Grand River Hospital, University of Waterloo launch partnership

The University of Waterloo and Grand River Hospital have launched a partnership to enable academics and clinicians to collaborate on research that will benefit patient care and enrich university research.

The collaborative research partnership announced today at Grand River Hospital is the next stage of a long relationship between University researchers and clinicians at the Hospital who will bring their clinical and academic skills together to engage in collaborative research projects. This partnership will increase research and innovation activity at GRH.

Previously, researchers have worked on projects related to stroke, cancer treatment, traumatic brain injury, and nutrition and aging. The new research partnership means both clinicians and researchers will be actively involved in the research together.

“The sharing of resources is particularly valuable to me as a researcher,” said Professor James Danckert, of the Faculty of Arts at Waterloo. “This research partnership gives me access to necessary equipment, doctors with needed medical knowledge and patients, who in turn get to contribute to leading-edge research.”

Danckert uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) conducted in GRH’s MRI suite to look at the brain in action as people undergo cognitive testing. This work leads to improved understanding of how the brain controls behaviour. He also uses fMRI in research intended to assist people with traumatic brain injuries to better engage with their environments.

As part of the collaborative research partnership, the hospital will provide University-affiliated researchers with workspace at its KW and Freeport sites. The two organizations will develop a shared research agenda that supports patient care while developing new evidence to improve health outcomes.

“We have a unique opportunity to link a large community hospital that touches nearly all ages and stages of life with one of the most innovative universities in Canada,” said Malcolm Maxwell, president and CEO of Grand River Hospital.

The Hospital has more than 50 research and clinical trials currently underway. GRH also hosts hundreds of learners a year in medicine, nursing, social work, clinical dietetics, laboratory services, pharmacy and many other disciplines. The University has supported GRH with learners in pharmacy as well as medical physics related to cancer treatment planning.

“We recognize the value of partnering with clinicians who are actively working in an area of our research. This is a unique opportunity to enrich healthcare for the local community and all Canadians by combining the knowledge and skills of clinicians and researchers in collaborative research projects,” said D. George Dixon, vice-president, university research at Waterloo.

The partnership will provide a single point of access for research proposals. GRH and Waterloo will also revise processes to reduce duplication and streamline administrative and ethical reviews.


For more information, please contact:

Pamela Smyth
University of Waterloo

Mark Karjaluoto
Grand River Hospital
519-749-4300 ext. 2788