The Canada Foundation for Innovation dropped over $7 million in funding in London Tuesday afternoon.
The CFI’s Leading Edge Fund and New Initiatives Fund awarded $7,641,772 to a collection of research projects at Western University and Lawson Health Research Institute.
Lawson is the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Joseph's Health Care, London (St. Joseph's). It is one of the largest hospital-based research institutes in Canada.
The lion’s share of the funding - about $5.5 million - went to four projects innovating in biomedical imaging. The vision: better health care at a better price.
The money will pay for “imaging tools that improve bone, joint, heart and brain health, and allow for the development of MRI-friendly medical devices,” according to a release from the university.
They are as follows:
• Led by Ravi Menon, the Centre for Functional Metabolic Mapping at Robarts $2,494,098 for additional tools that will help address challenges related to imaging vulnerable populations. The Centre, which already houses Canada’s only collection of high-field and ultra-high-field MRI systems, will now develop tools to conduct sophisticated fMRI studies of neonatal and paediatric subjects, and patients with neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.
• The multi-disciplinary team led by David Holdsworth, Trevor Birmingham and Tom Jenkyn received $1,342,675 to better understand how joints move under normal conditions and after therapy
• Lawson and Robarts Research Institute scientist, and Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry professor Ting-Yim Lee, received $961,524 to develop low x-ray dose CT scanning methods for studying the vascular system. The technology could lead to better treatments for cardiovascular disease and cancer
• Blaine Chronik’s team in the Faculty of Science received $705,911 to establish a comprehensive testing and development facility that supports industry and academic efforts to develop medical devices and technologies (pacemakers, vascular stents, artificial joints) compatible with MRI systems.
Since 2010, city-wide imaging research expertise has operated under the banner of the Biomedical Imaging Research Centre, which has attracted more than $100 million in infrastructure and is composed of more than 350 personnel at London’s research institutions. Included in this infrastructure is one of only three 7T fMRI for neurological use in the world.
Two other Western researchers received a significant funding boost from CFI on Tuesday.
Chris Guglielmo received $1,371,999 for new technologies to study global-, regional- and local-scale movement ecology of free-living birds, while Prudence Allen received $765,565 for improved technology for the National Centre for Audiology.