Researchers at Western University and the Lawson Health Research Institute have secured millions in grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The inaugural grants are for innovative, high-impact medical research that vary in focus from treatment of cancer, osteoarthritis and cardiovascular disease to image-guided, minimally invasive surgery.

Four researchers from Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and the Robarts Research Institute received $9.9 million in research grants, including:

  • Frank Beier who received more than $3 million for his research into the molecular pathways behind osteoarthritis
  • Dr. Robert Hegele and Jacob J. Wolfe who received more than $2.3 million for research into understanding the genomic factors behind cardiovascular disease, strokes and diabetes
  • Terry Peters, who received more than $2.2 million for research to develop a program for image-guided, minimally invasive surgery and therapy
  • Dr. J. Geoffrey Pickering, who received more than $2.1 million to investigate the mechanisms related to vascular aging, repair and regeneration

An additional 19 researchers received grants totalling more than $13.6 million. A full list is available at

Among those were several cancer researchers at the Lawson Health Research Institute who combined received $1.8 million in support of their innovative work, including:

  • Dr. Samuel Asfaha, who has received $712,790 to study the effects of colitis on the development of colon cancer
  • Dr. Joseph Mymryk and co-applicant Dr. Anthony Nichols, who have received $573,250 to research the mechanisms involved in human papillomavirus (HPV) related cancers
  • Dr. Anthony Nichols, who has received $515,090 for his research on head and neck cancer

The CIHR received more than 1,600 applications, with only 150 being successful in receiving funding.

Lawson calls this success "proof of London's strength in providing cancer care and conducting innovative cancer research."

Nichols says, "As a clinician I see these unfortuante patients suffering with this disease and we just have to do better. And this is really the only way - to get these research dollars to find better treatments."