Government of Canada Invests $1.85 million to Support Advanced Medical Research and Innovation in Northwestern Ontario
by Marcello Bernardo
The Government of Canada is investing $1.85 million to enable the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute to purchase equipment and implement new technologies in the area of probe development and bio-marker exploration (PD&BE).
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for FedNor. Specifically, the new research equipment will be used in the discovery of new bio-markers and to evaluate the effectiveness of new treatment protocols utilizing isotopes produced at the Health Research Institute’s Cyclotron.
This funding will enable the Health Research Institute to establish formal partnerships with industry, pursue opportunities for contract research and clinical trials, and enable a variety of new research and development (R&D) projects. It will also help the Health Research Institute become an international demonstration site able to host visiting scientists and health care professionals from around the world. This is expected to result in improved health care by: providing better care at a lower cost and improving diagnostic timelines and accuracy; helping to attract new medical talent to Ontario; improving training to next generation scientists; and enhancing the conditions for new research.
The project is expected to result in the creation of 15 jobs at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute, along with 10 indirect positions through related research projects within the Health Research Institute, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and/or Lakehead University.
“The funding announced today is an excellent example of how the Government of Canada is supporting innovation, scientific research and entrepreneurship. Innovation in the health sector can help improve patient care, lower costs, and lead to new or vastly improved treatments and solutions. I am glad to see Canadian scientists, academia and industry working together to deliver better outcomes using new technologies.”
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for FedNor
“Our Government is committed to positioning Canada as a global centre for innovation. We are confident this investment will lead to the health care solutions of tomorrow, while growing the local economy and creating meaningful middle-class employment here in Northern Ontario.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North
“Canada has no shortage of innovative thinkers, top-notch researchers or creative entrepreneurs. This is exemplified by the burgeoning Northwestern Ontario health sciences cluster led by the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute and its many public and private partners. Today’s investment is recognition of the tremendous strides we’re making in fostering advanced medical research.”
Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River
“A robust health research program is vital to advancing our academic mission but more importantly, to improve patient care outcomes, especially in Northern regions of Canada. By funding bio-marker and probe development research, the Government of Canada is investing in our patients, as well in as our scientists and clinician investigators who are bringing discovery to life. Our cyclotron and radiopharmacy expands our research capacity, and will eliminate our Hospital’s dependence upon outside sources of radioactive isotopes used for specific diagnostic imaging procedures. Patients will benefit now, and in the future.”
Mr. Jean Bartkowiak, President and CEO, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and CEO, Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute
- The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation throughout the region.
- After debuting on the list of Top 40 Research Hospitals in Canada in 2010, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre continues to rank among the leading health research institutions in the country. The research activity that has catapulted the Health Sciences Centre into Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals is attributed to the ongoing success of its research arm, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. The Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute promotes patient-centered research that focuses on finding treatments and techniques to solve health care challenges most prevalent in Northwestern Ontario – treatment and techniques that also have global applications.
- Since 2006, FedNor has invested more than $20 million in project funding support for Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute initiatives, including a $4 million contribution for the establishment of the Cyclotron in Thunder Bay. The 28-tonne Cyclotron was installed in February 2015 and now produces isotopes to be used in medical research and clinical application, as well as the development of medical devices and related treatment options.
To find out more about FedNor, please visit: fednor.gc.ca
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Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre