2018 Year in Review: Health Research in Canada

2018 Year in Review: Health Research in Canada

Finding a way to convert all blood types into a universal type. Building the first Indigenous DNA library. Conducting health research experiments in space. Not a bad year, eh?

At CIHR, we support the heath researchers and trainees across Canada who are pushing the boundaries of science and turning research discoveries into better health for Canadians.

As we reflect on 2018, we are pleased to present just a small sample of the research achievements and some interesting news that made headlines this year.

Silent Genome project

A team of British Columbia researchers launch the Silent Genome project, which will build a DNA library in partnership with Indigenous communities, and guide the development of more precise diagnostics and therapies.

Photo of: Dr. Nadine Caron, University of British Columbia

Platelets and our immune system

Dr. Eric Boilard and his team reveal that platelets play “first responders” role for the body’s immune system (in French only).

Photo of: Dr. Eric Boilard, Université Laval and Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec

Canada Gairdner Wightman Award

Dr. Frances A. Shepherd receives the 2018 Canada Gairdner Wightman Award in recognition of her outstanding career and contribution to the field of lung cancer clinical trials.

Photo of: Dr. Frances A. Shepherd, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto

Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, a 20-year study following close to 50,000 men and women between the ages of 45 and 85, releases its first set of data on the biological, medical, psychological, social, lifestyle, and economic aspects of study participants.

De-prescribing for seniors

An important study sheds light on prescription practices for seniors (in French only), leading researchers to lead the drive towards “de-prescribing,” a planned process to reduce or stop medications that may no longer be of benefit to a patient, or in extreme cases, cause harm.

Photo of: Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Gender and Health, and lead author of the report

CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health

To reflect current respectful terminology and alignment with other federal departments, CIHR renamed the CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health to the CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health.

The Newfoundland Curse

A team of researchers at Memorial University wins the Governor General’s Innovation Awards for their work saving the lives of those affected by a deadly genetic disease, dubbed “The Newfoundland Curse”.

Photo of: Memorial University Faculty of Medicine’s Drs. Sean Connors, Kathy Hodgkinson, Terry-Lynn Young, and Daryl Pullman

New President of CIHR

Dr. Michael J. Strong, an internationally recognized ALS researcher, is appointed President of CIHR.

Photo of: Dr. Michael J. Strong, CIHR President

Best Brain 2018

Canada’s budding neuroscientists competed for the title of “Best Brain,” with London, Ontario high school student Huai-Ying (Ingrid) Huang winning third place at the International Brain Bee competition in Berlin in July.

Photo of: Ingrid Huang (left) took home the title of “best brain” in Canada

Concussion protocols

Sport concussion protocols are adopted by Canadian national sport organizations, based on scientific evidence from researchers and medical professionals.

Renowned memory expert turns 100

Dr. Brenda Milner, one of the world’s foremost neuroscientists and authorities on the science of memory, turns 100.

Photo of: Dr. Brenda Milner

Call for action on dementia

Canadian researchers lead the development of an international position paper on dementia - a statement that will support policy and decision-makers worldwide.

Canadian research overhauls TB treatment

Canadian research findings spark a complete overhaul of worldwide TB treatment guidelines.

Photo of: Dr. Dick Menzies and Research Coordinator Chantal Valiquette, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC)

Canadian researchers find a way to turn Type A and B blood into Type O

University of British Columbia researchers develop a revolutionary technique to transform A and B blood types into the universal type O, using gut enzymes.

Historic recruitment milestone

Canada Research Chairs Program reaches historic recruitment milestone, with women now accounting for over 43% of nominations submitted.

Photo of: Members of Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

CIHR Institute of Genetics moves to Atlantic Canada

The CIHR Institute of Genetics moves to Dalhousie University, making it the first CIHR Institute to be hosted in Atlantic Canada.

Photo of: Dr. Christopher McMaster, Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Genetics

Stand Up 2 Cancer raised $162.7 million for Cancer research

Stand Up 2 Cancer received $162.7 million in pledges from Canada and the US, to support cancer research as well as education and awareness programs.

Dr. Donna Strickland won Nobel Prize in Physics

One of the world’s laser physics pioneers, Dr. Donna Strickland, becomes the first woman in 55 years (and the third ever) to win the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Canadian researchers develop blood test to detect cancer earlier

Canadian researchers, led by Dr. Daniel De Carvalho, develop a blood test to detect and classify cancer at its earliest stages.

Photo of: Dr. Daniel De Carvalho, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto

Health research conducted in space

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques conducts health research experiments designed by Canadian scientists while in space.

Photo of: Astronaut David Saint-Jacques

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