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Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research

The Edmonton Protocol, or islet cell transplants, is a procedure developed by University of Alberta researchers. The Edmonton Protocol is now in clinical trials in many centres throughout the world.The Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) was established by the Alberta Government in 1980 and supports health research at Alberta's universities, institutions and other related foundations. The foundation supports more than 500 researchers working in Alberta, both from the province and from around the world.

Since its inception, AHFMR has funded more than 8,500 individuals and provided career opportunities for scientists and students as researchers.A breast cancer research study that began as a high school project, expanded under the umbrella of AHFMR's Heritage Youth Research Summer Program (HYRS), a six-week research experience for Grade 11 students.

AHFMR coordinates an umbrella organization geared specifically towards advanced research—the Applied Health Research Programs (AHRP). These programs have been created to build the capacity for research that can be utilized by the health system. AHRP has four major branches

  • SEARCH Program. SEARCH (Swift Efficient Application of Research in Community Health) trains health professionals in Alberta to conduct research on issues affecting their communities. This program has successfully trained more than 75 health professionals in conducting relevant research and properly applying this research to improve local healthcare. SEARCH has created a network of talented personnel who have applied their research at a regional level and can share their findings with the rest of the province, the rest of the country and potentially the rest of the world.
  • CREBA program. CREBA (Community Research Ethics Board of Alberta) is an autonomous research ethics board that provides Alberta researchers with access to other ethics board for review of their proposed research projects. The committee is a multidisciplinary board with members from across Alberta to provide a diverse and thorough review. Having an ethics review board in the province allows for proper medical practice and reduces waiting periods to begin new research projects that would require out of province review.
  • RTNA Program. RTNA (Health Research Transfer Network of Alberta) is a network of professionals interested in transforming research into health practices in the province. The objectives of the RTNA include enhancing the skills and knowledge of health care professionals, fostering partnerships and collaborations that contribute to the sharing of skills and knowledge and capitalizing on inter-provincial and national knowledge and experience.
  • ACHRN Program. ACHRN (Alberta Consultative Health Research Network) provides consultations and workshops for Alberta health professionals interested in research. ACHRN's network has been designed to support the development of a critical mass of health researchers, encourage a supportive research environment that creates research cooperation and idea sharing, and provide workshops to build research capacity across Alberta.


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