McMaster University lands $19 million in federal health research dollars

MP Filomena Tassi announces McMaster will receive $19M in health research funding . Sara Cain, 900 CHML

UMP Filomena Tassi has announced $19 million in funding for blue sky thinking at McMaster university.

It’s part of a $372-million federal investment in health research from coast to coast.

For McMaster this means 22 studies will be supported, including the work of scientist Cathy Hayward. She has been unraveling the mystery presented by a rare genetic disease known as Quebec platelet disorder.

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“These individuals would have very serious bleeding whenever they would have surgery or tooth extraction or would be in accident,” she said.

A simple physical activity, like snowmobiling, could bring about severe bruising.

Some cases have resulted in hospitalizations that have lasted months.

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Hayward said her team has discovered is that it’s hereditary, and that the bleeding appears to be the result of clot busting enzymes in the very platelets that should be helping the healing process. “It’s kind of a disease paradox.”

The platelets stick, but the high enzyme levels then interrupt the healing process.

A collaborative effort between researchers in Hamilton and Montreal has lead to the development of treatment options, but questions remain.

Hayword said that’s where the funding comes in. It will help researchers narrow in on why the genetic mutation causes the problem that it does.


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