Four new pediatric studies, led by teams in the Faculty of Health Sciences and from research centres across Canada, have cumulatively been awarded $5 million by the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) over the next five years.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, two projects will examine its impact on Canadian Children. Professor of pediatrics, Karen Choong, with colleagues from the School of Rehabilitation Science and researchers from institutions across the country, will explore questions about critically ill patients with Covid-19. The study aims to understand the long term effects, quality of life, and the role of rehabilitation to improve health outcomes.

Professor of pediatrics and psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences, Harriet MacMillan, will co-lead a team to examine the extent to which families facing adverse socio-economic conditions and health challenges have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. 

Two additional projects will examine cardiovascular health among South Asian children in Canada. Associate professor of pediatrics, Rahul Chanchlani, will lead a study to develop new measurement standards to assess high blood pressure in this population. The research will also consider the effect of lifestyle factors like physical activity and sleep. 

Associate professor of pediatrics, Gita Wahi, who is a co-investigator on Chanchlani's project, will work with members of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Hamilton Health Sciences' Population Health Research Institute on a follow-up study of South Asian mothers and children. The study aims to better understand how conditions such as diabetes and heart disease begin and how to prevent them.

"It's wonderful to see the success of child health researchers in our department and throughout our university being recognized for their excellent work," said Katherine Morrison, associate chair of research in the Department of Pediatrics and a co-investigator in two of the studies. 

As news of the funding travelled across the department, project teams were showered with messages of congratulations and support. 

Reflecting on the success and the number of project leaders and co-investigators in the Department of Pediatrics, professor emeritus, Jay Shah, wrote, "A proud achievement by a diverse, young, and upcoming faculty along with senior mentors and associates is laudable."

Research grants will be funded over the next three to five years. Details of the projects and team members are available on the CIHR website:

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