Health Research Foundation Awards Fellowships In The Field Of Artificial Intelligence

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Ottawa, November 20, 2019 –The Health Research Foundation (HRF) today announced that University of Saskatchewan Resident Physician and PhD Candidate Scott Adams and University of Ottawa Assistant Professor Steven Hawken were each awarded HRF Fellowships in Artificial Intelligence (AI) Health Research.

“AI tools have the potential to unlock new realms of scientific research and knowledge in critical domains like biology, chemistry, and medicine, upholding the highest standards of scientific excellence,” said Chair of the HRF Board of Directors, Mel Cappe. “We are proud to support made-in-Canada innovation and celebrate excellence in this emerging field.”

Dr. Adams was awarded the fellowship focused on AI’s impact on health system sustainability. His research will help determine the impact of using AI on rates of lung nodule biopsies, follow-up imaging, time to lung cancer diagnosis, and total healthcare costs associated with lung nodule management to help determine the immediate and downstream costs associated with AI and its impact on health system sustainability.

Dr. Adams is a resident physician in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. His research in the areas of AI, digital health, and access to healthcare has received international attention, and his work has been recognized with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award, University of Saskatchewan President’s First and Best Scholarship, and the Nasser Family Gold Medal Award in Leadership.

Dr. Hawken was awarded the fellowship focused on AI’s impact on patient outcomes. His research will focus on using advanced AI and predictive modeling to help identify women at risk of spontaneous preterm delivery. Through early identification of women at high risk of preterm birth,  health care professionals would be better able to manage pregnancies, including interventions to delay the onset of labour and reduce adverse outcomes.

Dr. Hawken is a Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, an Assistant Professor in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa, Adjunct Scientist at ICES and Affiliate Investigator at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. Dr. Hawken has nearly 20 years of experience working in the fields of biostatistics and epidemiology.

The HRF Fellowships were created to support outstanding MD and/or PhD researchers to become our future scientists and healthcare leaders, by equipping them with the tools to contribute to the innovative health care system of tomorrow. They are one way the HRF is working to facilitate collaboration, teamwork, and trust between academic research centers and the pharmaceutical industry and find better ways to transfer knowledge from research to the health system.

The winners were chosen by a committee of experts from the pharmaceutical industry, academia and the patient advocacy community. Each fellowship will have an award of $100,000.

“The quality and depth of the applications for these fellowships was outstanding,” said Mr. Cappe. “Canada is leading the way in the application of AI in life sciences. This truly is an exciting time for health research in Canada.”

About Innovative Medicines Canada

Innovative Medicines Canada is the national association representing the voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. The association advocates for policies that enable the discovery, development, and delivery of innovative medicines and vaccines to improve the lives of all Canadians and supports the members’ commitment to being a valued partner in the Canadian healthcare system. The association represents 49 companies who invest nearly $1.4 billion in R&D annually, fueling Canada’s knowledge-based economy, while contributing $8 billion to Canada’s economy. Guided by the Code of Ethical Practices, all members work with governments, private payers, healthcare professionals, and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

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For further information:

Marise Varanda
Director, Media Relations & Content
Telephone: 613-462-5367


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