CIHR-CEPI Leadership Award for Excellence in Vaccine Research for Infectious Diseases of Epidemic Potential


The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has partnered with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to provide $2.7M in grant funding to five mid-career Canadian researchers to pursue projects will accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases that have the potential to cause epidemics and pandemic and prepare for epidemic and pandemic threats.

This is the first time CIHR has partnered with an international coalition—representing the public, private, philanthropic, and civil society sectors to connect Canadian scientists with global experts, provide opportunities for cutting-edge skill building and sharing, and promote innovation to help prevent future epidemics and pandemics. It is also the first time CEPI has partnered with a funding organization to leverage Canadian expertise in the vaccine sciences to accelerate the development of CEPI’s vaccine candidates and rapid-response technologies.

This international partnership will also boost career development for vaccine researchers and will contribute to Canada’s capacity for pandemic preparedness.

Funded research

Canadian infection and immunity researchers are using their expertise to advance international efforts to develop vaccines. Below is a list of the recipients of the CIHR-CEPI Leadership Award for Excellence in Vaccine Research for Infectious Diseases of Epidemic Potential:

Project title Principal Investigator CIHR Funding (CAD) CEPI Funding (CAD) Total (CAD)
Harnessing memory T cells to improve vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 variants Dr. Hélène Decaluwe, Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine $199,966 $249,331 $449,297
A universal coronavirus vaccine Dr. Alyson Ann Kelvin, VIDO (Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization), University of Saskatchewan $194,880 $216,642 $411,522
Enhancing COVID-19 vaccines through humoral immunity Dr. Manish Sadarangani, University of British Columbia $200,000 $282,913 $482,913
New animal model for Lassa Fever pathogenesis and vaccine studies Dr. David Safronetz, University of Manitoba $200,000 $221,238 $421,238
Building global capacity for vaccine safety evaluation Dr. Karina Top, Dalhousie University $199,706 $749,886 $949,592
Total $994,552 $1,720,010 $2,714,562

Funding from CEPI represents the current exchange rate.

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