Five teams selected to investigate new frontiers in communicable diseases
IDRC, the Azrieli Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Israel Science Foundation are pleased to announce the recipients of the second research competition under phase II of the prestigious Joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program. These world-class investigators will advance global scientific discovery and collaboration to address intractable communicable diseases.
The five selected teams will receive funding totaling CAD7.5 million over the next four years. The funded researchers are based in leading institutions in Canada, Israel, Ghana, Brazil and Argentina.
Communicable diseases present a major threat to health and societies. Recent changes in the patterns of incidence of communicable diseases, including new threats such as emerging infectious diseases, biosecurity issues and climate change, have created a situation that cannot be ignored. Research on unknown biological mechanisms and their implications for global health is urgently needed and well aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3, which commits global action to end the epidemics of major communicable diseases such as AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other neglected diseases.
Using cutting-edge technologies, the research teams will advance understanding of the complex factors that contribute to several communicable diseases and uncover potential new targets for prevention, diagnosis and treatment that can promote equitable health outcomes for all.
Researchers from Ghana, Argentina, Brazil, Canada and Israel will work collaboratively to strengthen scientific capacity and promote collaboration, equitable partnerships and scientific excellence in all its diversity.
Selected research projects
The second call for proposals under the research program was launched in September 2022. The call was directed toward applicants conducting research in the broad area of communicable diseases while strengthening capacity in Canada, Israel and low- and middle-income countries.
The proposals were evaluated in June 2023 by an international committee of 19 experts from 10 countries, chaired by Dr. Michel Nussenzweig of Rockefeller University, USA. Five projects led by world-class teams based in Canada, Israel, Ghana, Argentina and Brazil were selected from among 36 proposals.
The selected projects are:
- The evolution of host-flavivirus interactions and their impact on viral pathogenesis and host response
Researchers: Leonard Foster (University of British Columbia, Canada), Tzachi Hagai (Tel-Aviv University, Israel) and Andrea Gamarnik (Fundación Instituto Leloir, Argentina)
- Identification of the genetic basis of Post Infectious Bronchiolitis Obliterans (PIBO) in children
Researchers: Lisa Strug (University of Toronto, Canada), Eithan Kerem (Hadassah Medical Center, Israel) and Alejandro Teper (Hospital de Ninos Ricardo Gutierrez, Argentina)
- i-NEVER REST: Investigating the role and impact of Nano-sized Extracellular VesiclEs and dRug RESisTance in protozoan diseases
Researchers: Christopher Fernandez Prada (Université de Montréal, Canada), Neta Regev-Rudzki (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel) and Nancy Odurowah Duah Quashie (University of Ghana, Ghana)
- Enhancement of antiviral T-cell responses for improved control of viral infection
Researchers: Marceline Coté (University of Ottawa, Canada), Yotam Bar On (Technion Faculty of Medicine, Israel) and Theophilus Odoom (University of Ghana, Ghana)
- Combatting drug resistance of Aspergillus fumigatus, a leading fungal pathogen of humans
Researchers: Leah Cowen (University of Toronto, Canada), Dr. Nir Osherov (Tel-Aviv University, Israel) and Dr. Gustavo Goldman (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil)