Congratulations to BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHR) and Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI) investigators and their teams who were awarded funding through the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Fall 2023 Project Grant competition. Our research community received around $11 million in new research grants as principal investigators or co-investigators.

Many of the investigators who were successful in this competition benefited from the expertise of Dr. Dawn McArthur, Director, Research & Technology Development and the BCCHR Research & Technology Development Office (RTDO) team. On behalf of BCCHR, we would like to thank the RTDOs Dr. Tamara English, Senior Research Development Facilitator; Ms. Rita Jekabsons, Senior Research Development Coordinator; and the RTDO grants assistants for their dedication and support. With the success of the Fall 2023 competition behind them, the RTDO team is already assisting with resubmissions for the Spring 2024 competition.

BCCHR and WHRI investigators had a funding success rate of 31.9 per cent for full project and bridge grants, compared to the national average of 17.2 per cent.

View the CIHR summary of the Fall 2023 Project Grant results.


Photos of the award winners.

Project Grants

Dr. Carolyn Brown – Healthy Starts
Project: “Functional characterization of genomic DNA elements regulating epigenetic silencing”
Funding: $1,250,775

Dr. Crystal Karakochuk – Healthy Starts
Project: “Non-inferiority of (6S)-5-MTHF as compared to synthetic folic acid in increasing maternal folate status during pregnancy: A randomized controlled trial”
Funding: $634,950 

Dr. Amori Mikami (UBC) – Brain, Behaviour & Development
Project: “Cultural Considerations to Improve Treatment Engagement, Retention, and Satisfaction among Asian Canadian Families of Children with ADHD”
BCCHR co-investigator: Dr. Janet Mah – Brain, Behaviour & Development
Funding: $195,000

Dr. Wendy V. Norman – Healthy Starts, and Dr. Laura Schummers – Healthy Starts
Project: “‘How far is too far?’ Creating an evidence base to support safe provision of medication abortion for people living far from emergency services”
Funding: $2,927,508

Dr. Poul Sorensen – Childhood Diseases
Project: “Targeting metabolic vulnerabilities in childhood cancers using immunotherapy”
Funding: $956,250

Dr. Patricia Spittal – Healthy Starts
Project: “The Cedar Project: Strengthening Our Spirit Intervention for Indigenous peoples who use drugs in Vancouver, BC”
Funding: $1,977,524

Dr. Saraswathi Vedam (WHRI) – Evidence to Innovation
Project: “Examining drivers of disparities in experiences and outcomes of perinatal care in Canada through community participatory action research”
Funding: $1,151,265

Dr. David Wright – Childhood Diseases
Project: “Targeting the Exercise-Inducible Signalling Factor FGF21 as a Novel Approach to Mitigate the Side Effects of Antipsychotics”
Funding: $956,250

Dr. Glen F. Tibbits – Childhood Diseases
Project: “Using hiPSC-derived atrial tissue to understand better the role of SK ion channel variants in atrial fibrillation”
Funding: $1,162,800

Dr. William Panenka – Brain, Behaviour & Development
Project: “Improving mental health practices in patients recovering from traumatic injuries: Identifying priorities based on knowledge to practice gaps and interested parties needs and preferences”
Funding: $558,452

Bridge Grants

Dr. Gregor Reid – Childhood Diseases
Project: “Harnessing infection-associated modifiers of paediatric acute lymphoblastic leukaemia progression for therapeutic benefit”
Funding: $100,000

Dr. Laura Schummers – Healthy Starts
Project: “Effect of an educational radio campaign on contraception use in Nigeria”
Funding: $100,000

Dr. Mahmoud Pouladi – Childhood Diseases
Project: “Probing the Role of Claudin-11 Mutations in Hypomyelinating Leukodystrophy”
Funding: $100,000

Dr. Charissa Patricelli – Evidence to Innovation, and Dr. Tim Oberlander – Brain, Behaviour & Development
Project: “Perinatal Opioid Exposures, Trajectories, Insights and Concentrations: The POETIC Network”
Funding: $100,000

Dr. Matthew Carwana – Evidence to Innovation
Project: “Race, Ethnicity, Indigenous identity and Language preference for Pediatric research in the hospital setting (REIaL-P)”
Funding: $100,000

Dr. Michael S. Kobor – Healthy Starts
Project: “Prenatal Exposure to Wildfire Disasters and their Association with Early Childhood Health, Development, and Epigenetics”
Funding: $100,000 (external funding)

Dr. Liisa Galea (WHRI) – Brain, Behaviour & Development
Project: “EPIC Health: Exercise in Perimenopause to Improve Cognitive Health”
Funding: $100,000