Four Carleton University researchers in the Faculty of Science, all members of the Canadian Health Adaptations, Innovations, and Mobilization (CHAIM) Centre, are receiving support from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research for groundbreaking projects on health issues ranging from antibiotic resistance and obesity to Parkinson’s disease and endometriosis.

Alex Wong, assistant professor in the Department of Biology and a former Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, has received the New Investigators Salary Award in the amount of $300,000 over five years, to support his research on antibiotic resistance and bacterial adaptation. The award provides outstanding new investigators the opportunity to develop their independence in conducting health research through a contribution to their salary.

Alfonso Abizaid, associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience, received ­­­more than $613,780 over five years to better understand how stress responses might lead to obesity.

Shawn Hayley, also an associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience, was successful in acquiring $549,000 over five years to support his research assessing the mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease.

Paul Villeneuve, associate professor in the Department of Health Sciences, together with his research collaborator, Dr. Warren Foster of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at McMaster University, was awarded an operating grant to study endometriosis.

banner6-findAt a Glance:

Alex Wong:

  • Wong will study the evolution and genetics of antibiotic resistance, a critical public health threat, and of pathogen adaptation more generally.
  • Wong will research infectious bacteria, including E. coli and bovine tuberculosis, to identify mutations that lead to resistance.

Alfonso Abizaid:

  • Abizaid will explore how stress is related to obesity, insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease due to ghrelin, a stomach derived hormone that appears to be released following exposure to stressors.
  • Abizaid’s research seeks to provide evidence that behavior such as increased appetite and food intake following chronic stress are mediated in part by ghrelin.

Shawn Hayley:

  • Hayley will research the origins of Parkinson’s, which may be related to both environmental factors and genetics.
  • Hayley seeks to determine whether certain genetic changes, such as those involving a gene that influences the inflammatory immune system, might lead to a vulnerability to environmental toxicants and, ultimately, Parkinson’s.

Paul Villeneuve:

  • Villeneuve’s work will search for useful markers for endometriosis, a difficult-to-diagnose disease that affects between 10 and 15 per cent of reproductive age women, and can result in significant pelvic pain.
  • Villeneuve’s project has the potential to offer women more appropriate, effective and less costly medical therapies compared to surgery.

Quotes:
“CIHR support is vital for Carleton researchers who are conducting leading-edge investigations into critical public health issues facing Canadians. Carleton provides Canada’s future leaders with the skills they need to tackle pressing problems facing the health sector.”— Sandra Crocker, Acting Vice-President (Research and International)

Associated Links:
Canadian Institutes for Health Research website
Department of Biology website
Department of Health Sciences website
Department of Neuroscience website

Media Inquiries:
Chris Cline
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 1391
christopher_cline@carleton.ca

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