Research project led by RI-MUHC scientist gets $1.65 M from NSERC for training project

CREATE project to prepare students for high-skills work in surgical-devices industry

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McGill team

From left to right: Dr. Kevin Lachapelle (MUHC cardiac surgeon), Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development), Dr. Jake Barralet (CREATE-lead scientist), Zhi Lin Yang and Justine Garcia (both McGill students)

A team led by Dr. Jake Barralet, professor at McGill University and scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) will receive $1.65 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to provide nearly 90 students with cross-disciplinary training to prepare them for high-skill jobs in the surgical devices industry.

The McGill-led project is among 13 new workplace-oriented training projects funded nationally through NSERC’s Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) initiative. The announcement was made today at McGill University by Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science.

This research project will emphasize innovation-oriented teamwork, pioneering for the first time in Canada a training model designed at Stanford University. With some 15 private-sector partners, the training will cover all aspects of surgery-related technology, from tools for diagnosis and patient risk reduction to postoperative monitoring and care.

“This award provides a unique opportunity for teams of surgeons, scientists, engineers, and business students to work together to improve patient care by applying the process of needs-based clinical innovation,” says Dr. Barralet who is also the director of orthopedic research at the MUHC and Vice Chair (Research) in the Department of Surgery at McGill’s Faculty of Medicine. The MUHC “provides a fertile environment to expose this multi-disciplinary team to a variety of clinical problems, challenging them to create innovative solutions.”

“Dr. Jake Barralet’s newly funded project at McGill, Innovation at the Cutting Edge, will be a model program of industry partnership in the area of surgical devices,” said Rosie Goldstein, McGill’s Vice-Principal of Research and International Relations. “The project’s participants will benefit from unparalleled preparation for career opportunities in healthcare technology.”

“This CREATE initiative is a multidisciplinary approach to cutting-edge research that is needed to generate surgical innovation, something that our clinical practice needs and society can benefit from,” adds Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos, RI-MUHC’s Executive Director.

To read the Government of Canada news release: click here.

For information on CREATE, click here.