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New research funding

(February 10, 2000, Gazette)

By Sharon Gray

Federal Health Minister Allan Rock announced over $650,000 in various project grants to researchers at Memorial at media conference in the medical school Feb. 4. Premier Brian Tobin and Gerry Byrne, the Liberal MP for Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte, also attended the media conference, which was hosted by Dr. Kevin Keough, vice-president (research and international affairs).

Of the total amount, $444,000 represents two research projects funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) of Canada. Dr. Sudesh Vasdev, Medicine, was awarded $47,401 per year for three years to study hypertension. Dr. George Carayanniotis’ grant of $100,724 per year over three years is for thyroid research.

Three grants with a total value of $207,573 were awarded by Health Canada under the Population Health Fund. The School of Social Work received $29,500 to examine community building initiatives in Canada that are concerned with the protection of children. The Division of Community Health in the Faculty of Medicine received $128,000 over three years to develop an information system to track the implementation of health promotion programs. The Department of Sociology was awarded $50,000 for an eight-month study of the determinants of women’s health in a changing work environment.

In addition to the $650,000 announced by Mr. Rock, seven more projects are eligible for funding under MRC’s Regional Partnership Program (RPP), a joint initiative of the MRC and the provincial government, pending confirmation of partner funding. The approved RPP projects are for Dr. Alan Pater, Medicine, to study cervical cell oncogenesis; Dr. Bruce Van Vliet, Medicine, for a study of the consequences of baroreflex dysfunction; Dr. David Heeley, Biochemistry, for a study on the regulation of striated muscle contraction; Dr. Sheila Drover, Medicine, for an investigation of MHC-peptide complexed on HLA-DR4 molecules; Dr. Graham Worrall, Medicine, for a study on an instrument used to assess elder home care use; Dr. John Robinson, Biochemistry, for a study on the role of yolk granules in protein export in the developing embryo; and Dr. John McLean, Medicine, for a study on cellular correlates and circuit analysis in early olfactory learning.

Last year’s federal budget announced a substantial increase in funding for health research in Canada, in addition to the creation of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Once established later this year, the CIHR will coordinate all health research activities of the federal government.