McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

McMaster captures two national patient-oriented research networks worth $25M

Published: March 31, 2016

McMaster University is receiving two of five large federal grants for pioneering developments in patient-oriented health care, Canada's Minister of Health announced today.

The grants, worth $12.5 million each, are from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) under Canada's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR). The objective of the SPOR networks is to be patient-centered, focusing on improved health outcomes for Canadians.

Norm Buckley
Dr. Paul Moayyedi
Norm Buckley
Dr. Norm Buckley

McMaster is hosting two of the five networks receiving funds today, one named the Chronic Pain Network, led by Dr. Norm Buckley, and the other the IMAGINE-SPOR Chronic Disease Network, led by Dr. Paul Moayyedi.

"Pain and digestive health are two very important areas," said Dr. John Kelton, dean and vice-president of McMaster's Faculty of Health Sciences.  "Both McMaster and the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine are particularly proud that we received two of the five multi-million dollar awards given across Canada."

Patient-oriented research refers to investigation that engages patients as partners, puts a focus on patient-identified priorities and improves patient outcomes. This research, conducted by multidisciplinary teams in partnership with relevant participants, aims to apply the knowledge produced to improve healthcare systems and practices.

The objective of SPOR networks is to be patient-centered, focusing on improved health outcomes for Canadians. Each network involves a wide range of partners from across Canada with a focus on identifying new treatments, more effective ways of delivering health care services and an improved patient experience.

Both the Chronic Pain Network and Imagine Networks are national collaborations of patients, researchers, healthcare professionals, educators and government policy advisors to direct new research and increase care, either for chronic pain or digestive health.

Dr. Buckley, professor and chair of anesthesia for McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and scientific director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care, said this funding will be vital towards the future of chronic pain research.

"We know that in Canada, the cost of chronic pain has been measured as greater than that of cancer and heart disease combined," said Buckley. "Although Canada is recognized as a world leader in pain research, the investment in pain research has been the lowest of any developed country. We will be changing that, for the benefit of Canadians."

The IMAGINE Network, which stands for Inflammation, Microbiome, and Alimentation: Gastro-Intestinal and Neuropsychiatric Effects, is led by Dr. Moayyedi, professor of medicine and clinical research lead of the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute.

Moayyedi says IMAGINE will be developing innovative therapies and novel probiotics for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

"We've been patient-driven in setting priorities for this work. We believe IBD and IBS are caused by an immune response to the disturbance in the gut's microbiome, and we know diet plays a key role in shaping the gut microbiome," said Moayyedi.

The Hounourable Dr. Jane Philpott, Canada's Minister of Health, was in Hamilton Thursday to announce the grants.

Check back soon for a video of the event to be posted below.

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