March 26, 2020

Alberta-led research to address the most challenging problems for COVID-19

 Alberta Innovates partners with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to commit $4.2 million to Alberta researchers

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, March 26, 2020…. Alberta Innovates is announcing a partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to jointly fund eight projects at Alberta universities to address the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Alberta Innovates will contribute $846,000 towards a total of over $4.2 million that will go to eight research teams at the universities of Alberta and Calgary.  In total, CIHR and research partner agencies have announced $52.6 million in funding that will be dispersed to 96 research projects around Canada. These projects will examine measures to rapidly detect, manage, and reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

Projects range from mapping and countering misinformation about COVID-19 to mitigation strategies to combat public transmission of airborne COVID-19 in high-occupancy structures.  The research projects will run for the next two years.

“Alberta Innovates is pleased to partner with CIHR. We know that through collaboration, we are stronger and can achieve more. This investment addresses the unmet medical needs that COVID-19 has presented.  We look forward to the results of these projects will make in fighting this world-wide pandemic.”

Tim Murphy, Vice President of Health, Alberta Innovates

“The outbreak of COVID-19 evolves quickly, and protecting the health of Canadians is our priority. The additional teams of researchers receiving funding today will help Canada quickly generate the evidence we need to contribute to the global understanding of the COVID-19 illness. Their essential work will contribute to the development of effective vaccines, diagnostics, treatments, and public health responses.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health

Background

CIHR announced two waves of funding in March 2020.


Research Projects jointly funded by Alberta Innovates and CIHR:

Investigator:Institution:Project:Funding Amount:
Timothy CaulfieldUniversity of AlbertaCoronavirus Outbreak: Mapping and Countering Misinformation$381,708
Matthew Croxen University of Alberta Rapid RNA sequencing of coronavirus for public health surveillance and transmission $788,040
Stephen FreedmanUniversity of CalgaryClinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Children Potentially Infected by SARS-CoV-2 Presenting to Pediatric Emergency Departments$788,631
Michael HoughtonUniversity of AlbertaProduction of a recombinant S (spike) protein vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and emerging coronaviruses$750,000
Michael JamesUniversity of AlbertaTowards anti-COVID-19 therapeutic development by targeting the viral papain-like proteinase$311,000
Michael WoodsideUniversity of AlbertaTargeting programmed ribosomal frameshifting as a therapeutic strategy against 2019-nCoV$370,700
Shelby YamamotoUniversity of AlbertaAssessing and addressing the psychosocial impacts of COVID-19 among pregnant women and health care providers in Anhui, China$396,470
Lexuan ZhongUniversity of AlbertaMitigation strategies against the public transmission of airborne COVID-19 in high occupancy structures: a program of research to develop optimized mechanical ventilation systems$444,000