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October 07, 2007— Ottawa, Ontario

New approaches, new partnerships for health

The federal S&T strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, points to the need to create a Canadian "knowledge advantage" in areas of national interest. Health and wellness are a clear national priority – and health-related sciences and technologies are fields in which NRC excels.

NRC stands among several high-calibre research organizations and networks working to reduce the incidence and impact of diseases that are taking their toll on Canadians.

In collaboration with partner organizations, our scientists and engineers conduct innovative research and develop impressive technologies to quickly and accurately diagnose disease. Their work also benefits Canadians by minimizing the effects of other health risks and medical conditions, including age-related and infectious diseases; neurological, immunity and obesity-related disorders; indoor environment hazards; and chronic diseases such as cancers. 

NRC researchers are developing technologies to detect viruses, bacteria and toxins; immunotherapies and vaccine technologies; and certified measurement standards for supplements or health products.

Through our technology cluster initiatives, NRC and community partners in Charlottetown, Fredericton, Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Saskatoon are teaming up to achieve health advantages through nutrisciences, information technology, life sciences, photonics, biomedical technologies and plant biotechnology. Together they are making great strides. For example, they are identifying land- and marine-based bioactive compounds to treat a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, and making groundbreaking agricultural biotechnology products. They are also developing medical devices to better diagnose cardiovascular disease, and applying bioinformatics to detect prostate cancer.

Within these technology clusters, NRC researchers collaborate with industry, universities, hospitals, other R&D organizations, various levels of government, and granting councils. But our researchers also work alongside their private and public sector colleagues to contribute to other established networks like Montréal's biopharmaceutical cluster. There, NRC performs leading-edge research serving the pharmaceutical and environmental industries, focusing on new strategies for treating diseases, and on preventing and cleaning up pollution.

Going beyond traditional collaborative approaches, this summer NRC struck an alliance with the research institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). MUHC laboratories have been moved into the NRC Biotechnology Research Institute in Montréal where researchers from both organizations will collaborate on joint health projects.

MUHC researchers will benefit from NRC's ultramodern facilities and expertise in health biotechnologies, technology transfer and intellectual property management, as well as greater interaction with pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies.

In turn, our researchers will be able to work closely with researchers from one of Canada's largest university hospital centres, benefiting from new synergies with MUHC's experts in clinical research, health care and biomedical research. This McGill relationship signals a new partnership approach as a university-based research institute moves into a federal facility to work more closely with NRC.

By combining the strengths of NRC and MUHC, we are making the most of the resources and expertise available in both organizations. For Canadians, it will mean new medical technologies and new solutions that will benefit patients directly.

Enquiries: Media relations
National Research Council of Canada

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