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CLA and CIHR invest in research on the respiratory effects of Long COVID

We are pleased to report the results of the Respiratory Health Effects of Long COVID Operating Grant Competition. Together with our partners the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institutes of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICRH) and Gender and Health (IGH) and the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Alberta, four operating grants of $40,000 each were awarded to fund research into the treatment, models of care, quality of life and underlying mechanisms of long COVID condition.

Long COVID condition” (also known as post-COVID-19 condition or “COVID long-haul”) is an emerging chronic condition in which people experience respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, neurologic, and/or sensory (anosmia, tinnitus) symptoms more than 12 weeks after initial acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. Respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain or cough are some of the most common symptoms.

“Creating and mobilizing high-quality scientific evidence with research partners are important priorities for CIHR and our Institute, as we continue to champion research aimed to further understand the health effects of long COVID condition,” says Dr. Brian H. Rowe, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health. “In response to the growing concerns over the long-term impacts of COVID-19 infection, we are proud to announce this strategic partnership with the Canadian Lung Association, CIHR-IGH and the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Alberta designed to improve the respiratory health of patients following COVID-19 infection.”

To date, CIHR has invested over $414 million in COVID-19 research with partner organizations like CLA.

"Just like our focus on overcoming tuberculosis at the turn of the 20th century, overcoming COVID, and now long COVID condition, requires improved treatments and preventative measures and a better overall understanding of the disease,” says Terry Dean, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Lung Association. “We are proud to collaborate with CIHR-ICRH, CIHR-IGH, and our University colleagues to fund research that will reduce the respiratory burden of long COVID on the healthcare system, but more importantly, on patients and their families.”

Each of the following researchers will receive a $40,000 operating grant:

  • Dr. Jordan Guenette from the University of British Columbia for “Cardiopulmonary exercise testing and functional imaging determinants of dyspnea post-COVID-19”
  • Dr. Robert Kozak from the University of Toronto for “Host gene expression signatures from clinically banked upper respiratory tract swabs associate in situ altered mucosal immunity with development of long COVID-19”
  • Dr. Simon Rousseau from McGill University for “Immunopathology of respiratory distress in long COVID”
  • Dr. Alyson Wong from the University of British Columbia for “Identifying long COVID phenotypes and their association with long-term quality of life”