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Dr. Andrew Halayko and Dr. Neeloffer Mookherjee.

UM air pollution research facility receives $4.8 million

March 13, 2024 — 

The new UM AirSAFE lab will be Canada’s first multi-disciplinary research centre for biomedical, engineering, natural science and occupational health experts to study how inhaled pollutants impact health and disease. The project is co-led by UM researchers Dr. Andrew Halayko and Dr. Neeloffer Mookherjee from the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM).

On March 13, the Government of Canada and Province of Manitoba announced funding of $2.4 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and $2.4 million from Research Manitoba through the CFI – Innovation Fund Matching Program, totaling $4.8 million in strategic research infrastructure support.

“Research labs and facilities, like those being funded today, provide the foundation upon which Canada’s research leaders can make discoveries and drive innovation that will contribute to a better future for all of us,” said Roseann O’Reilly Runte, president and CEO of the CFI.

“We are proud to provide funding support for this innovative new multi-disciplinary research centre, showcasing Manitoba at the forefront of cutting-edge research to address global challenges,” said Jennifer Cleary, CEO of Research Manitoba.

It’s been reported that more than 20 per cent of premature deaths are linked to the detrimental effects of air pollution. By bringing leaders from different disciplines together, the AirSAFE research centre will provide evidence to develop new policies for improving air quality and human health. Researchers will be recruited to Manitoba to investigate why and how bad air is leading to diseases and limiting the effectiveness of therapies for these diseases.

“Congratulations to these researchers for receiving this investment to improve air quality policy and make the air we breathe safer for all,” said UM Vice-President (Research & International) Dr. Mario Pinto. “Building on the success of fundamental research at UM, the new AirSAFE facility will be a centre of excellence for interdisciplinary research that will be a leader in Canada and globally.”

This project is also made possible by various partners, including the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, the department of internal medicine in the Max Rady College of Medicine, the Price Faculty of Engineering, CHRIM, SAFE Work Manitoba, the University of British Columbia, the Lung Association – Manitoba, and the Office of the Vice-President (Research and International) at UM.

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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