CIHR Project Grants awarded to UBC Applied Science research on cancer therapy and heart disease

$1.86 million has been awarded to two UBC Applied Science-affiliated projects through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.  

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Two UBC Applied Science-affiliated projects received $1.86 million in CIHR research grants. They were selected based on significance, impact and feasibility.

Two projects led or co-led by UBC Applied Science researchers have received $1.86 million in funding through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Project Grants: Spring 2022 competition.

The CIHR’s Project Grant program aims to support ideas with the greatest potential to advance health-related research and knowledge translation, as well as to promote collaboration and “contribute to the creation and use of health-related knowledge.”

Recipient projects are recognized to have the potential to impact the healthcare field and are selected based on significance, impact and feasibility. 

Hongshen Ma (Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering) and Megan Levings (Biomedical Engineering) received $864,450 over five years for their research to improve the design and manufacturing of chimeric antigen receptor cell therapies. This new form of cancer therapy modifies a patient's own immune cells to give them the ability to eliminate cancer cells.

Purang Abolmaesumi (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Michael Y Tsang (Cardiology and Echocardiography) and Teresa S Tsang (Cardiology and Echocardiography) received $1,005,976 over five years for their work to improve detection of aortic stenosis, one of the most prevalent heart diseases in Canada. They aim to show that aortic stenosis can be detected through direct analysis of ultrasound videos using machine learning.  

In addition, UBC School of Nursing's Fuchsia Howard and her co-leads in Obstetrics and Gynecology received a $784,125 grant to more precisely determine when patients with endometriosis would benefit from surgery and when to avoid unnecessary procedures. Her contributions include using patient perspectives to design and evaluate patient-centered health care.

Four projects led by researchers from the School of Biomedical Engineering, within UBC’s Faculty of Applied Science and Faculty of Medicine, also garnered $3.5 million in funding to investigate safe cell therapies, stem cells and brain cancer.

CIHR Project Grants offer an opportunity for researchers to further innovate, discover and potentially save lives. 

For more information about all UBC-led projects awarded project grants during this funding round, read the announcement on the UBC Research and Innovation website.

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