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Research Without Borders

International partnership promises research benefits

Technology makes international collaboration easier than ever, but it still takes teamwork to make research partnerships truly effective.

The Foundation is excited to work with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Beer-Sheva, Israel to forge new international research projects. The St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre and BGU have common research interests, similar approaches to fundraising, and – above all – a commitment to making people’s lives better.

The “Research Without Borders” initiative was officially launched in September 2016 at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. The guest list included Professor Rivka Carmi, President of BGU, and Mark Mendelson, the Montreal-based National CEO of the Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

“St. Boniface Hospital is a unique and exceptional institution,” says Mendelson. “When our researchers and administration learned more about St. Boniface Hospital and its projects, they immediately wanted to team up.”

The campaign goal is $10 million – a little ambitious, but there is no question that working closely with another institution accelerates research and opens doors to new discoveries.

The relationship between St. Boniface Hospital and BGU was born in 2014 when Mendelson was in Winnipeg meeting with his local staff and volunteers. He was introduced to the Foundation at an event and soon realized there might be a remarkable opportunity for collaboration.

Founded in 1969, BGU is widely regarded as a leading educational institute with high marks from the Centre for World University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings. The university is also among the top 100 in the world in receiving U.S. patents on their discoveries, and the only Israeli university invited to join the National Academy of Inventors.

The dollars raised will support three broad areas of research where each institution has demonstrated expertise: cardiovascular sciences; food sciences; and neurodegenerative research. Some possible areas of particular attention, notes Mendelson, include geriatric nutrition and autism. As the partnership blossoms and the work advances, the researchers will bring greater focus to the streams of research.

More than a few St. Boniface investigators will be involved in the work. As far as the fundraising goes, the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation team will be joined by Mendelson and Zach Ostrove, the Executive Director of the Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Winnipeg.

You can help take international medical research to new levels. Support Research Without Borders today.

*This article was first published in the Spring 2017 edition of Believe, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation’s bilingual newsletter produced twice annually in partnership with St. Boniface Hospital.