McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

McMaster University receives $31M commitment from Heart and Stroke Foundation

Published: June 25, 2013
Sonia Anand
Sonia Anand, professor of medicine, clinical epidemiology and biostatistics
Stephen Collins
Stephen Collins, associate dean, research, Faculty of Health Sciences

The Heart and Stroke Foundation has committed to at least $31 million in research funding for McMaster University over the next 10 years, as part of the charity's new research funding approach.

McMaster has been chosen as one of 19 leading Canadian research institutions for the Heart and Stroke Foundation's unprecedented $300 million, multi-year commitment to its newly formed Heart and Stroke Foundation Research Leadership Circle.

The initiative will direct the majority of Foundation research dollars toward partner institutions. The goal of the Heart and Stroke Foundation is to reduce Canadians' rate of death from heart disease and stroke by 25 per cent by 2020.

"McMaster University is a world leader in cardiovascular disease research and the longstanding support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation has enabled our researchers to make ground breaking discoveries. We look forward to continuing this partnership through the Research Leadership Circle," said Dr. Stephen Collins, associate dean, research for the Faculty of Health Sciences.

"With the Foundation's long term funding commitment, and with our close relationships with affiliated hospitals in Hamilton, we envisage continued success in developing better understanding and treatments to help make people healthier."

Dr. Sonia Anand is a professor of medicine at McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and holds the Heart and Stroke Foundation / Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Population Health Research, one of four endowed chairs at McMaster sponsored in part by the Foundation. She is also director of the vascular medicine clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences.

"The long-term commitment of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and its donors to funding the very best heart and stroke disease research has always put wind under the wings of cardiovascular researchers. This future-oriented pledge is another sign of the Heart and Stroke Foundation's commitment to research, and it is much appreciated," she said.

McMaster and its affiliated academic hospital partners Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton are known as having the highest cited cardiovascular research group in the world.

"Simply put, there's an urgent need to save more lives faster and that's why the Foundation has brought together the Research Leadership Circle," said David Sculthorpe, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "This $300 million commitment will allow our partners an unprecedented ability to plan major research projects, foster greater collaboration and attract even more of the world's best researchers within and outside of Canada to fight these insidious diseases."

Since 1952, the Foundation has provided more than $1.35 billion to heart and stroke research in Canada — second only to the federal government. But, until now there has never been an up-front commitment to support long-term research planning.

"The time has come to establish a new, more aggressive and coordinated approach to ending heart disease and stroke, so we've partnered with some of the highest performing researchers in Canada to get the job done," said Irfhan Rawji, past Chair of the Foundation and one of the architects of the Research Leadership Circle. 

Over the past 60 years, research has helped reduce Canadians' rate of death from heart disease and stroke by approximately 75 per cent. However despite these impressive gains, heart disease and stroke still account for almost 30 per cent of all deaths every year in Canada.

Notwithstanding the advance commitments to the Research Leadership Circle partners, the Foundation's merit-based, peer review process will continue to govern all funding.

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