Four York researchers awarded more than $2.3 million from CIHR

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has awarded more than $2.3 million in funding to four York researchers.

John Douglas Crawford, Canada Research Chair in Visual-Motor Neuroscience and Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health, will receive more than $ 1 million over five years to study how visual signals are processed, stored and JohnDouglasCrawfordconverted into neural commands for three-dimensional eye and head movements. This study will help provide insight into how the brain is affected by diseases and disorders of the nervous system.

John Douglas Crawford

Tara Haas, a professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science and member of York’s Muscle Health Research Centre together with co-investigator Emilie Roudier (PhD), a research associate in the Faculty of Health, will receive $391,008 over four years to examine the blood vessel networks within fat and muscle, and how they are affected by a long-term high fat diet. Loss of blood vessels, which supply oxygen and nutrients to each organ, is thought to occur in obesity, which may contribute to an increased risk of poor health outcomes. Haas and Roudier’s TaraHaasinvestigations will provide knowledge of how a high fat diet leads to loss of blood vessels and new insight into ways in which these negative outcomes may be reversed. These findings may have potential clinical implications for treatment of obesity-associated complications that are linked to diabetes.

Tara Haas

Christine Kurtz Landy, a professor in the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, will receive $380,324 over four years, to study the ongoing development of safe and effective strategies to address the high rates of woman who opt for repeated births by caesarean section (C-section) in Canada. Repeated births by C-section can lead to increased risks to maternal and newborn health and increased costs to the health care system. Kurtz Landy’s study will examine the factors pregnant women who have had a previous C-section consider when deciding on delivery method and examine issues maternity care providers consider in counselling pregnant women on method of delivery. Her research will also examine the circumstances under which pregnant women with a previous C-section would choose a trial of labour over an elective repeat C-section and vice versa, and the circumstances under which maternity care providers would counsel women to choose a trial of labour over an elective repeat C-section and vice versa.

David Hood, a professor and Canada Research Chair in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science and director of the Muscle Health Research Centre, will receive $589,685 over five years to examine how exercise can improve musculoskeletal health during the aging process. His research will examine the reasons for the reduced mitochondrial content and function in aging muscle. Mitochondria are tiny organelles that are responsible for energy production in all cells, but they can also be responsible for the synthesis of harmful reactive oxygen species which cause muscle cell death, when they do not function well. david_hoodWEB copySuch is the case in aging muscle. Hood’s research will also examine how exercise can attenuate this mitochondrial dysfunction and improve muscle health as people age.

David Hood

“These grants reflect York’s growing strength in health and life sciences research,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research & innovation. “Our researchers are making excellent contributions to both scientific and public policy research in these areas, as they seek to improve the health of individuals, across the globe.”

For more information on the CIHR Operating Grant Competition results, visit the Canadian Institutes of Health Research website.