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DMRF IS EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE'VE HAD OUR GREATEST RESEARCH FUNDING YEAR YET, REACHING $6.6 MILLION!



Our Board

DMRF Board members are compassionate community leaders with an incredible wealth of knowledge, expertise, and determination. With a diverse skill set, strong business acumen, and a passion for health, our Board members provide the exceptional leadership and strategic direction that advancing health research demands.

SEE OUR FULL LIST OF BOARD MEMBERS HERE


Message From the CEO 

Ms. Joanne Bath

"Since 1979, Dalhousie University health researchers have been the sole recipient of more than $70 million dollars from DMRF donors. In fact, donor generosity has allowed us to raise more than $110 million and establish an $85 million endowment, ensuring we have the funds to bolster health research at Dalhousie for years to come. This carefully managed financial portfolio enables DMRF to secure our operations, while offering other exceptional fundraising programs to further grow excellent health research projects at Dalhousie

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Joanne Bath

Message from DMRF CEO, Joanne Bath

Message from the Board Chair

Ms. Janet MacMillan

"This past fiscal year has been one of achievement for DMRF, as we celebrated our growth with a new visual identity and narrative, created our mission-oriented fundraising priorities, and established several new grants for health researchers at Dalhousie University."

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Janet Mac Millan 1

Message From DMRF Board Chair, Janet MacMillan

Our Mission, Vision, & Values

Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) provides critical support to local health research by fundraising to attract the best resources available to bolster their leading-edge work.

MISSION VISION AND VALUES

A New Year, A New Us

We entered 2022 with a refreshed brand narrative and visual identity.

You may have noticed that we’ve “stepped beyond the beaker”, and into a new era of health research that has the power to change the world—and our brand is coming along for the ride!

Your support is the bedrock of our success, allowing us to grow as an organization that has funded thousands of local health researchers.

Rebrand 2
Funding Priorities 1

We entered 2022 with a refreshed brand narrative and visual identity.

You may have noticed that we’ve “stepped beyond the beaker”, and into a new era of health research that has the power to change the world—and our brand is coming along for the ride!

Our ongoing goal at DMRF is to advance health research outcomes both locally and abroad. Good health is a necessary aspect of human life, and we believe that everyone, regardless of gender, race, culture, ability, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, deserves to be included in all facets of the health research journey.

Our Story

For over forty years, our Foundation has been led by caring and compassionate community leaders, who believe our region has a solid place on the global health research stage. We understand that philanthropy plays a vital role in improving whole human health by aiding in the recruitment and retention of exceptional talent to this region, which in turn, brings essential dollars and jobs to our economy. Philanthropy gives brilliant health research minds the opportunity to explore and produce health research excellence.

Today, we fund millions of dollars each year to local health research that is collaborative, has international impacts, and is establishing preventative measures, faster diagnoses, better treatments, and ultimately, cures for the many health conditions and diseases impacting each of us. We respond nimbly, using our philanthropic leadership and prowess to address the critical health research needs of our time.

We are more, and we want our brand to speak to more.

DMRF Rebrand Announcement 2022

Fiscal 2021/22 at a Glance

Fiscal at a glance

DMRF Researchers in the Media

At DMRF, we work hard to tell the stories of our researchers and we thank our friends in the media for making sure this critical work is shared both near and far.

  • Dr. Leslie Anne Campbell on Global News
    4

    DMRF supported researcher Dr. Leslie Anne Campbell was interviewed by Global News Morning Halifax reporter Eilish Bonang, discussing the research she and her team are doing to improve mental health for children and youth during DMRF's spring Molly Appeal Campaign, 2022.

  • Dr. Cindy Calkin in the Chronicle Herald via the Saltwire Network
    9

    DMRF supported researcher Dr. Cindy Calkin was featured in the Chronicle Herald via the Saltwire Network for her research on treatment resistant bipolar disorder. Dr. Calkin was the recipient of the 2021 DMRF Influencers for Health Research Grant.

    "A grant from the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation has funded a study examining brain images taken before and after treatment with metformin to see the repair of the blood-brain barrier. Calkin said a case report has been published in the journal Bipolar Disorders involving a first patient who has come out of the TRIO-BD study – who figured he had gotten the placebo instead of the real medication and hadn't gotten better so he asked to be prescribed off-label metformin"

    The Chronicle Herald
  • Dr. Ken Rockwood on CBC

    The DMRF Kathryn Allen Weldon Endowed Chair in Alzheimer’s Research, Dr. Ken Rockwood, was featured by various media outlets, including CBC, when he was announced as the 2021 recipient of the prestigious Ryman Prize, recognizing his world renowned work in frailty and aging.

  • Dr. Rudolf Uher on Global News Morning
    5

    DMRF supported researcher and Canadian Research Chair in Early Intervention in Psychiatry, Dr. Rudolf Uher, was interviewed by Global News Morning reporter Paul Brothers, discussing his contributions to the Lancet-World Psychiatric Association Commission on depression titled, Time for United Action on Depression.

  • Dr. Gabriela Ilie on Global News Morning
    6

    DMRF supported researcher Dr. Gabriela Ilie, along with collaborator Dr. Rob Rutledge, were also interviewed by Global's Paul Brothers when her research program titled PC-PEP (Prostate Cancer Patient Empowerment Program) became standard of care in Nova Scotia for prostate cancer patients.

  • Patient of Dr. Robert Abraham, Bill Revels, in Global Heroes Magazine
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    Liver cancer survivor, Bill Revels, a patient of the DMRF fall Molly Appeal campaign along with lead investigator, Dr. Robert Abraham, were showcased in Global Heroes Magazine discussing how a tiny piece of glass treated his cancer. Biomaterials research was the recipient of funds raised by the fall Molly in 2021.


Your First Gift to DMRF

THANK YOU FOR BECOMING A DMRF DONOR.

This year, hundreds of people became first-time donors to DMRF, and we are grateful. Here is a small sample of the many of you who raised your hands to join the thousands of DMRF donors who care deeply about advancing health research outcomes.

Names

"The reason our team chose to give through DMRF is because the money goes directly to breast cancer research. Together, we believe that research is the most important thing we can support. DMRF has also shown itself to be very transparent on where the donated funds go.”

Names 1

“I was happy to support the Foundation when it came to my attention through my dear friend’s birthday fundraiser. In a world ever more challenging to navigate, I applaud the continued transformation of human health through research and am happy to be even a small part of that.”

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“We decided to support health research through Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation because we’ve both seen the impact that illness can have on ourselves and our loved ones. We believe that health research can change and improve these outcomes and we’re very proud that such incredible research is being done right here, in our own province!"

Names 2

“Bayer is proud to become a first-time donor to DMRF and to support programs that advance the care of patients living with prostate cancer.”

Names 3

“My parents always taught us to give back and help others when we can, so donating to Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation is a special way to honour them and the loving lessons they bestowed on us. We sadly had to say goodbye to my parents too early in life because of cancer. Research brings hope, creativity, and possibility to something associated with so much loss. Supporting local research is how we change the narrative on cancer diagnoses and help find the good inside this devastating disease.”

How a Donor Story Begins

Donors like you can impact a lifetime of health research outcomes

MEET JAMES & DOROTHY MACCONNELL

DMRF is grateful to James and Dorothy MacConnell of New Glasgow, Pictou County, who have generously supported health research at Dalhousie University through the DMRF Molly Appeal, for several decades. Additionally, James joined the DMRF board in 1986 and is a director emeritus still today.


READ THE FULL STORY HERE

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Video interview with DMRF donors, James & Dorothy MacConnell

Molly Appeal Logo

During fiscal year 2021/22, DMRF donors contributed more than $470,000 to local health research through our Molly Appeal campaign; one of our biggest Molly years yet!

For over 40 years, the DMRF Molly Appeal campaign has been a staple in our community, raising millions of dollars to support health research at Dalhousie University. Molly Moore, the real-life person behind this appeal, was a woman of modest means who gave five dollars to support DMRF in our founding year. Today you, our donors, are as inspired by Molly’s spirit of giving as you ever were, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to health research annually! 

We thank you.

Since 1980, the DMRF Molly Appeal has raised over $6,000,000 for health research at Dalhousie University!

  • SPRING MOLLY 2021
    Research in Children’s Pain
    Christine Chambers 1
    “For years, DMRF donors have helped to support my work, so I was honoured to participate in the spring Molly Appeal. The messaging is loud and clear: people care deeply about finding effective ways to manage children’s pain. Thanks to your support as donors, we are taking our findings even further. From all of us at the SKIP Network, thank you!”

    Dr. Christine Chambers

    Professor, Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience, and Pediatrics, Dalhousie University, Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Children's Pain, Scientific Director--SKIP

    READ THE FULL STORY HERE

  • FALL MOLLY 2021
    Biomaterials Research
    Daniel Boyd
    “I want to send a special thank you to all the DMRF Molly Appeal donors. Your generosity will help support the creation of a biomaterials innovation lab that will be a game-changer for our region when it comes to ground-breaking health research outcomes. We all deserve good health and I promise to work hard to make this a greater reality for each of us”.

    Dr. Daniel Boyd 

    Associate Professor, Department of Applied Oral Sciences, School of Biomedical Engineering, Dalhousie University

    READ THE FULL STORY HERE

    WATCH DR. BOYD'S INTERVIEW

SPRING MOLLY 2022

Research in Adolescent Mental Health

“Imagine a young person, desperate for connection and help for their anxiety or depression, yet they don’t have access to high-speed internet, or they don’t have a private space in their homes in which to speak openly with a health care provider; those are the instances where we’re seeing significant gaps in the effectiveness of virtual care. Conversely, perhaps it’s not possible for a child or youth to meet in person, either logistically or because their comfort levels won’t yet allow for that face-to-face connection. The development and testing of this evidence-based tool will allow us to efficiently and effectively determine the path to follow when offering mental health avenues for young people. I think we can all agree that time is of the essence when treating child and youth mental health concerns.”

Dr. Leslie Anne Campbell

Dalhousie University researcher and the Sobey Family Chair in Child & Adolescent Mental Health Outcomes

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

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Keegan

Outstanding Achievements

  • DR. KENNETH ROCKWOOD WINS THE GLOBALLY ACCLAIMED RYMAN PRIZE
    Ken

    Since 2001, DMRF donors have contributed $2.2 million to Dr. Rockwood’s globally recognized work in frailty and aging.

    Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, the DMRF Kathryn Allen Weldon Endowed Chair in Alzheimer’s Research, won the globally acclaimed Ryman Prize in November 2021. This award recognizes Dr. Rockwood’s more than 30 years of research, collaboration, and practical clinical work for older adults living with frailty and dementia, and his dedication to battle ageism in healthcare. Dr. Rockwood’s win was announced by the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister.

    The Ryman Prize is an annual $250,000 international award for the best work carried out anywhere in the world that has enhanced quality of life for older people. It is the richest prize of its kind in the world. The prize has been awarded seven times and the winner is normally presented with the medal in person – but the COVID-19 pandemic meant Dr. Rockwood could not be present in New Zealand to collect his prize and medal. Instead, a ceremony was held locally, in Halifax, where Dr. Rockwood was streamed live to New Zealand.

  • DR. RUDOLF UHER CONTRIBUTES TO A WORLD-WIDE STUDY TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WITH DEPRESSION
    Rudolf

    Since 2015, DMRF donors have come together to contribute close to $1 million to Dr. Uher’s ground-breaking work in mental health.

    Canadian Research Chair in Early Intervention in Psychiatry, Dr. Rudolf Uher, was the only Canadian commissioner to contribute to a Lancet-World Psychiatric Association Commission on depression. This study, entitled Time for United Action on Depression, was released worldwide mid-February 2021. The Lancet is a family of medical journals that are among the world's oldest and best known. The Commission recommended a whole-of-society response to reduce the global burden of depression; discussed how depression can be prevented and treated if we move beyond a one-size-fits-all approach; and recognized depression as a central yet neglected global health problem.

    Hailing from the Czech Republic, Dr. Uher now proudly calls Nova Scotia home and is a researcher and professor at Dalhousie University, and a practicing psychiatrist, who treats people living with depression and bipolar disorder at the Mood Disorders Clinic.

  • DMRF SOILLSE SCIENTIST IN PROSTATE CANCER QUALITY OF LIFE RESEARCH—DR. GABRIELA IILE—MAKES PATIENT EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM FOR PROSTATE CANCER, STANDARD OF CARE
    Gabriela

    Since 2016, DMRF donors have contributed $1.78 million to Dr. Ilie’s trailblazing work in prostate cancer standard of care.

    Dr. Gabriela Ilie has spent the past six years evolving the PC-PEP (an acronym for Prostate Cancer Patient Empowerment Program) to what it is today: a patient education and empowerment program aimed at improving the lives of men living with prostate cancer. The program is part of a six-month, in-home, comprehensive health-promotion program that is the first of its kind in Canada. After years of validating research, as of January 2022, PC-PEP was rolled out to prostate cancer patients across Atlantic Canada.

    The long-term goal is for this program to expand throughout the rest of the country. Additionally, Dr. Ilie and her team are creating patient empowerment programs for other forms of cancer including breast, lung, colorectal, and more. Negotiations to expand PC-PEP outside of Canada are already underway. Dr. Ilie’s research has been a direct result of generous donors, and as such, the PC-PEP has now opened to Phase 4 trials and is welcoming newly diagnosed patients with local and metastatic forms of prostate cancer.

  • DR. MATTHEW NUMER BECOMES THE FIRST DMRF BREAKING BARRIERS GRANT RECIPIENT
    Matthew

    Thanks to DMRF donor support, this exciting new research area will be supported via a $50,000 inaugural grant.

    In July of 2021, DMRF launched the Breaking Barriers Grant, which provides one local health researcher with $50,000 over two years, to find ways to address and overcome the health disparities faced by 2SLGBTQ+ communities in Nova Scotia. The inaugural recipient, Dr. Matthew Numer, is a professor and head of the division of health promotion in the School of Health and Human Performance and cross-appointed to the Gender and Women’s Studies program. His research is interdisciplinary in nature and addresses public policy concerns (both social and health policy) through solutions-based outcomes.

    Dr. Numer's research topics include gay men's sexual health, Indigenous boy's and men's sexual health, educational research, intersection of gender and health, and social and health policy development. Dr. Numer is using this grant money to support a research project named Mental Health in the Digital Age: Promoting health and well-being among 2SLGBTQ+ people on dating apps.

  • DR. GAYNOR WATSON-CREED, DR. BARBARA-ANN HAMILTON-HINCH, AND DR. OMISOORE H. DRYDEN RECEIVED THE FIRST DMRF BLACK EQUITY HEALTH RESEARCH GRANT
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    Thanks to a generous estate gift, this critical new $500,000 grant became a reality

    In 2021, DMRF created the DMRF Black Equity Health Research Grant. This grant has been awarded to the Breast Cancer and Communities of African Descent in Atlantic Canada to provide funding that demonstrates the advancement of health research as it relates to fostering and developing knowledge, capacity, and programs that address the health disparities faced by Black people in Atlantic Canada.

    This grant supplements DMRF’S effort and commitment to focusing on diversity, equity, community representation, and disrupting racism and colonialism in all forms and will lead to improved and more inclusive healthcare for all. The co-principal investigators— founding members of the Black Health Education Collaborative, Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed, Dr. Barbara Hamilton-Hinch, and Dr. OmiSoore Dryden — are situated in both the Faculties of Health and Medicine at Dalhousie University. Combined, these researchers have decades of experience working within, and conducting research with, communities of African descent across the country, and specifically in the Atlantic region.

  • DR. ALLI MURUGESAN, THE “BIOHUNTRESS” RECEIVED A DMRF HEALTH RESEARCH EXCELLENCE GRANT
    Alli

    Thanks to DMRF donors, $100,000 will be dedicated to chemo-resistant myeloma and lymphoma.

    In February 2022, DMRF was excited to award a DMRF Health Research Excellence Grant to Dr. Alli Murugesan, the “BioHuntress”. Dr. Murugesan, is a Senior Scientist at the University of New Brunswick, and Adjunct Academic at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick, working in collaboration with Dr. Tony Reiman, Dr. Mohamed Touaibia (Universite de Moncton), and Dr. Babal Jha (Cleveland Clinic, USA).

    She has launched her biotech start-up “BioHuntress Therapeutics Inc”, a nature-inspired, scientifically validated, patent protected drug development platform that is commercializing its first product: a safe, targeted drug for chemotherapy resistant myeloma and lymphoma, developed from a bee glue-derived compound. Her collaborative research is at a crucial junction, having discovered the lead compound, and now transitioning toward the next phase of validation in an animal model, as well as exploring if this lead compound is effective in Lymphoma.

    Since relocating from India to Canada in 2006 as a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Victor Rafuse, at Dalhousie University, Dr. Murugesan relocated to Saint John, New Brunswick, to complete her second post-doctoral fellowship in oncology in 2010 alongside Dr. Tony Reiman, specializing in myeloma cancer research.

    Dr. Murugesan's entrepreneurial spirit sparked here, driving her to launch BioHuntress Therapeutics Inc. and receive the 2018 MITACS Global Impact Entrepreneur Award – an award which provided national recognition for her outstanding innovation in cancer research and entrepreneurship.

    The $100,000 research grant from DMRF will help Dr. Murugesan to achieve multiple milestones for her research, including supporting scaleup synthesis, mechanism of action, whole genome sequencing involving chemo-resistant myeloma and lymphoma, as well as animal validation with matching funds.

    The research will benefit, first and foremost, patients looking for novel treatments, as well as blood cancer patients (once validated). The lead compound could potentially steer towards bio-pharma partnerships allowing for a new option for a novel blood cancer treatment.

    As a Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute Training Committee Member, Dr. Murugesan would like to note the invaluable contribution of her own students, who assisted in building the foundation of this research, DMNB students Ms. Lauren Hogan, Katie Luiker, Elise Vaillancourt and others.


DMRF Financials & Funding Priorities

Thanks to you, our donors, DMRF has had its greatest granting year yet, paying out over $6.6 million to health research at Dalhousie University.

Financials

Health Research Areas of Impact

Funding Priorities
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  • Where DMRF stands in the health research landscape

    Advancing health research outcomes to positively impact whole human health is a vital aspect of the work DMRF conducts each day. Determining which health research areas require the most attention involves a comprehensive knowledge of the health issues impacting people both locally and abroad. Working from a lens of innovation and efficiency, DMRF strives to be proactive and responsive, addressing the many health issues we know to already exist, while also being prepared to nimby provide the best support when an unexpected situation arises.

  • How do we do this?

    For over 40 years, DMRF has worked collaboratively with Dalhousie’s health faculties, partnering health institutions, and donors, to fund the health research priorities that mean the most to the people of this community and beyond. DMRF is pleased to have alignment with Dalhousie University’s strategic pillars that focus on high-impact research, civic university with global impact, inclusive excellence, and exceptional student experience. In consultation with our key stakeholders, we created our own pillars of excellence, and we are investing for impact. We study the health issues of today. We meet with those working in the health industries. We ask our donors, “what matters most to you?”. Then we ask ourselves, “how can we make the most impact.”

  • A Broader Perspective

    The global health pandemic created by the novel corona virus COVID-19 revealed the significant cracks in our healthcare system, particularly when it comes to the fragility of human health, health research disparities related to race, ability, sex, sexuality, and socioeconomic status, and inequities regarding access to care. Such issues are being recognized worldwide and addressed at levels as high as the United Nations and the World Health Organization. DMRF is paying attention. We are coming to the table as a key player in the advancement of health research that will impact whole human health.


Researcher Profiles

JEANETTE

MEET DR. JEANETTE BOUDREAU

“Your health is my world because we already have the answer to cancer within us; I'm simply studying it and trying to figure out where the pieces fit.”

Dr. Jeanette Boudreau

Assistant Professor of immunology in the Departments of Pathology and Microbiology and Immunology, and the Cameron Cancer Scientist


READ THE FULL STORY HERE

SHASHI



MEET DR. SHASHI GUJAR

“Your health is my world because each day, I am thinking about ways to fight this devastating disease. I know, to truly beat cancer, we need to come together and work as a team. When we find solutions for your health, we are finding solutions for all of us. That's the power of us, together.”

Dr. Shashi Gujar

Executive Director the Cancer Immunotherapy, Innovation & Global Partnerships at Dalhousie University, Associate Professor, Departments of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, and Biology


READ THE FULL STORY HERE

CINDY



MEET DR. CINDY CALKIN

"Your health is my world because the sickest patients with bipolar disorder need my help. It is distressing to see people so ill for so long without any relief. I spend two days per week face to face with my patients and it both motivates and inspires me to discover new treatment options. I have made it my mission to pursue research to find better ways to treat the patients with the greatest burden of illness."

Dr. Cindy Calkin

Associate Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Medical Neuroscience, inaugural winner, DMRF Health Influencers award


READ THE FULL STORY HERE


DMRF Influencers for Health Research

Influencers

CONGRATULATIONS TO DR. CINDY CALKIN

The inaugural DMRF Health Research Influencer event awarded a $50,000 grant to Dr. Cindy Calkin, to support severe mental health research.

On Thursday, November 4th, Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation granted $50,000 at the very first Influencer Social held in the Peggy Corkum Music Room in Halifax. At the event, three local health researchers each had ten minutes to pitch their mental health research project to this exclusive group of donors. These researchers were part of a granting competition in which their work was reviewed by our Scientific Advisory Committee. The Influencers then voted on which research study would be granted the $50,000, which was an accumulation of $25,000 from their giving, and a $25,000 match by DMRF.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

"DMRF is committed to investing in research excellence, as are the donors that support this innovative work. We were proud to introduce the inaugural DMRF Influencers for Health Research Grant. This grant has been supported by a group of individuals across the Maritimes and beyond who care deeply about the impact of local health research. Each year, we will be supporting a research area voted on by this Influencer group.”

Joanne Bath, DMRF CEO

Influencers 1


Patient Perspective

You’ve learned about the outstanding research of Dr. Cindy Calkin—now you can read a success story from one of her patients.

MEET KELLIE WILLIAMS

“I would go on spending sprees and make irrational decisions. Then when I crashed, I would become extremely depressed and suicidal. It was a very hard time, not knowing from one day to the next how I was going to feel.”


READ KELLIE'S FULL STORY HERE

Katherine Truman

MEET MS. KATHERINE RISLEY & MR. TRUMAN MAILMAN

“We have a number of close friends and colleagues involved with DMRF. Through conversations, we found out about the great things going on and the opportunity to play a role in the advancement of DMRF’s health research projects. More importantly, we wanted to see how our donation was being put to use. Through the Influencers program, we can actively participate in the presentations and selection process, and we were able to have a direct say on which research project our funds would support. Meeting the candidates, hearing about their projects and subsequent benefits made it exciting for us. We’re looking forward to facility tours and learning more about the exciting research going on in Halifax!”

READ THE STORIES OF MORE DMRF INFLUENCERS HERE


Stay Connected

If you're interested in keeping up with the latest news in health research, we invite you to follow DMRF on social media! You can connect with us on the following channels: