A group of 21 senior researchers from St. Boniface Hospital spent
several days at BGU's Faculty of Health Sciences last month to kick off the Research
Without Borders project. The group, headed by Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive
Director for Research at St. Boniface, was accompanied by Charles (Chuck)LaFlèche, President & CEO of the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, Larry
Vicker, a board member of the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation and his wife
Tova who are also longtime supporters of BGU, and Mark Mendelson, CEO, Canadian Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (CABGU).
The visit was intended to encourage connections between researchers
from BGU and St. Boniface and to identify possible research collaborations.
Each Canadian researcher “speed-dated” with BGU researchers to find a suitable
research partner. The Canadians stayed put while every 30 minutes the BGU
researcher changed places.
Twenty eight BGU researchers took part, mostly from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Soroka University Medical Center, but also from other BGU
Late last year, President Prof. Rivka Carmi visited Canada during
which Research Without Borders, a partnership and research collaboration
between Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and St. Boniface Hospital was signed.
Prof. Carmi appointed Prof. Yoram Etzion, a cardiologist and member of the
Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, as BGU's representative.
Prof. Amos Katz, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences commented, The
meetings over two intensive and complex days were excellent and very beneficial
and showcase the creativity and out-of-the-box thinking i to promote and
encourage research, the exchange of ideas and the forging of international
connections. I am convinced that this is just the beginning of fruitful
collaborations with our colleagues from St. Boniface, which will enhance
bio-medical research at the University.”
The researchers were
excited about the new contacts they had made and the new research they would undertake.
Two million Canadian dollars have been raised so far for the
researchers by CABGU’s Winnipeg office, spearheaded by Mark Mendelson and St.
Boniface Hospital. They hope to eventually raise 5 million Canadian dollars.
So far, grants have been authorized for five research projects, with
the hope of reaching 10 such projects. Each project has been allocated 300,000
Canadian dollars for a period of two years. The projects were chosen by an
external panel consisting of five researchers from Israel and another five from
Founded in 1871, St. Boniface Hospital is the largest in Western
Canada. It has 600 beds, a budget in excess of C$300 million and 4,000
employees. It has the first fee-standing Research Centre in Western
Canada. The Albrechtsen Research Centre (“ARC”) has close to 250
employees with a focus on cardiac research, neuro-degenerative disorders and
nutraceuticals. The Hospital is affiliated to the University of Manitoba,
the largest university in Western Canada, with 25,000 students.