Ottawa health researchers awarded over $36 million by Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Researchers from the University of Ottawa and its affiliated research institutions have received over $36 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in support of exciting research that could lead to better treatment options for cancer, diabetes and heart disease, as well as to a healthier health care system.

The projects have been funded by the CIHR through that agency's inaugural Foundation grants, as well as its most recent operating grant competition. Such success highlights both the high level of research intensity at the University of Ottawa and its affiliated research institutes, and the leading position that uOttawa and its affiliated institutes occupy nationally.

This funding will support research teams from the University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, the CHEO Research Institute and the Institut de recherche de l'Hôpital Montfort.

Here are some of the projects being funded:

  • Faculty of Medicine Professor and Canada Research Chair in Chemical and Functional Genomics Kristin Baetz will investigate amino acid lysine acetylation, a process that could "rewire" cells when they are nutrient-deprived. Understanding how cells adapt to changes in nutrients could lead to improvements in treatment for a wide range of diseases that are associated with metabolic change, including cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Professor and University Research Chair Colleen Flood of the Faculty of Law will provide courts and government decisions-makers with clear, comprehensive data and analyses based on an international review of regulations aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of two-tier health care systems. This will help governments and courts better understand their options for regulating the private financing of health care and the effects of such regulations on related issues, such as wait times and equity.
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is one of the deadliest types of cancers. Thirty-to-forty percent of AML patients under 60 are long-term survivors, while only 10-to-15% of patients over 60 are long-term survivors. Professor William Stanford (The Ottawa Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine) will determine whether a protein called PCL2, which regulates the expression of many other proteins, including many involved in cancer, is important in controlling cell growth and inducing mutated cells to die, processes that prevent cancer development. Knowing the function of PCL2 may help to induce AML cells to die.

Full descriptions of the CIHR's 2015 Decisions and Funded Projects are available at

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