2014 CIHR Funding Recipients

We wish to congratulate our CFRI members who were recently awarded grants through the CIHR Fall 2013 Operating Grants competition  Congratulations to all!

DEVLIN, Angela M

Project: Developmental Exposure to Maternal Obesity and Programming of Vascular Disease.”
Co-investigators: BERISTAIN, Alexander G; GREEN, Tim.
Amount: $444,324/5 years

Dr. Devlin’s study will investigate the relationship between obesity in pregnant mothers and adverse cardio-metabolic complications in their children using mouse models to determine whether mild exercise during pregnancy can alleviate those complications.

ELANGO, Rajavel

Project: “Amino Acid Metabolism in Pregnancy.”
Operating Grant-PA: INMD Start Up Funds (bridge funding) – Assistant Professors.
Amount: $100,000/1 year

Dr. Elango and his team have developed a safe, non-invasive way to study amino acid needs in pregnant women. Using this new approach, they’ll be studying the different conditionally essential amino acid needs of women during each stage of pregnancy to improve maternal and fetal nutrition.

LAVOIE, Pascal

Project: “Maternal Omega-3 supplementation to reduce Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in very Preterm Infants : A Randomized Controlled Trial (MOBYDIck Trial).”
Co-investigators: JULIEN, Pierre; LAVOIE, Jean-Claude; LUCAS, Michel; PIEDBOEUF, Bruno; SYNNES, Anne R.; WALKER, Mark C.

Amount: $100,000/1 year (bridge-funding)

This collaborative project involves developing a pan-Canadian clinical trial to reduce inflammatory lung disease in infants born extremely pre-term by supplementing the diets of their mothers with DHA, an omega-3 lipid, which will help extremely pre-term babies meet their dietary requirements from their mothers’ breast-milk.

MAXWELL, Christopher A.

Project: “Understanding the mitotic and non-mitotic roles of RHAMM, a novel regulator for aurora kinase A.”
Co-investigator: PANTE, Nelly
Operating Grant – Priority Announcement: Breast Cancer Research (AVON)
Amount: $631,358/5 years

Some breast tumours are more difficult to kill because they do not express on their surface the targets for standard treatments. These stealth breast cancer cells rely more heavily on an enzyme called Aurora kinase A and, thus, may be more susceptible to new drugs that target this enzyme. Research from the Maxwell lab will enable the best use of these new drugs, which may improve overall cancer survival rates.


Project: “Developmental origins of autism: A population level linked data study of prenatal antidepressant medication exposure.”
Co-investigators: HANLEY, Gillian E; LANPHEAR, Bruce P.; MINTZES, Barbara J; ZWAIGENBAUM, Lonnie.
Amount: $285,768/3 years.

Using population level data, Dr. Oberlander’s study will examine possible links between prenatal antidepressant exposure and risks for childhood Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Dr. Oberlander’s work will focus on knowing if or how such prenatal medication exposure increases the incidence of ASD. It is expected that this should add to our understanding of the early origins of ASD and shape the treatment of antenatal maternal depression in ways that improves child mental health and risks for ASD.

SLY, Laura M.

Project: “Macrophages in intestinal disease.”
Amount: $636,605/5 years

Dr. Sly’s team has found that macrophages, a specialized type of white blood cell, can cause inflammation and can cause inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They are currently working on defining the mechanism that macrophages use to cause disease and block it to prevent inflammation and disease.

TURVEY, Stuart E.

Project: “Understanding the Novel Human Primary Immunodeficiency Caused by MALT1 Mutations.”
Co-investigators: FUNG, Shan-Yu; PRIATEL, John J; TAN, Rusung
Amount: $401,337/3 years

Dr. Turvey cares for B.C. children who are born with primary immune deficiency diseases (PIDs), which place these children at very high risk for severe infections. Very recently, Dr. Turvey and colleagues at CFRI found that mutations in a gene called MALT1 cause a new form of PID, and they have identified the only known living person in the world with MALT1 mutations. In the proposed research they will carefully work to understand how the mutations in MALT1 disable normal protective immune function.