Posted: March 20, 2015
GRH and the University of Waterloo launch a research partnership to benefit patient care and enrich university research.
GRH and the University of Waterloo launch a research partnership to benefit patient care and enrich university research.

WATERLOO, Ont. (Friday, March 20, 2015) — The University of Waterloo and Grand River Hospital have launched a partnership to enable academics and clinicians to collaborate on research that will benefit patient care and enrich university research.

The collaborative research partnership announced today at Grand River Hospital is the next stage of a long relationship between University researchers and clinicians at the Hospital who will bring their clinical and academic skills together to engage in collaborative research projects. This partnership will increase research and innovation activity at GRH.

Previously, researchers have worked on projects related to stroke, cancer treatment, traumatic brain injury, and nutrition and aging. The new research partnership means both clinicians and researchers will be actively involved in the research together.

"The sharing of resources is particularly valuable to me as a researcher," said Professor James Danckert, of the Faculty of Arts at Waterloo. "This research partnership gives me access to necessary equipment, doctors with needed medical knowledge and patients, who in turn get to contribute to leading-edge research."

Danckert uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) conducted in GRH’s MRI suite to look at the brain in action as people undergo cognitive testing. This work leads to improved understanding of how the brain controls behaviour. He also uses fMRI in research intended to assist people with traumatic brain injuries to better engage with their environments.

As part of the collaborative research partnership, the hospital will provide University-affiliated researchers with workspace at its KW and Freeport sites. The two organizations will develop a shared research agenda that supports patient care while developing new evidence to improve health outcomes.

"We have a unique opportunity to link a large community hospital that touches nearly all ages and stages of life with one of the most innovative universities in Canada," said Malcolm Maxwell, president and CEO of Grand River Hospital.

The Hospital has more than 50 research and clinical trials currently underway. GRH also hosts hundreds of learners a year in medicine, nursing, social work, clinical dietetics, laboratory services, pharmacy and many other disciplines. The University has supported GRH with learners in pharmacy as well as medical physics related to cancer treatment planning.

"We recognize the value of partnering with clinicians who are actively working in an area of our research. This is a unique opportunity to enrich healthcare for the local community and all Canadians by combining the knowledge and skills of clinicians and researchers in collaborative research projects," said D. George Dixon, vice-president, university research at Waterloo.

The partnership will provide a single point of access for research proposals. GRH and Waterloo will also revise processes to reduce duplication and streamline administrative and ethical reviews.

About Grand River Hospital

Grand River Hospital (GRH) is one of Ontario’s largest community hospitals and provides innovative, quality care to more than 700,000 residents of Waterloo Region and Guelph Wellington. GRH is a leading healthcare organization, offering cancer and renal (kidney) services; care for the most seriously ill and injured adults; services for mothers, newborns and children; emergency care; mental health and addictions; and care for older adults including rehabilitation. The Hospital is privileged to be a key partner in health sciences learning and has a rapidly growing role in academic and applied research. GRH patients benefit from the services of 3,400 staff members, 600 professional staff and 1,000 volunteers at the Kitchener-Waterloo and Freeport sites as well as satellite locations in Waterloo Region and Wellington County.

About the University of Waterloo

In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. A globally focused institution, celebrated as Canada’s most innovative university for 23 consecutive years, Waterloo is home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit

Media Contacts:

Mark Karjaluoto
Grand River Hospital
519-749-4300, ext. 2788

Pamela Smyth
University of Waterloo