INMD Connections – January 2016

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Message from Philip Sherman, INMD Scientific Director

It is with great enthusiasm and considerable optimism that I look forward to what the new year will bring to Canadian health researchers. A primary focus of INMD staff and Institute Advisory Board members will be to continue the implementation of the Refresh of the INMD Strategic Plan. INMD will continue to work with partners to facilitate and provide oversight for targeted research funding previously launched in the areas of Food & Health, Bariatric Care, and Capacity Development. We look forward to forthcoming announcements of Programmatic Grants in Environments, Genes, and Chronic Disease and the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research National Networks in Chronic Disease.

Together with partner organizations in the INMD mandate areas, we will hold a mentorship meeting for New Investigators (within 5 years of their first faculty appointment) in Kelowna, BC next month. An evaluation of previous INMD New Investigator meetings has been undertaken and the findings are currently being integrated for the purposes of dissemination.

In anticipation of the completion of my term as Scientific Director of INMD at the end of 2016, there will be a formal evaluation undertaken of both the impact of the Institute’s targeted research funding and my performance. I look forward to working with members of the Institute Advisory Board, INMD partners, and the INMD research community to facilitate a smooth transition to the next Scientific Director while ensuring that there is no disruption in the provision of services by INMD.

Best wishes to all for 2016,

Philip M. Sherman, MD, FRCPC
Scientific Director, INMD

Team Grant competition in Intestinal Microbiomics

Congratulations to Eileen Hutton (McMaster Univ.), Sylvain Moineau (Université Laval), and Elena Verdu (McMaster Univ.) in the Team Grant competition in Intestinal Microbiomics.

This funding opportunity resulted in an investment of over $12M CAD from CIHR and international partners participating in the Joint Programme Initiative, Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life.

Congratulations to the successful Canadian researchers participating in the International Teams!

Funding Opportunities

Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples - Implementation Research Team (IRT) Grants Component 2

Implementation Research Team (IRT) Component 2 Grants will support research teams aimed at strengthening the effectiveness or scalability of population health interventions through community-informed enhancements or adaptations in one of the identified Pathways exemplar areas, including diabetes and obesity. This funding opportunity is part of the CIHR Roadmap Signature Initiative on Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples. Letters of Intent (LOI) are due February 15, 2016. A series of webinars will be held to assist applicants in understanding the focus and the application process. For more information please contact the CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health.

Pre-Announcement: ERA Net Cofund Call on Biomarkers in Nutrition and Health

The Joint Programme Initiative, Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life (JPI HDHL), is pleased to pre-announce a call for Joint Transnational Research Proposals in Biomarkers for Nutrition and Health. The call will be published February 16, 2016.

International Diabetes Federation 2015 World Diabetes Congress

From left: Drs. Phil Sherman, Ron Sigal, Barry Posner, and Rick Blickstead (CDA President, CEO)

Canadian diabetes researchers figured prominently at the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) World Diabetes Congress held in Vancouver, BC November 30 - December 4, 2015. Congratulations to the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA), who worked closely with the IDF to plan the conference and to Dr. Bernie Zinman (Mt. Sinai Hospital, Univ. Toronto), who served as Chair of the Programme Committee, for putting together such a successful conference. The Congress featured high calibre sessions in all program streams, including basic and clinical science, diabetes in Indigenous Peoples, global challenges, and public health and epidemiology.

INMD was pleased to co-sponsor the CDA-CIHR INMD Young Scientist Award, presented to Dr. Bruce Perkins (featured in this Newsletter). Congratulations also go to Dr. Barry I. Posner, OC, OQ, MD, FRCS, who received the CDA Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Dr. Ron Sigal (Univ. Calgary). In his early research, Dr. Posner discovered insulin receptors in newly recognized target tissues, including the brain and vascular endothelium, and the endosome as an intracellular organelle involved in initiating and regulating signal transduction cascades. He identified the endosome lipid rafts as sites of endosomal signaling and has participated in research describing susceptibility genes linked to diabetes. Congratulations Dr. Posner!

2015 Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA)-CIHR INMD Young Scientist Award Bruce Perkins, MD, MPH

From left: Drs. Phil Sherman, Vincent Poitout, Bruce Perkins, and Rick Blickstead (CDA President, CEO)

Bruce A. Perkins, MD, MPH, is an Endocrinologist and Diabetes Complications clinician-scientist appointed as an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Bruce completed his MD and internal medicine training at the University of Toronto, endocrinology subspecialty training at Harvard University, and obtained a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health while completing his research fellowship in epidemiology at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

Using longitudinal cohort methods as well as clinical trials, his research focuses on early biomarkers of diabetes complications, biomarkers of progression to advanced disease, and interventions for prevention of complications, including artificial pancreas technologies and disease-modifying adjunct-to-insulin pharmacotherapies. Development of in vivo corneal confocal microscopy as an early small fibre biomarker for diabetic neuropathy led to an international consortium that is now seeking to validate the findings. Work with sodium glucose linked transporter-2 inhibitors as adjunctive therapy led to the design of phase 3 trials in patients with type 1 diabetes. Bruce now leads the Canadian Study for Longevity in Type 1 Diabetes, a study aimed at determining factors associated with successful lifetime resistance to disease complications. His research program is funded by CIHR, the CDA, the JDRF, and the US National Institutes of Health. Congratulations Bruce on your receipt of, the 2015 CDA/CIHR Young Scientist Award, presented by Vincent Poitout (Univ. Montreal).

Become a CIHR Institute Advisory Board Member

The recruitment campaign to fill up to 75 positions within the five new Institutes Advisory Boards (IABs) has begun. Comprised of five horizontal boards that will serve all 13 CIHR Institutes, this new advisory model is intended to boost collaboration across Institutes and within our multitude of stakeholder communities by bringing together a wide range of perspectives within each IAB.

The five new IABs are:
  1. Research Excellence, Policy and Ethics
  2. Health Innovation
  3. Indigenous Peoples’ Health
  4. Health Promotion and Prevention
  5. Chronic Conditions

IAB member Online applications can be submitted before February 3, 2016.

Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions

Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions

The Institute of Medicine recently released the Roundtable’s third workshop summary, Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions.

Read the report, or view the interactive workshop in brief.

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