UBC Science Awarded $4.6M for Health Research

UBC Science has been awarded $4.6 million in research funding from the latest competition held by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Researchers within the departments of Chemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, and Zoology received grants. In total, UBC received more than $26 million in funding in the latest round.

Earlier this month, CIHR approved 403 projects across Canada through its Operating Grant program, a total investment of $255.6 million over five years. Of the forty-three projects awarded grants at UBC, five were within the Faculty of Science.

“UBC and its partners have consistently received approximately 10 per cent of CIHR funding, ranking amongst the top three in total funding in Canada,” says Don Brooks, UBC Associate Vice-President Research. “Our continued success in this merit-based funding competition speaks directly to our research excellence in areas such as genomics, brain research and the fight against cancer and HIV/AIDS.”

Among the UBC researchers to receive project funding is professor of Zoology Donald Moerman. Moerman’s research into single gene deletions in the nematode C. elegans has been awarded $2.54 million. As part of the Gene Knockout Project, Moerman is working to produce gene mutations within the roundworm’s genome.

By targeting each gene, Moerman’s research will provide a greater understanding of individual gene function. The work could aid the pharmaceutical industry in developing nematicides that target these agricultural pests, and help determine any implications the genes may have in human genetic diseases.

UBC Science Funded Projects

Morphogenesis of fungal pathogens
James Kronstad, Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, Director, Michael Smith Laboratories $600,995 over 5 years

Molecular basis of tenascin elasticity and mechanotransduction
Hongbin Li, Assistant Professor, Chemistry, Canadian Research Chair in Molecular Nanoscience and Protein Engineering $544,236 over 5 years

Single gene deletions in the nematode C. elegans – working towards a mutation in every gene
Donald Moerman, Professor, Zoology $2,542,613 over 5 years

Discovery and Development of Synthetically Endowed DNAzymes for Use in Controlling mRNA Levels at Low Mg2+
David Perrin, Associate Professor, Chemistry $365,124 over 3 years

Mechanism-based sialidase inhibitors as potential therapeutics for influenza and trypanosomal diseases
Stephen Withers, Professor, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Canada Research Chair in Chemical Biology $552,734 over 5 years

“This research investment continues our funding of the best ideas and the brightest minds at UBC,” said Dr. Pierre Chartrand, Vice-President, Research, at CIHR. “We are confident that the projects we are supporting will advance knowledge in many important areas, and provide a stimulating environment for young Canadians training for careers in health research.”

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada’s agency for health research. CIHR’s mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to catalyze its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 13,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.


  • Infectious Diseases
  • Chemistry
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Zoology

Musqueam First Nation land acknowledegement

UBC Science acknowledges that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.

Learn more: Musqueam First Nation

Faculty of Science

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