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SHRF Establishment Grants are building health research capacity in Saskatchewan

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

This new wave of Establishment Grant recipients reflect the coming generation of health researchers in the province. Whether finding better ways to screen for cardiac risk factors, analyzing the bacterium that causes Lyme Disease, or supporting pediatric rehabilitation in northern communities, these researchers are paving a bright future for Saskatchewan health and healthcare. Congratulations to the recipients. - Patrick Odnokon, SHRF CEO

As the funding opportunity within SHRF's Capacity Program, the Establishment Grant aims to assist early-career researchers in Saskatchewan in establishing an autonomous program of health research that addresses local health challenges. It also supports these researchers in achieving the productivity necessary to obtain major funding from national and other agencies in the future. Establishment Grants are assigned either a 'biomedical' or 'socio-health, systems and clinical' peer review committee to encompass all areas of human health.

Establishment Grants provide up to $150,000 over three years to support meaningful early-career research activities in the province. These grants simultaneously strengthen the Saskatchewan research sector and promote meaningful advances in health and healthcare.

SHRF is proud to announce 11 projects, for a total investment of $1.56M.

Grant Recipients & Project Summaries

Asmahan AbuArish | University of Saskatchewan $120,000

Can Good Lipids Resolve Severe COVID-19 Symptoms?

Project Summary

Scott Adams | University of Saskatchewan $150,000 Artificial Intelligence CT-based Biological Age as a Novel Predictor of Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality

Project Summary

Justin Botterill | University of Saskatchewan $150,000 Exploring Hippocampal Circuits That Cause and Prevent Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Project Summary

Jeff Dong | University of Saskatchewan $149,886 Understanding the Effect of Natural Aging on Chronic Injury Found in Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

Project Summary

Ernesto Figueiro Filho | University of Saskatchewan $150,000

Placental Growth Factor (PLGF) as a Tool for Obstetrical Management of High Risk Pregnancies

Project Summary

Tristan Hopper | University of Regina $140,735 Enhancing Community Wellness Programming for Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Project Summary

Stacey Lovo | University of Saskatchewan $149,996 In partnership with Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) Expanding Pediatric Rehabilitation in Northern First Nation Communities

Project Summary

Akram Mahani | University of Regina $150,000 Partnership Between Municipalities and Local Public Health Systems

Project Summary

Cari McIllduff | University of Saskatchewan Ethel Starblanket | Elder Karen LaRocque | Knowledge Keeper $150,000 In partnership with Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) Where Indigenous Peoples Lead, Health and Mental Health Follows

Project Summary

Peter Pioli | University of Saskatchewan $120,000 To Determine if Thymus Antibody-Secreting Cells are Autoimmune and Regulate T-Cell Development

Project Summary

Jenny Wachter | University of Saskatchewan $131,258 Identifying Factors Necessary for the Survival and Virulence of the Lyme Disease Bacterium

Project Summary


The Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) is the provincial agency that funds, supports and promotes the impact of health research that matters to Saskatchewan. SHRF collaborates with stakeholders to contribute to the growth of a high-performing health system, culture of innovation and the improved health of citizens. We accomplish these goals by strengthening research capacity and competitiveness, increasing the investment in health research in Saskatchewan and aligning research with the needs of our stakeholders.

Inquiries about SHRF's Establishment Grant may be directed to Karen Tilsley, Director of Programs and Partnerships, at

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