Igniting Discovery Grant logoWE-Spark Health Institute and its funding partners have awarded 15 research grants totalling $287,450 to tackle local health challenges.

UWindsor researchers among local health funding recipients

WE-Spark Health Institute and its funding partners have awarded 15 research grants totalling $287,450 to tackle local health challenges, including nine UWindsor projects.

Called “Igniting Discovery Grants,” the funding promotes the development of early-stage, innovative health research and education projects in Windsor-Essex, and can include studies related to emerging topics in health, addressing gaps in healthcare needs, igniting new ideas, generating and disseminating knowledge, and sparking collaborations.

A key goal of the grants is to encourage co-operation across WE-Spark’s four partner institutions — the University of Windsor, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Windsor Regional Hospital, and St. Clair College — along with community members, students, and volunteers.

“Grants are the fuel that allows researchers to put together a team, to move their idea forward and tackle the biggest health problems that impact society,” said biomedical sciences professor Lisa Porter, the institute’s executive director. “Our grants program depends on the generosity of our donors, individuals who give directly to WE-Spark and local organizations that make supporting research a part of their mandate. These funders recognize the importance of igniting new and promising research ideas right here in Windsor-Essex.”

The 15 projects will involve over 100 researchers and trainees and thousands of participants.

The Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation was the largest grant funder, supporting $130,000 in cancer research grants:

  • Designing probes for early identification of prostate cancer;
  • Investigating novel ways to protect against cancer; and
  • Working to develop better drugs for cancer treatment.

The remaining 11 grants were funded by WE-Spark Health Institute, the Windsor Cancer Research Group, and NYN Designs. Some of the projects include:

  • Looking to improve online tests to assess and monitor cognitive functioning;
  • Evaluating an online memory and brain health promotion intervention for older adults;
  • Understanding the needs of caregivers and creating programming to provide essential support;
  • Novel development of diagnostic imaging agents for use in future local PET scanning;
  • Making gains towards inclusive physical education programs in schools;
  • Bringing together national leaders to advance novel diagnostics and therapies for cancer patients (funder: Windsor Cancer Research Group).

Details of all projects can be found here: https://www.wesparkhealth.com/projects.

This is the second round of WE-Spark Health Institute Igniting Discovery research grants awarded since the creation of the institute a year ago. Its 2021 competition launched March 5.

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