Three University of Guelph researchers have been awarded more than $1.4 million in project grant funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for studies intended to address antimicrobial resistance and understand chronic pain.  

“The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the federal funding agency focused on improving our health and strengthening our health care system through collaborations such as the University of Guelph provides through its leading researchers,” said Lloyd Longfield, MP for Guelph. “Congratulations to this year’s recipients, who keep Canadian research scientists at the forefront of improving health.” 

Dr. Cezar Khursigara

A professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), College of Biological Science, Khursigara received $657,900 to study the protein interactions that control cell division in pathogenic microbes. The research will help in developing novel antimicrobials that prevent bacterial infection by interrupting cell division. 

Dr. Matthew Sorbara

Also in MBC, Sorbara has received $646,426 to explore how beneficial microbes living in the gastrointestinal tract protect against antibiotic-resistant infection. He hopes his research will lead to treatments that restore and boost gut health by reintroducing beneficial microbes. 

Dr. Giannina Descalzi

A professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College, Descalzi will receive $100,000 to investigate functional and molecular changes in the brain as acute pain becomes chronic pain. Understanding these changes will lead to improved treatment for humans and animals. 

“This generous federal funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research will enable these University of Guelph researchers to expand our understanding of two of today’s most vital concerns in health and health care research,” said Dr. Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research). “The novel insights they gain through fundamental research will fuel future innovation and improve life.” 

“Each year through our Project Grant competitions, CIHR funds exceptional research with the potential to make Canada a healthier place,” said Dr. Michael J. Strong, president, Canadian Institutes of Health Research. “I want to congratulate Drs. Khursigara, Sorbara, and Descalzi on being awarded grants to study two pressing health issues: antimicrobial resistance and chronic pain. I wish you great success as you begin your research.” 

Dr. Strong and his colleagues Catherine MacLeod, CIHR executive vice-president, and Christian Baron, CIHR vice-president (research), are visiting the University of Guelph today to discuss the future of health-related research with senior leadership, faculty researchers, post-docs and graduate students.