Government of Canada announces $50M investment in innovative health research

News Release

Alberta researchers receive funding for cutting-edge research projects to study dementia, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, among others.

January 25, 2018 – Edmonton, Alberta – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Today, while touring the University of Alberta, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced that the Government of Canada would support health researchers in Alberta with $50.6M in Government funding. This support will help researchers at four Alberta universities study the full spectrum of health issues affecting the lives of Canadians.

Minister Sohi toured the research facilities at the University of Alberta, where researchers received over $19M for a variety of projects. For example, Dr. Dawei Zhang and his lab have received a grant to study new ways of treating the hardening of arteries that is partly responsible for the 50,000 strokes and 75,000 heart attacks that occur in Canada every year.

Another researcher receiving funding is Dr. Patrick McLane, whose grant will allow his team to conduct a collaborative study with First Nations partners to find ways of improving the quality of care First Nations peoples receive in emergency departments.

Researchers at Athabasca University, the University of Calgary, and the University of Lethbridge received the balance of funding for a range of vital health research projects.

Other announcements are happening across the country to highlight the diversity and strength of Canada’s health research community. The total amount of funding announced by Minister Petitpas Taylor is $372 million.


“Our Government is fully committed to taking concrete action when it comes to the health and wellbeing of all Canadians. This investment will fund research that will lead to new treatments, breakthroughs, and fundamental advances in health science. We are proud of our researchers, and will continue to support them in their efforts to help keep Canadians healthy and continue their research right here at home.”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

“Today’s announcement is a testament to the high calibre of health research expertise we have here in this province. I join with all Albertans in expressing my gratitude for the important work these researchers do – work that truly has the power to change lives.”

Amarjeet Sohi
Minister of Infrastructure and Communities 

“This $372 million represents an enormous investment in health research for the science community and benefits all of Canada. Through these grants, CIHR is supporting researchers at all career stages, across the entire country, and in all areas of health research. Our investigators have made Canada a global leader in health research.”

Dr. Roderick McInnes
Acting President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

“Health sciences research is the foundation of strong health care systems and healthy societies. The University of Alberta’s health sciences faculty are leaders, discovering vital new knowledge, creating innovative treatments and revolutionizing technologies. This investment is a vote of confidence in their work – the 30 projects funded today will help improve the lives of Albertans, Canadians, and people around the world.”

Dr. David H. Turpin
President of the University of Alberta 

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Thierry Bélair
Office of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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