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Food Meets Medicine – Conference Update

April 26, 2012

 “Let Food be Thy Medicine” –ancient advice with modern relevance for the more than 20,000 attendees at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) International Conference in Atlanta, Georgia as a result of work on plant and animal-based bioactives being showcased by the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network (MAHRN).

 MAHRN is anchored by three world-class institutions: the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM)- whose research teams of agricultural and medical scientists explore the safety and efficacy of value-added foods and natural health products; Food Development Centre (FDC)- a federally licensed processed food pilot plant that allows companies to produce and market their products nationally and internationally; and the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (RCFFN)- where multi-disciplinary teams are focused on developing health-enhancing products from traditional prairie crops.

According to Dr Curtis Rempel, R &D lead with the RCFFN, the capacity and capabilities of the Manitoba cluster are truly where food meets medicine. “We believe bioactives from food crops offer the most potentially interesting areas of new research, especially for health and wellness, but also for disease mitigation,” says Dr Rempel, who will be present at BIO in the Manitoba Pavilion at BIO on May 19 and 20.

Guidepost Article – Healthy Outlook

April 26, 2012

MAHRN is featured in an article in the St. Boniface Hospital publication, Guidepost.

“There’s a growing recognition that foods will be essential technology for the many serious health challenges that we face.”

Read the article (PDF).

Investment to Strengthen Manitoba’s Life Sciences Cluster

April 26, 2012

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – An investment to the Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) will enhance Manitoba’s expanding life sciences cluster and advance training opportunities and research skills of people working in this specialized field.

The $800,000 in funding under the Winnipeg Partnership Agreement was announced today by the Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification; the Honourable Jim Rondeau, Manitoba Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mines; and Brenda Leipsic, Deputy Mayor of the City of Winnipeg.

The funding will support the development of two new laboratories and the purchase of equipment needed for research of nutraceuticals, functional foods and health products. The enhanced facility will enable CCARM to expand its research program in the linkages between diet and health, increase collaboration and attract and retain the highly qualified personnel needed for the growing nutraceutical research sector in Canada.

“The Government of Canada is working to enhance Canada’s international reputation for research excellence and to expand the base of scientific expertise,” said Minister Toews. “Through partnerships with other levels of government and the private sector, we are helping to turn ideas into innovations that will improve Canada’s productivity performance, create high-quality jobs and enhance Canadians’ quality of life.”

“This partnership between three levels of government along with medical, learning and agri-food institutions will conduct important research to improve the lives of many Manitobans,” said Minister Rondeau. “The province is pleased to help move this important work forward.”

“This funding will increase Winnipeg’s capacity as a leader in health and scientific research,” said Deputy Mayor Brenda Leipsic. “As a city of opportunity, we welcome this important investment which will enhance the health research capacity at St. Boniface Hospital and also provide additional employment options for professional researchers in our city.”

CCARM represents a unique partnership between St. Boniface General Hospital, the University of Manitoba, and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. It is located within St. Boniface General Hospital Research Centre – a world renowned $40 million state-of-the-art medical research facility.

“The Winnipeg Partnership Agreement funding has been essential in completing construction of the final two CCARM labs here at St Boniface Hospital Research Centre. These labs will hold clinical trial research activities and also provide a shared lab where CCARM researchers can collaborate in a more efficient, economical and productive fashion than was previously possible. This allows us to advance our research into nutraceuticals and functional foods in a manner that has not been attempted anywhere else in the world,” said Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St. Boniface General Hospital.

Funding for the project comes from Component IV of the Winnipeg Partnership Agreement. This component is designed to strengthen Winnipeg’s innovation system by supporting projects that increase the awareness, capacity and use of new technologies. Component IV will also build the necessary infrastructure to promote growth in knowledge-based sectors, such as aerospace, life sciences and alternative energy.

The Winnipeg Partnership Agreement represents a five-year, $75 million commitment by the governments of Canada, Manitoba and Winnipeg to strengthen our neighbourhoods, promote economic development and enable Aboriginal citizens to fully enjoy Winnipeg’s economic and social opportunities. For program details, interested parties are encouraged to consult the Web site

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