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Portrait of Dr. Sherif Eltonsy.

Dr. Sherif Eltonsy, assistant professor at the College of Pharmacy, is one of the principal applicants and the Manitoba site lead for the Canadian Mother-Child Collaborative Training Platform.

New training platform for emerging medications and pregnancy researchers

May 9, 2022 — 

Early career researchers and trainees from across Canada working in the field of medications and pregnancy research now have the chance to gain new skills thanks to a Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded training platform.

The Canadian Mother-Child Collaborative Training Platform (CAMCCO-L) received more than $2.5 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to launch the project. CAMCCO-L is one of 13 interdisciplinary teams from across the country to receive CIHR funding through its new initiative called the Health Research Training Platform.

“It’s very exciting,” said Dr. Sherif Eltonsy, assistant professor at the College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, and one of CAMCCO-L’s principal applicants and the Manitoba site lead. “It’s something we’ve worked hard to get and we’re thrilled to be one of the teams that were funded. I’m excited for the next steps.”

The training platform is led by Anick Berard from the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine, which is affiliated with the University of Montreal.

CAMCCO-L will provide year-long training in the areas of pharmacogenomics, pharmacoepidemiology, toxicology and artificial intelligence. The initiative will offer 10 bursaries each year for its four-month summer school. The bursaries are in collaboration with universities in Montreal, France, Spain and Brazil, and will cover travel costs to those locations.  

CAMCCO-L will include a standardized curriculum with modules in equity, diversity and inclusion, sex and gender, hands-on virtual and in-person training, and professional development.

“The main goal is to provide early career researchers and trainees with new skills to make them experts in their fields. It will also help us retain qualified researchers,” Eltonsy said. “You could be a pharmacoepidemiologist who is interested in machine learning, but also would love to learn more about how pharmacogenomics can help.”

In addition to the summer school, online training will be provided to even more early career researchers and trainees than the 10 bursary recipients.

“Mentors will be able to link with mentees,” Eltonsy said. “This experience wouldn’t have been possible without this program.”

Two more Rady Faculty of Health Sciences professors are involved in CIHR Health Research Training Platform projects. Dr. Amine Choukou, assistant professor of occupational therapy at the College of Rehabilitation Sciences, is part of a team working on a national platform that’s focused on the delivery of technology for older Canadians with complex health needs and their caregivers. And Dr. Richard Keijzer, Thorlakson Chair in Surgical Research and director of research for the surgery department of the Max Rady College of Medicine, belongs to a team that’s developing a platform that will offer dedicated training, personalized mentorship and experiential opportunities for Canadian research trainees and early career researchers focused on improving the health and well-being of parents, children and families.

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