Boris Hinz with trainee

Three additional CIHR grants for Dentistry profs

Distinguished Professor Boris Hinz and Professor Chris McCulloch have been awarded three CIHR grants for their research. The three grants stand in addition to the twelve tri-faculty grants announced last month, bringing the total number of grants won in the most recent rounds of competition by Dentistry faculty to $4.8 million.

Hinz, Distinguished Professor of Tissue Repair and Regeneration, and cross-appointed to the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) and the Faculty of Medicine, has been awarded a five-year grant worth $719,000 to continue his studies on myofibroblasts. Hinz hopes to uncover some of the mechanisms by which myofibroblasts become deregulated, leading to excessive scarring known as fibrosis—in particular, the role that changes to the collagen matrix of these cells plays in signalling macrophages, or inflammation cells, leading to fibrotic conditions.

McCulloch was awarded a 5-year grant totalling $707, 000.  His study, of which Hinz is a co-investigator, takes a closer look at the function and role of protein filamin A in degrading homeostasis in periodontal connective tissues, which ultimately leads to tissue and tooth loss. Ultimately, the research team hopes to find new methods for prompting degrading tissues to remodel themselves.

Last month, McCulloch was awarded a $100,000 CIHR Catalyst Grant for a similar study to better understand the mechanics and function of filamin A in periodontal connective tissues, bringing his total CIHR wins during this competition season to three.

Additionally, McCulloch was successful at securing a $474,300/4 year CIHR grant for his collaboration with Dr. Kim Connelly of St. Michael’s Hospital towards a study on cardiac fibroblasts; McCulloch and Connelly were also awarded a grant from the Heart & Stroke Foundation in April for this project.