Canadian Medical Research Grants

The Canadian government spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year in medical research grants that give researchers the means to find cures for diseases and improve the quality of life for Canadians. Below is a look at how some of the current medical research money is being used, as well as some of the past research achievements that helped to pave the way for medical advancements around the world.

Current Research

MS

In February 2010 researchers in Hamilton were set to begin patient trials evaluating the work of an Italian scientist whose findings show that multiple sclerosis may be caused by vein blockages that lead to a build-up of iron in the brain. The Multiple Sclerosis Society will make medical grants totalling $100,000 available annually for two years to approved research groups testing this theory.

H1N1

The Government of Canada invested approximately $ 263.5 million in 2008-09 in infectious diseases-related research. And when the H1N1 hit hard in the fall because of this grant money researchers were able to come up an effective vaccine to fight the spread. Researchers created a vaccine, did human trials testing its effectiveness, and quickly distributed the vaccine to the general public.

Cancer

The Canadian Government invested approximately $138.1 million in 2008-09 in cancer-related health research. Current studies funded by government medical grant money include a joint study with US medical researchers, which has found that a type 2 diabetes drug called metformin may be able to “enhance the effectiveness of vaccines or new cancer therapies that use the immune system to fight tumours”, as stated by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Past Medical Research Proven Successful!

1920- Dr. Frederick Banting proves insulin to be a successful treatment for diabetics.

1934- Dr. Wilder Penfield of Montreal develops the ‘Montreal Procedure’, a surgical method for treating epilepsy.

1945- Dr. Raymond Parker of the University of Toronto medical laboratories discovers a chemical nutrient in which cells can grow and replicate, attributing to the discovery of the polio vaccine.

1951- At the University of Saskatchewan the Cobalt-60 ‘Bomb’ is developed, which advanced the use of radiation to blast away cancer cells, and which was responsible for saving millions of lives.

1961- Doctors James Till and Ernest McCulloch discover first stem cell, proving to be the basis for bone marrow transplants.

1975- Dr Jean Dussault develops a test for detecting hypothyroidism which is preventable, but when left undetected causes mental retardation in newborns.

1980- Dr. Albert Aguayo proves that damaged spinal cord nerves can regrow in animals in certain environments.

1995- Dr. Peter St George-Hyslop discovers and cloned two genes responsible for early-onset of Alzheimer’s.

2000- Dr. Peter St George-Hyslop develops a vaccine that prevents Alzheimer’s disease in mice.

Recipients