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$16M funding supports nanomedicine research


Toronto, ON – Seven new research projects on regenerative medicine and nanomedicine have received $16 million in funding. The studies are being co-funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA),

“CIHR is delighted to partner with the Canadian Space Agency to support research aimed at developing technologies and approaches to improve patient outcome,” said Dr Jane Aubin, scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis.

“By working together, CIHR and the CSA are supporting scientific research and innovations that have applications for health care on earth and in space and provide real benefits for Canadians,” said Gilles Leclerc, director general, space exploration at the Canadian Space Agency. “Our hope is that cutting-edge diagnostic tools will improve astronaut health in space and be adapted for the early detection and treatment of disease here on earth.”

The projects underwent a rigorous and competitive peer review process and were selected according to international standards of scientific excellence. The projects include:

– Identify microlesions in multiple sclerosis, using a new tool for quantifying the cause of the disease and how well a treatment is working, Dr Daniel Côté, Université Laval;
– Create personalized nanomedicines that silence cancer-causing genes, Dr Petier Cullis, University of British Columbia;
– Develop microchip-based devices to analyze prostate cancer markers in blood, Dr Shana Kelley, University of Toronto;
– Generate transplantable, insulin-producing cells from stem cells for diabetes, Dr Timothy Kieffer, University of British Columbia;
– Develop innovative sensorimotor rehabilitation approaches for patients with spinal cord injuries or stroke, Dr Serge Rossignol, Université de Montréal;
– Study how novel therapeutic interventions can regenerate blood vessels, Dr Michael Sefton, University of Toronto; and,
– Develop nanotechnology-enabled image-guided methods of diagnosing and treating lung cancer and vascular diseases, Dr Gang Zheng, University Health Network.