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Research & development

$27 million to be invested in hybrid imaging project

LONDON, Ont. – A project that’s conducting leading-edge research in hybrid imaging techniques will be expanded significantly, thanks to an award of nearly $13 million by the federal government’s Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI); another $14 million will be contributed by the private sector, and the Ontario government is considering a matching grant.

The funding will allow researchers at St. Joseph’s Health Care, London and Lawson Health Research Institute and its collaborators to invest in new infrastructure. The hybrid imaging project, according to a news release, has already produced major discoveries in the areas of cardiovascular diseases, mental health disorders, cancer and conditions such as chronic pain and neonatal brain injury.

The successful grant is the result of the joining of two previous independent CFI awards to the imaging and cancer programs at Lawson, led by Drs. Frank Prato and Jim Koropatnick respectively, resulting in a single, cross-disciplinary effort.

Drs. Prato and Koropatnick said the timing of this award is perfect. “Our current imaging modalities can no longer support the type of leading-edge research we are proposing. The new infrastructure will support research in the area of hybrid imaging, which involves combining different imaging modalities into one platform, improving data acquisition and patient diagnosis and therapy.”

Lawson’s Scientific Director, Dr. David Hill, said, “The talented team of researchers involved in this award has been exceptionally productive and is considered to be the most cohesive and collegial imaging research team in Canada. This award will ensure that they maintain their leadership and help put London on the map as the Canadian centre for hybrid imaging.”

“The CFI’s support of cutting-edge research infrastructure over the past 10 years has resulted in breakthroughs that lead to improved quality of life for Canadians,” said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO of CFI. “Investments like these have allowed London to become a destination of choice for some of the world’s top research talent and an important training environment for the next generation of Canadian researchers.”

The vast majority of the award will support state-of-the-art equipment at St. Joseph’s Hospital, with the remaining infrastructure going to the London Regional Cancer Program at London Health Sciences Centre, Robarts Research Institute, The University of Western Ontario and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. 105 researchers in London, 26 Canadian researchers outside London and 23 from outside Canada will use this new equipment.

About Lawson Health Research Institute
The Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, is the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care, London. Lawson is one of the largest hospital-based research institutes in Canada and is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives by advancing the knowledge of how to prevent, diagnose and treat disease.

About Canada Foundation for Innovation
The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI’s mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians.