UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 01 | Jan.
Researchers lead national networks
Two institutes among 13 that aim to consolidate health-care research
Two UBC investigators -- a cardiovascular researcher and a health-care
economist and policy analyst -- will lead two of 13 national virtual
institutes recently established by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Dr. Bruce McManus will lead the Institute of Circulatory and
which will support research into the causes, prevention and
treatment of conditions
associated with heart, lung, blood and stroke.
Prof. Morris Barer will lead the Institute of Health Services and Policy
Research which will support research on how health-care services are regulated,
funded, organized and delivered and their effects on patient health.
"This is a strong endorsement of our reputation in the national research
community," says UBC President Martha Piper. "This network of scholars
will contribute significantly to biomedical, clinical, and health-care system
knowledge both in Canada and internationally."
Thirteen Canadian researchers were named to lead the network of virtual health
research institutes which seek to co-ordinate and consolidate investigations
and translate research into improved health care and health for Canadians.
McManus directs the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory and Cardiovascular
Registry at Vancouver's St. Paul's Hospital, part of Providence Health Care. He
is also the co-director of the iCAPTURE Centre at St. Paul's.
The research facility, recently funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation,
seeks to find innovative solutions to cardiac, pulmonary and blood vessel
"It's an amazing privilege to serve Canada's outstanding circulatory and
respiratory research leaders and programs," says McManus. "The institute
represents a unique opportunity to draw on the power of preparedness,
brilliance and diligence of this research community. We must reach across
traditional boundaries to find new solutions for problems like the failing
heart, the asthmatic lung and the brain injured by interrupted blood
A faculty member since 1993, McManus served as professor and head of the Dept.
of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine until last month. His own research focuses
on the mechanisms of inflammatory and infectious injury.
A UBC alumnus, Barer joined the university in 1979 and in 1990 became
the founding director of UBC's Centre for Health Services and Policy
Research, based in the Office of the Co-ordinator of Health
A professor in the Dept. of Health Care and Epidemiology, his research has
focused on issues such as health-care financing, health human resource policy,
pharmaceutical sector policy and access to care.
With colleagues at the centre, he has championed the development of B.C.
databases that can be used by a wide range of health services and population
health and social science researchers to investigate relationships between
social and economic circumstances, the use of health-care services and health
over the course of an individual's lifetime.
"There is much to admire about the health-care services available to Canadians,
but there is also plenty of room for improvement," says Barer who is
also an associate of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Population
"Health-care issues fuel heated debates that often suffer from
glaring gaps in basic information and research evidence," he says. "The
challenge for the institute is to develop the capacity to fill those gaps in a
scientifically rigorous, timely and comprehensive way."
The scientific directors will work with public, private and voluntary sectors
to build national health research initiatives in areas ranging from healthy
aging to infection and health services. The 13 institutes will start
implementing strategic plans by April 2001.
Directors will lead the institutes from their current work locations. Each
appointment is for an initial period of four years.
CIHR is the major federal agency responsible for funding health research
in Canada. It has replaced the Medical Research Council of Canada and Health
Canada's National Health Research and Development Program.
More information on CIHR can be found at www.cihr.ca.