McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Five Health Sciences researchers get financial boost from province

Published: August 16, 2007
Mick Bhatia
Mick Bhatia, Scientific Director of the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute

Five Health Sciences researchers are among the 21 McMaster faculty who have received significant grants from the Ontario government to pursue world-class projects that could lead to better health care worldwide.

Four Faculty of Health Sciences researchers received grants from the Ontario Research Fund (ORF) and one Faculty member earned an Early Researcher Award.

The grants announced this week bring a total of  $2.7 million to McMaster University researchers.

The ORF is part of the government initiative to promote scientific excellence by supporting research that can be developed into innovative goods and services to boost Ontario’s economy. The fund also helps researchers move new ideas from the lab to the global marketplace.

The four Health Sciences researchers who received grants from the ORF are Mick Bhatia, Scientific Director of the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute, Joan Krepinksy and Kathy McCoy, both assistant professors in the Department of Medicine, and Bradley Doble, assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences.

P. J. Devereaux
P. J. Devereaux, an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

P. J. Devereaux, an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, received an Early Researcher Award (ERA). These awards are provided to researchers undertaking cutting-edge work, so they can build their research teams of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and research associates.

Bhatia received $388,494 to accelerate the development of treatments derived from stem cell research. His research program is focused on overcoming barriers to the discovery and development of effective therapies for cancer, spinal cord injuries and degenerative diseases of the brain.

Krepinsky received $133,203 to enhance her research into better treatment approaches for chronic kidney disease. She is studying how and why diabetes and hypertension produce the proteins that lead to fibrosis and kidney failure, and hopes to identify a pharmacological approach that could inhibit scar protein production.

McCoy will be outfitting a laboratory that will help in the study of how microbes could keep people healthy, with the $276,466 she received. The laboratory will provide facilities to study the specific biochemical mechanisms that cause microbes to elicit immune response.

Doble’s $229,834 grant will help him establish a laboratory to study the biochemical mechanisms governing a key protein in the body known as GSK-3. The protein controls the shape, function and survival of cells in the body, but too much activity in it can be harmful, setting the stage for problems such as diabetes, bipolar disorder and Alzheimer’s.

Devereaux will use his Early Research Award of $100,000 to pursue his research into how and why many major heart problems occur after surgery. He hopes to discover ways to predict, detect, prevent and manage these types of major complications around the time of surgery.

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