uOttawa scientists share $1.75M for multifaceted health care research

Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2012

OTTAWA, September 25, 2012 — Three prominent scientists at the University of Ottawa will share $1,755,851 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canada Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) in support of research that will greatly benefit Canadians’ health care.

The funding, part of the Collaborative Health Research Projects program, will support teams comprised of natural sciences or engineering researchers, alongside health sciences researchers.  The teams will forge partnerships with non-academic collaborators from government, private or public organizations who will use the research results in making informed decisions on health-related policies, products, programs or practices.

“Doctors Boddy, Figeys and Harden are world-leading scientists in their fields. Thanks to this support, their research will lead to important discoveries that will have direct benefits on the health of Canadians and people around the world,” said Vice-President, Research Mona Nemer.

The three uOttawa scientists are:

Christopher Boddy — Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry
Development of small molecule viral sensitizers to boost vaccine manufacturing
Professor Boddy’s research (in collaboration with Jean-Simon Diallo at theOttawa Hospital Research Institute— research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa — and Jeff Smith at Carleton University) will explore small molecule additives that substantially boost the production of virus-based vaccines in cell culture. The results from this study could potentially improve the timely manufacturing of large amounts of vaccine, which is of particular importance during vaccine shortages like those seen during the 2009 H1N1 vaccination program.

Daniel Figeys — Faculty of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology 
Microfluidic platforms coupled to mass spectrometry for the quantitative analysis of circulating convertases and substrates
Professor Figeys’ research will develop and apply technologies for the study of the secretome/shedome associated with specific secretory proteases.  These secretory proteases and their substrates are important players in many human diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, mental health, cancer/metastasis and viral infections. The results could directly benefit Canadians by having novel biomarker assays transferred to the clinic for patient screening and developing personalized treatment, and transferred to industrial partners for preclinical assessment.

James Harden — Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry
Anti-microbial scaffold materials for cutaneous wound healing
Professor Harden and his team will create novel nanocomposite biomaterials for skin regeneration based on engineered collagen scaffolds. The results of this research could potentially help heal patients with burned skin or chronic skin wounds arising as a complication of diabetes.

Collaborative Health Research Projects grants are designed to assist new projects that involve interdisciplinary collaborations between any field of the natural sciences or engineering and the health sciences.

The University of Ottawa is committed to research excellence and encourages an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge creation, which attracts the best academic talent from across Canada and around the world. The University is an important stakeholder in the National Capital Region’s economic development.

For More Information

Néomie Duval
Media Relations Officer
Office: 613-562-5800 (2981)
Cell: 613-863-7221

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