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In a significant stride towards combating heart disease in women, a groundbreaking initiative led by Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum, Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at St. Boniface Hospital Research, has secured a substantial $3.9 million in combined federal and provincial funding. This investment is earmarked for the development of specialized laboratory infrastructure aimed at delving into heart disease intricacies unique to women, an area historically overlooked in research endeavors.

The project, spearheaded by Dr. Kirshenbaum, renowned for his contributions in molecular cardiology and directorship at the Albrechtsen Research Centre, received a notable boost with a $1.9 million allocation from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) – Innovation Fund. This funding injection underscores the pivotal role of cutting-edge research infrastructure in propelling innovative discoveries that promise a brighter future for healthcare.

Emphasizing the significance of this initiative, Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO of CFI, highlighted, “Research labs and facilities, like those being funded today, provide the foundation upon which Canada’s research leaders can make discoveries and drive innovation that will contribute to a better future for all of us.”

The provincial endorsement further solidifies the project’s trajectory, with Manitoba allocating $1.9 million through Research Manitoba’s CFI – Matching Program. Additional support stems from various stakeholders including the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, signaling a collective commitment to advancing women’s heart health research.

Dr. Kirshenbaum articulated the team’s mission, stating, “This funding will allow our research team to study the sex differences of heart failure that uniquely affect women through a dedicated discovery platform.” With heart disease ranking as the primary cause of mortality among women in Canada, the imperative to enhance understanding and treatment modalities cannot be overstated.

See CBC coverage here.

The Women’s Heart Health research program at St. Boniface Hospital represents a crucial step towards bridging knowledge gaps and fortifying preventive strategies. By bolstering early diagnosis, disease prevention, and treatment efficacy, the program aspires to curtail the pervasive impact of heart disease on women’s lives.

Aligned with this vision, the Women’s Heart Health Research Program at St. Boniface encompasses a multifaceted approach:

  • Priority Research: Focused investigations into women’s heart health encompassing diverse facets such as heart attack, diabetes, hypertension, pregnancy-related heart diseases, and cardio-oncology.
  • Education and Training: Equipping healthcare providers and trainees with specialized knowledge and skills through dedicated education and training programs.
  • Public Awareness: Initiating public programs aimed at fostering awareness and disseminating knowledge to empower communities in managing and mitigating risks associated with heart disease.