Government of Canada invests $1.67 million in research that could hold the key to better health for mothers and healthier futures for infants and children

News release

26 researchers receive funding to protect and promote the health of pregnant women, infants, and children

February 23, 2018 – Edmonton, Alberta – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Approximately 400,000 births occur in Canada each year. While most pregnancies result in the delivery of a healthy baby, many women experience complications during pregnancy and child birth that affect their health and that of their babies. In addition, many babies are born with health conditions that may affect them throughout their lives.

To help protect the health of mothers and promote the life-long health of children, Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, today announced, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, an investment of $1.67 million from the Government of Canada for maternal and child health research.

The funding, provided through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, will support 26 projects to be led by early career researchers working at research institutions across the country. This funding will allow these researchers, who are at the beginning of their careers, to develop their promising research programs and have an impact on the health of Canadians. The projects will help develop and test new ways to prevent, treat, and manage a wide range of health conditions affecting women during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as newborns, infants, and young children.

The projects include:

  • Dr. Valerie Carson the University of Alberta will study the effect of physical activity such as tummy time and sedentary behaviour in the health, growth and development of infants and toddlers.
  • Dr. Hilary Brown at the University of Toronto will examine the health and health care needs of pregnant women with disabilities.
  • Dr. Nicolas Dumont at Montreal’s Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine will investigate the effectiveness of a new approach for treating the Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy. 


“Motherhood is one of life’s most enriching and cherished experiences. My wish is for all women to experience healthy pregnancies and to give birth to healthy babies. This research will give us knowledge that will support the health and care of women during pregnancy and promote the life-long health of infants and children.”
Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

“The University of Alberta is home to many outstanding health researchers. I wish to congratulate the recipients of these grants. They are doing work that will benefit families in Alberta and all across Canada.”
Randy Boissonnault
Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre

“The recipients of these grants are among the future leaders in the fields of maternal, reproductive, child and youth health research. By supporting their early career development we aim to ensure that Canada continues to be a leader in the field in the coming years.”
Dr. Shoo Lee
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health

“Health and life sciences research helps improve the lives and well-being of people and societies. Healthy people and societies begin with healthy women, infants, children and youth—all of which are the focus of the research grants announced today. Outcomes of this research will help improve maternal health as well as improve the health, lives and futures of infants, children and youth in Alberta, Canada and around the world.”
Dr. Walter Dixon
Interim Vice-President Research, University of Alberta

“The development that occurs in children’s first five years is critical for life-long health. Participating in healthy physical activity and sedentary behaviour practices as early baby could help stimulate an optimal trajectory of growth and development. Research findings will help inform future guideline updates as well as health promotion campaigns and interventions that support a healthy start for our youngest Canadians.”
Dr. Valerie Carson
Associate Professor, physical activity and health, University of Alberta

Associated links


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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