London, ON April 11, 2003 The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and its Institute of Infection and Immunity announced yesterday a new initiative valued at C$500,000 to support research on the causes and consequences of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity, based at the University of Western Ontario, is the first research institute in Canada to launch a Request For Proposals to address SARS. The deadline for researchers to submit proposals is April 25, 2003, and decisions will be announced on May 15, 2003.
“Our goal in this research initiative is to support current research to better understand the causes and consequences of SARS,” says Dr Bhagirath Singh, scientific director of the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity and professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Western Ontario. “Research is the best hope for developing evidence-based interventions to help us understand SARS and most importantly, minimize its impact on the health of the global community. Early results from this funded research may be used by the health care system to enhance protection of Canadians from SARS and perhaps save lives.”
The goal of the RFP is to support the following objectives:
– collection and analysis of blood and tissue samples from individuals affected by SARS;
– development of a rapid diagnostic test for SARS;
– studies on the immune status of individuals recently afflicted with SARS, both during the course of the illness and following recovery; and
– development of models to simulate the transmission pattern of the SARS agent, to assess the impact of various intervention options and to find the optimal strategy for control.
For more information on the RFP visit www.cihr.gc.ca/iii.html