2019 Highlights

It’s been another incredible year at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. While we’re looking forward to the opportunities and collaborations the new year will bring, it’s important to look back and reflect on the successes of the past year. Read on to see our highlights of 2019 below:

New studies

Here are a few of the many studies published in 2019; advancing knowledge and the future of child health.

  • Dr. Wael El-Matary found that incidence of clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is stable among children in Manitoba, although children with Hirschsprung Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease are more susceptible to CDI. Read the study.
  • Dr. Meghan Azad & Dr. Shirin Moossavi released a new study that found that the bacteria present in breastmilk changes depending on whether an infant feeds directly at the breast or via pumped breastmilk in a bottle.
  • CHRIM trainee, Dr. Richard Wagner, published a study that looks at strategies to increase productivity, improve performance, and decrease stress levels in surgical training.
  •  Dr. Richard Keijzer had a new study on Hirschsprung’s Disease. The study was unique because it used social media to more quickly & efficiently recruit participants with this rare disease.
  •  A new study by Dr. Wael El-Matary revealed the positive effects of treatment (biologics) used on children with Chron’s disease who also have an IgG antibody, compared to children without the antibody.
  • Dr. Elinor Simons has new study showing children who do not consume peanut during their first year of life are more likely to be allergic to peanut at age three.

If you had a published new study to include in CHRIM highlights, please contact us to share.

New Grant & Awards

Several researchers received funding for new & innovative research projects and were recognized for their outstanding contributions in research.

• Seven CHRIM and University of Manitoba researchers received CIHR funding in the Fall Grant Competition! These cutting-edge studies will improve health issues affecting the lives of children & adults across in Canada. Learn more & see the list of CHRIM investigators here.

• CHRIM scientists, Meghan Azad and Nathan Nickel, were recipients of the 2018 John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) Award from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. These funds will support the Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Centre (MILC) – led by Drs. Azad & Nickel. Learn more.

Dr. Tracie Afifi received the CIHR Gold Leaf prize for outstanding achievements by an early career investigator! The CHIR Gold Leaf Prizes recognize Canada’s top health researchers for their transformative work. Learn more.

Dr. Meghan Azad received a grant awarded through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “Call-to-Action” to participants of the 2018 Grand Challenges meeting in Berlin, Germany and will be used to study the effects of ritual foods – like honey – before breastmilk. Read more.

Dr. Marni Brownell received the CPS Geoffry C. Robinson Award for her outstanding contributions to child health through her research. Learn more.

• PhD candidate Taylor Morriseau was named one of the Women’s Executive Network’s most powerful women for 2019 and one of Corporate Knights’ Top 30 under 30 sustainability leaders for 2019.

Drs. Ayesha Saleem and Meaghan Jones were recipients of the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) & received $250,000 for the next 2 years. Learn more about the funded projects here.

• CHRIM & Research Manitoba partnered together to offer funding opportunities to students. Here are all the 2019 Grants & Awards Competition recipients from CHRIM.

Drs. Marni Brownell and Roberta Woodgate received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for three different research projects! Two areas of focus for the projects are the youth justice system and the child welfare system in Manitoba.
Learn more.

Dr. Lauren Kelly received a Sick Kids – CIHR IHDCYH New Investigator Grant in Child & Youth Health! Recipients represent the future in family, child & youth research – see the full list of winners here.

Merilee Brockway was the recipient of the national Molly Towell Perinatal Research Fellowship Award. Dr. Brockway will be completing her postdoctoral studies under the supervision of CHRIM investigator, Dr. Meghan Azad. Learn more

Dr. Kristy Wittmeier was awarded the inaugural John M. Bowman Chair in Pediatrics and Child Health. Learn more.

National Impact

• An exciting advancement came into effect in newborn screening for all children born in Manitoba who will now be tested for severe combined immune deficiency (SCID), a group of rare genetic diseases affecting a child’s immune system. Learn more.  

• CHRIM became part of a new Government of Canada funded project, the CAN Health Network, that will work to identify challenges health care organizations are facing & how technology may act as the solution to help scale up companies nationally, and internationally. Learn more.

Community Connections

• We connected with our research community to find out what research means to them in one or a few words. Check out the round up of responses for an inspiring look at why we do what we do.

Dr. Shyamala Dakshinamurti was featured in WAVE Magazine about her research and how she may be on the verge of finding a treatment for “blue babies”.

• For National Nursing Week, we sat down with one of the nurses from our Clinical Research Unit to highlight the importance of nurses in research and to get an understanding of what goes on at the unit.
Check it out here.

• Led by Dr. Robert Schroth, the Healthy Smile Happy Child Program works to reduce tooth decay in children. For Oral Health Month (April), UM / CHRIM students were on CTV Morning Live discussing the program & the importance of good oral hygiene in kids. Watch the clip here.

• The Sandra Schmirler “Spirit of Sandra Scholars” visited the Institute to learn about Dr. Shyamala Dakshinamurti’s neonatal research. The scholars were fundraising to purchase life-saving equipment for babies and came to CHRIM to learn more.

• For Canadian Breastfeeding Week, we talked about the social barriers new mother’s experience when breastfeeding in public and how everyone can help support and empower moms during this time. Read more here.

• We hosted our 15th Annual Child Health Research Days (CHRD) conference! This year’s CHRD was our most successful yet, allowing emerging scientists the opportunity to share their research and be recognized for their work. We had the chance to reflect on CHRIM milestones from the last 15 years at the Awards Galawatch it here.

Dr. Ayesha Saleem and Dr. Jennifer Protudjer were invited to the grade two class at St. John Brebeuf school as part of their social studies education. Both researcher’s presented to the class about their work through fun activities and games to help show the valuable impact the Institute has on the community. Read more.