January 15, 2013
SickKids kicks off 2013 with two Leading Edge Fund grants
By: Elissa Hanna
SickKids scientists Dr. Mark Henkelman and Dr. Stephen Scherer are recipients of Leading Edge Fund grants, awarded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The awards – totaling $3,772,049 – will benefit research projects aiming to advance the development of personalized disease treatments for individual patients, with a particular focus on paediatric patients.
The Leading Edge Fund supports research groups from Canada’s top research institutions by funding the development of infrastructure that supports new innovative studies. The SickKids grants will allow the Mouse Imaging Centre (MICe) and The Centre for Applied Genomics (TCAG) to house new equipment – not only advancing the research of both recipients, but ultimately benefiting the research of all those who use both facilities.
Dr. Henkelman is a Senior Scientist in Physiology & Experimental Medicine and Director of the MICe. His $2.7 million Leading Edge Fund grant will mean new MRI and CAT scan equipment that will help determine the patterns of the most crucial genes in a developing embryo. This equipment will allow for the investigation into the genetic basis of mental health diseases and also improve the search for more effective treatments for brain tumours in children.
Dr. Scherer, Senior Scientist in Genetics & Genome Biology and Director of TCAG, will use his $1 million grant to obtain new equipment to further understand the genetic causes to diseases. This project will allow his team to discover new methods of predicting and diagnosing illnesses. Dr. Scherer’s research is particularly focused on the genetics behind Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), childhood epilepsies, paediatric cancers and genetic eye diseases.
“This CFI funding will allow SickKids to continue its tradition of research excellence, and maintain its rank as one of the world’s leading research institutions,” said Dr. Janet Rossant, Chief of Research at SickKids. “The continuation of these studies will ultimately lead to improved treatment for childhood illnesses in Canada and abroad.”
To learn more about the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Leading Edge Fund visit the CFI website.