PHRI has awarded 10 of its early career researchers up to $100,000 for two years in the 2020 internal grant competition.

The process included two levels of reviews: nine established Canadian scientists from seven Canadian universities; and almost 40 international external reviewers. Twenty researchers applied, with three reviewers on each submission.

Congratulations to the winners, starting with the (fully funded) top three:

  • Maura Marcucci, PHRI Investigator, to study potential causes of perioperative covert stroke, delirium, and post-operative cognitive dysfunction (phase 2 of NeuroVISION)
  • Shun Fu Lee, PHRI Statistician, to develop the statistical technique, survival analysis, for recurrent events in trial design.
  • Sandra Ofori, PHRI Investigator, to explore ways to support patients in perioperative smoking cessation (PREVENT).

Other winners are:

  • Michael Ke Wang, PHRI Associate Investigator, to study anticoagulation for stroke prevention in patients with recent episodes of perioperative atrial fibrillation after noncardiac surgery (ASPIRE-AF).
  • Emilie Belley-Cote, PHRI Investigator, to study surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation efficacy (SAFE).
  • Jorge Wong, PHRI Investigator, to study bariatric surgery for reduction of cardiovascular events (BRAVE).
  • Aristeidis Katsanos, PHRI Investigator, to look at a novel treatment that modifies the high-risk major vascular events in intracerebral hemorrhage (CoVasc-ICH)
  • Jessica Spence, PHRI Investigator, to investigate brain blood flow optimization during cardiac surgery to prevent postoperative delirium (B-BOP).
  • Marie Pigeyre, PHRI Investigator, to identify novel blood biomarkers to predict weight loss and cardiometabolic outcomes after bariatric surgery.
  • Sathish Thirunavukkarasu, PHRI Investigator, to study urine metabolomics assessment of smoke and dietary exposure in the PURE study.

A letter to Salim Yusuf, Executive Director, PHRI, from the internal (Canadian) reviewers noted, in part: “We would first like to acknowledge the foresight of PHRI in recognizing the importance of supporting early career investigators particularly for the pilot type projects encouraged by this competition. For.,,all institutions we believe there is no better long-term investment than in future generations of well-qualified junior researchers.”

The letter continues: “The excellent quality of the submitted proposals speaks also to PHRI’s established excellence in research and mentoring…. this Is the universal opinion not only of the internal committee members, but also of the external reviewers… all of the internal committee members were envious of this competition and are examining ways that various elements might be incorporated into their own local research culture.”

At PHRI, we are very proud of the incredible work being done by our early career researchers. (Meet all our Research Fellows and Investigators.) We will continue to invest in their futures – and by doing so, invest in the health of Canada and around the world.

L to R, starting with top 3 winners: Maura Marcucci; Shun Fu Lee; Sandra Ofori; Michael Ke Wang; Emilie Belley Cote.

L to R: Jorge Wong; Aristeidis Katsanos; Jessica Spence; Marie Pigeyre; Sathish Thirunavukkarasu.


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