New PHSA guidelines for MSFHR grant applications, KT tips, and more!
 
February 2019
 
JANUARY
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Dr. Jerilynn Prior awarded the 2019 Aubrey J. Tingle Prize

Congratulations to Dr. Prior, who was recently named this year's recipient of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Aubrey J. Tingle Prize! 

Dr. Prior was also the recipient of the WHRI Knowledge Translation in Women's Health Research Award in 2017 for her work at the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research.

Read the full announcement from MSFHR here.

CIHR Fall 2018 Project Grant Recipients

Congratulations to WHRI members Dr. Hélène Côté, Dr. Gillian Hanley, and Dr. Regina Renner, who have been awarded CIHR project grants.

Read the full announcement here.

NEW PHSA Guidelines for MSFHR Funding Programs

New institutional requirements for PHSA applicants seeking Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) funding are now in place.

In 2016, MSFHR launched eight newly updated funding opportunities to help increase interaction between health researchers and the clinical environment.

Since these awards launched, the number of health authority based clinicians, health professionals and health researchers applying for MSFHR funding has been on the rise.

This shift has led many applicants to seek clarification on when to list PHSA, BC Cancer or UBC as the Host Institution for an award, and clarification on institutional requirements.

PHSA has created a new webpage summarizing the new Host Institutions processes for MSFHR funding, with key FAQs to guide your next application.

Applicants to MSFHR’s 2019 Health Professional-Investigator (HP-I) award are encouraged to review the FAQs.

Our administrative office has moved!


Our administrative office has moved, effective February 19, 2019.
Click here for the full announcement, and to download directions to our new space.

Member Spotlight: Dr. Michael Anglesio

Dr. Michael Anglesio was recently awarded a CIHR Early Career Investigator operating grant in Maternal, Reproductive, Child & Youth Health. Check out this Q&A with him, by Kate Wahl, Research Assistant at WHRI.
  1. How did you get interested in endometriosis?

My studies have in the past always been around cancers, and in the last 10 years or so, specifically on clear cell and endometrioid ovarian cancers. Women with endometriosis are known to be at higher risk for these cancers, and recently my work has shown that endometriosis evolves into these cancers. My interest on endometriosis has evolved from wanting to know why some become cancerous, while the majority do not.

  1. Some of our patients give saliva and tissue samples for research when they have surgery. What do you use that for?

Part of the work we do looks at changes in the DNA of endometriosis cells. We want to know if the cells that makes up the endometriosis has acquired specific mutations, and if these mutations are what allow it to grow, cause pain, or turn into cancer. We use the DNA in a patient’s saliva as a reference for that patient. All human DNA is pretty similar, but there are still a lot of differences that make each one of us a little bit different. We want to be sure we look at what makes endometriosis different in each patient, not what makes each patient different from each other. We could also use blood for this, or surrounding normal tissue, but the saliva is convenient to collect and we can be sure there’s no trace of endometriosis DNA!

  1. Congrats on your grant! Can you tell us a little about the project you’ll be working on?

This new project is taking a look at how endometriosis that has “cancer mutations” might cause different kinds of immune reactions than endometriosis without cancer mutations. We’ll be looking specifically at the kinds of immune cells that are attracted to endometriosis, in different places in the body, and comparing the number, type and response of these immune cells. Immune cells can control a lot of reactions over inflammation and pain, they can kill off infections and cancers, and they can also tell your body not to fight an infection or cancer. By looking at which mutations affect the immune response we hope to figure out why different women get more vs less pain, and if endometriosis may even be protected or destroyed by the immune system based on where it is or what mutations it caries.

  1. A lot of your research happens in the lab – how will the work you’re doing now help people with endometriosis in the future?

There is a lot going on!! Looking at the changes in the DNA of endometriosis is relatively new. In fact, we are the first group to have launched major studies to examine mutations in endometriosis DNA that is not associated with cancer. I hope my previous (and continuing) work with cancers can bring a new perspective to this disease.

These newly discovered cancer-gene mutations may be targets for drugs – this research is going on in the cancer field now. Likewise drugs are being developed for cancer that modulates the immune system, making cancers more “visible” to attack by killer immune cells. Today’s generation of drugs does have serious side effects, but one day new formulations could be applied to endometriosis.

My lab’s connection with clinical specialists – like the doctors at the BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis – may bring real changes in the near future. First, we need to find out how cancer-mutation in endometriosis contribute to pain, fertility, or risk of cancer. Having this knowledge could immediately change the way we treat the disease even without new drugs. Depending on the mutations, immune response, and symptoms, a women might be directed to specialist centres for surgery, medical or hormonal therapies, and some women might need long-term monitoring (for example if cancer risk is elevated). As DNA sequencing technologies advance we may also be able to more rapidly diagnose endometriosis and provide the proper management to women earlier. Knowing what to look for will make a world of difference – we have targets now.


KT Workshop

In January the Women’s Health Research Institute [WHRI] and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research [MSFHR] co-hosted a knowledge translation [KT] workshop at BC Women’s Hospital titled “A Complete Guide to Writing Knowledge Translation into your Grant”.  The didactic workshop focussed on increasing participant’s competencies in planning KT activities and using KT language correctly when writing the KT section of grant application. 

Workshop participants were guided through a session on how to devise a knowledge translation plan for their research projects.  KT is a complex process which requires thought and planning to ensure that KT activities are both feasible and accomplished successfully.  Working from a KT planning template or framework is extremely useful for structuring and evaluating your KT strategy and is also beneficial for mapping out what you will write in this section of your grant application.

The workshop included an interactive session which aimed to solidify participant’s understanding of common KT terminology as well as a number of talks relating to specialised topics in KT.

Amber Hui, WHRI grants facilitator, delivered a session which addressed some of the common pitfalls reviewers see in the KT section of grant applications and tips on how to clearly demonstrate your KT knowledge to reviewers. 

Iva Cheung, certified editor, talked to participants about the importance of plain-language and tips on writing the plain language summary section of the grant application. 

Larry Mroz and Lynn Feenan from the BC Support Unit delivered a session on the fundamentals of Patient Orientated Research [POR], and how to meaningfully engage patients in your research. This session also profiled the training and learning opportunities offered by the Support Unit for researchers considering a POR approach.

At WHRI we are dedicated to enhancing knowledge translation in our research community to ensure that research findings translate into key improvements in health care practice and policy that are relevant to women.  We encourage our members to engage Nicole Prestley, Manager, Research and Knowledge Translation for KT support: nicole.prestley@cw.bc.ca 

  • Check out free training and learning opportunities offered by the BC Support Unit. https://bcsupportunit.ca/events-training
  • Read this Knowledge Nudge Blog post: Writing Knowledge Translation Into a Grant Proposal

http://tinyurl.com/yx8nczpb

Tips for avoiding gender bias in reference writing

Writing a reference letter?

Check out this helpful guide from the University of Arizona Commission on the Status of Women for avoiding gender bias in reference writing!

Congratulations to the recipients of the 21st Annual LifeSciences BC Awards

The awards are presented annually to recognize individuals and organizations representing the life sciences ecosystem in BC. WHRI members Dr. Jerilynn Prior and Dr. Caroline Cameron were among this year’s recipients.

Read the full announcement here.
Opportunities (2)

Do you want to learn more about evaluating programs?

This workshop can help!

Title: Evaluation Basics

Date: March 11th, 1-3pm

Location: D306 SHY Bldg

Register here.

Health Canada is establishing a new external Scientific Advisory Committee on Health Products for Women (SAC-HPW).  The SAC-HPW will provide Health Canada with timely patient-centered, scientific, technical, medical and clinical advice on current and emerging issues regarding women’s health and the regulation of medical devices and drugs.

Health Canada is seeking nominations (including self-nominations) for up to 12 SAC-HPW core members as well as for ad hoc members.

Click here for more information.
Carraresi Foundation OVCARE Research Grants

OVCARE is pleased to launch another round of funding applications for the Carraresi Foundation OVCARE Research Grants supported by the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. These small grants are to support early and mid-career researchers in teh area of gynecologic cancers.

New: This year, additional funds are available through the Sumiko Kobayashi Marks Memorial Fund. Preference for this award will be given to proposals focused on the lower genital tract.

The submission deadline is Friday, March 15, 2019. Click here for full application details.

For questions about this funding opportunity, please contact Michelle Woo atmiwoo@bccrc.ca or Blake Gilks at Blake.Gilks@vch.ca.
The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research has opened applications for our 2019 Innovation to Commercialization (I2C) competition. Letters of intent are due by March 14, with the full application deadline May 2, 2019.

The I2C Program provides funding to support BC health researchers as they move health innovations towards practical application to improve health outcomes, benefit society, and enrich the health innovation ecosystem. 

Click here for more information.

L'oréal Women in Science Research Excellence Fellowships 

This is a postdoc fellowship of $20,000 CAD for women scientists. Applicants need to be Canadian citizens or have permanent resident status.

Click here for more information.

Application deadline is March 22, 2019.


Join WHRI on March 7th at the Italian Cultural Centre to celebrate International Women's Day! This year our theme is "How to be your own best health advocate: Breast, Heart, and Gynecologic Screening", and speakers include Paula Gordon, Marette Lee Natasha Prodan-Bhalla, and Maryam Zeineddin.

RSVP today!
Do you have research to share with the world? We are looking for research teams who would like to use our platform to showcase their work!

For more information email Melissa.
The Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI) is pleased to announce the launch of a pilot project in partnership with Perinatal Services BC that will provide streamlined and efficient access to data within the BC Perinatal Data Registry (BCPDR).

Read more.