CHILD Co-Director helps launch new networks, wins award

CHILD Co-Director Dr. Stuart Turvey has recently been involved in the launching of two new health science research networks and has received a major academic award.

On March 19, 2024, the University of British Columbia (UBC) announced the recipients of its 2023 Killam Research Prizes, awarded annually to top campus researchers to recognize research excellence and scholarly achievement. Dr. Turvey was named as a recipient in the category of applied science, medicine and sciences. 

“It’s a huge honour to receive the UBC Killam Research Prize,” stated Dr. Turvey, “but the true heroes are the children and families who trust us and volunteer to participate in our research programs, including CHILD. It is because of their generosity that we are able to advance child health through our research.”

On April 8, 2024, it was announced that the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)’s Rare Disease Research Initiative had awarded $20 million in federal funding for the creation of a new national network in which Dr. Stuart is involved: the RareKids-CAN: Pediatric Rare Disease Clinical Trials and Treatment Network. The network aims to foster collaboration among researchers, patients, caregivers, health-care providers, and policy makers to streamline clinical research and to support clinical trials that enable better health outcomes for children and adolescents affected by rare diseases.

By enabling better prevention, diagnosis and treatments, “this new clinical network will be game-changing for the tens of thousands of Canadian children with a rare disease,” says Dr. Stuart. Every year in Canada, 14,000 youth under 15 years of age die from rare diseases.

On April 29, 2024, which was International Immunology Day, Dr. Stuart and colleagues announced the launch of the Clinical Immunology Network-Canada (CINC), a new pan-Canadian forum that aims to enhance and promote clinical and research collaborations in Clinical Immunology. The network’s founding chair is Dr. Luis E. Murguía-Favela, a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatric Immunology and Allergy at Alberta Children’s Hospital and the University of Calgary.

“This network unites clinicians and researchers in the field of pediatric and adult clinical immunology,” explains Dr. Stuart, “to share clinical expertise and knowledge in the care of Canadian children and adults who suffer from inborn errors of immunity.”

“As a researcher, a clinican and as Co-Director of CHILD, Stuart has already contributed much to the advancement of health science in Canada,” comments CHILD Director Dr. Padmaja Subbarao. “It is rewarding to see him recognized again for this, and to see him involved in the building of new national networks addressing such important issues. I am confident he will bring his leadership experience from CHILD and elsewhere into these new efforts, much to their benefit.”

Dr.Turvey is Co-Director of CHILD and a Professor of Pediatrics at UBC, where he holds the Aubrey J. Tingle Professorship in Pediatric Immunology. He is also a clinician-scientist and Pediatric Immunologist based at BC Children’s Hospital and holds a Canada Research Chair in Pediatric Precision Health.