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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In a new study, researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University are demonstrating that gait, or motion testing, while simultaneously performing a cognitively demanding task can be an effective predictor of progression to dementia and eventually help with earlier diagnosis. To date, there is no definitive way for health care professionals to forecast the onset of dementia in a patient with memory complaints. Dr. Manuel Montero-Odasso, a Lawson scientist, geriatrician at St. Joseph's Health Care London, and associate professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine at Western University's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, is leading the "Gait and Brain Study." His team is assessing up to 150 seniors with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a slight decline of memory and other mental functions which is considered a pre-dementia syndrome, in order to detect an early predictor of cognitive and mobility decline and progression to dementia. "Finding methods to detect dementia early is vital to our ability to slow or halt the progression of the disease," says Dr. Montero-Odasso. The study, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, followed participants for six years and included bi-annual visits. Researchers asked participants to walk while simultaneously performing a cognitively demanding task, such as counting backwards or naming animals. Those individuals with MCI that slow down more than 20 per cent while performing a cognitively demanding task are at a higher risk of progressing to dementia. "While walking has long been considered an automatic motor task, emerging evidence suggests cognitive function plays a key role in the control of walking, avoidance of obstacles and maintenance of navigation," says Dr. Montero-Odasso. "We believe that gait, as a complex brain-motor task, provides a golden window of opportunity to see brain function." The "gait cost," or speed at which participants completed a single task (walking) versus a dual-task, was higher in those MCI individuals with worse episodic memory and who struggle with executive functions such as attention keeping and time management. "Our results reveal a 'motor signature' of cognitive impairment that can be used to predict dementia," adds Dr. Montero-Odasso. "It is conceivable that we will be able to diagnose Alzheimer's disease and other dementias before people even have significant memory loss. Our hope is to combine these methods with promising new medications to slow or halt the progression of MCI to dementia." The study, "Association of Dual-Task Gait with Incident Dementia in Mild Cognitive Impairment", was published in the journal, JAMA Neurology.


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

In a new study, researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University are demonstrating that gait, or motion testing, while simultaneously performing a cognitively demanding task can be an effective predictor of progression to dementia and eventually help with earlier diagnosis. To date, there is no definitive way for health care professionals to forecast the onset of dementia in a patient with memory complaints. Dr. Manuel Montero-Odasso, a Lawson scientist, geriatrician at St. Joseph's Health Care London, and associate professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine at Western University's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, is leading the "Gait and Brain Study." His team is assessing up to 150 seniors with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a slight decline of memory and other mental functions which is considered a pre-dementia syndrome, in order to detect an early predictor of cognitive and mobility decline and progression to dementia. "Finding methods to detect dementia early is vital to our ability to slow or halt the progression of the disease," says Dr. Montero-Odasso. The study, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, followed participants for six years and included bi-annual visits. Researchers asked participants to walk while simultaneously performing a cognitively demanding task, such as counting backwards or naming animals. Those individuals with MCI that slow down more than 20 per cent while performing a cognitively demanding task are at a higher risk of progressing to dementia. "While walking has long been considered an automatic motor task, emerging evidence suggests cognitive function plays a key role in the control of walking, avoidance of obstacles and maintenance of navigation," says Dr. Montero-Odasso. "We believe that gait, as a complex brain-motor task, provides a golden window of opportunity to see brain function." The "gait cost," or speed at which participants completed a single task (walking) versus a dual-task, was higher in those MCI individuals with worse episodic memory and who struggle with executive functions such as attention keeping and time management. "Our results reveal a 'motor signature' of cognitive impairment that can be used to predict dementia," adds Dr. Montero-Odasso. "It is conceivable that we will be able to diagnose Alzheimer's disease and other dementias before people even have significant memory loss. Our hope is to combine these methods with promising new medications to slow or halt the progression of MCI to dementia."


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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