MSFHR partners with CIHR to fund vital COVID-19 research

24 June 2020

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) announced today the successful projects from the Rapid Research Funding Opportunity launched in May. MSFHR joined research funders from across Canada to partner on this opportunity that focuses on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on people, communities, and health systems.

MSFHR contributed $150,000 to expand the available funding for research in BC, and to augment MSFHR’s support to the provincial response to COVID-19. MSFHR has contributed funding to two BC-based teams, led by researchers Dr. Peter Unrau of Simon Fraser University and Dr. Amanda Slaunwhite of the BC Centre for Disease Control and the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Unrau and his team are investigating a novel method of COVID-19 testing using saliva samples, a method with the potential to decrease testing costs while making viral testing more accessible in remote locations, the home, or clinical settings.

Dr. Slaunwhite and her team are examining the dual public health crises caused by COVID-19 and opioid overdoses. The project involves evaluating opioid alternatives’ effect on COVID-19 infection and physical distancing among those who use substances, which will inform pandemic planning and future emergency response.

Through partnerships, MSFHR is helping to increase research funding coming into BC and optimizing research resources, coordinating research support, and reducing duplication of effort. MSFHR’s partnerships are in support of BC’s coordinated provincial research response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more about how MSFHR is working with partners to optimize funding available to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the CIHR announcement in full here.