Research & Development Corporation Supports Health Research that Benefits Province

Research & Development Corporation Supports Health Research that Benefits Province

ST. JOHN'S, NL, Dec. 19, 2011 /CNW/ - The Research & Development Corporation (RDC) is investing more than $1.6 million to enhance research capacity at Memorial University's Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Science.

The funding comes from the RDC's academic programs which strengthen Newfoundland and Labrador's research and development (R&D) capacity and leverage funding from other sources.

"Today's announcement is significant on many levels as it is providing leading researchers with funding to study key health-related issues," said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister Responsible for the Research & Development Corporation. "The Research & Development Corporation is providing support for researchers to seek solutions to important health care problems, expected to lead to new treatments and technologies that may have significant improvements in life expectancy, disease treatment and prevention and the quality of patient health in this province and elsewhere."

In total, RDC's contribution of $1,679,557, will support 14 health-related R&D projects, enabling researchers to leverage more than $3.5 million from other funding sources, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Arthritis Society, and Memorial University including its Genesis Group.

"Our academic funding programs attract, develop and retain highly-qualified researchers at the academic level and foster a collaborative research environment," said Glenn Janes, Chief Executive Officer of RDC. "Health sector R&D investments like today's generate significant economic outcomes, including commercial products, increased productivity, research-related employment opportunities, decreased public health-care costs and substantial health benefits."

"Memorial University is home to exceptional health researchers," said Dr. Christopher Loomis, Vice President (Research), Memorial University. "Their innovative work, enabled by investments from RDC, is advancing our understanding of important health problems and helping to identify new ways to improve the lives of the people of this province and beyond. Financial support from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, awarded through programs of the Research & Development Corporation, is also essential to creating a competitive and successful environment for research and innovation."

In support of health research, RDC partners with CIHR through the Regional Partnership Program to provide additional research funding in Newfoundland and Labrador. CIHR provides up to $1 million in incremental funding as a result of this partnership. The Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Partnership Program advisory committee evaluates projects according to CIHR grant type and score, budget requirements and alignment with agreed upon priority areas.

One of the researchers receiving funding today is Dr. Kenneth Kao, a professor in the Division of Biomedical Sciences in Memorial's Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Kao is receiving $90,247 from RDC for research that will aid in discovering novel biomarkers for detection and treatment of prostate cancer in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Dr. Kao said the incidence of prostate cancer has become a growing concern for men in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"New diagnostic technologies would be useful to accurately discern patients who will benefit from one or another type of therapy," said Dr. Kao. "Our research is intended to identify new molecular markers that may be used to better characterize prostate tumours to help guide treatment options."

Dr. Kao's funding from RDC is leveraging an additional $147,637 from CIHR, the Genesis Group, Ride for Dad and Memorial University.

Descriptions of the projects receiving funding from RDC are contained in the backgrounder of this release, while further details of RDC's academic programs are available online at

About the Research & Development Corporation's Academic Programs
Two of RDC's Academic Programs - LeverageR&D and IgniteR&D - focus on building research capacity for post-secondary institutions and other not-for-profit research facilities. The programs support research and development, innovation and commercialization in Newfoundland and Labrador.

LeverageR&D attracts public funding for academic-led research and development (R&D) in areas relevant to both industry and the Newfoundland and Labrador economy.

IgniteR&D attracts highly-qualified academic researchers and builds new research and development (R&D) capacity in areas relevant to both industry and the Newfoundland and Labrador economy.

About the Research & Development Corporation
The Research & Development Corporation is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador's R&D performance. RDC works with R&D stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and departments. In Budget 2011 Standing Strong: For Prosperity. For Our Future. For Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Government allocated more than $19 million to make strategic research and development related investments in people, strategic opportunities and infrastructure. For more information about RDC, go to