The Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Proof of Principle program is designed to advance discoveries toward commercializable technologies, with a view to attracting new investment and creating new science-based businesses. In the latest round of funding, McGill researchers were successful in all of their applications, receiving five of the 12 “Phase 1” grants:
- David Burns (Department of Chemistry): $150,000 for exploring how ultrasound can be used for point-of-care analysis of concentration of substances in biological fluids.
- Robert F. Hess (McGill Vision Research Unit): $126,802 for developing new, non-invasive assessments and treatments of amblyopia (“lazy eye”) for adults and children.
- Nahum Sonenberg (Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Centre) and Masad Damha (Department of Chemistry): $150,000 for developing chemically modified molecules that will eliminate 4E-BP protein function, thus boosting immunity against influenza virus and HIV.
- Dr. Janusz Rak (Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre): $150,000 for using the presence of specific cancer-causing molecules in the blood to determine the severity of malignant tumour progression.
- Momar Ndao (RI-MUHC) and Brian Ward (Institute of Parasitology): $150,000 for bridging the gap between mass spectrometric profiling of Chagas disease and practical diagnostic tests.