Investment bolsters Western pandemic research

Nine additional research projects received university backing for their work in supporting recovery efforts for current and future disease outbreaks, Research Western announced this week.

In April, the university launched the Research Western Catalyst Grant: Surviving Pandemics initiative, a $1-million investment in interdisciplinary projects that contribute to a broad range of evidence, tools, theories and guidelines into disease outbreaks.

“While we have progressed to a new stage of the COVID-19 crisis, many questions remain,” said Sarah Prichard, Acting Vice-President (Research). “The Catalyst program reflects a significant university investment in helping provide answers that benefit our health, communities and economy at home and abroad.”

An initial 13 projects were funded last month. Quote following this paragraph instead?

Funding priority was given to multi-disciplinary teams taking novel approaches to a problem, with the potential for long-term impact.

Projects funded in the second round include:

  • Laurel Austin, Ivey Business School, Leveraging pandemic into a “digital first” concept for healthcare delivery, $41,288;
  • Christopher DeGroot, Faculty of Engineering, A lab-scale sewer simulator to enable wastewater based epidemiological quantification of COVID-19 infection rates, $45,600;
  • David Heinrichs, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Investigation of SARS-CoV-2-bacterial co-infection dynamics to develop improved treatment options during pandemics, $45,600;
  • Isaac Luginaah, Faculty of Social Science, Understanding the challenges and resilience among visible minority essential workers: Preparing for future pandemics in Ontario, $45,508;
  • Tara Mantler, Faculty of Health Sciences, Impacts of COVID-19 physical distancing on women experiencing intimate partner violence at home, $20,800;
  • Lyle Muller, Faculty of Science, Detecting and controlling outbreaks with computational simulation and analysis of contact interaction networks, $34,656;
  • Alexei Ouriadov, Faculty of Science, Design and development of novel 129Xe MRI alveolar measurements to evaluate lung injury and pulmonary vascular derangements in COVID-19 patients post-recovery; $45,600;
  • Leora Swartzman, Faculty of Social Science, A needs assessment for a trial to use synchronous video technology (SVT) to easily connect lonely older adults with their pre-existing social support networks, $41,125; and
  • Eva Turley, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Hyaluronan signaling through the inflammasome is a target for blunting acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients, $44,825.
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