Queen's University

Queen's health researchers receive funding boost


Six Queen’s university researchers have been awarded over $3.5 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in operating grant funding. The funding is being used to support research into drug treatments for high-risk heart patients, more effective cancer treatments, slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and helping those living with hearing loss.

“The support of the CIHR is vital to our health research,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “This funding will help our researchers remain on the leading edge of breakthroughs that are important to the health and well-being of Canadians and all people around the world.”

The following Queen’s researchers have received funding:

Bruce Banfield (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, $647,602/five years) – Dr. Banfield is researching how the herpes virus, the main cause of genital herpes, overcomes barriers to infection naturally present in our cell structures. Genital herpes, the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world, often leads to neonatal infections and the transmission of HIV.

Susan Cole (Cancer Research Institute, $589,465/five years) – Dr. Cole will continue her investigations on the drug and organic anion transporter called Multidrug Resistance Protein (MRP1) that she and her  colleagues discovered in 1992. This large membrane protein makes tumour cells resistant to a wide variety of chemotherapeutic drugs by actively pumping these toxic agents out of cancer cells.

Daren Heyland (School of Medicine, $232,415/two years) – Dr. Heyland and his international team of researchers are conducting a randomized trial into selenium. Selenium is a trace element that is important for many of the body’s regulatory and metabolic functions during times of high stress. The group is researching how selenium may help high-risk cardiac patients and lead to fewer complications, less organ injury and fewer deaths.

Rachel Holden (School of Medicine), Michael Adams and Glenville Jones (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, $684,585/five years) – This new study will examine the effects of vitamin D and K in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD). The leading cause of death for those suffering from CKD is cardiovascular disease. This research could pave the way to new treatments for those people suffering from CKD.

Ingrid Johnsrude (Psychology, $686,397/five years) – Using brain imaging technology, Dr. Johnsrude will continue her research into how the brain is organized to comprehend speech, particularly degraded and noisy speech. This research will lead to minimizing disability in the rapidly growing number of people suffering from hearing loss.

Doug Munoz (Centre for Neuroscience Studies, $669,835/five years) – As Alzheimer’s disease develops, researchers have noticed a buildup in the brain of amyloid-beta oligomers (ABO). Dr. Munoz is continuing his research into ABOs and if they trigger features that resemble the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. The outcome of this research could help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and even interrupt the onset.

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Last updated at 4:16 pm EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
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