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SickKids researcher receives $2.3 million to fund innovative digestive health research training program
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SickKids researcher receives $2.3 million to fund innovative digestive health research training program


Dr. Nicola Jones will help lead a new national training program to support research trainees and early-career researchers in digestive health research.

Clinician-scientist Dr. Nicola Jones from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is one of the recipients of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant for a national research training program that will support the next generation of trainees and early-career researchers specializing in digestive health research.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health and the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions announced an investment of $31.1 million over six years for 13 training programs through the Health Research Training Platform. The program aims to increase Canada’s capacity to conduct research on specific disease areas and health challenges.

Nicola Jones
Dr. Nicola Jones

Jones, along with Dr. Derek McKay from University of Calgary and Dr. Bruce Vallance from University of British Columbia, and a team of co-principal applicants across Canada, received a grant of over $2.3 million to support a national training program called "Training Researchers In The Next Generation in Gastroenterology and Liver (TRIANGLE)," which will provide research and professional skills development, mentorship and experiential learning opportunities for trainees and early-career researchers in liver and gastrointestinal disease research from across Canada.

"Through this multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral training program, we will help develop highly skilled researchers from diverse backgrounds who can address knowledge gaps in gastrointestinal health and disease research and address the critical need to improve the digestive health of Canadians," says Jones, who is a Senior Scientist in the Cell Biology program and a Staff Physician in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at SickKids, and serves as the Director of the Integrated Physician Scientist Training Program at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

TRIANGLE will also focus on providing training in conducting diverse and inclusive research, such as incorporating sex- and gender-based considerations in research design, analysis and translation, in line with SickKids’ commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. Unique to the program, participants will be supported to explore a holistic spectrum of career paths related to the field such as in biotechnology, communications and policy sectors.

"A healthy gut is key to good health and wellbeing, from infancy to adulthood. Unlike traditional research training programs that focus solely on academia, TRIANGLE aims to build a broad community of digestive health expertise to improve future health outcomes for all Canadians."

Additional funding support for TRIANGLE will also be provided by Canadian Association of Gastroenterology, Crohn's and Colitis Canada, Canadian Association for the Study of Liver and The Canadian Children IBD Network: A CH.I.L.D. Foundation Initiative. Learn more about Health Research Training Platforms.

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