Canada Research Chairs Awarded

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Three UHN researchers have been awarded funding to advance research in cancer, liver disease.
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(L-R) Drs. Sonya MacParland, Daniel De Carvalho and Thomas Kislinger.

The Government of Canada has announced the latest round of Canada Research Chair funding. Congratulations to the following three UHN scientists, who received new or renewed funding from the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program: 

Dr. Daniel De Carvalho, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Cancer Epigenetics and Epigenetic Therapy (renewal). Dr. De Carvalho is a Senior Scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre whose research is focused on new therapies for colorectal cancer. This Chair will help advance his research on a new strategy to stimulate the immune system to target cancer called ‘viral mimicry’. The process involves activating the production of molecules that trick the immune system into seeing cancer as an infection that needs to be destroyed. Dr. Carvalho will also advance the development blood tests to monitor and diagnose colorectal cancer using epigenetics combined with machine learning. 

Dr. Thomas Kislinger, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Cancer Precision Medicine (advancement). Dr. Kislinger is a Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and a world leader in the application of proteomics and biomarkers for cancer treatment. Funding from this Chair will enable his team to advance anticancer therapies that can be tailored to individual patients. His program will achieve this by developing advanced mass spectrometry-based approaches to rapidly identify the proteins present in blood, combined with ‘cell surface capturing’ technologies to take snapshots of the surface of cells. These approaches will be explored to identify aggressive prostate, head and neck, and ovarian cancers.  

Dr. Sonya MacParland, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Liver Immunobiology (new). Dr. MacParland is a Scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute and an emerging world leader in liver biology. Funding from this Chair will enable her team to study the cellular basis of liver disease and to harness populations of cells identified within the liver to promote liver health. This work will build on Dr. MacParland’s role in leading the first international effort to create a publicly available single-cell and molecular-level map of the human liver, which is providing unprecedented insight into how the liver functions. Her team will build on these discoveries to develop new nanoparticle-based therapies as well as strategies to modulate immune cells to treat viral-related liver disease. 

The results were announced by the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, during a virtual event (January 12, 2022). The funding results were for the CRC 2020-2 cycle and represented a total of approximately $151 million to support 188 new and renewed Chairs at 43 research institutions across Canada. 

Congratulations to Drs. De Carvalho, Kislinger and MacParland! 

For more info, see the official press release