Government of Canada announces a $94M investment in innovative health research, including $11M for Laval University

News Release

Quebec researchers receive funding for cutting-edge research projects to study cancer, Alzheimer’s, nutrition, inflammatory bowel disease, anxiety, MS, and Indigenous health, among others

January 26, 2018 – Quebec, Quebec – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Today, while touring the research facilities at Laval University, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, Joël Lightbound, Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, highlighted a federal investment of $94 million to support health researchers. This support, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, will help Quebecois researchers study the full spectrum of health issues affecting the lives of Canadians.

While visiting the university, MP Lightbound highlighted the $11 million in funding that will go towards supporting 19 research projects at Laval University and its affiliated institutions.

MP Lightbound highlighted the work of Dre Sabine Elowe, a professor at the Faculty of Medicine and a researcher at the Centre de recherche du CHU de Quebec-Université Laval. Her team is studying the basic biology of cancer and searching for medications which target certain proteins with the ultimate goal of creating new cancer drugs. More specifically, her team is studying protein dysregulation mechanisms that protect the integrity of the cell division process in cancer cells and how they can potentially be targeted to kill cancer cells without harming nearby tissues. Dr. Elowe will receive $650,000 to support her research.

Another researcher who will receive funding is Dr. Benoît Lamarche, a professor at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Canada Research Chair in Nutrition, and Director of the Clinical Nutrition Investigation Unit. His team is studying the biological mechanisms of how combining the Mediterranean diet with physical activity could improve heart health. Specifically, they will look at how these two interventions together could help lower the levels of fat that accumulate in the blood after each meal is consumed, and what this means for risk for heart attacks. More effective prevention of chronic diseases through health lifestyles has the potential to reduce annual health costs by billions of dollars. His team will receive $944,775 in funding over five years.

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

“To invest in health research is to invest in our collective future. Today's announcement demonstrates that research is a priority for our government and is a testament to researchers’ potential to generate new treatments, scientific breakthroughs, and the new knowledge that is the cornerstone of progress in health. Congratulations to the researchers, their student teams, laboratory technicians, and especially, Laval University for its hard work in this area."
Joël Lightbound
Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert

“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 R. McInnes, CM, O.Ont, MD, PhD, FRSC
Acting President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

“Thanks to the vital support of the federal government delivered through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 19 researchers and their teams working at Université Laval or at CHU de Québec, Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumonie de Québec, and Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de La Capitale-Nationale, will be working towards breakthroughs in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diet and nutrition, inflammatory bowel diseases, and anxiety, and to find concrete, innovative solutions to population health issues.”
Sophie D’Amours
Rector, Laval University

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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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