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New Sunnybrook-led national training program will advance critical care research

March 31, 2022

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The federal government is investing $2.4M, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), to establish a new national research training platform for acute and critical illness. The initiative, called The Life-Threatening Illness National Group (LifTING) Research Training Platform, is co-led by principal investigator Dr. Dominique Piquette, critical care physician and affiliate scientist at Sunnybrook, alongside a group of 20 partner organizations.

“In the last 20 years, we’ve made significant progress in understanding how to better care for critically ill patients,” says Dr. Piquette, who is also an assistant professor in the Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Toronto. “Yet, the Canadian critical care community continues to face important knowledge-to-practice gaps and health inequities comparable to other research sectors. Our goal is to address these gaps through an innovative research training platform that will invest in the next generation of researchers.”

The platform is supported by the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group, Sepsis Canada and a list of 20 partners that include national or international, interdisciplinary, and inter-professional research networks, professional associations, and nonprofit organizations.

The LifTING Research Training Platform will focus on the who, where and how — by building research capacity and career opportunities in locations where care is most frequently delivered, recruiting research trainees who adequately represent the Canadian population, and broadening the curriculum to include competencies required to conduct high-impact research such as interdisciplinary collaboration, EDI, patient-oriented outcomes and implementation sciences.

The program aims to recruit 30 trainees per year for the first two years, with a plan to increase to 40 trainees per year.

“Our goal is to better represent and engage all Canadians in research into life-threatening illnesses going forward and to improve the translation of scientific knowledge so our discoveries can benefit Canadians sooner,” says Dr. Piquette.

The LifTING Research Training Platform is one of 13 unique training programs funded through the Government of Canada’s Health Research Training Platform (HRTP), a $31.1M pilot program that will provide new training and development opportunities for early career researchers and trainees. 13 interdisciplinary teams will be set up across the country, where researchers will receive training and development opportunities and build Canada’s research capacity in areas ranging from girls’ and women’s health, to dementia, kidney disease, diabetes and obesity, seniors’ health, and the mental health of LGBTQ/2S populations, among others.

Read the CIHR news release »