University of Calgary

Unique partnership led by University of Calgary

UToday HomeJanuary 16, 2013

By Marta Cyperling

Donna Allan in the Dual Fluoroscopy Lab, part of the cross-campus success story benefiting from the CFI funding injection. Photo credit: Riley BrandtDonna Allan in the Dual Fluoroscopy Lab, part of the cross-campus success story benefiting from the CFI funding injection. Photo credit: Riley BrandtA funding injection of $4,739,000 from the Government of Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) will lead to the creation of the new Mobility and Joint Health research facility at the University of Calgary. This is a cross-campus success story, with a multidisciplinary team of researchers representing several different faculties including medicine, engineering and kinesiology, working in one shared space. The facility will utilize a diversity of technologies and focus on three areas of research: biomarker analysis, motion analysis and imaging.

“Providing engineering solutions for health care is one of the six multidisciplinary research themes the University of Calgary has made a priority in its 2012 Strategic Research Plan,” said Ed McCauley, vice-president (research).

“This funding brings together more than 50 researchers from across the University of Calgary to provide world-class investigation into chronic health conditions. It could ultimately uncover new early detection approaches and treatment options for patients with bone and joint disease,” he said.

The research facility will focus on musculoskeletal diseases including osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis which currently have no cures. Early diagnosis and intervention can alter the long-term outcome of these chronic conditions.

“This is a provincial initiative that is being led by the University of Calgary. The research teams will work closely with health-care providers in the Strategic Clinical Care Networks and the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute. This type of partnership is unique in Canada and will allow for very efficient translation of research innovations into the health-care system, which will ultimately have a profound impact on patients across Alberta,” says University of Calgary researcher and project lead Steven Boyd, PhD.

The centre will be a leading bone and joint research facility not only in Canada, but also on an international stage. Once the entire facility is built and operational, there will be more than 50 researchers and 150 student trainees working in the centre. This facility will also be instrumental in attracting new faculty members to the university’s McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health which will lead to better clinical care for Calgarians.

Additionally, students will be exposed to one of the most productive biomedical engineering graduate programs in the country. The facility will produce highly qualified personnel that will benefit Canada’s health system and high-tech industry.

“Research and innovation is a forceful driver of growth in our communities,” said Gilles G. Patry, president and CEO of the CFI. “Today’s funding will allow a talented group of researchers and students to create the solutions, products and ideas Canada needs to prosper.”

This is one of many projects funded by the CFI that were announced as part of a series of funding announcements at universities and hospitals across the country.

Steven Boyd is a professor in the Faculty of Medicine in the Department of Radiology at the University of Calgary and holds a joint position with the Schulich School of Engineering and the Faculty of Kinesiology. He is a member of the University of Calgary’s McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health, and is an Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions Senior Scholar. He also holds the Bob and Nola Rintoul Chair in Bone and Joint Research.