Government of Canada investing $5.2 million in science and innovation at the University of Saskatchewan

News release

Government supporting researchers studying safe driving, sleep disorders, cancer, and swine welfare

March 15, 2018 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Scientific discovery holds the key to finding solutions to many of the economic, social, and health challenges we face as a nation and around the world. That is why the Government of Canada proudly supports science.

Today, while visiting the University of Saskatchewan, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, highlighted recent federal investments of $5.2 million for scientific research at the university.

Through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Government is investing $4.45 million in six health research projects. These projects include developing a tool to assess fitness to drive among at-risk drivers such as seniors, investigating the causes of sleep disorders among First Nations people, developing a vaccine to prevent the transmission of the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome in camels (which can pass the disease on to humans), and investigating new personalized therapies to improve survival among patients living with breast and other cancers. This support is part of a larger investment of $372 million from CIHR to enable researchers to study a full spectrum of health issues affecting the lives of Canadians.

Minister Goodale also announced a Government investment of $837,750 in the work of a University of Saskatchewan researcher studying the welfare of farmed pigs. Dr. Yolande Seddon received an Industrial Research Chair from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Dr. Seddon is among the youngest persons ever to receive this award, and has among the largest number of industrial partners engaged in the project of any Industrial Research Chair. The University of Saskatchewan contributed a further $305,000 to the research chair, with an additional $837,750 cash contribution and in-kind support of $128,000 from the Canadian swine industry. 


“Congratulations to the researchers who have received these CIHR and NSERC grants. Your important work holds the key to improved health and prosperity. The Government of Canada is proud to invest in leading-edge research at the University of Saskatchewan. And to enhance our support, Budget 2018 made the largest increase in funding for fundamental research through the granting councils in Canadian history.”

The Honourale Ralph Goodale
Minister Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness  

“The funding for these projects at the University of Saskatchewan will help researchers tackle pressing health issues that really matter to Canadians. Through investments such as these, our government is ensuring Canadian scientists and researchers have the support they need to carry out work that will help improve the health and well-being of Canadians for generations to come.”

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan
Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities 

“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

“NSERC’s Industrial Research Chairs support valuable collaborations between Canada’s top researchers and partners to deliver tangible benefits to Canadians. This Chair will provide insight on strategies to improve swine welfare outcomes to support sustainable, ethical, and efficient food production – a priority for many consumers in Canada.”

Dr. Marc Fortin, Vice-President, Research Partnerships, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

“These major federal investments in University of Saskatchewan medical and veterinary research will help address Indigenous health, cancer treatment and zoonotic disease challenges—all areas to which we can contribute for the benefit of Saskatchewan, Canada and the world. With one of the largest number of industry partners ever assembled for an NSERC Industrial Research Chair program, our new IRC in swine welfare will help place Canada at the forefront of progressive swine management that accommodates animal welfare, while supporting efficient and ethical food production.”

Dr. Peter Stoicheff, President of the University of Saskatchewan

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Scott Bardsley
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

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.

NSERC invests over $1.2 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries – valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 11,000 professors. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect industry with discoveries and the people behind them. Researcher-industry partnerships established by NSERC help inform research & development and solve scale-up challenges.

NSERC also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows. These young researchers will be the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada.

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