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Canadian Campus Newswire

Source: University of Manitoba


October 20, 2006

new projects include studies of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular
disease and prenatal care.

Forty-two health research projects at the University of Manitoba have
received a total of $8.5 million in new funding from the Canadian Institutes
of Health Research (CIHR). The new funding was highlighted today in Ottawa
by the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of
Canada on behalf of the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health.

"Promoting ground breaking health research is a crucial
component of our government's plan to build a healthy, prosperous and
innovative Canada," Toews said. "The funding highlighted today is helping to
enhance the health research capabilities of our institutions across
Manitoba, which will benefit all Canadians."

The funded projects will be conducted at the University of
Manitoba and partner research institutions, including CancerCare Manitoba,
Saint Boniface General Hospital, and the Health Sciences Centre, and they
will be carried out over periods of one to five years.

"These 42 projects encompass a broad range of specialized health
research, from investigations of human disease at the molecular level, to
comprehensive studies of population health," said Joanne Keselman,
vice-president (research) at the University of Manitoba. "The CIHR funding
highlighted today is a welcome recognition of both the very high calibre of
our health researchers and the importance of their work, and it’s great news
for all of the people whose lives will be improved by these cutting-edge

The University of Manitoba researchers whose projects received
new funding include:

  • Kathleen Gough, chemistry, who is using state-of-the-art technology to
    scan brain tissue with infrared light in order to detect proteins associated
    with Alzheimer’s disease. This new approach will allow researchers to follow
    the progress of the disease at the molecular level and to develop ways to
    test the effectiveness of treatments.

  • Marek Los, biochemistry and medical genetics, who holds a Canada
    Research Chair in new cancer therapy development. Los is investigating the
    potential use of a protein called apoptin in the development of new
    anti-cancer therapies, and his research at the Manitoba Institute of Cell
    Biology, a joint Institute of the University of Manitoba and CancerCare
    Manitoba, has already produced promising results for the development of
    tumour-specific derivatives of apoptin.

  • Karmin O, animal science, who is studying the ability of folic acid
    supplements to improve vascular function. Her lab at the Canadian Centre for
    Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine at St. Boniface General Hospital
    Research Centre is also investigating the effects of folic acid on other
    cardiovascular diseases, as well as disorders affecting liver and kidney

  • Maureen Heaman, Nursing, who is leading a comprehensive study of
    prenatal care in eight of Winnipeg’s inner-city neighbourhoods. The project
    is examining the factors associated with inadequate prenatal care from the
    perspective of both inner-city women and health care providers.

    This funding is part of a larger package announced on October 13 by the
    Minister of Health. A detailed list of the projects funded across Canada is
    available on the CIHR website:

    The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of
    Canada's agency for health research. CIHR's mission is to create new
    scientific knowledge and to catalyze its translation into improved health,
    more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian
    health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and
    support close to over 10,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.


    For more information, please contact:

    Frank Nolan

    Research Promotion

    University of Manitoba

    Tel: 204-474-7300 or 204-799-4802

    For more information, contact:
    Chris Rutkowski
    Media Relations Coordinator
    Public Affairs
    Phone: (204) 474-9514
    Fax: (204) 474-7631

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