April 27, 2023

UCalgary to partner in new research centre at Alberta Children’s Hospital

Centre will help reduce the time it takes for discoveries in the lab to impact child patient care
UCalgary to be partner in new research centre at Alberta Children’s Hospital
Jacqueline Sinnett, Advancement

The University of Calgary has entered a partnership to take steps to develop new treatments and cures for children by fully integrating research and frontline care.

Teaming up with Alberta Health Services, the Government of Alberta, and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, planning has begun to build a Centre for Research and Innovative Care, which will be on-site at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

  • Photo above: From left: Saifa Koonar, president and CEO Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation; Mauro Chies, president and CEO Alberta Health Services; Health Minister Jason Copping; the Grant family; Margaret Fullerton, senior operating officer, Alberta Children’s Hospital; William Ghali, vice-president (research), UCalgary; and Dr. Susanne Benseler, director, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute celebrate the announcement of the Centre for Research and Innovative Care.

The vision for the new centre is to provide research-infused care to all children who enter the hospital.

Currently, paediatric hospitals across Canada care for children whose conditions are acute, chronic, complex, and often undiagnosed. The new centre will help address historic gaps in child-focused research, knowledge and innovations.

“UCalgary’s network of medical researchers need to be connected to frontline clinicians to truly transform children’s health,” says Dr. Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary.

The new centre will provide a home for important research discoveries that will help children and youth in our community, across the country and around the world. It will also expand the health innovation and life sciences sectors in Alberta and create a vibrant training ground for the next generation of child health experts.

The centre will be purpose-built to enable biomedical specialists, data scientists, physicians, nurses and therapists to work side by side under one roof to quickly translate research into better health outcomes for children.

Vital clinical research will occur steps away from onsite laboratories. The centre will be able to harness leading-edge technology, biobanking, big data infrastructure and analytics, and enhanced imaging and genetic sequencing to help inform and advance precision medicine for kids.

Dr. William Ghali, vice-president (research) at the University of Calgary, says more than 40 years of philanthropic support through the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation has helped UCalgary recruit and retain what is now the largest and most productive concentration of child health scientists in the country.

UCalgary child health researchers are conducting studies of national and international importance and, in the past two years alone, have been awarded nearly $100 million in competitive research funding.

“We are ready to truly transform children’s health and wellness, and we have never been in a better position to do so,” says Ghali.

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