World-class research teams to investigate intersection between non-communicable and infectious diseases
IDRC, the Azrieli Foundation, the Israel Science Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Infection and Immunity and Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes are pleased to announce the recipients of the first research competition under the second phase of the Joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program.
These outstanding research teams will direct their focus toward the intersections between non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs) and infectious diseases. The prognosis of someone living with a chronic or infectious disease is highly influenced by their genetic, biological, physical and social environments. Pathogens that cause infectious diseases can exacerbate the progression of NCDs and cause complications. Pre-existing NCDs can also affect one’s immune response to infection and lead to severe outcomes. While there are many possible links between NCDs and infectious diseases, the full extent of the mechanisms underlying these intersections remains unknown.
The selected research teams will use cutting-edge approaches to advance understanding of the complex interactions taking place across NCDs and infections to uncover potential new targets for prevention, diagnosis and treatment that can promote equitable health outcomes for all.
The Canadian and Israeli teams will work with researchers from Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Sudan and Turkey. These research teams (listed below) will strengthen scientific capacity and promote collaboration, equitable partnerships and scientific excellence in all its diversity.
Selected research projects
The first call for proposals under the second phase of this research program launched in December 2021. This call was directed toward proposals at the intersection between non-communicable chronic diseases and infectious diseases that could also strengthen capacity in Canada, Israel and low- and middle-income countries. The proposals were evaluated by an international committee of 21 experts from 11 countries, chaired by Dr. Sabra Klein from Johns Hopkins University. Six world-class teams were selected from 24 proposals. Together they will receive funding up to CAD9 million over the next four years.
The selected projects are:
- Therapeutic peptides for Chagas disease: a new approach to cardiovascular diseases Researchers: Igor Cestari (McGill University, Canada), Nir Qvit (Bar-Ilan University, Israel) and Guillermo Alonso (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina)
- Understanding human papilloma virus and Epstein-Barr virus-related oncological mechanisms in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
Researchers: Sampath Longanathan (McGill University, Canada), Chen Luxemburg (Tel-Aviv University, Israel) and Sok Ching Cheong (Cancer Research Malaysia, Malaysia)
- The oral and gut microbiome and their derived metabolites in sex differences in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Researchers: Gerald Pfeffer (University of Calgary, Canada), Eran Elinav (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel) and Ayse Nazli Basak (Koç University, Turkey)
- Regulation of the blood-brain barrier in health and metabolic disorders
Researchers: Masha Prager-Khoutorsky (McGill University, Canada), Yoav Livneh (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel) and Ruud Buijs (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Mexico)
- Investigating the interplay between sickle cell anemia and malaria at the epidemiological and molecular levels
Researchers: Dave Richard (Université Laval, Canada), Anat Florentin (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) and Muzamil Mahdi Abdel Hamid (University of Khartoum, Sudan)
- Investigating the outcomes of senescence on microglial physiological and immune functions: implications for viral infection and Alzheimer's disease pathology
Researchers: Marie-Eve Tremblay (University of Victoria, Canada), Dan Frenkel (Tel-Avi University, Israel) and Benneth Ben-Azu (Delta State University, Nigeria)
These projects will add to the 30 joint projects selected during the first phase of the program:
- 1st call (2015) – Neuroscience
- 2nd call (2016) – Immunology
- 3rd call (2017) – Cancer
- 4th call (2018) – Neurobiology
- 5th call (2019) – Metabolism
Next funding call
The next funding call under the second phase of the program is now in progress. Learn more