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A group of Manitoba researchers have formed a new research team to battle chronic diseases in Manitoba’s children.
The Manitoba DEVelOpmenTal Origins of chronic diseases In children Network (DEVOTION) recently received funding from Research Manitoba that will see the research cluster receive $500,000/year for the next five years. The Lawson Foundation has also committed to match this award with an investment of $240,000 per year for the next five years to support an Indigenous scholar and three Indigenous community research coordinators to support work among First Nations, Metis and Inuit families in Manitoba.
The mission of the DEVOTION cluster is to reduce the burden and costs associated with noncommunicable chronic disease in Manitoba and includes 26 scientists, policy makers and stakeholders with expertise ranging from cell-based science to community-based intervention research.
The team, led by Drs. Andrew Halayko and Jon McGavock will merge researchers from the Biology of Breathing team (BOB); Diabetes Research Envisioned and Accomplished in Manitoba (DREAM) team, the Next Generation Sequencing platform among others at CHRIM to focus on the early life determinants of chronic diseases and develop novel strategies to overcome them.
There is a growing body of evidence that chronic diseases have their roots early life and early interventions delivered within the first five years of life can have the greatest impact on a healthy childhood and disease-free adulthood. Dr. McGavock said the commitment from the government and the Lawson Foundation will be the first time in the history of research in Manitoba that researchers will be paired with patients, stakeholders, early childhood educators from Red River College and the University College of the North and policy makers in an effort to rapidly translate state of the art research to policy and educational change.
“With an investment of $2.5 Million from Research Manitoba and $1.2M from the Lawson Foundation, we are extremely pleased to be able to create infrastructure within the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba to merge BoB and DREAM to rapidly translate family-relevant research from discovery to policy. With patients located at the core of our team, we will ensure that our future research endeavours are aligned with their needs and that the results will rapidly translate into improved health of children and women, particularly indigenous women and children in the province of Manitoba,” Dr. McGavock said.
Jobs and the Economy Minister Kevin Chief, who made the funding announcement for DEVOTION and two other projects, said that this research will have an immediate impact.
“One of the things most remarkable about research is not only do they want to help people overcome adversity, but they want to work collaboratively,” said Minister Chief.