The Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) at Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University will partner for five years with St. John’s Research Institute in Bangalore, India — one of 11 Collaborating Centers of Excellence to prevent and control chronic diseases in developing countries.
The PHRI and St. John’s partnership is one of 10 contracts totaling more than $34 million being awarded by the U.S.-based National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. The funds support a worldwide network of research and training centres that will build sustainable programs to counter chronic non-communicable diseases in developing countries.
St. John’s and PHRI will also receive funding for the Center of Excellence from United Health Group’s Chronic Disease Initiative.
Together the institutes will create a research platform in India to address cardiovascular disease through studies led by St. John’s and facilitated by PHRI investigators. These studies include: INSPIRE, a large registry to understand the cause and treatment of stroke; PREPARE to evaluate primary prevention strategies at the community level; and SPREAD to evaluate better methods of care after heart attacks have occurred.
In addition, this comprehensive approach to disease prevention will provide training opportunities and mentorship that will enable Indian researchers to continue to address these major health issues in the future.
Salim Yusuf, director of the Population Health Research Institute and a professor of medicine in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, said the PHRI team is committed to reducing premature CVD in both developed and developing countries.
"Our efforts in 80 countries over the past twenty years are already bearing fruit, and while challenging, our goal of reducing CVD globally by 50 per cent in the next 25 years is achievable," said Yusuf, who is also the vice-president of research at Hamilton Health Sciences.
St. John’s Research Institute, led by Prem Pais and Denis Xavier, selected the PHRI to enhance research and training opportunities. Other McMaster professors who are team members at PHRI include: Jackie Bosch, PJ Devereux, Martin O’Donnell and Clara Chow.