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BC Cancer researchers and clinicians receive Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research awards to advance projects in knowledge translation

MSFHR's Reach and Convening and Collaboration (C2) awards are designed to facilitate the uptake of health research evidence to inform and/or improve further research, practice and policy-making and be more relevant to users.
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At BC Cancer, knowledge translation is about more than simply using lay language to present research findings in popular, engaging and creative formats to reach and engage a large audience. It’s about creating pathways from evidence to impact to ensure that cutting-edge health research can directly improve the health of British Columbians and B.C.’s health system.

Two awards from the Michael Smith Foundation (MSFHR) for Heath Research will help BC Cancer clinicians and researchers to do just that. 

Reach award

Dr. Janessa Laskin, medical oncologist and clinical researcher at BC Cancer, and Dr. Marco Marra, director of Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (GSC) at BC Cancer, have received an MSFHR Reach award to support their project, titled “Creative Knowledge Translation to Support BCC's Personalized OncoGenomics Program”. The funding from this project will enable them to share research evidence with people who can directly benefit from it including clinicians, youth, patient partners, and trainees. They will work with fellow GSC colleagues to develop an educational video, providing patients and the public with accurate and accessible information about genome sequencing as part of cancer care and research.

The Personalized OncoGenomics (POG) program at BC Cancer is a clinical research initiative that embeds genomic sequencing into the diagnostic and treatment planning for patients with incurable cancers. 

Convening and Collaboration (C2) award

The C2 program by MSFHR helps make research happen by supporting researchers, health system stakeholders, trainees, and those with lived experience to co-develop research that can have a direct impact on patients and the public. Co-developing research in this way ensures the research is relevant and can increase the likelihood of leveraging the award into additional funding from national and international sources. 

Together with her team, Dr. Leah Lambert, executive director and senior scientist, Nursing and Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation will be working with Dr. Michael McKenzie and UBC nursing professor Dr. Sally Thorne on the project “Planning To Enhance Capacity For Equity-Oriented Cancer Care In BC.” This project is about bringing together researchers, healthcare providers, leaders in health policy and service delivery, knowledge users and patient and family partners to discuss health and healthcare equity as it relates to cancer care. This work is about applying a health equity lens to issues of access to cancer care and generating ideas for strategies that can foster more equitable, responsive and respectful cancer services for vulnerable and marginalized populations. Drs. Lambert and McKenzie will facilitate virtual meetings with community partners, academic experts, health system leaders and front-line providers to identify key barriers for these populations and develop a research proposal to investigate recommendations and solutions for promoting equity in care and improving disparities in cancer outcomes in B.C.

Dr. Sonya Cressman, a health economist at BC Cancer, and Dr. Renelle Myers, a clinician scientist with BC Cancer, in partnership with research and academic partners across B.C. received a c2 award for their project, “AIRWISE—A risk communication strategy for the prevention and early detection of respiratory illness” which aims to expand the reach of prevention and early detection programs for respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer through enhanced communication specifically for at-risk populations. The host institution for this study is Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the research location will be Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI). 

Dr. Kristin Campbell, affiliate scientist at BC Cancer Research Institute, and Dr. Alan Bates, provincial practice leader for Psychiatry and acting medical director for Supportive Cancer Care at BC Cancer, in partnership with academic and research partners across B.C. received a C2 award for the project, “Building a collaborative research agenda for virtual exercise and nutrition supportive cancer care in BC” which will work to meet the evolving health needs, especially for British Columbians who live in rural and remote locations. Coupled with the evolving needs of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers will further develop tools to effectively shift into virtual models of care. The host institution and research location for this work is UBC. 

Congratulations to all BC Cancer’s Reach and C2 award recipients on their team efforts to provide knowledge translation on a variety of important cancer research initiatives. 

For more information on the projects or awards, visit the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research website.

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