Gustavo Betini, a PhD student in the school of Public Health Science at the University of Waterloo, has spent the past year immersed in studying the mental health effects of COVID-19. His research has shown that, even though fear of contracting the virus is waning, almost a quarter of Canadians continue to report having high anxiety and depression related to the pandemic.
Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), the Canadian-led consortium of pharmaceutical companies, clinicians and academia, supports open-access drug discovery around the world. And it’s bringing hope to the 300 million people afflicted by rare diseases and a world ravaged by COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic sparked an urgent need for innovation in all aspects of our lives – and researchers rose to the challenge. From COVID-19 diagnostics and treatments to changes in how we work and receive healthcare, the pandemic has fast-tracked innovation across sectors.
High-potential researchers and businesses around the world did a pandemic pivot, shifting their work and resources to respond to the world’s pressing need for solutions. In Canada, Seyyedarash (Arash) Haddadi’s story is a standout example of innovation partnerships helping to counter the COVID-19 threat.
Many of Canada’s most pressing public health issues are complex and significantly affected by factors such as gender and sexism, systemic racism, economic inequality, and other social determinants. African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) communities have long been unfairly affected by health inequity due to historic racism and on-going disparities built into governmental, financial, and educational institutions.
Sofia Addab, Jean-Gabriel Lacombe, and Georgia Powell are master’s students in the Department of Experimental Surgery at McGill University in Montréal. During a shared internship shadowing medical staff in the emergency room at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, the trio quickly identified that the time-consuming practice of calculating correct doses of IV medication by hand was leading to potential mistakes and disrupting workflow at critical points during the intake of trauma cases in the hospital’s emergency room, posing serious safety risks to children.
Dr. Moneca Sinclaire is a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation bordering the Saskatchewan River in Northern Manitoba. Having recently completed a postdoctorate under Professor Stephane McLachlan in the department of Environment and Geography at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Dr. Sinclaire has been an integral member of the team responsible for Our Data Indigenous, a one-of-a-kind mobile app that collects important survey data that Indigenous communities can use to address health and wellness concerns.
Negin Ashouri is on a mission to elevate women’s quality of life, one medical device at a time. Through her business FemTherapeutics, she created an innovative, made-to-measure, biodegradable, and disposable intravaginal prosthetic called a pessary to help women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse (POP).
For Toronto-based Dose Biosystems, a focus on researching and developing the next generation of probiotics brings a hiring challenge: finding and onboarding highly specialized talent. Coming directly from doctoral programs, new employees encounter an unfamiliar environment that requires new skills and different ways of working.
Quebec entrepreneur and former Mitacs intern Azadeh Dastmalchi developed a medical-grade smartwatch after struggling to find a device that could help her father monitor his hypertension. Now, in addition to targeting the one in three adults suffering from high blood pressure in North America, her company VitalTracer is pivoting its solution to assist with early detection and monitoring of COVID-19 symptoms.
Who could have foreseen that humanitarian activities during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti would, 10 years later, guide the way for researchers, entrepreneurs and Mitacs interns during the COVID-19 crisis?
During his deployment at a Red Cross field hospital after the earthquake, Dr. Abdo Shabah saw the potential for greater use of technology in emergency health interventions.