Lisa PorterLisa Porter, executive director of the WE-Spark Health Institute, is excited that it has awarded more than $1 million in research grants.

Health institute surpasses $1 million in research grants

Its latest tranche of research grants brings the total disbursed by WE-Spark Health Institute and its funding partners to a total of $1,086,725 since the launch of the program in April 2020.

Executive director Lisa Porter, a professor of biomedical sciences, said the milestone is exciting.

“With each grant cycle, the number of new collaborators coming on board grows,” she said. “These grants create jobs, address pressing problems, and make Windsor-Essex competitive for national funding competitions.”

The most recent awards comprise $310,000 to support 15 projects involving collaborators across WE-Spark’s four supporting institutions — the University of Windsor, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Windsor Regional Hospital, and St. Clair College — along with community members, students, and volunteers across Windsor-Essex.

They include:

  • Developing an early intervention strategy for patients in an emergency room
  • Gaining a better understanding of head impacts in youth hockey
  • The effects of light therapy in Parkinson’s patients
  • Developing a safe, non-evasive, and cost-effective ultrasound technique for skin cancer detection
  • Exploring the potential impact of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Skills in conflict in adolescent mothers’ intimate relationships
  • Examining better ways to target and treat liver cancer
  • Implementing a data trust to address affordable housing
  • Exploring family engagement interventions in mental health services improve outcomes for children, youth, and families
  • Developing an innovative approach to diagnosing and delivering treatment on aggressive brain tumours using a robotic platform
  • Gaining insight into the relationship between women’s hyper-productivity, mental health, and trauma in higher education
  • Finding the safest boron compounds and their concentration dose to be used for radiation treatment of cancers
  • Using virus-like particles to deliver protein therapeutics for cancer of the brain and spinal cord
  • Understanding the challenges and experiences of migrant workers when accessing healthcare
  • Understanding the landscape for a Shelter Health Initiative in Windsor
  • Understanding the role of specific proteins and pathways that could be targeted to improve treatment of the genetic disorder Fragile X syndrome

Biomedical sciences professor Jeffrey Dason expressed appreciation for the support he has received from the funding program.

“A WE-Spark Health Institute grant allowed my research group to collect the necessary data to obtain a larger five-year CIHR grant,” he said. “These grants are critical in expanding biomedical research at the University of Windsor and in the Windsor-Essex region.”

Projects will begin in September and will be found here: