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WCRI receives more than $2.4 million in new research funding

June 12, 2017

By Lindsay Jolivet

Scientists at Women's College Research Institute (WCRI) received funding for four exciting projects during the latest grant competition run by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). In total, their grants brought in more than $2.4 million.

CIHR funding is very competitive, with a national success rate of 16 per cent during this competition. WCRI's success rate was almost three times higher than the national average at 44 per cent.

Congratulations to the successful scientists on their funded research projects:

Dr. Mohammad Akbari
Dr. Akbari is investigating the role of a new gene called RECQL in breast cancer susceptibility. The gene was identified previously as a breast cancer susceptibility gene by Dr. Akbari's team through a novel study design in two founder populations from Poland and Quebec. The goal of this study is to expand upon his previous work to better understand the significance of RECQL mutations in breast cancer on a broader level.

Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe
Dr. Lipscombe is running a trial to test the effectiveness of a postpartum program she designed for women with gestational diabetes. These women are at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes following pregnancy. Dr. Lipscombe's program provides lifestyle coaching on healthy eating and physical activity over the phone to help women maintain a healthy weight and reduce their risk of diabetes. The program is unique because it accommodates the barriers new mothers face to maintaining a healthy lifestyle by offering them support from home.

Dr. An-Wen Chan
Dr. Chan is studying new ways to prevent skin cancer in organ transplant recipients. Kidney, liver, heart and lung transplant recipients take medications that suppress their immune system to prevent their bodies from rejecting the new organs. But with long-term use, these drugs dramatically increase the risk of skin cancer. Dr. Chan's clinical trial will be the first to test whether nicotinamide, a type of vitamin B, can safely reduce skin cancer in high-risk transplant recipients and improve their long-term well-being.

Dr. Paula Rochon
Dr. Rochon will study prescribing cascades, which are situations when a patient has an adverse reaction to a drug, and their doctor misinterprets the reaction as a new medical condition, responding by prescribing yet another medication. Dr. Rochon will investigate questions including how common prescribing cascades are, how they start and how they affect patients. Her research will contribute to improving drug safety for older adults by preventing and reducing the problematic polypharmacy caused by prescribing cascades. The goal is to promote ongoing health and wellness for older women and men.

Drs. Lorraine Lipscombe, Paula Rochon, Mohammad Akbari and An-Wen Chan
From left to right: Drs. Lorraine Lipscombe, Paula Rochon, Mohammad Akbari and An-Wen Chan, who were successful on their recent Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant applications.

 

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