USask received a total of $ 4,453,402 for six projects tackling issues ranging from understanding COVID-19 variants to fighting cystic fibrosis at the cellular level. Funding comes from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) project program. The announcement was delayed due to the federal election campaign.
“These projects, so generously funded by CIHR, demonstrate USask’s commitment to the health research the world needs – and to conduct them with sensitivity and concern for the communities we serve,” said the vice-president. USask Research President Baljit Singh. “There is no doubt that lives will be saved and transformed by this work. “
In collaboration with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan, Dr. Alexandra King (MD, FRCPC) and her team will seek ways to support Indigenous women with direct experience of the criminal justice system (YSC) on their journey to healing and well-being. The research aims to nurture connections with the land and culture to support the holistic well-being of Indigenous women involved in CJS residing in kisiskâciwan (Saskatchewan), primarily in Saskatoon. She will partner with researchers from the faculties of law and medicine, as well as the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.
“Exploring what health and wellness means to Indigenous women with lived experience of the criminal justice system can also inform avenues of reconciliation within the CJS,” said King. “By working with them, we are also actively working for reconciliation, putting words into action. “
King is also a co-candidate on a research project anchored by her husband and fellow researcher, Dr Malcolm King (PhD). This project will improve Indigenous ways of knowing and doing in the areas of mental health and addiction in partnership with the Recovery Lake Program, a community-led land and culture-focused healing center in the northern village of Pinehouse. The community has prioritized treating alcohol and drug use in the area, and doing so through holistic healing means.
“We will work in partnership with Pinehouse to explore ways to improve service delivery by incorporating additional land and culture based activities into the program and conducting process and outcome evaluations,” said Malcolm King . “Data collection will begin with Métis and First Nations ceremonies, which is the most appropriate way to explore spiritual and cultural aspects of well-being and Indigenous ways of knowing and doing. Sharing circles and conversational style interviews will be conducted to explore specific topics or to understand individual perspectives. “
Other CIHR-funded USask projects in this announcement include:
Dr Oleg Dmitriev (Doctorate) from the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology of the College of Medicine: $ 761,176 for a five-year project: Molecular mechanism of copper and platinum transport in human cells.
Dr Juan Ianowski (PhD) of the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology of the Faculty of Medicine and team: $ 100,000 for a one-year project: Cellular basis of pulmonary cystic fibrosis: epithelial ionocytes transport bicarbonate and control the pH of the surface fluid of the respiratory tract; while club and goblet cells control hydration and volume.
Dr Anil Kumar Victoria Ansalem (Doctorate) from the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology of the College of Medicine: $ 100,000 for a one-year project: Functional analyzes of the determinants of the pathogenicity of emerging variants of SARS-Coronavirus-2.
Dr Franco J Vizeacoumar (Doctorate), Associate Professor in the Oncology Division of the Faculty of Medicine: $ 983,026 for a five-year project: Identification of therapeutically relevant targets in prostate cancers overexpressing telomerase.