$1 million available for research projects that investigate the devastating brain disease in deer, elk, and other cervids
EDMONTON, ALBERTA, July 19, 2022 – Alberta Innovates is investing new funding in the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Research Program to support collaborative research directly related to understanding and managing CWD.
Up to $1 million will be made available to the Program which will fund projects to a maximum of $250,000. Successful projects will:
- provide a better understanding of the mechanism and transmission of CWD,
- minimize disease risks through the development of innovative approaches that contribute to the diagnosis, prevention, cure and possible elimination of the disease,
- identify the broader societal and economic impact of CWD in Alberta, and
- provide information useful to all levels of government for the development of public policies regarding CWD.
CWD is a serious condition affecting deer, elk, moose, caribou and other cervid populations throughout Alberta. Prevalence of CWD has increased each year since it was first detected in Alberta in 2005. It occurs in both wild animals as well as farmed elk and deer in Alberta, costing producers considerable resources, time and money.
The intent of the CWD Research Program is to:
- reduce, control or eliminate CWD in the environment, and
- introduce techniques to monitor and control the spread of CWD, and
- increase employment in the science and agri-food sector.
“The ongoing spread of chronic wasting disease through cervid populations, such as deer, threatens a natural resource of considerable economic, ecological and social importance. Research led by Alberta Innovates will improve our collective understanding of this devastating wildlife disease, inform best management practices and complement other important initiatives, such as Alberta’s partnership with the government of Saskatchewan and the Alberta Conservation Association to fund research in the development of an oral vaccine for CWD.”
Whitney Issik, Minister of Environment and Parks
“Chronic wasting disease is a devastating illness that threatens the cervid populations in our province. Alberta Innovates’ Chronic Wasting Disease Research Program will engage some of the brightest minds in prion-science in the search for solutions to this disease. We look forward to seeing the results from the funded research projects.”
John Zhou, Chief Cleantech Officer and Vice President, Clean Resources
Projects funded under the CWD Research Program will help lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms of CWD and other protein misfolding diseases; develop innovative approaches that contribute to the diagnosis, prevention, cure and possible elimination of the disease; and explore opportunities for new tests to be developed in Alberta. Projects could provide information useful to all levels of government for the development of public policies regarding CWD.
Alberta Innovates invests in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to drive provincial economic growth and diversity. We ignite the power of innovation through our work with researchers, industry and entrepreneurs to move Alberta to a lower-carbon future, promote the responsible use of land and water, and contribute to the improved health and well-being of Albertans. Alberta Innovates provides technical expertise, entrepreneurial advice and support, opportunities for partnerships, and funding to advance the best ideas. We support a broad range of research and innovation activity – from discovery to use. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do – bringing together bright minds and great ideas.
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