June 18, 2009 12:27 ET

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Receives $737,246 in CFI Funding

Award Will Build World’s First Breast Cancer Research Biomatrix

Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Science Editor TORONTO, ONTARION, MEDIA ADVISORY--(Marketwire - June 18, 2009) - Today, Dr. Barry McLellan, President and CEO of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, welcomed the Canada Foundation for Innovation's (CFI) investment of $737,246 to support the world's first Integrated Breast Cancer Research Biomatrix, led by Dr. Martin Yaffe, senior scientist in imaging at Sunnybrook.

"The CFI's support of cutting-edge research infrastructure has transformed Canada's research landscape and increased the country's international competitiveness," said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO of the CFI. "Investments like these have allowed Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre to become a destination of choice for some of the world's top research talent."

The Integrated Breast Cancer Research Biomatrix is a world's first. It will create a vast data warehouse to integrate imaging, pathological, molecular and clinical data from breast cancer patients on a scale never before done. It will bring together basic and clinical scientists from many disciplines, including cancer biology and pathology, imaging, and clinical trials and epidemiology, to work on projects dedicated to transforming cancer care. The Biomatrix will significantly advance research into breast cancer prevention, early detection and diagnosis, and will enable new, individualized treatments for breast cancer to be developed and tested.

"Sunnybrook's scientists and clinical staff are on the leading edge of breast cancer research and with the help of this grant, we will continue to improve the lives of women by offering earlier detection of this dreaded disease and treatments that are tailored to each patient," said Dr. McLellan. "On behalf of our staff and the 10,000 new cancer patients we care for each year, I would like to thank the federal government and the Canada Foundation for Innovation for their generous support of this important work."

Funding for this project is part of a major $666,128,376 investment announced today by the CFI to support 133 projects at 41 institutions across the country. $247,664,977 was awarded under the Leading Edge Fund (LEF), designed to enable institutions to build on and enhance already successful and productive initiatives supported by past CFI investment. Another $264,741,466 million was awarded under the New Initiatives Fund (NIF), designed to enhance Canada's capacity in promising new areas of research and technology development. Finally, $153,721,933 was awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, which assists institutions with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.

"Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre continues to be a top primary care health facility, teaching hospital and world-class centre for medical research," said Rob Oliphant, Member of Parliament for Don Valley West. "The Canada Foundation for Innovation has recognised this with its support of Sunnybrook's new integrated data resource, which will help combat breast cancer to more effectively treat breast cancer patients. The funding of such research infrastructure continues to build Canadian capacity to improve the lives of men and women in Canada and around the world."

A complete list of projects funded today by the CFI can be found at:

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians.

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