WCHRI receives $5-M to further a children’s health program

Thanks to a $5-million investment, the Distinguished Researchers child health research program will run at the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI) in Edmonton, Alberta.

The principle of the program will be that through research, the funding will address difficulties facing children and youth as they work through health challenges.

The primary funder was the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, with support from the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services’ Stollery Children’s Hospital.

“The Distinguished Researchers program is about inspiring people to see what’s possible,” says Mike House, president and CEO of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. “We’re really lucky to have in Edmonton some of the best researchers for pediatric care anywhere, and this team is elevating that care right in our own backyard and across the globe. What excites us is the knowledge that we can transform children’s health together.”

Andrew Mackie, an associate professor of pediatric cardiology at the University of Alberta, a cardiologist at the Stollery Children’s Hospital and a member of the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI) was named as one of the seven distinguished researchers to pursue initiatives and improve pediatric health in Alberta and around the world.

With the new funding, he aims to find solutions that help more young people and to expand the reach of his work to include children with developmental delays, Indigenous and immigrant youth, and adolescents with multiple chronic conditions.

The seven scientists, who have been named distinguished researchers within the Stollery Science Lab, will also act as ambassadors of children’s health research in the community.

“It’s an exciting day when you get to launch a new program that supports researchers taking that next big step in children’s health research,” says Sandra Davidge, executive director of WCHRI. “This is all thanks to the generous donors to the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, who understand the importance of research and its ongoing impact on children’s health in Alberta and across the globe.”

Through research, this funding will help address complications that face children and youth as they work through their health challenges in a unique environment.

The 2018 Stollery Science Lab Distinguished Researchers are:

  • Todd Alexanderis working to better understand and develop personalized drug therapies for children with rare kidney diseases.
  • Lisa Hartling and Shannon Scott are building decision-making tools that equip families with enough information to make the best decisions possible for their children and their families.
  • Michael Hawkesis developing solar-powered oxygen delivery systems to improve outcomes for childhood infections around the world—especially in high-burden, low-income settings like Africa.
  • Andrew Mackieis helping kids with complex needs transition to adult care—improving patient safety, survival and outcomes.
  • Kate Storeyis leading a peer-led mentorship program that will empower Indigenous teens and improve their health and wellness.
  • Lonnie Zwaigenbaumis developing early intervention strategies to screen infants for autism. This will lead to targeted therapies for children who have autism.


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