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Archived - Government of Canada supports world-class research on antimicrobial resistance

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Canadian researchers to work with international collaborators to find innovative ways to prevent and treat drug-resistant bacterial infections

April 13, 2015 – Vancouver, BC – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Cathy McLeod, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, today announced, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, funding for research that will help ensure Canadian doctors have the tools they need to treat bacterial infections now and in the future.

The Government of Canada is investing $4 million to support researchers at the University of British Columbia, McMaster University and Université Laval. These Canadian researchers will work with international partners on six projects that focus on identifying new targets for antimicrobial drug development, new approaches to treating drug-resistant bacterial infections, and methods for preserving the effectiveness of existing antibiotics.

For example, Dr. Natalie Strynadka, a researcher at UBC and the Canada Research Chair in Antibiotic Discovery and Medicine, will contribute to two projects, including one that aims to find new molecules to prevent the inactivation of beta-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin.

The Government of Canada’s investment in these research projects is being made through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).The projects were funded as part of the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance, an international consortium involving Canada and 18 other member countries.

Quick Facts

  • Antimicrobial resistance develops when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change so that the medicines, such as antibiotics, used to treat these germs become less effective and sometimes do not work at all. While antimicrobial resistance can happen naturally, a major contributor is the overuse and misuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines.
  • The Government of Canada released its Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada: A Federal Framework for Action on October 24, 2014.
  • The Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use, released on March 31, 2015, builds on the Framework by identifying concrete steps that will be undertaken by the Government of Canada in the areas of stewardship, surveillance, and innovation.
  • The Government of Canada is a major supporter of research related to antimicrobial resistance, investing more than $143 million through CIHR since 2006.
  • Through CIHR, Canada is a member of the international Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance. CIHR is investing $4 million to support six projects involving Canadian researchers under this initiative.


“Innovation is one of the key components of our Government's framework for addressing the global health issue of antimicrobial resistance. Today's announcement shows how Canadian researchers are contributing at the international level. Their work will benefit Canadians and people around the world.”

– Cathy McLeod, M.P.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

“Canadian researchers are at the leading edge of the science of antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic drug development. ‎CIHR is proud to support their work and their participation in international collaborations focused on producing innovative solutions to this global challenge.”

– Dr. Marc Ouellette
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity

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