Joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program
The Joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program is a seven-year, CA$35 million partnership between IDRC, the Azrieli Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Israel Science Foundation that draws on the scientific strengths of Canadian and Israeli researchers in the broad field of biomedicine. It is expected to fund up to 30 collaborative projects involving researchers from Canada and Israel, as well as from low- and middle-income countries.
The program is currently funding 24 joint projects as the result of the first four calls for proposals.
- First call (2015) – Neuroscience
- Second call (2016) – Immunology
- Third call (2017) - Cancer
- Fourth call (2018) – Neurobiology
- 5th call (2019) – Metabolism
Selected Cancer Research Projects
The incidence of cancer is on the rise in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) due to increased life expectancy and changes in the disease’s risk factors, which are linked to economic development. LMICs accounted for 57% of the 14 million new cancer diagnoses worldwide in 2015, and they accounted for 65% of the deaths. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the disease kills more people in LMICs than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Death from cancer is expected to increase 104% by the year 2020, with the largest increase predicted to occur among LMIC populations. The current and projected burden that cancer places on already overwhelmed health systems in developing countries requires investments in cancer research to develop new biomedical advances in the treatment and management of patients.
In October 2016, the partners launched the 3rd call for research proposals in the field of cancer. The proposals were evaluated by an international committee, Chaired by Prof. Edward Harlow from the Department of Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School. Six world-class teams were selected from among 56 proposals and will receive funding totaling up to C$ 7 million over the next three years.
The following list of projects is in alphabetical order according to the Canadian Nominated Principal Investigator’s last name.
- NOTCH as master regulator of breast cancer subtype and intratumoral heterogeneity
Researchers: Sean Egan (Hospital for Sick Children), Ittai Ben-Porath (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Anaapoorni Rangarajan (Indian Institute of Science)
- The role of IL6 in liver cancer linked to metabolic liver disease
Researchers: Jennifer Estall (IRCM), Eitan Galun (Hadassah Medical Centre), Mehmet Ozturk (Bilkent University, Turkey)
- Targeting senescence cells in pancreatic cancer
Researchers: Gerardo Ferbeyre (Université de Montréal), Valery Krizhanovsky (Weizmann Institute of Science), Paloma Kalegari (Brazil)
- Systematic and comprehensive analysis of mutant p53 proteins in lung cancer in vitro and in vivo
Researchers: Daniel Schramek (Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute), Moshe Oren (Weizmann Institute of Science), Patricia Aston-Prola (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) and Nicolas González Foutel (Universidad San Martin, Argentina)
- Understanding the role of type 1 interferon in resistance to cancer immunotherapy
Researchers: David Spaner (Sunnybrook Research Institute - University of Toronto); Gideon Schreiber (Weizmann Institute of Science); You-Jun Li (Jilin University - China)
- The role of epitranscriptome and translational dysregulation in cancer
Researchers: Ivan Topisirovic (McGill University), Dan Dominissini (Sheba Medical Center), Glaucia Noeli Maroso Hajj (AC Camargo Cancer Centre, Brazil)