(Toronto - Feb. 3, 2017) CIFAR (The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research) welcomes the announcement by British Columbia's Ministry of Health that it has made a contribution of $4 million to the Institute.
"We thank the Ministry of Health for its support for CIFAR and our mission to enable research that changes the world by forming collaborative networks of some of the top researchers in British Columbia and around the globe," said Dr. Alan Bernstein, CIFAR president and CEO. "Starting right from CIFAR's beginnings, the province of British Columbia has been one of our most important partners."
This funding builds on previous investments in CIFAR. Since 2003, B.C.'s government has provided $20.6 million to CIFAR.
"Through partnerships with organizations like CIFAR, we're working on providing researchers in B.C. with supports they need to answer the biggest health questions facing British Columbians, from cancer to asthma," said Health Minister Terry Lake. "This plays a major role in shaping the province's economy and competitiveness - aspects that are integral in supporting our strong BCTECH Strategy."
CIFAR supports more than 60 researchers in B.C. across a range of research areas including: determining how drugs might be designed to destroy cancer cells without affecting healthy cells, child health and development, and genomics. These projects include research by award-winning microbiologist Dr. Brett Finlay, Co-Director of CIFAR's new Humans & the Microbiome program.
Dr. Finlay's lab at the University of British Columbia explores the important role that microbes (including bacteria and viruses) play in human health. He studies microbes, like E. coli and salmonella, that can make people sick as well as the many microbes critical to keeping humans healthy. Recently, he began examining the connection between early childhood antibiotic use and asthma, and found four specific healthy bacteria that, if present in the first three months of life, reduce the risk of developing asthma.
"CIFAR's role is extremely important. With their support, we are allowed the time to explore a problem and discuss it with top researchers from around the world," said Dr. Finlay.
CIFAR creates knowledge that is transforming our world. Established in 1982, the Institute brings together interdisciplinary groups of extraordinary researchers from around the globe to address questions and challenges of importance to the world. Our networks help support the growth of research leaders and are catalysts for change in business, government and society. CIFAR is generously supported by the governments of Canada, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, Canadian and international partners, as well as individuals, foundations and corporations.