2019-2020 Recipients


Research Nova Scotia (RNS) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019-2020 Establishment Grant.

The Establishment Grant helps to build research capacity across the province by providing support to researchers who were new to the field of health research in Nova Scotia. Research Nova Scotia (RNS) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019-2020 Establishment Grant.
Research Nova Scotia (RNS) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019-2020 Establishment Grant.

The Establishment Grant helps to build research capacity across the province by providing support to researchers who were new to the field of health research in Nova Scotia. 

Through this year’s competition, over $1.6 million has been invested in eleven researchers and their teams, financing a variety of research projects designed to support the well-being of Nova Scotians. The value of the grant is a maximum of $50,000/year for up to three years.     

Applications were received from health researchers new to the province or in the early stages of their careers across Nova Scotian universities and healthcare centres.  Applications were reviewed by a biomedical or health policy, health science and health outcomes committee. 

Please join us in congratulating the following recipients of the Establishment Grant.


Funded Recipients: 11         Total RNS Funding: $1,623,319.66

RecipientProject TitleFunding AmountFunding Term
Dr. Amy Bombay
Department of Psychiatry
Dalhousie University 

Team Members:
Jocelyn Paul (Associate), Carolyn Gaspar (Associate), Lisa Hackett (Associate),
Kathleen Murphy (Associate), Debbie Martin (Mentor), Julie Thomas (Partner) 
Indigenous Youth-Driven Participatory Action Health Research: Re-Visioning Indigenous Youth Health and Wellbeing in the Halifax Regional Municipality$150,000.003 Years
Dr. Jeanette Boudreau 
Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Pathology
Dalhousie University  

Team Members:
Boris Gala-Lopez (Co-Investigator), Jean Marshall (Mentor), Beata Derfalvi
(Associate), Lauren Westhaver (Associate) 
Regulation of natural killer cells by mitochondrial damage-associated molecular patterns$150,000.003 Years
Dr. Francesca Di Cara 
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Dalhousie University 

Team Members:
Thomas Issekutz (Mentor), Anthony Otley (Mentor), Andrew Stadnyk (Mentor)
Defining the role of peroxisomes as new potential therapeutic target in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.$149,256.203 Years
Dr. Yassine El Hiani
Department of Physiology and Biophysics
Dalhousie University

Team Members:
Thomas Pulinilkinnil (Co-Investigator), Catherine Too (Mentor), Penelope Barnes
(Associate), Paola Marcato (Associate)
Ion-channel TRPM2-mediated oxidative-stress tolerance in triple-negative breast cancer$150,000.003 Years 
Professor Caroline Fitzpatrick 
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Université Sainte-Anne 

Team Members:
Elizabeth Harvey (Co-Investigator), Mark Asbridge (Mentor), Rachel Barr (Partner) 
Validation of a comprehensive assessment of media use by preschool-aged children in Nova Scotia$149,755.223 Years
Dr. Tamara Franklin
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Dalhousie University  

Team Members:
Tara Perrot (Mentor), Richard Brown (Associate), Ryan Wheeler (Associate)
The neural and behavioural effects of mouse models of bacterial and viral prenatal infection.$130,000.003 Years
Dr. Gabriela llie 
Department of Community Health and Epidemiology
Dalhousie University  

Team Members:
David Bell (Co-Investigator), Greg Bailly (Co-Investigator), Robert Rutledge
(Co-Investigator), George Kephart (Co-Investigator), Susan Kirkland
(Co-Investigator), Marianne Arab (Partner), Ross MacDonald (Partner),
Jeffery Zahavich (Associate), Leslie Hill (Partner), Alex Handyside (Partner),
Victor Henrikson (Partner), Richard Dawson (Partner), Eric Ogden (Partner)
PC-Patient Empowerment Program: A randomized intervention for reducing mental health issues among men undergoing curative prostate cancer treatment. $145,929.283 Years
Ms. Rebecca Moyer 
School of Physiotherapy
Dalhousie University 

Team Members:
Tara Sampalli (Co-Investigator), Alissa Decker (Co-Investigator), Cheryl Kozey
(Co-Investigator), Amanda Robison (Co-Investigator), Deirdre Smith
(Co-Investigator), Janie Wilson (Co-Investigator)
Translating clinical biomechanics and rehabilitation Research to Improve Arthritis Guidelines and Education (TRIAGE)
$149,994.003 Years 
Dr. Matthew Rigby
Department of Surgery – Division of
Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
Dalhousie University 

Team Members:
Martin Corsten (Co-Investigator), Jonathan Trites (Co-Investigator), Laurette Geldenhuys (Co-Investigator), Steven Taylor (Co-Investigator), Martin Bullock
(Co-Investigator), Colin MacKay (Associate)
Intraoperative margin assessment in head and neck cancer surgery$150,000.003 Years
Dr. Ferhan Siddiqi 
Department of Medicine
Dalhousie University  

Team Members:
Margaret Dunbar (Partner), Pam Talbot (Co-Investigator), Syed Sibte Raza Abidi
(Co-Investigator), Syed Imran (Co-Investigator), Samina Abidi (Co-Investigator),
Younes Anini (Co-Investigator), Karthik Tennankore (Co-Investigator)
Predicting Early Progressive Kidney Disease in Type 1 Diabetes by Clinical and Epigenetic Signatures$148,624.803 Years 
Dr. Michelle Stone 
Division of Kinesiology, School of Health and Human Performance
Dalhousie University 

Team Members:
Rebecca Spencer (Co-Principal Investigator), Barbara Ann Hamilton-Hinch
(Co-Investigator), Angie Kolen (Co-Investigator), Daniel Rainham (Co-Investigator), Laurene Rehman (Co-Investigator), Jessie-Lee McIsaac (Co-Investigator),
Joan Turner (Co-Investigator), Patrick Maher (Co-Investigator), Nila Joshi
(Associate), Jane Cawley (Associate), Crystal Watson (Associate),
Jillian Griffin (Associate), Sara Kirk (Mentor) 
PLEY-School: Evaluation of an early-elementary school-based outdoor loose parts intervention for its impact on the health of children$149,760.163 Years