UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 05 | Mar.
Health researchers receive $5 million
Expectant mothers, HIV patients will be focus of two clinical trials
by Andy Poon staff writer
UBC researchers were successful in gaining almost $5
million in funding
for clinical trials from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
in its most recent round of competition.
Patricia Janssen has received $1.3-million over two years from CIHR
for clinical trials examining early labour support at home for
Janssen, an assistant clinical professor in the Faculty of Medicine's Dept. of
Family Practice and an adjunct faculty member in the School of Nursing, will
compare whether a telephone consultation or a home visit by nurses yields
better results in advising women in early labour on the best time to go into a
"If a pregnant woman comes into the hospital before labour is established she
is in an environment where she is less active and eating and drinking less than
she would be at home," says Janssen. "She may also be inclined to take pain
medication which she wouldn't have if she were at home. These factors may
increase her risk of having a Cesarean section."
Janssen says the current system of telephone triage -- telephone conversations
between hospital staff and expecting mothers -- results in 40 per cent
of first-time moms being admitted to hospital before labour is established.
Janssen is working with co-investigators Nursing Prof. Elaine
Joel Singer, Michael Klein, and John Zupancic of the Faculty of Medicine and
Dr. Douglas Keith Still of Surrey Memorial Hospital on the study.
trial is expected to begin in late spring at B.C. Women's Hospital and
Health Centre and Surrey Memorial Hospital.
The Canadian HIV Trials Network, which is centred at UBC under
the direction of Dr. Martin Schechter, and researchers at the University of
Ottawa were awarded $3.7 million over four years by CIHR to conduct a
controlled clinical trial to determine the best management of
people with advanced
HIV infection for whom the best available AIDS drug cocktails
"These new drugs have been a quantum leap forward in AIDS treatment,
but now they are beginning to fail because of their toxicity and the ability
of HIV to develop resistance to them," says Schechter.
"There is a worldwide
search for answers. It is gratifying to see this international trial, which
was developed here in Canada, come to fruition through CIHR
help to lead the way."
Schechter, who heads UBC's Dept. of Health Care and Epidemiology, will
work with researchers from the U.K. and the U.S. in the
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.