Medical research is driven by a passion to ask and answer questions. It is driven by a passion for inquiry and for solutions that can unlock the hidden mysteries and scientific discoveries that are vital to our health, and to the health and well-being of our friends and families whether they are across town or around the globe.
Today we take for granted the role that aspirin plays in the prevention and treatment of heart attacks and strokes; that bone marrow transplants can be done between people who are not related; or that one in five children are at risk for clinically significant mental health issues; or that certain drug combinations can improve cognitive function for Alzheimer’s patients. All of these current day truths are the result of a long legacy of research; of inquiring minds; and of individuals and teams who called Hamilton Health Sciences home.
It might surprise you that these and so many other medical truths, many of which form the foundation of today’s evidence-based medical practice, had roots amongst the clinical and research intensive environment of Hamilton Health Sciences. Unless you are associated with, or part of, the medical community, you may not realize that Hamilton Health Sciences in affiliation with McMaster University’s Faculty of Health Sciences is home to one of the most intensive environments for medical research in Canada. On its own, Hamilton Health Sciences was again recently recognized as number two in Canada amongst the top 40 Research Hospitals, and it remains in the top 25 in the world.
Its comprehensive and highly integrated environment promotes collaboration and growth, giving researchers an opportunity to advance their area of interest by leveraging the strengths and resources of other departments and institutes. These researchers are part of an international network of individuals and teams who seek knowledge and understanding. They are united in a common desire to learn by broaching new frontiers that were once unimaginable. And they are doing so at record pace.
With networks in 86 countries around the world, Hamilton Health Sciences conducts research through a series of research institutes, research centres and research groups, as well as investigators who work independently. With the ultimate goal of preventing disease, enhancing treatments and developing cures, it is home to a talented complement of 1,500 principal investigators, research staff and clinical staff.
Efforts have led to cutting-edge, patient-oriented research in priority areas such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, thrombosis and atherosclerosis, cancer, digestive diseases, infectious diseases, maternal and child health, amongst others.
Home to the pioneers in research associated with the clinical applications of gene therapy, treatments for digestive diseases, innovations in pediatric surgery, the most effective regimen of chemotherapy to treat early breast cancer, and preventing frailty in seniors; the researchers who call Hamilton Health Sciences home have helped transform Greater Hamilton’s economy from one based on intensive manufacturing to one led by health sciences. But perhaps more importantly, they have transformed the clinical care that is available to patients both in our community, but also around the world.
Today’s research themes and programs range from basic laboratory tests to trials in worldwide populations, involving hundreds of thousands of participants. Clinical trials are an integral phase in the study of safety and efficacy of novel treatments; state-of-the-art genetics labs pursue the possibility of individualized medicine; while the field of knowledge translation focuses on closing the gap between research discoveries and patient care by identifying the barriers to the delivery of new treatments.
Researchers at Hamilton Health Sciences are addressing major global health challenges, translating new discoveries into efficient practices for prevention and patient care, and placing Hamilton at the forefront of medical research.
Their work represents hope, healing and the vision for a healthier future. Their efforts, and those of the researchers that guide them are making vital contributions to enhancing patient care for this generation, and generations to come.
Funding for their work comes from many sources, including Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation. Cultivating individual donors and corporate partners is an important part of the Foundation’s work. Quantum Automotive Group/ Mercedes-Benz Burlington’s recent support of Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation’s Gala, New York State of Mind,is a perfect example of that. Proceeds from the gala support a number of research projects across Hamilton Health Sciences. Owen Tseng Brand Marketing Manager at Mercedes-Benz Burlington acknowledges their support by indicating that “Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation touches so many lives within our community that this partnership provides Mercedes-Benz Burlington the platform to give back for many years to come.”