Medical researchers get federal shot in the arm

UBC health scientists have received research grants worth more than $2 million from the Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC).

Of 97 UBC projects submitted for funding, 16 projects have been approved for operating grants which support individual research. Eight projects not initially approved were funded retroactive to September 1997 following the recent federal budget's increased allotments to the MRC.

"I'm proud of the UBC researchers whose important work has been recognized by the council," says Bernie Bressler, vice-president, Research. "Also, the recent restoration of the MRC budget to 1994-95 levels is encouraging to the research community."

Funding recipients come from a variety of health-care disciplines including medicine, dentistry, psychology and health services and policy research. Projects are funded from one to five years and range from a study of wait lists for selected surgical procedures to reducing hostility in cardiac patients.

As the major federal agency funding health research and training, the MRC distributed a total of $77.5 million in the form of 331 operating, equipment and clinical trials grants to Canadian universities, research institutions and teaching hospitals in the recent competition.

A list of the MRC operating grant recipients at UBC and a brief summary of their projects can be viewed at the MRC Web site at

UBC research has resulted in 71 spin-off companies and accounts for more than 20 per cent of the university spin-offs created in the country.