IMHA On The Move! - June 2015

Table of Contents

A Message from the Scientific Director

With so many international research conferences taking place this spring and summer, the increasing importance of global collaboration in scientific research is clearly evident. In every one of IMHA’s mandate focus areas, international collaboration is now becoming the norm. This greatly facilitates opportunities for large, impactful research programs that have a global impact. Moreover, it is at these international conferences that the plans are made for an ever increasing exchange of human resources at all levels, from senior investigators going on sabbatical leave, to student exchanges. In Canada, we are fortunate to be able to provide excellent opportunities for researchers at all levels from other countries to bring their valuable experiences to the mutual benefit of the Canadian and international groups involved. CIHR has recently engaged in several large international collaborative projects including the JPco-fuND European research projects on neurodegenerative diseases, the European Research Projects on Ethical, Legal, and Social Aspects of Neuroscience, and the Joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program. Based on the strategic priorities that CIHR-IMHA has set for itself in its Strategic Plan 2014-2018, the Institute is in the process of developing some important new initiatives that will feature major international partnerships in the funding opportunities…so stay tuned!

At this time we are pleased to have the involvement of the UK-based James Lind Alliance (JLA) along with the help of several international researchers for our Adult Fibromyalgia Priority Setting Partnership project. The survey part of this project will be launched this summer and we plan to hold a consensus conference in the late fall to determine which are the top ten research questions most needing to be addressed.

As most of you are aware, based on recommendations from CIHR’s Governing Council, changes in CIHR’s Institute Model have become operationalized. The following is a summary of the highlights:

  • The current slate of thirteen CIHR Institutes will remain the same.
  • Institute strategic budgets of will be split equally between Institute-Specific Initiatives (ISI) and the Roadmap Accelerator Fund (RAF), the latter focused on the development of large multi-Institute initiatives. This will allow for opportunities to develop initiatives patterned along the lines of CIHR’s existing Signature Initiatives, while also providing opportunities to support the stakeholder communities that are specific to each Institute.
  • Ottawa-based Institute Staff (OBIS) will be better integrated into teams that will work with the host staff based at the Institute’s home institution.
  • Institute Advisory Boards will become more broad based in their mandates, with an increasing focus on cross-cutting themes that engage multiple institutes and partners.
  • CIHR is developing detailed Performance Measurement tools with which to assess all levels of operations including Institutes, Scientific Directors, staff, initiatives, etc. in order to ensure appropriate return on investment for the public funds for which the organization is the steward.

Please refer to the CIHR website for more information about Institutes Modernization.

As always, I encourage you to continue to submit any questions or comments to Please also follow me on Twitter @HaniElgabalawy.


Hani El-Gabalawy MD FRCPC, FCAHS
Scientific Director
CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis

Funding Opportunities

For a full listing of CIHR funding opportunities, please visit the ResearchNet website.

Program Name: Operating Grant: Collaborative Health Research Projects (NSERC Partnered) (2015-2016)
Application Deadline (Phase 2: Application): October 1, 2015

Program Name: Operating Grant - Canadian DOHaD Cohort Registry (Canadian Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Cohort Registry)
Application Deadline: October 1, 2015

Healthy and Productive Work Initiative – Pre-Announcement

CIHR and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) are launching a joint initiative: Healthy and Productive Work, aimed at driving innovative, evidence-informed solutions to work and labour market challenges to improve the health and productivity of Canada’s diverse workforce. This summer, SSHRC and CIHR will launch the first phase of a two-phase Call for Applications under Healthy and Productive Work. For more information, please visit the CIHR website.

Featured Research

Featured Research: Inflammation in Chronic Disease

NADPH Oxidase Function in the Pathogenesis of Pediatric IBD and JIA

Dr. John Brumell is the Principal Investigator on one of the nine research teams that received grants under the CIHR Inflammation in Chronic Disease Signature Initiative in 2014. Representatives of the research teams attended an inaugural networking meeting in February 2015 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, organized by CIHR-IMHA and the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity (CIHR-III). One of the meeting’s objectives was to encourage collaboration among researchers studying different aspects of inflammation in chronic disease. At the meeting, Dr. Brumell kindly took some time to discuss his team’s project and share his thoughts on the collaborative process among health researchers. This is the second in a series of interviews with the Inflammation researchers.

Please read the full interview with Dr. Brumell on the Featured Research webpage.

Research News

Congratulations to all those researchers who received new or renewed Canada Research Chairs this April, 2015. Please see the official announcement and recipient list on the Government of Canada website.

Partner News

CIHR-IMHA Partner organizations are invited to share their news with our research community. Please send your organization news to the Institute Communications Project Officer at:

Congratulations Team Bernier!

On Sunday, 7 June 2015, a passionate group of trainees, staff, and faculty from Western University in London, Ontario participated in the annual Walk to Fight Arthritis to raise funds for The Arthritis Society in support of the over 4.6 million Canadians that live with arthritis. Each year the team, named Team Bernier, walks in memory of Dr. Suzanne Bernier to honour her contributions and commitment to arthritis research that continue to act as an inspiration to many. With the help of generous friends and colleagues, Team Bernier raised $12,000 this year and was ranked the top community team. Arthritis researcher Dr. Frank Beier fulfilled his promise of dyeing his hair purple upon reaching the $10,000 goal. The team thanks everyone for their support and generous donations that made purple Frank a reality! For more photos, please see the team’s Flickr page.
Submitted by Team Bernier

Cochrane Corner

Cochrane Reviews are an important part of knowledge translation. The Cochrane Collaboration works to disseminate knowledge to health research communities so as to benefit patients and the health care system as a whole.

Besides the Reviews, the Canadian Cochrane Centre has an enewsletter, Relay Cochrane!, published three times a year, and a Training and Events enewsletter published twice a year (subscribe).

The Cochrane website also features a list of all its resources in the Full Menu of Knowledge Translation Activities.

Please see the CIHR-IMHA Cochrane Corner web page for new select reviews from the Cochrane Skin Group.

Meetings of Interest

12th Annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology
July 19-22, 2015 Montreal, QC

Cochrane Collaboration Colloquium
October 3-7, 2015 Vienna, Austria

Arthritis Alliance of Canada 3rd Annual Meeting
October 22-23, 2015 Kananaskis, AB

4th International Conference on Orthopedics & Rheumatology
October 26-28, 2015 Baltimore, Maryland, USA

American College of Rheumatologists (ACR) Annual Meeting
November 6-11, 2015 San Francisco, CA, USA

Sparking Population Health Solutions: Research for a Healthier Future – An International Summit
April 25-28, 2016 Ottawa, Canada

9th International Scientific Conference on the Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (PREMUS2016)
June 20-23, 2016 Toronto, Canada

Keep Up With The News

In this age of social media, it is important for researchers, health policy decision makers, academics, patient advocates, and patients to stay knowledgeable about their health topics in the news. At IMHA, we have been collecting news bytes relevant to our areas of research focus. If you would like to receive a bi-monthly mail-out of these “Google Alerts,” please email

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