$287,450 Awarded for Local Health Research
WINDSOR, ON, March 5, 2021 - WE-SPARK Health Institute and its funding partners have awarded 15 research grants totaling $287,450 to tackle local health challenges.

Called “Igniting Discovery Grants”, they provide funding to promote the development of early-stage, innovative health research and health education projects in Windsor-Essex, and can include studies related to emerging topics in health, addressing gaps in healthcare needs, igniting new ideas, generating and disseminating knowledge, and sparking collaborations. 

A key goal of the grants is to ignite new collaborators across WE-SPARK’s four partner institutions — Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Windsor Regional Hospital, St. Clair College and the University of Windsor — along with numerous community members, students and volunteers across Windsor-Essex.

“Grants are the fuel that allows researchers to put together a team, to move their idea forward and tackle the biggest health problems that impact society” said Dr. Lisa Porter, Executive Director WE-SPARK Health Institute. “Our grants program depends on the generosity of our donors – individuals that give directly to WE-SPARK and local organizations that make supporting research a part of their mandate. These funders recognize the importance of igniting new and promising research ideas right here in Windsor-Essex.”

The 15 projects will involve over 100 researchers and trainees and thousands of participants.
The Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation was the largest grant funder, supporting $130,000 in cancer research grants:

• Working to improve rehabilitation services for radiation oncology patients;
• Designing probes for early identification of prostate cancer;
• Investigating novel ways to protect against cancer; and
• Working to develop better drugs for cancer treatment.

The remaining 11 grants were funded by WE-SPARK Health Institute, The Windsor Cancer Research Group and NYN Designs. Some of the projects include:  

• Designing a non-invasive ventilation device for use in pandemics;
• Evaluating an online memory and brain health promotion intervention for older adults;
• Evaluating a multifaceted intervention on students’ attitudes towards disability;
• Understanding the needs of caregivers and creating programming to provide essential support;
• Creating an on-line stroke education program for youth;
• Making gains towards inclusive physical education programs in schools;
• Bringing together national leaders to advance novel diagnostics and therapies for cancer patients (Funder: Windsor Cancer Research Group); and
• Evaluating the potential long-term impacts of COVID-19 infections in Windsor-Essex (Funder: NYN Designs).

Details of all projects can be found here:  

This is the second round of WE-SPARK Health Institute Igniting Discovery research grants awarded since the launch of the institute in March of 2020. Its 2021 competition will be launched on March 5, 2021. 

Media Contact:

Cathy Mombourquette
WE-SPARK Health Institute
About WE-SPARK Health Institute
WE-SPARK Health Institute is a partnership between Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, St. Clair College, Windsor Regional Hospital and the University of Windsor that brings together health research strengths, expertise, and infrastructure from across the Windsor-Essex region. Its mission is to enhance the health, well-being and care of people through transformative research and knowledge translation.