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London Welcomes $11 Million In Medical Research Funding

Thursday, March 4, 2004 - 00:00

The federal government has announced support for scientists at The University of Western Ontario and its research partners, the Lawson Health Research Institute and Robarts Research Institute today.

The University and its affiliated research institutions will share grants totaling $11,136,426 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), to support 22 research projects in areas such as cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, musculoskeletal health and health policy development.

“The City of London is a Canadian leader in innovative health research,” says Nils Petersen, Vice President (Research) at The University of Western Ontario. “The federal government’s commitment to research will allow scientists at Western and our partner institutions to advance knowledge in the causes and treatments of diseases, aimed at improving the quality of life of all Canadians.”

Highlights:
Melvyn Goodale, psychology and physiology & pharmacology professor and Canada Research Chair in Visual Neuroscience at Western receives $889,740 to study the functional architecture of perception and action. His research will help with the diagnosis and rehabilitation of individuals with neurological visual problems and may provide insights into how to design better robots and ‘machine’ vision systems. Goodale is also the Director of the CIHR Group on Action and Perception involving researchers in London and Ontario.
Grant McFadden, Robarts scientist and professor of microbiology & immunology at Western, receives $835,575 to study how the poxvirus identifies and targets host cells for infection.
Qingping Feng, Lawson scientist (London Health Sciences Centre) andassociate professor of medicine and physiology & pharmacology at Western receives $642,150 to further study one of the main complications of septic shock, which is cardiac dysfunction. His goal is to understand how one of the key molecules that causes cardiac dysfunction is regulated during sepsis, which may lead to better treatments.
Gary Shaw, biochemistry professor at Western and Canada Research Chair in Structural Neurobiology receives $585,055 to study protein interactions in degradation and Parkinson’s disease. Shaw’s research focuses on understanding Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's diseases to allow for the development of pharmaceuticals for their treatment.
Keith St. Lawrence, Lawson scientist (St. Joseph’s Health Care London) and assistant professor, diagnostic radiology & nuclear medicine at Western receives $113,622 for early detection of brain injury in newborns following suffocation at birth. Lawrence’s further development of an inexpensive and portable near-infrared spectroscopy method for monitoring potential brain injury in critically ill newborns has the potential to greatly improve diagnosis and treatment.

“London’s success reflects the unique partnership among investigators in different disciplines and institutions across the city,” says Carol Herbert, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. “This investment is the result of the collaboration of London’s research community.”

“CIHR continues to show excellent support for research in London,” says Mark Poznansky, President and Scientific Director of Robarts Research Institute. “This success in the peer-review grant process is a testament to the strength of the ideas that our researchers have put forward.”

“Not only has London maintained its recent success rate above the national average, but a number of newer faculty attracted back from outside of Canada were also recognized with funding,” says David Hill, Scientific Director of Lawson Health Research Institute.

CIHR is Canada’s premier federal agency for health research. Its objective is to excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products and a strengthened health care system.

A complete list of London scientists receiving funds from CIHR is attached.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Alison Liversage
Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
The University of Western Ontario
(519) 661-2111, ext. 86415

Jayne Graham
Lawson Health Research Institute
(519) 636-6100, ext. 64680

Linda Quattrin
Robarts Research Institute
(519) 663-3021

CANADIAN INSTITUTES OF HEALTH RESEARCH (CIHR) GRANTS – MARCH 2004

The following researchers have received two- to five-year operating grants from CIHR:

David Bailey, Lawson Scientist; Associate Professor, Physiology & Pharmacology at Western receives $267,396 to study dietary constituents and drug uptake transporters.

Frank Beier, Assistant Professor, Physiology & Pharmacology at Western receives $558,912 to research Rho GTPases in chondrocyte differentiation and skeletal development.

Ann Chambers, Oncology Professor at Western; Senior Scientist London Regional Cancer Centre receives $193,666 to research animal models to study how timing of surgery during the menstrual cycle could affect cancer metastasis and survival.

Jeff Dixon, Professor at Western's School of Dentistry and Department of Physiology & Pharmacology receives $691,585 to research ion transport and signaling in skeletal cells: P2 nucleotide receptor function in bone.

Qingping Feng, Lawson Scientist; Associate Professor of Medicine and Physiology & Pharmacology at Western receives $642,150 to study regulation of LPS-induced TNF-alpha expression in cardiomyocytes.

Aaron Fenster, Robarts Scientist and Director of Robarts’ Imaging Research Laboratories; Professor, Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at Western receives $238,359 for 3D transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy research.

Amit Garg, Lawson Scientist; Assistant Professor, Medicine and Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Western and Neil Boudville, Adjunct Professor, Medicine, receives $214,644 to study the long-term medical and psychological implications of becoming a living kidney donor.

Mel Goodale, Professor, Physiology & Pharmacology and Psychology at Western receives $889,740 to study the functional architecture and neural substrates of perception and action.

David Holdsworth, Robarts Scientist; Professor, Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine and Medical Biophysics at Western receives $229,347 to research micro-computed tomographic microscopy for pre-clinical anatomical and functional imaging.

Morris Karmazyn, Professor, Physiology & Pharmacology at Western receives $1,080,761 to study Na-H exchange in myocardial remodeling and heart failure.

Thomas Kennedy, Professor, Physiology & Pharmacology and Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Western receives $820,420 for blastocyst implantation and uterine decidualization research.

Shawn Li, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Paediatrics at Western receives $643,098 to study biochemical and functional characterization of numb-interacting proteins in asymmetric cell division and nurogenesis.

Hong Ling, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry at Western receives $393,039 to study Y-polymerase dpo4 and its co-factors in translesion DNA synthesis and mutagenesis.

David Litchfield, Professor, Biochemistry and Oncology at Western receives $670,720 to research the control of cell proliferation and survival.

Grant McFadden, Robarts Scientist; Professor, Microbiology & Immunology at Western receives $835,575 to look at the role of intracellular signaling in poxvirus tropism.

Jeffrey Nisker, Professor, Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Western receives $171,662 to study theatre as an innovative tool for public engagement in health policy development.

Gary Shaw, Professor, Biochemistry at Western receives $585,055 to study protein interactions in degradation and Parkinson’s disease.

Keith St. Lawrence, Lawson Scientist; Assistant Professor, Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine at Western receives $113,662 to study oxygen consumption as an early predictor of brain damage following hypoxia-ischemia.

Michael Underhill, Professor at Western's School of Dentistry and Department of Physiology & Pharmacology receives $679,915 to research the regulation of skeletogenesis by the retinoic acid signaling pathway.

Tutis Vilis, Professor, Medical Biophysics, Ophthalmology, Physiology & Pharmacology and Psychology at Western receives $628,373 to study interactions and transformations with dorsal and ventral streams.

Paul Walton, Associate Professor, Anatomy & Cell Biology and Biology at Western receives $150,344 to study peroxisomal senescence and the aging of human cells.

Robert Zhong, Professor, Surgery at Western; Robarts Scientist receives $468,003 to study cellular and molecular mechanisms of acute vascular rejection following xenotransplantation.

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