Medical Device Daily Washington Editor

WASHINGTON – Federal health officials in Washington and Ottawa, Canada, are reaching across borders to collaborate on what could be a precedent of how research is conducted in the future.

A collaboration of research in three programs is being launched between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR; Ottawa, Ontario) and the National Insti­tutes of Health (NIH; Bethesda, Maryland). The programs, slated to begin in 2004, will address novel strategies to resuscitate heart attack and trauma patients; cellular and molecular imaging of heart, lung and blood systems; and management of thrombotic disorders such as heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

More specifically, research will be funneled through CIHR’s Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory He­al­th (ICRH) and NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Research will be conducted at multiple sites in Canada and the U.S. for several years, according to NIH.

Worldwide, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and contributes to more than 16.6 million – one-third – of all deaths, according to NHLBI. CVD is becoming increasingly prevalent in developing countries, and by the year 2010 is expected to kill more people in developing countries than infectious disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO; Geneva, Switzerland).

“This unique programmatic collaboration will bring together scientists who are international leaders in their fields to unravel the complexities of circulatory and respiratory illness. I am very hopeful that this is the first of many collaborative efforts between our two institutes,” said Bruce McManus, MD, scientific director at ICRH.

“We are also pleased to have the support of other Canadian partners in this collaboration like the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The latter partnerships are crucial for our success in advancing these North American programs,” he added.

“These first research initiatives reflect a cooperative spirit between our two countries, enabling us to create a synergy in our efforts to extend medical research, train new scientists, and translate research findings to practical applications,” said NHLBI director Claude Lenfant, MD.

NIH organizations providing support to the research collaborative are the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (resuscitation consortium) and the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (cellular and molecular imaging).

Together, NHLBI and ICRH are accepting grant requests for three research areas. Deadlines vary for each research area. The research areas include:

Clinical research consortium to improve resuscitation outcomes will establish a group of several regional centers where investigators, emergency medical personnel, and community leaders will work cooperatively to translate promising research into effective strategies to resuscitate patients who experience heart attacks or life-threatening trauma outside the hospital setting. The deadline for grant applications is Nov. 13, 2003. Letters of intent must be received at NIH by Oct. 16, 2003.

Cellular and molecular imaging of the cardiovascular, pulmonary and hematopoietic system will support the development of new cellular and molecular imaging technologies specific to cardiovascular, pulmonary and blood systems. Research could ultimately contribute to new non-invasive diagnostic tests and novel therapeutic approaches, including cell-based therapies for related diseases. The deadline for grant applications is Jan. 22, 2004. Letters of intent must be received at NIH by Dec. 22, 2003.

Inflammation and thrombosis will support research to study the relationship of inflammation and thrombosis in blood vessels and discover ways that improve current methods to prevent and control blood clots. Research could ultimately improve therapies for conditions such as heart attacks, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. The deadline for grant applications is Jan. 22, 2004. Letters of intent must be received at NIH by Dec. 22, 2003.