CFI Success

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Three imaging initiatives at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and Robarts Research Institute received nearly $5 Million, as part of a total $7,641,772 awarded to Western and Lawson Health Research Institute by the Canada Foundation for Innovation's Leading Edge Fund and New Initiatives Fund.

One of the projects addresses bone and joint disorders, which are the leading cause of disability in Canada - affecting more than 1.6 million Ontarians and costing the Canadian economy more than $20 billion annually. The multi-disciplinary team led by David Holdsworth, Trevor Birmingham and Tom Jenkyn received $1,342,675 to better understand how joints move under normal conditions and after therapy.

"Our team's lab will have the capacity to image bones and joints in more realistic conditions to better diagnose joint and mobility disorders, develop new therapies and personalize intervention strategies," says Holdsworth, who holds the Dr. Sandy Kirkley Chair in Musculoskeletal Research at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. Birmingham holds the Canada Research Chair in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation in Western's Faculty of Health Sciences, and Jenkyn is cross-appointed to the Faculties of Engineering and Health Sciences.

Robarts Scientist and Schulich Medicine & Dentistry professor, Ting-Yim Lee, received $961,524 to develop low x-ray dose CT scanning methods for studying the vascular system. This technology could lead to better treatments for cardiovascular disease and cancer, which affect two of every three Canadians and cost the national economy more than $40 billion a year.

"We hope early detection will help us reduce healthcare costs and eliminate expensive, but unnecessary, interventions by more accurate prediction of whether a patient will respond before or earlier on in the treatment," he says. Lee is also a researcher at Lawson Health Research Institute and a medical physicist at St. Joseph's Health Care London.

Led by Ravi Menon, the Centre for Functional Metabolic Mapping at Robarts Research Institute received $2,494,098 for additional tools that will help address challenges related to imaging vulnerable populations. The Centre, which already houses Canada's only collection of high-field and ultra-high-field MRI systems, will now develop tools to conduct sophisticated fMRI studies of neonatal and paediatric subjects, and patients with neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

Since 2010, city-wide imaging research expertise has operated under the banner of the Biomedical Imaging Research Centre, which has attracted more than $100 million in infrastructure and is composed of more than 350 personnel at London's research institutions. Included in this infrastructure is one of only three 7T fMRI for neurological use in the world.

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