The leading federal health research agencies in Canada and the United States — the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — have formed a partnership to advance research of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
Three research programs are being launched collaboratively between CIHR's Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICRH) and NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The programs will address novel strategies to resuscitate heart attack and trauma patients; cellular and molecular imaging of heart, lung, and blood systems; and management of thrombotic disorders such as heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. Each program will be conducted at multiple sites in Canada and in the United States for several years, beginning in 2004.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, contributing to more than 16.6 million death — one-third of all deaths— each year. CVD is becoming increasingly prevalent in developing countries and, by 2010, CVD is expected to kill more people in developing countries than infectious disease, according to the World Health Organization.
'This unique programmatic collaboration will bring together scientists who are international leaders in their fields to unravel the complexities of circulatory and respiratory illness. I am very hopeful that this is the first of many collaborative efforts between our two institutes,' said Dr. Bruce McManus, ICRH Scientific Director. "We are also pleased to have the support of other Canadian partners in this collaboration like the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The latter partnerships are crucial for our success in advancing these North American programs."
NHLBI Director Dr. Claude Lenfant added, 'These first research initiatives reflect a cooperative spirit between our two countries, enabling us to create a synergy in our efforts to extend medical research, train new scientists, and translate research findings to practical applications."
Other NIH components contributing support to the initiatives are the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (resuscitation consortium), and the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (cellular and molecular imaging). NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Together, NHLBI and ICRH have launched three requests for grant applications:
- "Clinical Research Consortium to Improve Resuscitation Outcomes" will establish a consortium of several regional centers in which investigators, emergency medical personnel, and community leaders work cooperatively to translate promising research into effective strategies to resuscitate patients who experience heart attacks or life-threatening trauma outside of the hospital. The deadline for applications is November 13, 2003; letters of intent must be received by October 16, 2003.
- "Cellular and molecular imaging of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematopoietic system" will support the development of new cellular and molecular imaging technologies specific to cardiovascular, pulmonary, and blood systems, which could ultimately contribute to new non-invasive diagnostic tests and novel therapeutic approaches, including cell-based therapies for diseases related to these systems. Grant applications are due January 22, 2004, with letters of intent due December 22, 2003. (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-04-003.html)
- "Inflammation and Thrombosis," will support research to study the relationship of inflammation and thrombosis (eg, clotting) in blood vessels and to discover ways that would improve current methods to prevent and control blood clots, thereby improving therapies for conditions such as heart attacks, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. Grant applications are due January 22, 2004, with letters of intent due December 22, 2003. (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-04-005.html)