GHP December 2015

ghp December 2015 | 9 Canada Innovation Centre In 2000, the Government of Canada created a permanent program to establish 2,000 research professorships—Canada Research Chairs—in eligible degree-grant- ing institutions across the country. The program invests approximately $265 million per year to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds to Canada. Chairholders receive funding through Canada’s three research granting agencies in the areas of natural sciences and engineering, social sciences and humanities, and health sciences. Currently, 552 researchers are being funded by Canada’s health research funding agency, the Canadian Institutes of Health Re- search, for a total of $537,900,000. Canada Research Chairs have made significant advances in health research. For example, Carolyn McGregor, Canada Research Chair in Health Informatics, is a lead creator of the Artemis Project, which allows doctors to see early warning signs of infection in premature infants up to 24 hours before any symptoms show, by applying real-time online big data analytics and data-mining principles. Launched in 2008, the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) Program awards uni- versities in Canada up to $10 million over seven years to support world renowned researchers and their teams to establish ambitious research programs at Canadian universities. Currently six of 24 CERC chairholders are working in the health and related life sciences and technol- ogies. Luda Diatchenko, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Human Pain Genetics, for example, is working with her team at McGill University to facilitate the development of in- dividualized treatments and therapies for con- ditions related to chronic pain. Her primary objective is to better understand the genetic mechanisms at the roots of chronic pain as a basis for developing new pain-relief drugs and personalized pain therapy strategies. innovation & technology