III Newsletter – March 2016

Message from the Scientific Director

As usual, it is a pleasure to reach you through this newsletter.

Preparing and responding to threats has always been a priority for III. We have pursued our Ebola efforts by bringing together recent recipients of the CIHR Innovative Ebola Research Grants with recent recipients of a European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) - WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) grant. In recent days we've heard a lot about the Zika virus and its potential implication with neurological disorders. This led to a Café Scientifique and CIHR is considering how to move forward on this front.

One of our recent major investments has been for Inflammation in Chronic Diseases. We will highlight some of the work carried out through this initiative. We have carried out or participated in a number of workshops in the field of human immunology and are now working on a possible funding opportunity in this area.

The Institute is coordinating efforts in the field of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C and throughout this newsletter you will find summaries of ongoing initiatives of funding opportunities related to these infections and other activities.

I wish you all the best with your research projects and please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

All the best,
Marc Ouellette

News from the Inflammation in Chronic Disease (ICD) Signature Initiative

The ICD Signature Initiative, launched in 2012 is co-led by the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) and III, and partners with the Institutes of: Aging (IA), Cancer Research (ICR), Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICRH), Nutrition, Metabolism, and Diabetes (INMD), and Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA). Its overall goal is to develop a unified, transformative Canadian strategy on inflammation. The ICD Signature Initiative also encompasses two other CIHR research initiatives, namely the Canadian Microbiome Initiative and the Transplantation Research Initiative. Today we wish to highlight three of nine Nominated Principal Investigators from the third component of the ICD, Team Grant: Health Challenges in Chronic Inflammation Initiative:

  • John Brumell from SickKids Hospital in Toronto is presently working on the pathogenesis of pediatric inflammation bowel disease and juvenile idiophatic arthritis. We encourage you to go online to see his interview.
  • John Esdaile from Arthritis Research Centre of Canada, British Columbia, is investigating the inflammatory commonalities in skin, joint and bowels conditions. Hear from this expert on the impact of his research on Canadian health.
  • Jean Marshall, based at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, is exploring the linkages between arthritis and chronic heart disease. She explains several aspects of her research in inflammation in this video.

We will continue to feature the researchers of the ICD Signature Initiative in the upcoming issues of this newsletter and we hope that you will find this helpful.

Dr. Brian Ward (left), Dr. Howard Njoo (centre), and Michel Rochon (right). Not on the picture, Dr. Tom Hobman who participated via Skype from Alberta.

Café Scientifique on Zika virus

On March 16, CIHR in collaboration with the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA), held a Café Scientifique on the Zika virus. The Café was presented at La Grande Bibliothèque in Montreal, and moderated by Michel Rochon, health and science journalist at Radio-Canada. The Café was well attended, and the public present at the event interacted with the expert panelists: Drs. Brian Ward (McGill University), Tom Hobman (University of Alberta), and Howard Njoo (Public Health Agency of Canada).

Cool, Calm and Collected: Data Collection Skill Development Workshop in the field of HIV/HCV

Over 25 students participated in the 2nd annual Data Collection Workshop on January 21-22, 2016 in Toronto. The workshop was co-chaired by Drs. Carol Strike, Adrian Guta, Kelly O'Brien, Francisco Ibanez-Carrasco and Sarah Flicker. The aspiring HIV/HCV researchers in attendance: learned how to identify, anticipate and plan for the challenges they may experience collecting data for their masters, doctoral and/or post-doctoral projects and/or community-based research projects; used real and simulated case examples to explore options for responding to complex methodological and ethical challenges experienced while conducting research; discussed their own research project that is in the planning stage with experienced researchers; and examined ethical and methodological reflection, and strategies to mitigate harm to communities and their ecology, throughout the stages of data collection and management. Ultimately, the new HIV/HCV researchers were empowered to develop more carefully designed, rigorous and robust graduate student research fellowship and grant applications. The Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) extends its appreciation to CIHR, PHAC, Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR), the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative Alliance Coordinating Office (CHVI ACO) and the Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH) for their support of this meeting.

Photo courtesy of CAHR.

University Without Walls: E-Learning for HIV Research

This is an introductory module targeted at community organizations. Users will have an opportunity to apply what they've learned by navigating through a "choose your own adventure" scenario.

View the module

CIHR is pleased to have provided support towards University Without Walls.

Researchers collaborate on the next step in the fight against Ebola

CIHR Representatives attended a workshop on the Ebola virus in Accra, Ghana, from February 10-11, 2016. The workshop brought together researchers recently funded by an EDCTP-TDR grant with recent recipients of the CIHR Innovative Research Grants. Participants shared their planned studies, identified opportunities for collaboration, networked and finalized project plans.

CIHR was represented by Liz Stirling, Project Lead, and Dr. Marc Ouellette, Scientific Director of III, who co-chaired the workshop at the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research at the University of Ghana.

"CIHR is very proud to contribute to the fight against Ebola," said Dr. Marc Ouellette. "Canada was at the forefront of the international response to this terrible disease, and is continuing to play a key role by funding 12 projects spanning the four CIHR pillars."

Photo courtesy of EDCTP.

Hepatitis C conference and CanHepC annual meeting

The 5th Canadian Symposium on Hepatitis C virus (HCV) took place in Montreal, February 26th, 2016. Over 250 participants gathered to exchange on Hepatitis C under the theme "We're not done yet: Remaining Challenges in Hepatitis C". Participants included researcher and trainees, but also members of the community and workers interacting directly with infected individuals.

The symposium was followed by the first annual meeting of the Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (CanHepC) where researchers, trainees, community members and advocates discussed research priorities for the Network and the way forward for tackling Hepatitis C in Canada.

Michelle Peel, Manager, Major Initiatives and Isabelle Létourneau, Associate, Strategic Initiatives participated in the meetings.

Photo courtesy of CanHepC.

Operating Grant: Innovative Biomedical and Clinical HIV/AIDS Research

The CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Initiative is pleased to announce the Operating Grant: Innovative Biomedical and Clinical HIV/AIDS Research funding opportunity.

The Operating Grant: Innovative Biomedical and Clinical HIV/AIDS Research will support innovative or high-risk biomedical and clinical research directly relevant to the priority objectives of the CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Initiative. The specific objectives of the funding opportunity are to:

  • Enable new and established investigators to undertake innovative research projects in new areas of investigation or take previous discoveries in new directions;
  • Promote the development and testing of novel research tools and methodologies; and
  • Support high-risk research projects with the potential for high impact, breakthrough and/or transformative advances.

For all inquiries please contact:
Telephone: 613-954-1968
Toll Free: 1-888-603-4178

Catalyst Grant: HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research (Summer 2016 Competition)

III in partnership with the CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health are pleased to announce the launch of the Catalyst Grant: HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research (CBR) funding opportunity.

The CIHR HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research (CBR) Program supports the partnered work of Community Leaders and Researchers in knowledge development and capacity-building initiatives of relevance to communities engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS. All opportunities offered through the CBR Program are available in two distinct funding streams: Aboriginal and General.

The aim of the Catalyst Grant component of the CBR program is to provide seed money, for up to one year, to support HIV/AIDS CBR research activities which represent a first step towards the pursuit of more comprehensive funding opportunities (e.g., operating grants).

Application Deadline Date: June 28, 2016

For more details, please refer to the funding opportunity posted on the CIHR website.

Update on 2016 Project Grant competition

The application process to submit to the 2016 Project Grant Pilot competition closed on March 1st. In this competition, CIHR received approximately 3,820 full applications. Over the coming weeks and months CIHR will work collaboratively with an expert, qualified cadre of approximately 140 Competition Chairs (Virtual Chairs) to enable assignment of high quality peer reviewers for all applications within this large competition. Read more.

Pre-announcement: 4th JPIAMR Joint Call: Research Networking Programs

Call opens: April 2016
Call closes: June 2016

In April 2016, the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR) will launch a rapid-action call for leading scientists in the field to establish international research networks. The aim of the call is to foster the development of guidelines and/or best practice frameworks specifically applicable to the field. Supported networks will provide outputs within a short timeframe of 6-12 months. The outcome of the work of these networks will be published on the JPIAMR website and is expected to act as a reference point for the wider AMR research community in planning/delivering future research studies.

Funds available

  • up to $75 000 for one working group for a maximum of 1 year

Funding will cover the costs of meetings and travel required to deliver the network's objectives. It is expected the budget will allow for two small workshops, with further work to be undertaken through email, teleconferencing, videoconferencing or web-conferencing.

This funding will not provide support for:

  • Direct research activity or equipment;
  • The salaries of tenured investigators, although funds to support an administrative co-coordinator for the activity will be permitted.

Evaluation Criteria

  • The coordinator should be from an eligible institution within one of the participating JPIAMR member countries.
  • Each network should have participants from at least three JPIAMR countries.
  • Experts/scientists from all JPIAMR member countries may participate in a network, including from countries who are not financial participants to the call. Key expertise from non-JPIAMR countries may also participate.
  • Experts are permitted to be members of more than one network proposal but only once as coordinator.

Topic of the call

  • The topic for a Canadian-led network has not yet been determined. More information should be available shortly at on JPIAMR website.

CIHR Gold Leaf Prizes - Recognizing excellence in health research

CIHR is proud to announce its new suite of prizes, the CIHR Gold Leaf Prizes, which are among the highest honours that can be bestowed on an individual or team for excellence in health research and its translation into benefits for Canadians. Each CIHR Gold Leaf Prize has a value of $100,000.

These prizes cover achievements across all pillars of research (biomedical, clinical, health services and policy, and population and public health) and will be awarded every two years.

Nominations close September 6, 2016.

Funding opportunities

Of particular interest to the III community:

Catalyst Grant: HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research (Summer 2016 Competition)
Application Deadline: 2016-06-28
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-10-20
Funding Start Date: 2016-10-01

Team Grant: Pathways Implementation Research Team – Component 2 (2016)
For those with successful LOI
Application Deadline: 2016-10-03
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2017-02-15
Funding Start Date: 2017-01-01

Operating Grant: Innovative Biomedical and Clinical HIV/AIDS Research
Application Deadline: 2016-06-01
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-10-31
Funding Start Date: 2016-11-01

Canada-Netherlands Personalized Medicine in Immune Mediated Inflammatory Musculoskeletal Disease Network
For those with successful LOI
Application Deadline: 2016-10-18
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2017-01-31
Funding Start Date: 2017-02-01

Environments and Health: Programmatic Grants in Intersectoral Prevention Research
For those with successful LOI
Phase 2: Application
Application Deadline: 2016-07-13
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-11-30
Funding Start Date: 2016-12-01

Team Grant: Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR) (2016)
Application Deadline: 2016-03-21
Full Application
Application Deadline: 2016-07-04
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-10-14
Funding Start Date: 2017-01-01

Of general interest to the III community:

GlaxoSmithKline-CIHR Partnered Chair Program
Application Deadline: 2017-04-28
Funding Start Date: 2017-07-01

Operating Grant: New Investigator Research Grants in Child and Youth Health (2016)
Application Deadline: 2016-04-20
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-09-30
Funding Start Date: 2016-10-01

Pan-Canadian SPOR Network in Primary & Integrated Health Care Innovations – National Coordinating Office
Application Deadline: 2016-04-04
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-06-30
Funding Start Date: 2016-05-01

Team Grant: Biomarkers for Nutrition and Health (BioNH) – 2016
Application Deadline: 2016-04-19
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-06-03
Full Application
Application Deadline: 2016-07-15
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-10-03
Funding Start Date: 2017-01-01

Team Grant: GACD Lung Diseases
Application Deadline: 2016-03-30
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-08-31
Funding Start Date: 2016-06-01

Team Grant: Healthy Life Trajectories Initiative (HeLTI) – China
Application Deadline: 2016-04-07
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-06-07
Funding Start Date: 2016-09-01

Team Grant: Healthy Life Trajectories Initiative (HeLTI) – South-Africa
Phase 1: Letter of Intent
Application Deadline: 2016-03-29
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-05-15
Funding Start Date: 2016-04-01
Phase 2: Application
Application Deadline: 2016-09-15
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-10-14
Funding Start Date: 2016-11-01

Other: Best Brains Exchange Travel Awards (2015-2016)

Meetings of interest

Annual conference Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada
March 30 to April 2, 2016, Vancouver, BC

29th meeting of the Canadian Society for Immunology
April 1 to 4, 2016, Ottawa, On

Sparking Solution – Research for a Healthier Future – An International Summit
April 25 to 28, 2016, Ottawa, ON

Canadian Association of HIV Research (CAHR) Annual Conference
May 12 to 15, 2016, Winnipeg, MB

Conference to Develop a Federal Framework on Lyme Disease
May 15 to 17, 2016, Ottawa, ON

Globalizing Advances in Allergic Disease Research-AllerGen's 8th Research Conference
May 29 to June 1, 2016, Vancouver, BC

66th Annual Conference of the Canadian Society of Microbiologists
June 12 to 15, 2016, Toronto, ON

Public Health 2016
June 13 to 16, 2016, Toronto, ON

Canadian Society of Transplantation - Annual Scientific Meeting 2016
October 12 to 15, 2016, Quebec City, QC

Canadian National Transplant Research Program Annual Scientific Meeting
October 13 to 15, 2016, Quebec City, QC

12th Canadian Immunization Conference (CIC2016)
December 6-8, 2016, Ottawa, ON

Update from the CIHR Standing Committee on Ethics

It has been a year and a half since the new Standing Committee on Ethics (SCE) first met. CIHR's Vice-President of Research, Knowledge Translation and Ethics, Dr. Jane Aubin, provides an update about the committee's productive first year, and plans for 2016. Read more.

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