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OVC Health Research Projects Awarded Federal Funding

Researchers at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) have received more than $1.8 million in new federal funding for health research projects.

Research led by Profs. Jibran Khokhar, Thomas Koch, and Glen Pyle, all in OVC’s Department of Biomedical Sciences, are among six U of G research projects recently receiving project grants provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

In addition, researchers in the College of Biological Science, the Ontario Agricultural College and the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences will receive support.

Ontario Veterinary College professor Jibran KhokharProf. Jibran Khokhar
Alcohol use disorder occurs commonly in patients with schizophrenia and dramatically worsens the overall course of this severe psychiatric disorder. Few treatment options are available to limit alcohol use among these patients. Using rat models, Khokhar will study neurobiological mechanisms underlying alcohol use disorder in patients with schizophrenia to help develop novel treatments. He will look at dysfunctions in the brain’s reward circuitry (using MRI based methods akin to those used in patients) to see whether manipulation of this circuit can change alcohol use in these animals.

Ontario Veterinary College professor Thomas KochProf. Thomas Koch
Ten per cent of Canadian adults suffer from joint cartilage damage and osteoarthritis (OA), causing more than $33 billion a year in economic losses and untold suffering for affected individuals and their families. Current treatment uses joint cartilage chips, but this method is hampered by limited donor material, risk of disease transmission and other factors. This three-year, proof-of-principle project will study cartilage made from stem cells. This therapy would provide a safe, efficacious, cost-effective and technically simple treatment for the disorder and also enable the Canadian biotechnology sector to bank and distribute frozen cartilage tissue worldwide.

Ontario Veterinary College professor Glen PyleProf. Glen Pyle
Heart failure afflicts 350,000 Canadians and contributes to 10 per cent of deaths in Canada. Despite significant research and treatment advances, heart failure morbidity and mortality are expected to triple by 2050. Among the most common causes of heart failure is ischemic heart disease, which is increasing worldwide. This project will test compounds designed in Pyle’s lab to target a particular muscle protein involved in heart failure. The team aims to protect against injury associated with heart attacks and heart failure.

Read the entire news release on the University of Guelph website.