IWK Health Centre

IWK Health Centre
National Research Council Canada-NRC

National Research Council Canada-NRC

January 14, 2008 10:00 ET

Partnership in Action: The Government of Canada and the IWK Health Centre Open New Biomedical MRI Research Lab

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 14, 2008) - The IWK Health Centre, in conjunction with the National Research Council Canada (NRC), today officially opened the Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research Laboratory (BMRL). Research at the laboratory will improve the health of Canadians by focusing on pediatric and adult diseases such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's.

"The government's support of the Biomedical MRI Research Laboratory will result in a 'brain gain' in Atlantic Canada," noted the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for NRC. "This new research facility supports research excellence as emphasized in our Science and Technology Strategy and reinforced in the Speech from the Throne. The research and innovation that this lab will generate will contribute to future economic growth and improved quality of life for Canadians."

Designed to function as a multi-user lab, the BMRL will attract a significant number of researchers. In addition to two NRC research institutes and the IWK, the Capital District Health Authority and Dalhousie University will be active partners in the lab.

"The Biomedical MRI Research Lab is unique in that it is one of the few in the country to be housed within a hospital, with researchers working with clinicians to make advancements in a number of diseases, including neurological conditions, cancer, arthritis and heart disease," said Dr. Patrick McGrath, Vice President, Research, IWK Health Centre.

Life sciences firms located in Atlantic Canada will benefit from the equipment and world-leading health-focused research and development that will take place in the BMRL. Researchers will be able to use cellular and molecular imaging to facilitate drug discovery and new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods to evaluate drug development and delivery. In addition, the BMRL will be a focal point for commercialization. The lab will actively pursue industrial collaborations with target technology transfer opportunities in partnership with local companies, universities and hospitals.

NRC President Dr. Pierre Coulombe noted that NRC's technology cluster initiatives are an effective vehicle for building partnerships with health organizations, academia and industry to address priority health and economic issues. "At the Biomedical MRI Research Lab, scientists will come together to undertake cutting-edge research, working closely with industry to ensure that opportunities for economic benefits are maximized, not only for this community, but for the whole country."

The Government of Canada's total investment in the lab is $5 million. NRC's contribution for equipment and research staff totals $4 million, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation contributed $1 million. The IWK Health Centre and the Province of Nova Scotia financed the newly constructed Dr. Richard B. Goldbloom Research and Clinical Care Pavilion, where the lab is located. Principal investigators who initiated the project are Dr. Ryan D'Arcy (NRC) and Dr. Donald Weaver (Dalhousie University).

The IWK Health Centre provides quality care to women, children, youth and families in the Maritimes and beyond. In addition to providing highly specialized (tertiary) care, the IWK also provides primary care services. The IWK is engaged in leading-edge research, works to promote healthy lifestyles for families, and supports education opportunities for health professionals and other learners.

Recognized globally for research and innovation, Canada's National Research Council is a leader in developing an innovative, knowledge-based economy for Canada through science and technology.

Contact Information

  • IWK Public Relations
    Kelly Morrisey
    National Research Council Institute for Biodiagnostics
    Valerie McPherson
    Office of the Honourable Jim Prentice
    Minister of Industry
    Deirdra McCracken
    Press Secretary