Statement from Dr. Brian H. Rowe: Lung Month

November 2017

The lung is an organ that plays a vital role in circulation, respiration and protection of the body against harmful substances in the air such as smoke, pollution, bacteria and viruses. The month of November marks a series of events dedicated to the lung, including: the World Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month; Radon Action Month; Lung Cancer Awareness Week; International Day of Radiology; World Pneumonia Day and World COPD Day. Respiratory diseases of the lung such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, tuberculosis (TB), and cystic fibrosis affect over 3 million Canadians. This places a significant economic burden on the health care system and budget. According to the most recent statistics from The Lung Association, respiratory diseases cost the Canadian economy approximately $15 billion per year (includes both direct and indirect costs). Given Canada’s aging population, and without continued action, the economic cost is expected to double by 2030.

The CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICRH) is committed to supporting ground-breaking research into causes, mechanisms, prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of conditions that affect the lung. Between 2004 and 2016, CIHR and ICRH have invested over $500 million in respiratory research. Since 2013, ICRH has been providing funding to the Canadian Respiratory Research Network (CRRN), which is a national network of investigators and research platforms designed to enable innovative, collaborative, respiratory health research that influences decision-making and ensures high quality training and career development of a new generation of investigators. The annual CIHR-ICRH/CTS Distinguished Lecturer Award in Respiratory Sciences recognizes an outstanding Canadian scientist who has made significant contribution to the advancement of respiratory sciences both in Canada and internationally. ICRH also supports the annual Lung Association RENASCENT/CIHR-ICRH Workshop, in partnership with CRRN and Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS), an example of the Institute’s commitment to building a solid foundation for the future of respiratory research in Canada through training, mentorship and early career development.

Starting on November 1, 2017, ICRH’s partner, The Lung Association is proud to release an unprecedented detailed, multimedia look at 5 years of funding across the country. The report looks at the stories behind the $ 11.8 million spent in research. Visit the Lung Association website and learn more about lung researchers, donors and projects across the country.

This month, I would like to acknowledge researchers and trainees who are at the cutting edge of lung research and reaffirm ICRH’s commitment to supporting research that improves the quality of life for patients and families living with chronic lung disease.

Dr. Brian H. Rowe
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health

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