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Health research institute awards $3.37M to U of G for innovative health research

Funds will help learn how the rhythm of the heart could save it, how cannabis can lessen nausea, how hospital-acquired infections could be prevented and answers to other important questions
Professor Tami Martino. Photo supplied by University of Guelph

Using circadian biology to treat heart attack patients. Investigating how cannabis can lessen nausea. Examining ways to prevent hospital-acquired infections.

These are among University of Guelph projects that will receive a total of $3.3 million in new funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to support innovative health research initiatives.

The awards were announced Jan. 24 in St. John’s, N.L., by Ginette Petitpas Tayler, federal minister of health. The government will provide $372 million to researchers across Canada for studies including mental health, multiple sclerosis and Indigenous health.

In all, U of G received funding for seven researchers in five departments. Most projects will be supported for four to five years.

“We are very thankful for this significant investment made by CIHR,” said Prof. Tami Martino, director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Investigations at U of G. “It will help us advance many of today’s pressing issues in cardiovascular health and design new treatments for patients with heart disease.”

A faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Martino received $646,425 for her research in applying circadian biology to treat heart attacks.

“The basic idea is to design a molecular medicine that can be given to people shortly after a heart attack,” said Martino, explaining that cardiovascular disease is a rising global epidemic. “That will prevent the heart from being damaged and scarred as now happens, and instead allow it to heal back to normal.”

Other U of G research projects funded by CIHR are the following:

Prof. Anthony Clarke, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), a potential new antivirulence target to combat antimicrobial resistance: 615,825

  • Prof. Cezar Khursigara, MCB, antibiotic resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms: $573,750
  • Prof. David Ma, Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, global fatty acid reference ranges: $409,276
  • Prof. Barbara Morrongiello, Department of Psychology, children’s street-crossing behaviours and pedestrian injury risk: $481,950
  • Prof. Hannah Neufeld, Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, Indigenous food sovereignty in southwestern Ontario: $256,276
  • Prof. Linda Parker, Department of Psychology, regulation of acute nausea: $313,650