Devinder Shory, MP for Calgary Northeast, visited with researchers Friday at the University of Calgary, where he highlighted how federal investments are helping strengthen health care across the country.
Shory spent the afternoon in the lab of George Chaconas, PhD, who studies the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, and met with Paul Kubes, PhD, who examines how white blood cells can prevent and reverse infection caused by sepsis.
“Our Government is proud to support the outstanding health researchers at the University of Calgary,” said Shory. “I was delighted to meet these researchers and find out how their work is helping to improve the health of people in Calgary and across Canada.”
Chaconas, who is a member of the University’s Snyder Institute for Chronic Disease and holds the Canada research chair in the molecular biology of Lyme borreliosis, showed Shory how the bacterium, scientifically known as Borrelia burgdorferi, moves through the blood system of an animal model. Chaconas hopes his research into the basic understanding of the bacterium will lead to more effective diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Lyme disease.
Last November, Kubes was named CIHR researcher of the year. He is also a Canada research chair in leukocyte recruitment in inflammatory disease, founding director of the university’s Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases.
"We are extremely grateful for the financial contributions made by the federal government to the University of Calgary,” said Ed McCauley, vice president (research). “We are our proud of our hard-working researchers, such as George Chaconas and Paul Kubes, who are dedicated to improving the health of Canadians and better our world. Their internationally recognized work will help us reach our goal of becoming one of Canada's top five research universities by 2016, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community of Calgary."
Federal support for health research primarily flows through its health research investment agency – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). CIHR supports the best in peer-reviewed health research with the vision of creating a healthier future for Canadians.
“Canadian health researchers across all research disciplines and themes continue to have significant impact on the country’s international scientific excellence and competitiveness,” said Dr. Alain Beaudet, president of CIHR. “At CIHR, we prize the many achievements and contributions our researchers make to resolving pressing health challenges and to improving the health outcomes of patients and supporting a robust and sustainable health care system.”
Since 2005-06, the federal government has invested $500 million in health research in Alberta through CIHR.