15 Indigenous scholars win funding for heart and brain research initiatives

The recipients represent outstanding Indigenous master’s and doctoral scholars from across the country

Heart & Stroke, along with Brain Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (CIHR-ICRH), are pleased to announce the recipients of the inaugural Personnel Awards for Indigenous Scholars. Launched in spring 2023, this program aims to increase the number of highly qualified trainees working in heart and/or brain research from Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) communities whose traditional and ancestral territories are in Canada.

Congratulations are extended to the following recipients:

MSc Scholars:

McCrae Best               Memorial University

Hayley Casey             University of Victoria

Aimee Dawe               University of Guelph

Sabastian Koprich      University of Toronto

Olivia Perry                 Memorial University

Brittany Skov              Lakehead University

PhD Scholars:

David Foubert             McGill University

Melissa Anderson       University of Manitoba

Morgan Towriss          University of British Columbia

Sara Scott                   University of Calgary

Casey Hewes             University of British Columbia at Okanagan

Justin Turner               University of British Columbia

Ethan Hagen               University of Alberta

Erin Gurr                     Western University

Kimberly Fairman       University of Victoria

“We are thrilled to support such impressive Indigenous master’s and doctoral scholars in Canada,” says Doug Roth, CEO, Heart & Stroke. “These awards aim to strengthen Indigenous scholar capacity and representation within heart and brain research. Together, with our partners and collaborators across the health sector, we hope to contribute to improvements in equitable health care for Indigenous communities.”  

“It is with great excitement that we announce the fifteen exceptional recipients of the Personnel Awards for Indigenous Scholars. Through this program, we aim to pave the way for improved brain health outcomes and a more inclusive future for the brain science community.”

Dr. Viviane Poupon, President and CEO of Brain Canada

“CIHR continues to champion research activities led by Indigenous Peoples and to prioritize improving health equities in meaningful ways,” says Dr. Ariane Marelli, Scientific Director, CIHR-ICRH. “The Institute is proud to have partnered with Brain Canada and Heart & Stroke to support Indigenous scholars, future health leaders, and their communities, in efforts to advance health research excellence in all its diversity.”

The multi-year awards provide financial support for six master’s scholars for up to two years and nine doctoral scholars for up to three years. By reducing financial barriers, the awards aim to enable outstanding scholars to focus on their studies, undertake a program of research, and engage with mentors as part of their training and development.

Funding for the Personnel Awards for Indigenous Scholars has been made possible by contributions from the Canada Brain Research Fund (CBRF), an innovative arrangement between the Government of Canada (through Health Canada) and Brain Canada Foundation; CIHR, Canada’s federal health research funding agency, and its Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health; and Heart & Stroke, Canada’s leading health charity devoted to heart disease and stroke.