III Newsletter – October 2015

Message from the Scientific Director

It is with great pleasure that I am reaching you this fall. I hope that you had a restful summer. The Institute has lived through many changes in the last months but is now benefiting from an integrated team which part of the members are based in Ottawa. In Québec City, we were also pleased to welcome a new associate, Élisabeth Pagé. The entire team is committed to offer the best support to the infection and immunity research community.

Last year was very busy on the Ebola front and the institute has been pleased to be involved in several funding opportunities.  Recently, antimicrobial resistance seems to monopolize many efforts with several meetings and teleconferences.  We are pursuing our collaborative work with the European Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance Consortium and a second call is being prepared. There are many ongoing discussions with partners for facilitating the implementation of the Federal Action Plan on AMR.

Other initiatives that the Institute is currently working on relate to Human Immunology, HIV Implementation Science Initiative and we have partnered with many institutes on a catalyst initiative on Sex as a Variable in Biomedical or Translation on Research led by the Institute of Gender and Health.

As always, the Institute is happy to hear about your success stories originating from CIHR funding. We would therefore like to highlight two CIHR-funded studies; one on vaccine coverage from Dr. Michael Isaac, University of Manitoba, that suggests a way to increase vaccination rates in children, and a second from Dr. Brett Finlay, UBC, on the role of gut bacteria in asthma. Please do not hesitate to tell us about your success stories at serge.desnoyers@crchudequebec.ulaval.ca.

I wish you all a very productive fall season.

Marc Ouellette

CIHR at the 8th IAS Conference

From left to right: Hugo Soudeyns, Aslam Anis, Gregory Taylor (CPHO), Shari Margolese, Eric Cohen, Marc Ouellette, Jacqueline Sas, Jonathan Angel, Kristin Westland, Curtis Cooper (back), Nathalie Beliveau, Christopher Bunting, Renée Masching

Last July, CIHR was in Vancouver participating in the 8th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference. We enjoyed meeting the large delegation of Canadian researchers. We participated in a number of events, including the celebration for the 25th Anniversary of the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN) (see photo). Congratulations to CTN!

This was also the last official event of Jennifer Gunning with the HIV/AIDS Research Initiative and III wishes all the best in her future work at CIHR.  She will be missed, but an outstanding new team is in place to manage the HIV Initiative. If you have questions regarding the HIV initiative, you can contact Liz Stirling.

Congratulations to Funding Recipients

Planning and Dissemination Grant – Institute Community Support – Winter 2015 Competition

Jean-Pierre Fabrice, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier (Laval), Congrès Armand-Frappier Édition 2015.

Justin Mallet, Université Laval, Event “Rendez-vous avec la science”. Theme: «L’immunité humaine».

Michelle E. Bridge, Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto), Identifying and Planning Research Opportunities in Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship: A National Collaboration.

Michelle D. Brazas, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (Toronto), Developing Metagenomics Analysis Skills to Progress Research.

Andrew Matejcic, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Highlighting and Translating HIV Research Excellence.

Duncan J. Stewart, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Establishing a national consensus on humane endpoints for preclinical models of acute lung injury.

Subburaj Illangumaran, Université de Sherbrooke, CIACCO-2016 (5th Annual symposium on Cytokines in Inflammation, Ageing, Cancer and Obesity).

Operating Grant – priority announcement: HIV/AIDS Bridge Funding

Stephen D. Barr, University of Western Ontario, Non-B DNA and retroviral integration site selection: implications for HIV gene expression, latency and cure-focused antiretrovirals.

Innovative Ebola Research Grants

The Institute would like to congratulate the recipients of the Innovative Ebola Research Grants.  See the funding decision here.

The CIHR - PHAC Partnership on Hepatitis C Research

On July 27, the Governement of Canada announced an investment of $4.5 million in hepatitis C research. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and CIHR have pursued their long term partnership on Hepatitis C research.

CIHR and PHAC launched in December 2014 the Team Grant: National Hepatitis C Collaborative Network funding opportunity. This led to the creation of a new national network focused on improving the health of Canadians living with hepatitis C and preventing new infections.

The network of more than 60 researchers is led by Dr. Naglaa Shoukry, a scientist at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal Research Centre (CRCHUM) and an Associate Professor at Université de Montréal.

The National Collaborative Hepatitis C Network will support innovative and interdisciplinary research and the use of research evidence to enhance patient care.

We wish all the best to Dr. Shoukry and to the network.

Ebola Research

CIHR and III were pleased to be involved in a number of funding opportunities related to Ebola.  We initially prioritized vaccine research and funded, along with several partners, phase 1 and phase 3 clinical trials.  We are looking forward to results from these studies but an interim analysis of the phase 3 trials show that VSV-EBOV vaccine is highly effective against Ebola.

Highlights and News from the Research Community

A new approach to increase vaccine coverage in children

A recent study from the PATHS (Pathways to Health and Social Equity Research Program) Equity team titled “Can opportunity be enhanced for vaccinating children in home visiting programs? A population-based cohort study” suggested that home visiting programs have the potential to increase the vaccination rate for children enrolled. The study was funded by CIHR and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Gut bacteria provide protection against asthma

Exposure to bacteria might protect children from asthma Researchers from the University of British Columbia and the BC Children’s Hospital discovered that children can be protected from asthma if they acquire four types of gut bacteria (called FLVR) by the time they are three months old. The UBC researchers hope to build on this research to develop therapeutic treatments and predict children at risk of asthma. This study was conducted through the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study and funded by the CIHR Canadian Microbiome Initiative. For more information, watch UBC’s video. The article can be found here.

Educating the Immune System to Prevent Allergies

With the arrival of spring every year, millions of Canadians begin their annual ritual of sneezing and wheezing due to seasonal allergies. A research team at the Montreal Children’s Hospital from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) is bringing them hope with a potential vaccine that nudges the immune response away from developing allergies.

Funding Opportunities

Pre-announcement: International Antimicrobial Resistance Funding Opportunity

Anticipated funding opportunity launch: January 2016

The CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity (III) is pleased to announce its participation in the Transmission Dynamics Call for Proposals of the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR) to be launched in January 2016. This call will involve 20 participating countries and will provide Canadian investigators the opportunity to work with their worldwide colleagues to build an interdisciplinary, multilateral research project based on complementarities and sharing of expertise.

JPIAMR is dedicated to “One Health” where multiple disciplines work together to identify and characterise the determinants that contribute to the spread of resistance in and between different reservoirs; including animals, the environment, and people. Investigating the complex biology and epidemiology of selection and transmission of resistance is crucial in order to design preventive measures to address this public health threat.

The topic of this call is to unravel the dynamics of transmission and selection of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) at genetic, bacterial, animal, human, societal, and environmental levels, in order to design and evaluate preventive and intervening measures for controlling resistance.
Further information may be found here. For more detail, please contact Élisabeth Pagé

Pre-announcement: Canada-Netherlands Personalized Medicine in Immune Mediated Inflammatory Musculoskeletal Disease Network Funding Opportunity

Anticipated Call Launch: October 2015

Expression of Interest and Letter of Intent Deadline (Phase 1): December 2015

Full Application Deadline (Phase 2): October 2016

Expected project start: February 2017

CIHR, the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) and the Dutch Arthritis Foundation (Reumafonds) are pleased to announce a joint initiative: Canada-Netherlands Personalized Medicine in Immune Mediated Inflammatory Musculoskeletal Disease Network, aimed at developing personalized pharmacotherapy approaches to medicine for immune mediated inflammatory musculoskeletal diseases through the research potential of multiple population-based patient cohorts in Canada and the Netherlands.

More details regarding the call will be published in October 2015 on the CIHR website. For more information, please contact: Nicole Szajcz-Keller Assistant Director, CIHR-Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis. Tel: 204-318-2551

Pre-announcement: Environmental Urban Health Research Consortium

Anticipated funding opportunity launch early October 2015

Expression of Interest phase closes late November (anticipated) Full applications due March 2016 (anticipated)

Notification of decision and funding start date: Summer 2016 (anticipated)

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is pleased to pre-announce the launch of a Canadian Environmental Urban Health Research Consortium (EUHRC) funding opportunity, a key component of the CIHR Environments and Health Signature Initiative.

The Consortium is expected to be a national interdisciplinary and intersectoral resource bringing together researchers from academia, government, non-governmental organisations and industry with appropriate partners and stakeholders to undertake a pan-national research program focused on addressing key issues related to the impact of the urban environment on health.

The specific objectives of this funding opportunity are to:

  • Provide researchers with one-stop access to ‘analysis-ready’ environmental data relevant to the Urban Form (i.e. air quality, active and passive transportation, green/natural spaces, land use data and policies, climate change/extreme weather, etc.);
  • Provide researchers with models/methods/analytics to assess environmental exposure to address specific health research questions;
  • Lead to the creation of new knowledge of priority environmental health issues in the Urban Form, and accelerate its transfer to relevant stakeholders;
  • Enable Government agencies (federal, provincial, municipal) to incorporate environmental health research into new and existing policy-relevant projects;
  • Enable existing cohorts to add environmental data to their datasets;
  • Foster capacity-building by providing training for early-career scientists; and
  • Become a resource for public and private organizations seeking access to a network of leading Canadian scientists to conduct research in the field of environments and health.

For more information on this funding opportunity, contact Caroline Wong, CIHR-Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health. Tel: 514-593-7433

HIV Implementation Science

The CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Initiative and its partners have developed an Implementation Science initiative in order to address the gap that exists in the application of evidence into health policy and programs. The goal of the initiative is to reduce the incidence of HIV, Hep C (HCV) and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) within and across key populations in Canada.

Two complementary funding opportunities have been developed within the framework of the initiative:

Component 1 – Adaptation Grants: will support the development of multi-sectoral teams, identification of promising or effective interventions and the development of multi-faceted programs through intervention adaptation.

Component 2 – Implementation Grants: will support multi-sectoral teams in multi-year investigations of program implementation and scale-up across multiple heterogeneous communities.

This funding opportunity will support Component 1 – Adaptation Grants. It is anticipated that a funding opportunity for Component 2 – Implementation Grants – will be launched in 2016 in order to support the transition of Component 1 projects into longer-term implementation studies. Teams will not be required to hold Component 1 grants to be eligible for the Component 2 funding opportunity. Teams that are ready to investigate the scale-up of a multi-faceted prevention program may apply directly to Component 2 when it is launched.

A webinar is scheduled October 30th, 2015 for potential applicants and collaborators. Further details regarding the webinar will be circulated to the Infection and Immunity research community within the next few weeks.

Please feel free to contact the CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Initiative for more information.

New Investigator Salary Award : Winter 2015 Priority Announcement
Application Deadline: 2015-12-01
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-06-30
Funding Start Date: 2016-07-01

Catalyst Grant : Sex as a Variable in Biomedical or Translational Research
Application Deadline: 2015-11-12
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-02-29
Funding Start Date: 2016-04-01

HIV Implementation Science – Component 1
Application Deadline: 2015-12-15
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-03-15
Funding Start Date: 2016-03-01

Catalyst Grant : HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research (2016)
Application Deadline: 2015-11-02
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-03-15
Funding Start Date: 2016-03-01

Operating Grant : HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research (2015-2016)
Application Deadline: 2015-11-02
Anticipated Notice of Decision: 2016-03-15
Funding Start Date: 2016-04-01

Project Scheme: 2016 1st Live Pilot
Registration Deadline: 2016-01-18
Application Deadline: 2016-03-01
Anticipated Stage 1 Notice of Decision: 2016-05-16
Anticipated Stage 2 Notice of Decision: 2016-07-15
Funding Start Date: 2016-07-01
There is now no limit to the number of applications an individual can submit to the Project Scheme per competition and/or per calendar year.

Healthy and Productive Work Initiative
Funding Opportunity Application Deadline: November 30, 2015

The first phase of a two-phase call for applications under the Healthy and Productive Work Initiative has been launched. A joint initiative of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), aims to find innovative, evidence-informed and gender responsive solutions to work and labour market challenges. Webinar to communicate details of the initiative will be held October 13th, 12:30-1:30 pm EDT.

Scientific Meetings of Interest

The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI) 70th Annual Scientific Meeting,
October 21-24, 2015, Vancouver, BC.

2015 Banff/Canadian Society for Transplantation (CST) Joint Scientific Meeting,
October 5-10, 2015, Vancouver, BC.

Sparking Population Health Solutions Research for a Healthier Future - An International Summit,
April 25-28, 2016, Ottawa, ON.

Globalizing Advances in Allergic Disease Research-AllerGen’s 8th Research Conference,
May 29-June 1, 2016, Vancouver, BC.

5th Canadian symposium on HCV - We’re not done yet: Remaining Challenges in Hepatitis C,
February 26th, 2016, Montréal, QC.

Update to the 2015 Foundation Grant Competition

Based on the results of the first Foundation Grants competition 2014 and other consultations, CIHR has made a number of refinements to Stage 1 of the 2015 competition. Read more

Some of the modification include:

  • Increasing limits and adding new sections to the Foundation Scheme CV to allow applicants to highlight a greater number of relevant activities such as publications, presentations and memberships.
  • Refining the Stage 1 Interpretation Guidelines: Foundation Scheme Adjudication Criteria to assist reviewers in applying the Stage 1 adjudication criteria across all career stages, as well as to assist applicants in structuring their applications around these criteria.
  • Having new/early career investigators assessed separately and ranked against other new/early career investigators at all stages of the competition. As in the previous competition, the application process and peer review for this cohort will be fully integrated within the competition as a whole with no additional steps being required on the part of the applicants.

The same Adjudication Criteria will apply to all and as stated above, the Interpretation Guidelines have been refined to assist reviewers to apply these across all career stages.

Online Course

Supporting the aim of the Sex as a Variable in Biomedical or Translational Research funding opportunity (of which III is a financial partner), the Institute of Gender and Health (IGH) has developed a free online course, which examines how sex can be integrated into biomedical research at every stage of the research project.

Watch this VIDEO to learn more.

Take this training course to learn how to:

  • istinguish between and define sex and gender in biomedical research
  • Identify sex/gender differences in the mechanism, disease, or treatment under study
  • Assess a research protocol based on the integration or omission of sex and/or gender

October 19-25 is Open Access Week!

Did you know that CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC funded researchers must make their publications accessible for free within 12 months of publication? Read about the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy and the two ways to comply.

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