INMD Connections – October 2017

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Message from Philip Sherman, INMD Scientific Director

INMD was pleased to support the 2017 International Meeting on Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) held in Winnipeg, Manitoba September 9-11, 2017. The meeting was presented by the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver (CASL), sponsored by the Canadian Liver Foundation, and supported by the American Liver Foundation. State-of-the-art presentations highlighted Canadian investigators and new knowledge in the field that has been provided by their research activities across the four themes of health research.

NAFLD is a progressive complex liver disease that is strongly associated with the metabolic syndrome and characterized by fat accumulation in the liver in the absence of excessive alcohol consumption. With the prevalence of diabetes and obesity continuing to increase, there has been an accompanying increase in the prevalence of NAFLD: the estimated prevalence in North America is ~30% of the adult population. Long-term consequences include hepatocellular carcinoma and cirrhosis, requiring liver transplantation. The conference highlighted underlying mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, impacts across the life span, effects of gender on outcomes, and potential new management options currently under development. Research gaps and opportunities for Canadian and global funders of health research were identified at the meeting. Congratulations to the meeting co-organizers Drs. Eberhard Renner (Univ. Manitoba) and Brent Neuschwander-Tetri (St. Louis Univ., USA) and CASL President, Dr. Richard Schreiber (UBC)!

Philip M. Sherman, MD, FRCPC
Scientific Director, CIHR-INMD


Pathways to Health Equity for Indigenous Peoples: 3rd Annual Gathering

Together with the Native Women’s Association of Canada, CIHR co-hosted the Pathways to Health Equity for Indigenous Peoples gathering September 25-27 at the beautiful Kwanlin Dun First Nation Cultural Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon. Elder-youth pairs from across the land, community partners and health researchers participating in interventional research projects related to diabetes & obesity, oral health, tuberculosis, and suicide prevention considered next steps in this CIHR Signature Institute. Issues related to community ownership of data, leadership of health research projects, and research strengths and opportunities in specific regions were discussed. These important factors must be considered when assessing the feasibility and merits of transitioning successful health interventions from one community to another. Many thanks to everyone who participated in this important event!

Lighting of the sacred fire.

Scientific Directors, Philip Sherman (INMD) and Carrie Bourassa (IAPH).


Researcher Profile

Katey Rayner

Katey Rayner, PhD

2017 Amgen Stewart Whitman Canadian Lipoprotein Conference Young Investigator Award Recipient, University of Ottawa Heart Insitute

Katey Rayner is an Assistant Professor at the Univ. Ottawa Heart Institute in the Dept. Biochemistry in Ottawa, Canada where she directs the Cardiometabolic microRNA Laboratory. Dr. Rayner obtained her BSc from Univ. Toronto and her PhD at Univ. Ottawa. She then pursued postdoctoral fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and New York Univ. School of Medicine, where she helped to discover a role for microRNA-33 in the regulation of HDL (high density lipoprotein) and its protective effects against atherosclerosis.

Dr. Rayner’s independent research program addresses novel mechanisms underlying inflammatory processes of atherosclerotic plaque progression, with a focus on the intersection between macrophage inflammation and microRNAs as drivers of disease. Her research group has uncovered a novel role for microRNA control of mitochondrial respiration in macrophage cholesterol efflux. More recently, she described a role for programmed cell necrosis in the development of unstable atherosclerotic plaques in mice and how this can be employed as a biomarker in humans. Dr. Rayner’s research is currently supported by CIHR, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and the United States-based National Institutes of Health.


Pre-announcement: National Research Core

Canadian Microbiome Initiative 2: A Focus on Function and Translation

CIHR, under the scientific leadership of the Institute of Genetics, Institute of Infection and Immunity, Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes and Institute of Gender and Health, in collaboration with the Institute of Aging, Institute of Cancer Research, and Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health, is pleased to announce an upcoming new funding opportunity for a National Research Core as part of the Canadian Microbiome Initiative 2 (CMI2): A Focus on Function and Translation.

The overall goal of the CMI2 is to enable the development of effective preventative and therapeutic interventions through a deeper understanding of the role of microbiome in human health. CMI2 will build on previous CIHR investments in microbiome research, and support the next phase of microbiome research in Canada through two funding opportunities: (1) Research Core (current competition) and (2) Research Teams (future competition). This funding opportunity will focus on the development of a sustainable pan-Canadian Research Core to coordinate research activities, facilitate sharing of expertise, knowledge and resources, to support the integration of sex- and gender-based analysis (SGBA) and ethical considerations in research related to the microbiome and human health, and to promote the translation of research outcomes into improved health, social, and economic benefits for Canadians, including both preventative and therapeutic interventions. Partnerships are in development.

The anticipated launch date of this funding opportunity is Fall 2017. Please look for application instructions at that time through ResearchNet.


CIHR Funding Opportunity

Operating Grant: The Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) & JDRF Canada–Innovative Clinical Trials (iCT) Multi-Year Grant

CIHR and JDRF Canada are pleased to announce the SPOR & JDRF–iCT Multi-Year Operating Grant. This funding opportunity focuses on innovative clinical trials: comparative effectiveness research and implementation science. The research will positively impact the care, treatment, and outcomes for Canadians living with type 1 diabetes (T1D). It will enable new and established investigators to undertake innovative clinical trials in the area of T1D, support the development and testing of innovative paradigms for clinical studies in adult and pediatric T1D, and build capacity for iCT research through training and mentoring. Application deadline: November 14, 2017. Visit ResearchNet for more information.


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