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Research & Development Corporation invests $2.9 million in Memorial projects
Meaghan Whelan
Researchers at the March 11 news conference

Two funding announcements in recent weeks have given Memorial researchers a major boost.

On March 11, the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) announced $1.3 million in 12 health-related research projects. That news came on the heels of a Feb. 28 announcement of $1.6 million for nine research projects led by Memorial researchers.

“The funding programs offered by RDC are essential to Memorial’s research landscape,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University of Newfoundland. “RDC investments enable our researchers to carry out projects that advance strategic areas of research, contribute to our understanding of our world and position Memorial as a university of distinction.”

The March 11 funding announcement focused specifically on health-related research. The projects, based in the Faculty of Medicine, School of Pharmacy and Faculty of Science, could prevent cardiovascular diseases, improve the health of people living with diabetes, lower healthcare costs and develop new protocols to protect patient confidentiality in electronic health records (EMR).  

One of the funded projects could lead to enhanced treatment options for people suffering from eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

Dr. Hélène Paradis, a professor in biomedical sciences in the Faculty of Medicine, received, $189,773 from RDC. This funding is leveraging $189,773 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Regional Partnerships Program.

“Vision loss in the elderly is a devastating problem that is increasing as Newfoundland and Labrador's   population is aging and our provincial diabetes rates are higher than the national average,” said Dr. Paradis. “Our team has discovered a retinal factor we’ve named Tubedown, which keeps retinal blood vessels healthy. Our partnerships with RDC and CIHR are instrumental in our research since age-related diseases take an enormous toll on the people of this province.”

The projects funded in the Feb. 28 announcement, led by researchers in the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the Marine Institute and C-CORE, are focused on issues and opportunities relevant to Newfoundland and Labrador’s location and economy.

The RDC investment leverages more than $10 million from other sources, including the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Statoil. The funded projects are expected to reduce the seabed impacts related to bottom trawls; increase our understanding of the behaviour of ice while working and operating in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions; and improve our understanding  of the impact of extended commuting for the purpose of employment. 

The full list of funded projects:

Responsive AUV Localization and Mapping (REALM), $275,000 from RDC
Dr. Andrew Vardy, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science and Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

Employment-Related Geographic Mobility in the Canadian Context, $500,000 from RDC
Dr. Barbara Neis, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts

Co-ordinated Control and Navigation of Field Robots
, $71,000 from RDC
Dr. George Mann, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

Seismic Modelling and Inversion
, $215,368 from RDC
Dr. John Whitehead, Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, Faculty of Science

Reducing Seabed Impacts of Bottom Trawls
 (AIF Project), $75,000 from RDC
Dr. Paul Winger, Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources, Marine Institute

Computational Modelling of Ionic Liquid Extraction of Sulfur Contaminants from Crude Oil
, $95,037 from RDC
Dr. Christopher Rowley, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

Smart Grid and its Cyber Security
, $99,000 from RDC
Dr. Hamid Usefi, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science

Compressive Ice Failure Mechanics, $300,000 from RDC
Dr. Ian Jordaan, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and Centre for Arctic Research and Development, C-CORE

North Atlantic Plate Reconstruction Project, $30,000 from RDC
Dr. Jeremy Hall, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science

Tubedown Signalling Pathway as a Therapeutic Target for Age-related Retinopathy, $189,773 from RDC
Dr. Hélène Paradis, Biomedical Sciences Division, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University

 The Role of Cell Survival Proteins in Neurogenesis and Neural Regeneration, $195,779 from RDC
Dr. Jacqueline Vanderluit, Division of BioMedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University

Methyl Metabolism and Methionine Requirements in the Neonatal Pig, $52,500 from RDC
Jason Robinson, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Memorial University

Formate: A Novel Window into One-carbon Metabolism, $206,556 from RDC
Dr. John T. Brosnan, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Memorial University

Acute and Chronic PAR2 Activation in Endothelial Dysfunction, $147,088 from RDC
Dr. John McGuire, Division of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University

A Multi-level Model of the Effects of Primary Care Reform on Ambulatory Care Sensitive Hospital Outcomes, $60,000 from RDC 
Dr. Kris Aubrey-Bassler, Primary Healthcare Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine

Infant Feeding & Institutional Compliance with the WHO/UNICEF Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, $8,750 from RDC 
Laura Fullerton, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: An Institutional Ethnography Examining Communication Pathways Between Multi Disciplinary Support Systems and Diagnosed Youth, $52,500 from RDC
Melody Morton Ninomiya, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University

Impact of Dietary Methyl Groups on Methionine Metabolism and Early Programming in Neonates, $181,694 from RDC
Dr. Robert Bertolo, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Memorial University

The Study of Cardiovascular Pathogenesis Associated with Autoimmune Disease, $100,000 from RDC
Dr. Noriko Daneshtalab, School of Pharmacy and Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University 

A Common Framework of Privacy-Preserving Data Analysis for Health Research, $100,000 from RDC
Dr. Saeed Samet, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University

Genetic Epidemiology of Obesity in Newfoundland and Labrador, $84,000 from RDC 
Dr. Taraneh Abarin, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science, Memorial University


Mar 11th, 2013

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