A Favourable Context

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Vincent PoitoutMay 24, 2017

The month of May brought us its share of good news for research at the CHUM. The two government strategies that directly affect us—one in life sciences and the other in research and innovation—open the door to many programs and investments that will benefit our teams. 

The 2017-2027 Quebec Life Sciences Strategy (SQSV) shines a spotlight on the CRCHUM and the Health Innovation and Evaluation Hub, in the context of further integrating innovation into the health and social service network. The document also highlights the work of the Imaging and Orthopaedics Research Laboratory (LIO), headed by Jacques de Guise

Two promising cross-disciplinary niches are identified in the SQSV: precision medicine and the mining of big health data. The latter corresponds to a need expressed by many research teams and represents a development priority for your management team. The first phase of our action plan will be the establishment of a data warehouse at the CHUM, for which a task force has already been assembled. This initiative also falls within the context of major investments by both levels of government in the area of artificial intelligence, including the recently announced Quebec cluster. Another investment revealed in the SQSV: $5.8M to improve clinical research procedures, proposed by the Table nationale des directeurs de recherche of the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

The 2017-2027 Quebec Life Sciences Strategy is announcing a significant  increase in the budget of the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) which has already had an impact on the 2017-2018 FRQS budget allocated to our centre and has resulted in a higher success rate in the career award competitions. Seven CRCHUM researchers received awards this year, including three Junior 1s (Valérie Martel-Laferrière, Aude Motulsky and Marie-Pierre Sylvestre), two Junior 2s (Nathalie Auger and An Tang), and two Seniors (Moishe Liberman and Alex Parker). Sincere congratulations to all of them! Among the good news in the FRQS competitions is the renewal of three thematic networks headed by CHUM researchers: cancer (Anne-Marie Mes-Masson), aging (Pierrette Gaudreau), and AIDS/Infectious Diseases (Cécile Tremblay and Michel Roger). 

Finally, 13 research projects led by our researchers were funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)  in the most recent Project competition. Dr. Roderick McInnes, Acting President of the CIHR, announced the postponement of the next Project competition (registration: August 15th; application: September 15th), and an increase in the budget allocated to the competition whose results were just announced and which enabled to recover an average success rate of approximately 20%. Let’s hope that other measures will further strengthen these temporary adjustments and that the very clear recommendations of the “Naylor Report” in favour of research funding will be implemented. 

Vincent Poitout
Director of the CRCHUM and Director of Research at the CHUM

See also

Lise Gauvin, Director of the Health innovation and evaluation hub, presents the current challenges in bringing science and evaluation methods to facilitate de integration of innovation into health care systems.