Collaborative Health Research Projects – June 13th announcement

On June 13, 2018, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna and Parliamentary Secretary for Science Kate Young visited the University of Ottawa Heart Institute to announce an important investment in health care innovation for Canadians.


The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“It’s not just about what happens in labs, it’s about how do we improve lives. And it’s great to see that Canada is a real leader – a real leader in cutting-edge science.

So it’s really great to be here at the Ottawa Heart Institute. We visited one of the labs and, as one of the doctors said to me, when they were in med school there was this idea that you can’t heal the heart. Well actually, here you see groundbreaking research that will have a real difference. You can actually do things now that can help heal hearts, and that’s critical.

We have groundbreaking research here in Canada. The Government of Canada, really we believe that we need to be supporting pure science and research because then it goes from the lab, and then it goes to help patients. So that’s really what it’s all about at the end of the day, it’s helping make healthier… working with Canadians so we have healthier Canadians, and really making sure that we have leading research that translates into healthier lives.”

MP Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary for Science

“When health researchers, engineers, and natural scientists work together, by combining their expertise they can think outside the box.

This research is so important to Canadians because what it means is that we will advance through technology and health research combined – a multidisciplinary advancement in where we’re going. And I think what we’re learning today and what we’ll be learning in the future can really help people around the world, not just Canadians. And that’s what’s so exciting about this – this is very leading-edge.”

Dr. Shirin Enger, Principal Investigator, Cancer Research Program, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

“To treat cancer with radiation therapy, we usually have to make a trade-off. If we want to cure the patient and give a high dose to the tumour, we over-radiate healthy tissues. The patient is cured, but with a very poor quality of life.

My research group has developed a new radiation source and a new radiation delivery system that removes this trade-off. We can give a very high dose to the tumour and at the same time shield organs at risk. With our technology, the patient will be cured with a much better quality of life.”

On June 13, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced an investment of more than $20M to support 30 health research projects that bring together natural scientists, engineers, and health researchers.

Minister McKenna and Kate Young, the Parliamentary Secretary for Science, toured the lab of Dr. Erik Suuronen at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He is one of 30 researchers who was funded through the Collaborative Health Research Projects (CHRP) program. Dr. Suuronen is developing a collagen gel that can be injected into the heart to repair and regrow damaged heart tissue after a heart attack.

Dr. Shirin Enger is a scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre who received funding through the Collaborative Health Research Projects (CHRP) program She is developing a new means of delivering radiation therapy that target tumours more precisely without damaging surrounding healthy tissue. 

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