HELP researchers among team to receive Brain Canada Grant

HELP’s Dr. Michael Kobor, Dr. W. Thomas Boyce and the late Dr. Clyde Hertzman are among a team of researchers who have received $1.5 Million in inaugural funding from the Brain Canada and W. Garfield Weston Foundation Multi-Investigator Research Initiative (MIRI).

The research team, which also includes researchers at McGill University and the University of Ottawa will use the grant funding for epigenetic research focused on identifying the early-life origins of mental health and disease.  Specifically, the team will be investigating how environmental factors can “get under the skin” to alter the function of genes throughout the life course.

“This is an exciting opportunity to better understand the biological embedding of early life environments,” said Kobor. “We are heartened to be able to undertake this important work in the spirit and memory of our esteemed colleague, Clyde Hertzman, who was a deep believer in epigenetic research and its potential to explain health disparities.”

It is notable that the team’s application was ranked in the top 5 of the 165 peer-reviewed letters of intent received by the organization.

Brain Canada is a national non-profit organization that develops and supports collaborative, multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research across the neurosciences. Through partnering with the public, private and voluntary sectors, Brain Canada connects the knowledge and resources available in this area to accelerate neuroscience research and funding and maximize the output of Canada’s world-class scientists and researchers.

The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is a private Canadian family foundation first established in the 1950’s by Willard Garfield Weston and his wife Reta. Donations from the Foundation are directed to specific organizations in the fields of education, land conservation, and science in Canada’s North.