Research & development
New $60 million research centre in
VANCOUVER – B.C. Premier Gordon
Campbell helped launch the official groundbreaking of the new
seven-storey, Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre at Vancouver General
Hospital, built in part thanks to the generous donation of $15 million
from Mr. Robert Ho.
“Patients with cancer, people with bone health issues, and those with
mobility challenges will all benefit from the research that will take
place in this facility,” said Premier Campbell. “Hundreds of scientists
and clinicians will work in this building, researching and developing
new treatments and cures for disease.”
The 69,350 sq. ft. (6,442 sq.m.) facility will be home to three key
research programs: the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility; an expansion
to the Vancouver Prostate Centre: and OvCaRe (the Ovarian Cancer
Research program). The building will be located adjacent to the Jack
Bell Research Centre at Laurel Street and West 10th Avenue.
“This gift has its roots in a tradition of giving that has guided my
family for three generations,” said Robert Ho. “I am proud to help
advance research and care here at VGH, and it is my sincere wish to
share our family tradition of giving to inspire others to give as well.”
The building cost is $40.1 million and the total project cost, including
equipment and personnel, is just over $60 million.
Mr. Ho’s gift, of which $8.2 million is going toward the project,
completed the private sector funding match. The total provincial
contribution is $22.5 million through the Ministries of Health Services
and Small Business, Technology, and Economic Development. Federal
funding awards of $24.7 million came from the Canada Foundation for
Innovation and a further $4.8 million comes from other sources.
“Today marks an historic milestone in the health innovation and research
in British Columbia that stands to benefit all Canadians,” said Dr.
Eliot Phillipson, president and CEO of the Canada Foundation for
Innovation. “The Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre is a powerful example of
what can be achieved when various stakeholders come together as
A key aspect of the new centre is its focus on translational research in
the areas of early detection and prevention of disease.
“In Canada, two bone and joint health conditions – hip osteoarthritis
and hip fracture – account for over $16 billion in annual costs,” said
Dr. Heather McKay, director of the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility.
“Our goal is to prevent these devastating problems from occurring in the
first place, to detect a person’s risk earlier than was previously
possible, and treat individuals who are affected with state-of the art
“We are taking direct aim at mitigating the tremendous cost of bone and
joint health problems and striving to improve mobility and quality of
life for British Columbians and all Canadians.”
The centre will also help bolster the ability of the University of
British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine and Vancouver Coastal Health to
recruit and retain world leading scientists and health professionals
“Securing funding for the expansion of the Vancouver Prostate Centre has
enabled us to hire 19 talented trainees and recruit two leading
international scientists in the last year alone,” said Dr. Martin Gleave,
director of the Vancouver Prostate Centre. “This not only drives
innovation leading to new therapies, but also new research grants and
contract agreements, which will help power B.C.’s biotech industry into
the future. We are deeply grateful to all our funding partners and
especially to Mr. Ho for his understanding of the value health research
brings to our province.”
Over the course of building, an estimated 250 construction jobs are
expected to be created. Completion is anticipated in spring 2011.
The Vancouver Prostate Centre at VGH is Canada’s largest facility
focusing exclusively on prostate disease. This world-renowned research
and clinical team has directed its efforts on fighting prostate cancer
through development of new and/or improved procedures and technologies
aimed at prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and education. The
centre is a program of Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and
UBC Faculty of Medicine.
The Centre for Hip Health and Mobility is an innovative area of care and
research at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). This is the first centre
in the world to organize experts around the issue of bone and joint
health and mobility – with a focus on the hip. It brings together
specialists from a range of disciplines – including sports medicine,
physiotherapy, orthopaedic surgery, kinesiology, population health,
geriatric medicine, health economics, sociology, imaging science, and
biomedical engineering. This multidisciplinary team will work together
to enhance bone and joint health – across the lifespan. The centre is a
program of Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and UBC Faculty
The Ovarian Cancer Research (OvCaRe) program formed in late 2000 when a
group of Vancouver-based physicians and scientists joined with the
common vision of enhancing ovarian cancer research in British Columbia
and the explicit goal of improving outcomes for ovarian cancer patients.
OvCaRe researchers are a multidisciplinary team, spanning basic to
clinical science to allow for a true ‘bench-to-bedside’ approach. OvCaRe
is a program of BC Cancer Agency, VCH Research Institute, and UBC
Faculty of Medicine.
Posted October 8, 2009