Newswise — Saskatoon: Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability and brings a significant cost to the Saskatchewan health care system. Research is the key to unlocking new ways to treat and prevent stroke, and three Saskatchewan organizations –- the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) and the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) - today announced a significant advance for stroke research in our province.
Saskatoon brain surgeon and medical researcher Dr. Michael Kelly has been awarded the Saskatchewan Research Chair in Clinical Stroke Research to pursue his work in the operating room and at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron to advance understanding of strokes and improve prevention and treatment.
“The creation of this Chair in Clinical Stoke Research increases our health research capacity and enables collaboration toward Saskatchewan solutions in dealing with strokes, which have a devastating effect on individuals and their families,”said Rob Norris, Saskatoon Greystone MLA on behalf of Health Minister Dustin Duncan.
The chair will provide $1 million over five years, jointly funded by SHRF and HSF. The U of S will provide an additional $200,000 for equipment and personnel costs, as well as providing protected research time and salary.
The Saskatoon Health Region is also providing contributions through additional access to equipment, facilities and personnel.
”The world of stroke treatment has radically changed in the past decade, largely due to a focus on stroke research,” says Lorie Langenfurth, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “But this is still a devastating condition that affects 50,000 Canadians every year. Dr. Kelly’s work will bring us that much closer to turning the tide on stroke.”
“Dr. Kelly’s internationally recognized surgical skills, leadership capacity, innovative research proposal, and synchrotron science expertise make him an excellent choice for this position,” said June Bold, CEO of SHRF. “Our health research chair program has been strengthened by the addition of this Chair in Clinical Stroke Research and we are pleased to fund the program on behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan.”
“It’s difficult to overstate the pivotal role of Dr. Mike Kelly in our health research community,” said Karen Chad, U of S Vice-President Research. “He is a superb surgeon inspired by compassion for his patients to not only provide the best available care, but to improve it by pushing the frontiers of research. He is a proven leader, able to build consensus among diverse views. He’s a Saskatchewan boy, bornand bred, and we’re delighted to have him spearhead stroke care research within our province.”
Kelly’s research program will use synchrotron imaging to trace how stem cells move through the brain after a stroke. He will also test the properties of stents – expandable mesh tubes placed inside blood vessels – with a view to improving these and similar medical devices. These research activities are expected to contribute greatly to knowledge and awareness of stroke care, treatment and prevention.
The Saskatchewan Research Chairs Program aims to attract, support and retain top-quality research leaders who are working in a provincialpriority area and who contribute to capacity building and knowledge sharing in those areas.
About Heart and Stroke FoundationThe Heart and Stroke Foundation is a leading funder of health research in Saskatchewan and across Canada. The Foundation is playing a leadership role in bringing the Integrated Stroke Strategy to Saskatchewan – a strategy that has the potential to prevent many strokes, to reduce the amount of disability from strokes that do happen, and to save millions of dollars in health care costs.Learn more at heartandstroke.ca
AboutSHRFThe Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation contributes to a healthy province by funding and promoting excellence in health research, promoting the benefits of health research, and enhancing capacity, including securing funds to support excellent research and researchers. Information about this and other SHRF funding programs is available at shrf.ca.