Government of Ontario grants more than $10.6 million of funding to SickKids research
By Katie Grandin
This week, the Government of Ontario announced the successful recipients of its $209 million investment in research funding to support innovative projects and leading talent at research institutions across the province. An investment of more than $10.6 million was granted to the world-class research currently being conducted at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).
SickKids was awarded more than $10.1 million through the Ontario Research Fund - Research Infrastructure stream to support infrastructure needs, such as modern facilities and equipment. This program co-funds with the Canadian Foundation of Innovation which earlier this month granted SickKids researchers an additional $5.1 million. The projects awarded Research Infrastructure funding at SickKids include over $2 million to the Centre for Developmental Brain Plasticity and Repair research, led by incoming chief of research, Dr. Michael Salter, which aims to discover new therapies for disorders such as autism, brain injury and cognitive dysfunction; more than $1 million for Dr. Monica Justice’s research in next generation genome editing and functional evaluation of pre-clinical models of human disease; and over $5 million for Dr. Stephen Scherer’s project, Canada's Genomics Enterprise (CGEn): A National Genomic Tools Network for Transforming Life Science Research.
SickKids was further presented with $560,000 through the Early Researcher Awards, funding designated to attract and retain top talent in the province and help budding researchers build their teams. Among the recipients of SickKids’ Early Researcher Awards funding is Dr. Bret Pearson, who was granted $140,000 for his project to understand the roles of stem cell biology in cancer development. Dr. Pearson’s lab is the only one in Canada to employ the freshwater flatworm (planarian) as a model for stem cell biology, cancer, and regeneration. This research, which studies how the normal stem cells might go awry during cancer development, will allow for innovation in the fields of cancer biology and regeneration.
SickKids understands and appreciates the impact of government funding, as the research personnel continue to reap the benefits of collaboration and innovation made possible through funding dedicated to the infrastructure of the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning.
All successful research projects were evaluated through a rigorous peer review process involving Canadian and international academic and industry experts, and were chosen based on their research excellence as well as economic and societal benefits for Ontario. Ontario Research Funds aim to sharpen Ontario's competitive edge, and ensure that the province remains at the forefront of the global knowledge economy by strengthening its capacity to innovate.