Matching Funds / Major Projects

Careful stewardship renders high yields for large projects

Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation's endowment has grown substantially in recent years, to upwards of $77 million, allowing the Foundation to invest large sums of money in multi-million-dollar projects. These projects have advanced key strategic research efforts, raised Dalhousie Medical School’s stature, and attracted top scientists and additional funds from external granting agencies like the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Canada Foundation for Innovation. DMRF has often provided a portion of the matching funds required by these agencies to fulfill investment commitments to such major projects.

Read on to learn more about some of the exceptional major projects DMRF has proudly helped fund.

Life Sciences Research Institute

An ambitious dream was realized when the Life Sciences Research Institute (LSRI) was constructed in the fall of 2007. A joint project of Dalhousie University, Capital Health and the IWK Health Centre, this five-storey, $42-million complex will provide more than 100,000 square feet of new space for research and commercial development of scientific discoveries. Located adjacent to Dalhousie Medical School, the LSRI is a magnet for talented medical researchers, and a driver for economic growth in the Maritimes.

Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation made the first financial commitment to the LSRI, offering $2.1 million in cornerstone funding. The project so far has received approximately $37 million funding in total from Industry Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canada Foundation for Innovation and private donors. Dalhousie University has contributed the land. This funding includes $15 million from Industry Canada announced recently for seven centres of excellence, including LSRI.

Click here for more detailed information on the LSRI.

Brain Repair Centre

The Brain Repair Centre (BRC) is a multi-disciplinary collaboration linking more than 100 leading scientists and clinicians. All share a common interest in developing ground-breaking approaches to treating – even reversing – such devastating diseases of the brain and central nervous system as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer, Huntington’s, multiple sclerosis, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Their work even covers spinal cord injury, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.

For more information, visit the Brain Repair Centre website.

Retina and Optic Nerve Lab

Dalhousie’s Retina and Optic Nerve Research Lab has brought together leading vision researchers from across Canada in a unique multi-disciplinary collaboration that ranges from basic science to clinical research. Their main focus is the function of the retina and optic nerve in healthy and diseased states, particularly glaucoma. The DMRF made the first commitment to the new lab in 1998, providing $1.1 million. This enabled the University to secure additional funds for infrastructure and capital costs, with individual researcher’s grants providing the operating funds. The key members of the research team in this lab are Dr. Bal Chauhan, Chair in Vision Research, Dr. Melanie Kelly, Dr. Steve Barnes , Dr. Bill Baldridge and Dr. Francois Tremblay.

Click here for more information about vision research at Dalhousie Medical School.

Centre for Functional Microbial Genomics and Host Defense

More than 20 researchers are investigating infectious diseases in the Centre for Functional Microbial Genomics and Host Defense, housed mainly in new research space in the west wing of the MacKenzie Building. They are looking into the molecular origins and transmission pathways of infectious diseases, and mechanisms of host-pathogen interaction and antibiotic resistance. This work has major implications for development of vaccines and anti-microbials, and even cancer treatments.

The Centre for Functional Microbial Genomics and Host Defense received $450,000 from the Atlantic Innovation Fund, with $100,000 in matching funds from Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation and substantial contributions from Capital Health, Dalhousie Department of Medicine, Romark Laboratories and MedInnova. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has since awarded the Centre with $470,000 in multi-user equipment grants for DNA-sequencing and proteomics research facilities.