Cystic Fibrosis Canada Awards $250,000 in Annual Seed Grants for innovative new research projects
Toronto, Ontario – Cystic Fibrosis Canada has awarded $250,000 in seed grants to five researchers to encourage new and innovative research projects in support of the organization’s pledge to go further in fueling targeted, world-class cystic fibrosis (CF) research.
The 2023 seed grants are an initiative of Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s new approach to funding research, Momentum, and provide researchers with funding for up to a year to study a new idea for which the researcher does not yet have preliminary data or other funding. Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s seed grants are small, short-term grants that can be awarded to both basic science and clinical research. The seed grants offer the opportunity for researchers to test their ideas to ideally succeed and generate preliminary data that they can use to further gain follow-up funding or to quickly discover their idea may not have merit.
“All research discovery starts with an idea,” said Dr. Paul Eckford, Chief Scientific Officer, Cystic Fibrosis Canada. “Our seed grants encourage out-of-the-box thinking and provide enough financial support for researchers to learn if their research ideas warrant further investment. It is our hope that through our seed grants we can encourage research into promising new areas of CF care and treatment, or to help researchers quickly reach a no-go decision.”
Funding for the seed grant competition will begin in October of 2023. The competition was adjudicated by scientific experts and community reviewers and in line with Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s new research roadmap, Momentum. Projects that address the health concerns of the Canadian cystic fibrosis community and had the highest probability for near-term impact were awarded.
Seed grants, valued at up to $50,000 per year for up one year were awarded to:
Dr. Veronica Campanucci, the University of Saskatchewan, for the project: Gut dysmotility is caused by the nervous system: effect of ETI therapy. This project will focus on the gut complications in those with cystic fibrosis which frequently results in pain, and in some cases gut blockage leading to hospitalization.
Dr. Martin Post, The Hospital for Sick Children, for the project: Genetically modified macrophages to eradicate pseudomonas biofilm formation in vivo. Focusing on CF-related persistent airway infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics due to bacteria clumps blocking airways and the use of novel immune cells to break up blockages.
Dr. Sarah Wootton, The University of Guelph, for the project: Development of a platform for vectorized expression of secretory IgA at mucosal surfaces. Focusing on the primary causes of death in CF, chronic respiratory infections and the resulting vigorous but ineffective inflammatory response, culminating in respiratory failure.
Dr. Kristi D Wright, The University of Regina, for the project: Group adaption of the CF-CBT: Improving Access to Evidence-based Mental Health Care for Canadians with Cystic Fibrosis. Focusing on a cognitive-behavioral skills-based program to promote emotional wellbeing for adults with CF.
Dr. Augusto Zani, The Hospital for Sick Children, for the project: Extracellular vesicles as a novel non-invasive diagnostic test for pulmonary exacerbation in people with cystic fibrosis. Focusing on the therapies to improve pulmonary exacerbations that worsen lung disease, reduce quality of life, and lead to hospitalizations, as well as decreased overall survival.
“We are so pleased to award these innovative ideas with funding from our seed grant competition,” said Dr. Rachel Syme, Program Director, Research, Cystic Fibrosis Canada. “We look forward to seeing the outcomes and results from these new research studies.”
Applications are currently open for Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s flagship Team Grant funding opportunity, with up to $2 million awarded over four years. This new approach is a focused effort that will see a team working together to tackle a single topic of importance to the CF community. Impact-focused by nature, team grants are designed to galvanize collaboration and speed up the pace of discovery. The deadline for the team grant letter of intent is October 15, 2023. For more information please visit https://proposalcentral.com.
To learn more about current CF Canada funded research, click here: https://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/our-programs/research/what-we-are-funding