Canadian Institutes of Health Research

cihr-irsc.gc.ca
Bells Corners, Canada

Canadian Institutes of Health Research is the major federal agency responsible for funding health research in Canada. It is the successor to the Medical Research Council of Canada. It aims to create new health knowledge, and to translate that knowledge from the research setting into real world applications. The CIHR was created by an Act of Parliament on June 7, 2000; bringing together existing government activities. In 2009-2010, CIHR's budget was just over 1 billion dollars.CIHR is a Departmental Corporation listed in Schedule II of the Financial Administration Act. As an arms length agency of government, it is accountable to Parliament through the Minister of Health.CIHR is managed by the Prime Minister and the Governing Council, who are assisted by various Standing and Advisory Committees. The current appointed president of CIHR is Dr. Alain Beaudet.CIHR consists of 13 "virtual" institutes, each headed by a Scientific Director and assisted by an Institute Advisory Board. They work together to shape a national health research agenda for Canada. The institutes bring together researchers, health professionals and policy-makers from voluntary health organizations, provincial government agencies, international research organizations and industry and patient groups from across the country with a shared interest in improving the health of Canadians.The work of the institutes embraces the four pillars of health research: biomedical; clinical; research respecting health systems and services; and the social, cultural and environmental factors that affect the health of populations.A major challenge for the institutes is to forge relationships across disciplines to stimulate integrative, multifaceted research agendas that respond to society's health priorities while adhering to the highest ethical standards.CIHR supports more than 14,000 researchers and researchers in training as part of the federal government's investment in health research. The peer review process is a vital part of CIHR. Review by panels of peers from the research community ensures proposals approved for funding by CIHR meet international accepted standards of scientific excellence.In 2008 CIHR also organised a series of Café Scientifique events across Canada.CIHR is supplying funding for PubMed Central Canada in partnership with the United States National Library of Medicine and Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information .In November 2009, controversy arose over the appointment of a senior executive of Pfizer to CIHR's governing council. Wikipedia.

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News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

New research by scientists at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA overturns a long-standing paradigm about how axons -- thread-like projections that connect cells in the nervous system -- grow during embryonic development. The findings of the study, led by Samantha Butler, associate professor of neurobiology, could help scientists replicate or control the way axons grow, which may be applicable for diseases that affect the nervous system, such as diabetes, as well as injuries that sever nerves. As an embryo grows, neurons -- the cells in the nervous system -- extend axons into the developing spinal cord. Axons are then guided to reach other areas of the body, such as the brain, to establish a functioning nervous system. It has been generally understood that various guidance cues, which are cellular molecules such as proteins, either attract or repel axon growth as the axons reach out from neurons to find their destination in the nervous system. Previous research suggested that a particular guidance cue, called netrin1, functions over a long distance to attract and organize axon growth, similar to how a lighthouse sends out a signal to orient a ship from afar. However, previous research also shows that netrin1 is produced in many places in the embryonic spinal cord, raising questions about whether it really acts over a long distance. Most notably, netrin1 is produced by tissue-specific stem cells, called neural progenitors, which can create any cell type in the nervous system. Yet, it was not understood how the netrin1 produced by neural progenitors influences axon growth. Butler and her research team removed netrin1 from neural progenitors in different areas in mouse embryonic spinal cords. This manipulation resulted in highly disorganized and abnormal axon growth, giving the researchers a very detailed view of how netrin1 produced by neural progenitors influences axons in the developing nervous system. They found that neural progenitors organize axon growth by producing a pathway of netrin1 that directs axons only in their local environment and not over long distances. This pathway of netrin1 acts as a sticky surface that encourages axon growth in the directions that form a normal, functioning nervous system. Butler's study is a significant reinterpretation of the role of netrin1 in nervous system formation. The results further scientists' understanding of the contribution neural progenitors make to neural circuit formation. Determining how netrin1 specifically influences axon growth could help scientists use netrin1 to regenerate axons more effectively in patients whose nerves have been damaged. For example, because nerves grow in channels, there is much interest in trying to restore nerve channels after an injury that results in severed nerves, which is seen often in patients who have experienced an accident or in veterans with injuries to their arms or legs. One promising approach is to implant artificial nerve channels into a person with a nerve injury to give regenerating axons a conduit to grow through. Butler believes that coating such nerve channels with netrin1 could further encourage axon regrowth. Her continued research will focus on uncovering more details about how netrin1 functions and how it could be used clinically. Butler is the senior author of the study. The first author is Supraja Varadarajan, a graduate student in Butler's lab. The study is published today in the journal Neuron. The study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health (DK097075, HL098294, HL114457, DK082509 HL109233, DK109574, HL119837, NS072804, NS089817, NS063999, NS085097 and HL133900), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (MOP-97758 and MOP- 77556), Brain Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canada Foundation for Innovation, the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, the March of Dimes Foundation (6-FY10-296 and 1-FY07-458) and the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Hamilton, ON (April 20, 2017) - You've heard of pre-biotics and pro-biotics, but now you'll be hearing a lot more about post-biotics. Researchers at McMaster University have begun to identify how post-biotics, or the by-products of bacteria, lower blood glucose and allow insulin to work better. Jonathan Schertzer, assistant professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences and senior author of a paper published by Cell Metabolism today, explains it this way: "We know that gut bacteria, often called the microbiome, send inflammation signals that change how well insulin works to lower blood glucose. "It was previously thought that bacteria only caused problems such as higher inflammation and higher blood glucose. But this is only half of the story. We discovered that a specific component of bacteria actually lowers blood glucose and allows insulin to work better during obesity. "Understanding how different parts of bacteria control glucose could lead to new therapies that avoid some of the problems with pro-biotics or pre-biotics. We have found a "post-biotic" that lowers blood glucose during obesity." This work is important as more than half of Canadians are overweight or obese, which leads to higher levels of blood insulin and glucose. These features of prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes. "But we haven't understood what triggers elevated blood glucose," said Schertzer. "This is significant because only some individuals with obesity develop prediabetes. Blood glucose is influenced by our genes, the food we eat, and the bacteria in our gut." His research team is working to develop new bacterial-based drugs to lower blood glucose and combat prediabetes before type 2 diabetes develops. At this time, they have had success in trials with mice with a drug currently used for osteosarcoma, a bone cancer. The research featured in Cell Metabolism was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Diabetes Association.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SC1-HCO-04-2016 | Award Amount: 2.23M | Year: 2017

EXEDRA, an EXpansion of the European Joint Programming Initiative on Drug Resistance to Antimicrobials, will build on, and further support the structure and activities of JPIAMR to address the two major objectives of HCO-04-2016 topic: extending JPIAMR globally and creating a long-term sustainable structure for future expansion and governance which will coordinate national funding and collaborative actions supporting the implementation of the JPIAMR Strategic Research Agenda (SRA). JPIAMR EXEDRA will be the second Coordinated Support Action (CSA) for this Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) and essentially build on the work of the first CSA (JPIAMR), which ended February 2016. It will provide a strong support structure for the JPIAMR during the forthcoming implementation and expansion phaseby maintaining a continuity between the objectives, tasks and Work Packages of EXEDRA and JPIAMR. Support facilitated by the CSA EXEDRA will ensure that the ethos of joint programming in the area antimicrobial drug resistance becoming embedded within JPIAMR members research and innovation policies and programmes. EXEDRA will have the following work packages: WP1 Management and coordination; WP2 Strategy, governance, and long term sustainability; WP3 Internationalisation and capacity extension; WP4 Alignment with policy and industry; WP5 Research alignment; WP6 Communication, dissemination, and advocacy. EXEDRA will significantly contribute to the delivery of the JPIAMR SRA combined with the JPI-EC-AMR effort and the experience of the JPIAMR members. EXEDRA (and the JPIAMR) will support transnational cooperation to to pool substantial and long-term research funding and serve to complement other initiatives in the AMR area. It will create momentum with the potential to move the frontiers forward and offer new opportunities for industry, new tools for society, and new evidence-based data for policy makers, which will inspire other necessary initiatives.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SC1-HCO-06-2016 | Award Amount: 2.04M | Year: 2016

In order to strengthen the sustainability and resilience of health services and systems a unique consortium of governmental and funding organizations plus research institutes, has expressed the ambition to systematically learn from the organisation of care in other settings. Overall objective of TO-REACH is to provide groundwork for an ERA-NET that will contribute to the resilience, effectiveness, equity, accessibility and comprehensiveness of health services and systems. We will do so along two work streams: A) We will develop a research program on cross-border learning from good (or even innovative) models of care and the conditions needed to transfer them to other settings for implementation. It could refer to anywhere in the care chain depending on the priorities as identified in a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) within this project. Conceptual, methodological and empirical advancement will be achieved through 4 meta-questions that will instruct research under the ERA-NET, linking to what counts as good models of care, what are the conditions required for transferability, what are the conditions for up-scaling, and how do they contribute to the performance of health care organisations and systems. B) We will build a platform for funding organizations that allows for collaboration and coordination in the project and projected ERA-NET. This will synchronize priorities and activities, hence improving the quality and applicability of research with a focus on the topic areas as described under A. TO-REACH will pursue five specific objectives: Mapping health system challenges and priorities by synthesizing different materials and stakeholder inputs; Developing a framework and providing a knowledge synthesis on the above-mentioned meta-questions; Establishing sustainable cooperation of research funding bodies and links with other initiatives; Developing a SRA through agenda setting at European and Member State level; Disseminating the results of TO-REACH.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: ISIB-12f-2015 | Award Amount: 15.59M | Year: 2016

ERA-HDHL is a proposal of ERA-NET Cofund in the field of nutrition and health to support the Joint Programme Initiative Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life (JPI HDHL). Nowadays, there is a high burden of non-communicable diseases due to unhealthy diet and lifestyle patterns. The 24 members of the JPI HDHL are working together to develop means to (1) motivate people to adopt healthier lifestyles including dietary choices and physical activity, (2) develop and produce healthy, high-quality, safe and sustainable foods and (3) prevent diet-related diseases. Between 2012 and 2015, JPI HDHL had implemented 7 JFAs with 40 M funds from national funding. The JPI HDHL is now set for further enhancement in tight coordination with the EC through the ERA-NET Cofund instrument. ERA-HDHL will provide a robust platform for implementing joint funding actions (JFAs) that address the needs identified in the JPI HDHL strategic research agenda and strengthen the research funding activities of JPI HDHL. An EC cofunded call on the identification and validation of biomarkers in nutrition and health will be implemented. For this foreseen action, the member countries of the JPI HDHL have doubled their financial commitment comparing to previous JFA implemented on a similar topic. Moreover, ERA-HDHL will launch at least 3 additional JFAs in line to fulfil the JPI HDHL objectives.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: SiS.2013.2.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 1.93M | Year: 2013

Despite more and more solid indicators, extensive research, policy initiatives at European and national levels, and wide awareness-raising on the issues linked to gender and science, the European Research Area is still confronted to structural obstacles within its research institutions which prevent the ERA from reaching its objectives on the full participation of women in research and innovation at all levels (while women comprise >50% of PhD graduates, they still occupy less than 20% of Grade A positions) as well as to a lack of integration of the gender dimension in research contents and programmes which hinders their quality and potential for innovation. With the aim of collectively addressing these issues, the GENDER-NET ERA-NET proposal brings together national ministries and research programme owners and managers from 11 countries with synergistic expertise in gender issues in research. Partners will join forces to: 1) map and analyse existing national/regional programmes and initiatives aimed at a) promoting gender equality in research and higher education institutions through structural change, b) gendering research contents; 2) identify priority activities for strategic transnational implementation; 3) design and optimise transnational transferability; 4) implement these joint activities. GENDER-NET thus consists of 4 work packages which build on one another to propose a pilot transnational research policy initiative which will allow for a global vision of the best practices and conditions for success, innovative assessment and knowledge-transfer methods, as well as concrete engagement of partners in the implementation of joint activities, thus breaking new ground at EU-level and contributing to the realisation of ERA. Expanding outcomes by relying on the shared expertise and insight gained by partners, widening the consortium to reach a critical mass of institutions and stakeholders, and disseminating results, will be ongoing concerns of this ERA-NET.


J-AGEII, the Coordination Action for implementation and alignment activities of the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) More Years Better Lives the Challenges and Opportunities of Demographic Change, will support and foster the overall management of the JPI, update the Strategic Research Agenda and support implementation through joint activities between Member States. Furthermore, the work plan will include dissemination and information exchange with scientific and societal stakeholders, policy makers and research funders as well as an evaluation and monitoring exercise. Ultimately, the project and the JPI seek to stimulate the alignment of relevant national programmes and EU initiatives, strengthen the base of multi-disciplinary and holistic ageing research in Europe and to provide scientific evidence for policy responses to demographic change.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.2.1-5 | Award Amount: 2.21M | Year: 2012

Research into the human brain and its diseases is one of the key challenges of our century, since among the many diseases affecting health, disorders of the brain are major causes for impaired quality of life. Despite some progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms of the various neurological and psychiatric disorders, research is far from being able to offer solutions how to conquer them and the development of curative treatments or prevention strategies has not been very successful. Thus, a concerted effort of research groups and the organisations funding them is needed to reach the long term goal of curing patients with disorders of the brain and nervous system and helping their relatives. Due to the importance of research into the area of brain diseases, a variety of independent national and regional funding programmes exist in most countries. This contributes to fragmentation of available financial resources, to a lack of synergistic approaches and to duplication of efforts in the funding bodies. The proposed ERA-NET NEURON II aims to coordinate national and regional programmes for disease-related neuroscience research in 21 participant funding organisations across 16 European Member States, Candidate and Associated countries, and Canada. Extending the collaboration beyond the European Research Area into North America reflects the global dimension of brain research and adds even more to the effectiveness of NEURON. The ERA-NET will serve as a platform of programme opening for participating funding agencies and ministries and coordinate high quality research by funding research groups originating from the NEURON II partner countries. NEURON II will build on the achievements of its predecessor ERA-NET NEURON. It will launch a series of transnational joint calls for proposals and address new ambitious goals by developing strategies towards a self-sustainable network with a long term perspective.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: HCO-10-2014 | Award Amount: 23.29M | Year: 2014

Rare diseases (RD) are diseases that affect not more than 5 per 10 000 persons (according to the EU definition). 7000 distinct rare diseases exist, affecting between 6% and 8% of the population (about 30 million EU citizens). The lack of specific health policies for rare diseases and the scarcity of the expertise, translate into delayed diagnosis, few medicinal products and difficult access to care. That is why rare diseases are a prime example of a research area that strongly profits from coordination on a European scale. At present only few European countries fund research on rare diseases through specific dedicated programmes. Therefore, the funding of transnational collaborative research is the most effective joint activity to enhance the cooperation between scientists working on rare diseases in Europe and beyond. The E-Rare consortium was built to link responsible funding bodies that combine the scarce resources and fund rare disease research via Joint Transnational Calls (JTCs). The current E-Rare-3 project proposal will extend and strengthen the transnational cooperation by building on the experience and results of the previous E-Rare-1&2 programmes. The consortium comprises 26 institutions from 17 European, Associated and non-European countries. Its international dimension will be directly translated into close collaboration with IRDiRC and other relevant European and international initiatives. IRDiRC guidelines and policies will be implemented in the four JTCs and representatives of the IRDiRC Scientific Committees will be invited to join the Advisory Board of E-Rare-3. Members of the EUCERD group will be involved in identifying rare disease research needs. Patients organizations from Europe (represented by EURORDIS) and beyond will be invited as a key partner towards collaborative efforts for research promotion and funding. The collaboration with European Research Infrastructures will be consolidated to enhance efficient and participative research.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: HCO-07-2014 | Award Amount: 30.95M | Year: 2015

Over 12 million people in Europe suffer from neurodegenerative diseases (ND), yet treatments that prevent or stop the progression of neurodegeneration are still lacking. Tackling this grand challenge requires enhanced coordination of national efforts to accelerate discovery. Such synergies have been created among 28 countries in the pilot EU JPI on Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND). JPND has a long standing experience in collaborative action with 75 million of additional national funds being successfully mobilized between 2011 and 2014 to support transnational research programs. The JPND Research Strategy is now ripe for further enhancement in tight coordination with the EC through an ERA-Net Cofund instrument JPco-fuND with an unprecedented commitment of 30 million of national funds associated to a highly incentivizing EC top-up fund. Among the most burning questions, three priority topics have emerged through a consultative process between researchers and JPND members in order to unlock several major issues within ND research: the identification of genetic, epigenetic and environmental risk and protective factors, the development and maintenance of longitudinal cohorts, the creation of advanced experimental models. These are key questions of equal priority to increase understanding of ND mechanisms that will be addressed through a common joint transnational call allowing a significant acceleration of the execution of the JPND research strategy. Moreover, to expand the impact of JPco-fuND, JPND will continue to implement other actions without EU co-funding such as aligning national research strategies, making databases more accessible and interoperable, developing enabling capacities such as supportive infrastructure and platforms, capacity building, education and training. These actions are required in parallel to achieve the highest impact for the patients, their carers and for society as whole and address this grand challenge in the coming years.

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