WCH CONNECTJuly 21, 2020

WCRI scientists awarded over $1.66M in research funding

  • July 21, 2020
  • BY Sarah Warr

Scientists at Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI) have received approximately $1.66M in funding to support their revolutionary research that is improving care for patients – both locally and globally.  

Congratulations to our scientists on their successfully funded research projects!

 Dr. An-Wen ChanDr. An-Wen Chan
Phelan Scientist, Women’s College Research Institute 
Dermatologist, Women’s College Hospital 

Dr. Chan was awarded a $200,000 Canadian Cancer Society-Canadian Institutes of Health Research Innovation Grant to monitor the incidence and impact of skin cancer in Canada. In collaboration with Cancer Care Ontario, the project will use artificial intelligence techniques to develop an automated electronic algorithm to identify these skin cancers from pathology reports in Ontario. This will enable us to conduct epidemiological studies and skin cancer surveillance in order to inform public health initiatives.    

Dr. Chan also received a $250,000 Inaugural UHN Transplant Strategic Clinical Projects Fund Award to expand a randomized controlled trial evaluating nicotinamide for skin cancer prevention in transplant recipients across Canada. The trial, currently in pilot stage, is investigating the use of an oral vitamin (nicotinamide) for preventing skin cancer in the high-risk population of kidney, liver, heart and lung transplant recipients. 

Dr. Aaron DruckerDr. Aaron Drucker
Scientist, Women’s College Research Institute 
Dermatologist, Women’s College Hospital 

Dr. Drucker and co-investigator Dr. Vincent Piguet were awarded a Canadian Dermatology Foundation team grant for the project: Canadian Atopic Dermatitis Cohort for Translational Immunology and Imaging (CACTI). The three-year, $600,000 grant will allow for the establishment of a multicentre cohort of adult patients with severe atopic dermatitis patients across Canada. The project will enable advancements in biomarker development and precision medicine for atopic dermatitis and include a randomized controlled trial comparing the two most common forms of UVB phototherapy. 

Dr. Drucker and co-investigator Mina Tadrous, PhD, were also awarded a Canadian Dermatology Foundation grant for their project on fractures in older adults with eczema prescribed systemic steroids. The two-year, $100,000 grant will study the prescribing patterns for corticosteroids that elevate the risk for bone fractures among these patients and examine strategies for appropriate screening and treatment to prevent fractures.  

Janice Du Mont, EdDJanice Du Mont
Senior Scientist, Women’s College Research Institute 

Du Mont was awarded a Partnership Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The two-year, $200,000 grant will mobilize partnerships to expand a provincial intersectoral network on trans-affirming practice to support sexual assault survivors. The trans-LINK project connects trans-positive organizations with hospital-based violence treatment centres to advance the response to sexual assault against trans persons, while promoting health equity.  

Dr. Lihi EderDr. Lihi Eder
Scientist, Women’s College Research Institute 
Co-Director, Cardio-Rheumatology Program & Rheumatologist, Division of Rheumatology, Women’s College Hospital

Dr. Eder was awarded a $75,000 USD 2020 National Psoriasis Foundation Discovery Grant. The funded project will investigate the use of deep cellular immune profiling to guide the selection of biologic medications for patients with psoriatic arthritis. This novel approach could lead to individualized therapy, directly advancing clinical care for these patients. 

Dr. Eder also received a New Investigator Operating grant from the PSI Foundation. This three-year, $210,000 grant will fund a project that aims to develop a novel prediction method to identify patients with psoriasis who are at high risk of developing psoriatic arthritis in the near future. This will allow early intervention in high risk patients thus potentially preventing the development of this debilitating condition.  

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