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CHRIM AGM Celebrations

June 14th, 2017

The Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM) celebrated 16 years last night at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The AGM is a great opportunity to look back on everything we’ve accomplished over the last year, and set new goals for the future.

This year’s event was particularly special, as we celebrated a longstanding member of the CHRIM family, Mark Gray, who will be moving into the role of Past Chair this year, after 16 years on and off as Chair of the Board. We also welcomed our new Chair of the Board, Dave Evans (more on Dave coming soon!)

Under Mark’s stewardship, CHRIM has turned big dreams into reality, and has continued to grow in size and new directions year after year. Mark’s hard work, dedication, and leadership have guided us from humble beginnings to the thriving, world-class facility we are today.

When CHRIM started out, we had four researchers with a focus in asthma and allergy. Today, we have 31 principal investigators, along with 170 staff located at CHRIM, representing 16 different departments and six faculties within the University of Manitoba.

Over the last 16 years, CHRIM has achieved some amazing milestones and breakthroughs including:

  • Development of the Themes with the launch of BoB.
  • Expansion of our facilities.
  • New funding partnerships, with external funding hitting over 10 million a year in 2015/2016.
  • CHRIM became one of just a few centres around the world to be involved in the clinical trial of ground-breaking therapy for hypophosphatasia, a severe bone disorder.
  • The gene that causes a fatal genetic disorder, Bowen-Conradi Syndrome, was discovered by a group of CHRIM investigators. This was a major research effort over a span of seven years, that all began with start-up funding from CHRIM!
  • Continued success and growth of annual events, such as our tent at the Teddy Bear’s Picnic and Child Health Research Days

In 2016, we continued to make remarkable progress welcoming nine new members and an additional eight so far in 2017, and 12 summer students, and, through the Children’s Hospital Foundation, provided $1.8 million in grant funding to support researchers directly.

Below are some of the incredible research highlights we celebrated in 2016:

  • Bob Schroth and Carolyn Snider each received a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Embedded Clinician Researcher Award.
  • Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg was awarded a Medal of Honor from the Health Research Foundation.
  • Dr. Mojgan Rastegar was awarded an International Rett Syndrome Foundation grant and an Ontario Rett Syndrome Association grant.
  • Dr. Andrew Halayko began his new role as President of the Canadian Thoracic Society and joined the Board of Directors for the Canadian Lung Association. Dr. Halayko was also awarded the 2016 American Thoracic Society Joseph R. Rodarte Award for Scientific Distinction and was inducted to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
  • Dr. Estelle Simons celebrated her retirement and was chosen as an inductee into the 2017 Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
  • Dr. Vern Dolinsky and his team received funding from CIHR for their research on childhood obesity.
  • The Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK) network will continue its mandate of knowledge translation for at least three more years thanks to funding received from the Networks of Centres of Excellence.
  • Dr. Meghan Azad is part of three new teams that were supported by CIHR to study asthma, lung health, and obesity with CHILD (Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development) Study.
  • Dr. Richard Keijzer received funding from CIHR for his project on abnormal lung development.
  • Dr. Heather Dean (retired) received the Lawson Foundation 60th Anniversary Award of Excellence for her dedicating her life to caring for children and youth with diabetes
  • Trainee Aruni Jha was awarded the Newman Stephens Award for Excellence in Respiratory or Molecular Physiology.
  • Trainee Naghmeh Khoshgoo was awarded the Edwin Kroeger Award for Excellence in Cellular Physiology.

Looking to the future, a major goal for CHRIM will be building and elevating our brand. We’re well-known within the immediate community, but we need to be proud of our achievements and share them with the world! We also hope to explore more opportunities for collaboration with potential partners across the country and around the world.

As we get to work on our branding and communications strategies, you’ll see some big changes to the website– stay tuned!

2017 is on track to be another great year. On Friday, we’ll be celebrating an exciting funding announcement (more information to come!) and we’re looking forward to holding our annual Child Health Research Days event off campus for the first time, at the beautiful Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Fort Garry Hotel. This is the first step in growing the event to a national scale, encouraging visitors and speakers from around the world to visit our city at the heart of the continent, and to put CHRIM on the map as a national and global leader in child health excellence.

Thank you to all of our staff, board members, and supporters – we are looking forward to another fantastic year ahead!


Media Contacts: 
Rebecca Rallo
Director, Communications & Marketing
Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba
Tel: (204) 272-3135
Email: rrallo@chrim.ca