Working together to advance health innovation

Research Funding

Working together to advance health innovation

Three Queen’s teams have secured more than $5 million in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

By Caroline Alexander, Communications Intern

May 24, 2023


[Photo collage of Drs. Karen Yeates, James Reynolds, Lucie Levesque]
Drs. Karen Yeates (Medicine), James Reynolds (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences), and Lucie Lévesque (Kinesiology and Health Studies).

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) have announced their latest round of Team Grants. Intended to support interdisciplinary and collaborative research that optimizes health outcomes during transitions in care, team grants are funded around specific healthcare issues facing Canadians. As part of this announcement, three projects led by Queen's researchers have received $5.71 million to advance their innovative health research.

“Finding effective solutions for complex health challenges requires multiple perspectives,” says Nancy Ross, Vice-Principal (Research).“We will benefit from the expertise of academic partners, governments, and Indigenous communities, who will help our research teams tackle health issues to improve outcomes within Canada and globally.”

Learn more about the funded projects:

Karen Yeates (Medicine) has been awarded $2.5 million from the CIHR and Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) call for research into Non-Communicable Diseases Risk Prevention. The funding over five years will support her team’s STOP NCDs project focused on the development of health resources within remote Tanzanian communities. The team of Canadian and Tanzanian researchers along with policy makers and decisions makers from Tanzania’s Ministry of Health will evaluate and adapt HIV treatment strategies, extending them to treat cardiovascular diseases through the identification of individuals displaying risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

The program aims to provide low-cost health insurance to those with cardiovascular risk factors and connect patients to interventions through text messaging and voice recordings. Regional nurses will be provided with cost-effective digital training, allowing them to identify cardiovascular risk factors and track patient progress. Nurses will also be provided with further training to allow them to prescribe medications and treat patients through risk factor management. This collaborative effort with Tanzanian public health officials will support the use of the most cost-effective and sustainable strategies to impact health outcomes.

James Reynolds (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) and collaborators are receiving $1.25 million over five years to fund the Infant and Early Mental Health (IEMH) Care Pathways Project. Supported by CIHR’s call to develop Mental Health in the Early Years Implementation Science, his team will evaluate the effectiveness of IEMH Care Pathways model in Canadian communities in the prevention and treatment of early childhood mental health disorders. The program will incorporate decades of previous research regarding early mental health and its importance in long-term wellbeing.

This research effort will also assess the IEMH Core Component Framework, a tool used by community organizations to determine the strength of their own IEMH programs and prioritize areas of improvement. The critical analysis will be used to create a more effective and systematic framework for Canadian communities to follow when developing their own IEMH pathways. As a result, this research will enable a better understanding of the necessary responses to support children displaying risks of poor mental health outcomes.

Lucie Lévesque’s (Kinesiology and Health Studies) team has been awarded close to $2 million over the next five years from CIHR’s Diabetes Prevention and Treatment in Indigenous Communities: Resilience and Wellness Team Grant titled Mobilizing Resilience through Community-to-Community (C2C) Exchange. Her team will use a community-engaged approach grounded in a Haudenosaunee Two Row Wampum perspective to study their community-to-community mentorship model of type 2 diabetes (T2D) prevention. 

A partnership between six Indigenous communities throughout Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec, several Indigenous partner organizations including the Kahnawà:ke Schools Diabetes Prevention Program, and researchers from three universities will collaborate to enhance community mobilization for T2D prevention and existing community resilience. Communities will interact through community exchanges, video storytelling, social media, and gatherings to share knowledge and wise practices. The research seeks to understand how community resilience can impact the success of the C2C model, as well as how the C2C model promotes community mobilization for T2D. Information gathered through various qualitative and quantitative methods will be used to develop sustainable T2D prevention with Indigenous communities across Canada.

For more information about the CIHR Team Grants, visit the website.

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