

Dr. Isabelle Marcoux
University of Ottawa


Promising practices, policies and principles that better support aging and care

Dr. Tamara Daly
York University Centre for Aging Research and Education

Time flies when you’re making a difference

Dr. Eduardo L. Franco
McGill University

Uncovering the role of endothelin-1 in atherosclerosis and aortic aneurysms

Dr. Ernesto L. Schiffrin
Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital and McGill University

This psychiatric rehabilitation researcher is proud to be part of the solution

Dr. Abraham (Rami) Rudnick
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

Talking about sexual health and well-being

Dr. Natalie Rosen
Dalhousie University

Mapping and understanding the genome of breast cancer

Dr. Samah El Ghamrasni
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

A safe way to test if a child is allergic to antibiotics

Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan
Montreal Children’s Hospital, McGill University Health Centre

Bringing hope to patients with colorectal cancer

Dr. Nicole Beauchemin
McGill University

Confronting a global killer

Dr. Madhukar Pai
McGill University

Improving our knowledge of rheumatic diseases

Dr. Sasha Bernatsky
McGill University Health Centre Research Institute

Fending off super-bugs

Dr. Ayush Kumar
University of Manitoba

Deciphering the secrets of saliva

Dr. Walter L. Siqueira
Western University

From the molecule to the market: developing cancer treatments

Dr. Donald Poirier
Centre de recherche de CHU de Québec

Social participation: better fostering active aging

Dr. Mélanie Levasseur
Université de Sherbrooke

Helping young patients find their voices

Dr. Roberta L. Woodgate
College of Nursing, University of Manitoba

A humble servant to the Indigenous communities she serves

Dr. Carrie Bourassa
Health Sciences North Research Institute

A diversity of perspectives, interventions and approaches converge to create solutions

Dr. Jon McGavock and Dr. Andrew Halayko
Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba

Supporting nurses: Supporting safe health care

Jennifer Jackson
King’s College London (UK)

Celebrating 7 years of SyMBIOTA (Synergy in Microbiota) research

Dr. Anita Kozyrskyj
University of Alberta

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure

Oluwatoyosi Owoeye
University of Calgary

Finding ways to help Canadian moms cope with depression

Dr. Simone Vigod
Women’s College Hospital


Helping patients with evidence

Dr. Brian H. Rowe
CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health, University of Alberta

Passion: The genesis of genius

Dr. Jason Kindrachuk
University of Manitoba

I have a dream

Dr. Teresa Naseba Marsh
Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Laurentian and Lakehead Universities

My journey as a health researcher: A time for reflection and celebration

Ms. Aimée Dubeau
The Hospital for Sick Children

The heart sees what is invisible to the eye

Terry-Lee Marttinen
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Food for thought

Dr. Nafisa M. Jadavji
Carleton University

Championing child-friendly health policies: Giving children a voice

Dr. Wendy Ungar
The Hospital for Sick Children

New hope for youth coping with depression

Dr. Frank P. MacMaster
University of Calgary

The role of health research on the pathway to reconciliation

Ms. Kaela Anne Schill
Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, Kelowna, B.C.

Transforming a parent’s heartbreak into action

Dr. Emilio Alarcon
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Patient Navigator

Dr. Simone Dahrouge
University of Ottawa and Bruyère Research Institute


How child maltreatment hurts us all

Dr. Tracie O. Afifi
University of Manitoba

OASIS: A made-in-Ontario asthma monitoring system with big aspirations

Dr. Teresa To
The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute
University of Toronto

When your heart skips a beat

Dr. William McIntyre
McMaster University

Becoming the change we wish to see in the world

Dr. Erna Snelgrove-Clarke
Dalhousie University

Men’s health: Out of the shadows into the spotlight

Dr. John Oliffe
University of British Columbia

Advocating for “hands on” approaches to cancer prevention

Dr. Carolyn Gotay
University of British Columbia

Free to be me, unconditionally

Dr. Colleen Anne Dell
University of Saskatchewan


Demystifying health, empowering patients

Dr. Holly Witteman
Laval University

The protective power of breast milk

Dr. Meghan Azad
University of Manitoba

When our DNA mutates, cancer can be the result

Dr. Mani Larijani
Memorial University of Newfoundland

A window on the circuitry of the brain

Dr. Kurt Haas
University of British Columbia

Helping young brains recover from concussion

Dr. Roger Zemek
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute

The far-reaching effects of bullying

Dr. Tracy Vaillancourt
University of Ottawa

Why some kids get asthma and others don’t

Dr. Stuart Turvey
University of British Columbia

Developing a molecule to help people with allergies breathe easier

Dr. Christine McCusker
Montreal Children’s Hospital

Extending the lives of people with cystic fibrosis

Dr. Christine Bear
Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)


Dr. Christine Chambers
Dalhousie University

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