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The antibiotic resistance crisis in Ontario and how the country is handling it

Stephanie Ocano
|Jun 12|magazine11 min read

Our sister brand, Healthcare Global, recently reported that antimicrobial resistance is one of the most critical health challenges the world is facing today. Specifically, public health agencies have noted the struggle in Ontario and how the country plans to deal with the crisis.

According to Ramanan Laxminarayan, health economist and professor, “It has been a long time since people died of untreatable bacterial infections and the prospect of returning to that world is worrying.”

In light of these events, the city of Ontario, Canada is awarding a total of $209 million to support innovative research projects and top talent at leading research institutions across the province.

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The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment Infrastructure is primarily investing in the antibiotic research that is being led by Dr. Gerard Wright at McMaster University.

Dr. Wright has chosen to take a two-pronged approach for his research, being:

1. The direct study of the molecular mechanisms of bacterial antibiotic resistance using chemical biology and chemical genetics.

2. The identification of new antibiotics and new antimicrobial strategies.

There are 280 research projects that will be awarded—chosen based on their research excellence and their economic and societal benefits for Ontario.

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 The awards include:

Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence: $65 million to support globally significant and transformational projects, such as developing new MRI technology and better understanding antibiotic resistance.

Ontario Research Fund - Research Infrastructure: $131 million to ensure that Ontario’s research infrastructure remains competitive in attracting the world’s leading researchers.

Early Researcher Awards: $13 million to attract and retain top talent in the province and help promising researchers build their teams.

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 “Our capacity to compete globally depends on how well we can harness our research, innovation and entrepreneurial strengths. Through these investments, Ontario is mobilizing and preparing our researchers to succeed, compete and create the jobs of the future,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation in an issued press release.

Since 2005, Ontario has awarded 822 Early Researcher Awards to the province’s leading early career researchers. It will be quite interesting to keep watch and see other ways in which Ontario plans to tackle other health issues.

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