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IMHA hosts inaugural networking meeting.

Building lasting research relationships

IMHA hosts inaugural networking meeting

February 24, 2015 — 

The CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) is working to get researchers talking to each other to build capacity and stimulate innovation and knowledge translation in the research community.  On February 12 and 13, together with the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity, IMHA co-hosted an inaugural Inflammation in Chronic Disease networking meeting in Winnipeg. Meeting participants hailed from across Canada and included representatives of the CIHR’s Inflammation in Chronic Disease Signature Initiative research projects, which projects consist of nine Health Challenges in Chronic Inflammation Initiative Team Grants, the Canadian National Transplant Research Program, and the Canadian Microbiome Initiative. Noted guests included patient, charity, and industry representatives.

Meeting highlights included a Keynote Address from Gairdner Award-winning Oxford University-based researcher Sir Marc Feldmann, and presentations by each of the teams summarising their work thus far. Breakout sessions challenged all meeting participants to address questions regarding communication and knowledge exchange between the different teams; sustainability of relationships and partnerships; and common technology and platforms that the teams might share given the commonalities inherent in inflammation in chronic disease.

“The meeting was a success in providing momentum, bringing the teams together to resemble a network rather than remaining isolated as nine separate teams, although such network building will unfold over time incrementally. Tangible suggestions arose as to how to promote further networking. We hope to build on the success of this meeting in its furtherance of the IMHA vision of Capacity Building, Innovation and Translation, in upcoming initiatives,” said Dr. Hani El-Gabalawy, scientific director, CIHR.

A panel on knowledge translation yielded lively discussion on ways in which to communicate across the ‘silos’ from basic science to clinical practice to patients, their families and patient organizations. Finally, a Partnership Opportunities session gave industry representatives and researchers a chance to dialogue on what each can offer the other in terms of research development and technology transfer.

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