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(L-R) Mr. Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface – Saint Vital and Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum, Principal Investigator of Cardiac Gene Biology at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences

Two St. Boniface Hospital Research projects are receiving more than $6 million in federal funding awarded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). CIHR Foundation Grants are designed to contribute to a sustainable foundation of new, mid-career, and established health research leaders, by providing long-term support for the pursuit of innovative, high-impact research programs.

“These Foundation Grants will provide researchers stable long-term funding, allowing them to continue their ground-breaking work being done at the University of Manitoba and here, at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre,” said Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface – Saint Vital.

“I congratulate these researchers on the excellence of their research programs,” said Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) at the University of Manitoba. “They are leaders in their fields and their research improves the quality of health and health care for the benefit of Manitobans and Canadians.”

Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum, Principal Investigator of Cardiac Gene Biology at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, and Director of Research Development, Professor, Physiology & Pathophysiology, Max Rady College of Medicine, U of M is receiving $3,286,318 over seven years for his study on regulation of programmed cell death in the heart following a heart attack. Kirshenbaum is Canada Research Chair in Molecular Cardiology. Presently, there are no clinical treatments that will prevent the heart cells from dying after heart attack. The goal of this foundation grant is to understand the processes that cause heart cells to die during heart attack and use this information to devise new treatments that will prevent heart cells from dying and allow the heart to pump blood and prevent heart failure. This will have a positive impact on the Canadian healthcare system and improve quality of life of individuals with heart disease.

St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research Dr. Grant Pierce (Professor of Physiology & Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba) is receiving $2,806,392 over seven years for his work on Dietary Flaxseed as a Nutritional Intervention for Cardiovascular Disease. Current drugs used to control hypertension are costly, can induce unwanted side-effects and they are not always effective in controlling blood pressure (BP) in all hypertensive patients. Having a food that will control BP represents a less expensive intervention than drugs. In the Foundation grant, Pierce and his team will continue our research with an on-going CIHR clinical trial to determine if flaxseed will lower BP in patients with high BP but without secondary disease, and also study if flaxseed can delay or reduce the need for anti-hypertensive drugs.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is Canada’s federal funding agency for health research. Composed of 13 Institutes, it collaborates with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve health and strengthen the health care system.

For more information, contact:
Bill Peters
Communications & Media Services
(204) 258-1325