2020 Grant Recipients

We fund innovation in Manitoban health care.

2020/21 HSC Foundation Grant Recipients

The HSC Foundation is proud of the researchers we fund. The work they do ultimately leads to improved patient care at Manitoba’s flagship hospital. Research is the key to deepening our understanding of health matters, and often leads to new technology, medicine, or practices.


The HSC Foundation 2020 grants were awarded through four different competitions and applications were reviewed by experts in their fields from HSC.

General Operating

Dr. Galen Wright, $70,000: “Fine-mapping of neurodegenerative disorder genomic risk loci for the prioritization of novel drug targets”

Synopsis: The proposed project will perform comprehensive bioinformatic analyses of genetic studies of neurodegenerative disorders to prioritize molecular functional work involving gene editing. This will enable the identification of causal genes and mechanisms that contribute towards the risk for neurodegenerative disorders, which can inform drug target identification.


Dr. Vanessa Poliquin & Dr. Colin Barber, $32,600: “Prospective cohort study comparing two models of penicillin allergy-delabelling in pregnancy”
Co-Investigators: Dr. Chelsea Elwood; Dr. Raymond Mak

Synopsis: Carrying the label of “penicillin allergy” during pregnancy does disservice to the patient and has public health ramifications. Several strategies to test for penicillin allergy exist. The current project aims to compare two principle strategies for safety and efficiency in the pregnant population.


Dr. Sherif Eltonsy, $70,000: “Antiepileptic treatment regimens during pregnancy and the risk of adverse perinatal and neurodevelopmental outcomes: A Canadian multicenter women’s health study”
Co-Investigator: Dr. Marcus Ng

Synopsis: This project aims to compare the risk of antiepileptic treatments and their impact on different perinatal and neurodevelopmental adverse outcomes. A multicenter cohort study will be conducted using databases from 4 provinces. This research will generate essential knowledge that could improve clinical practice through identifying the safest regimens for pregnant women.


Dr. Perry Dhaliwal, $70,000: “Intraspinal pressure monitoring for acute traumatic spinal cord injury: A validation study”
Co-Investigator: Dr. Frederick Zeiler

Synopsis: Traumatic spinal cord injuries result in devastating consequences for patients. The primary objective of this study is to validate newly derived methods measuring intraspinal to derive parameters for optimal spinal cord perfusion pressure, spinal cord reserve capacity, and spinal reactivity index following an acute spinal cord injury.


Dr. Tanveer Sharif, $70,000: “Exploring mechanisms of resistance in apoptosis in patient-derived heterogeneous glioblastoma tumor populations”

Synopsis: Glioblastoma is a devastating cancer associated with a high incidence of recurrence and mortality. This project aims to evaluate the effect of a new peptide-based therapy that mimics the inhibitor of apoptosis protein antagonist, ARTS, to promote cell death in heterogeneous glioblastoma tumor populations to improve therapeutic strategies.


Mindel & Tom Olenick Award in Immunology

Romaniya Zayats, $5,000: “Cellular dynamics of immune evasion during Leishmania major infection”

Synopsis: Using a cutting-edge microscopy technique to “watch” cells directly in living tissues, this study will detail how an incurable parasite infection affects immune cell behaviors over the course of disease. The overall goal of this study is to pin-point how parasites escape killing by the immune system, and the mechanisms that are in place to ensure their long-term survival during the skin infection. This study will provide a better understanding of the immunological basis of persistent parasitic infections and guide new immunotherapeutic strategies to help improve parasite clearance.

Innovation HSC

An annual campaign for health care excellence: Excellence in health care is about being nimble. It’s about responding to the changing health care needs of Manitobans.

Learn more