SFU researcher awarded $6.5M to reduce HIV infections among vulnerable populations
SFU researcher Robert Hogg is among the first cohort of Canada’s top researchers to receive a CIHR Foundation grant.
July 28, 2015 - The Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) has
awarded a $6.5-million grant to Simon Fraser University health sciences
researcher Robert Hogg. The
award is among the CIHR's inaugural Foundation Grants totaling
$409 million. They have been presented to 150 established and new investigators to support a wide
spectrum of innovative research programs during the next seven years.
Hogg will use the grant to continue identifying ongoing health inequities among vulnerable HIV-positive
populations in British Columbia and the rest of Canada.
Hogg and his research team will investigate three key areas in HIV care and the accessibility of HIV
treatment. They will study how optimism influences current sexual behavior and new infection rates
among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. Such optimism stems from the
availability of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), an effective treatment
strategy to combat HIV/AIDS.
“Although the number of new HIV infections in British Columbia has decreased significantly in the
last few years, rates of infection among these groups have not decreased as quickly,” says Hogg.
Hogg is a senior scientist in the Epidemiology and Population Health program at
the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) and is
also principal investigator of the Canadian HIV Observational Cohort (CANOC) Collaborative Research Centre .
The internationally recognized researcher will examine how long-term use of HAART affects those who
simultaneously suffer from age-associated diseases and HIV. He will also explore how different models
of care impact the uptake, adherence to, and retention of HAART among vulnerable groups of infected
“People over 50 years of age represent more than half of all HIV-positive individuals in
North America,” says Hogg. “We need to know more about how these individuals, who likely
suffer from age-associated diseases like cardiovascular and respiratory conditions,
access health care resources differently from the general population.”
Hogg says that his findings will inform new strategies to address the realities and unique needs of
HIV-positive men and women over 50.
“Expanded access to HAART has greatly reduced the transmission of HIV, but it is important to remain
at the forefront of this disease,” he says. “This includes identifying and responding to the
challenges that are emerging from the context of accessible, effective HIV treatment.”
Joy Johnson, vice-president of research at SFU, says today's funding announcement will continue to
strengthen SFU's uniquely diverse and community-engaged contributions to health scholarship, for
the wellbeing of Canadians.
“Professor Hogg works at the cutting edge of HIV treatment research, analyzing emerging trends to
inform changes in policy and practice that will improve outcomes for vulnerable populations,” says
Johnson. “This major investment is proof positive of his high-impact research and his
leadership in scientific and policy circles.”
Hogg's innovative approach to reducing the transmission of HIV among vulnerable populations earned
him a spot among the top 10 recipients of CIHR Foundation Grants. Over a quarter of the grant will
go towards mentoring up to 10 graduate students interested in community-based and
“The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS is delighted Dr. Hogg is among the successful applicants for
the CIHR inaugural Foundation Grants. He has been part of the BC-CfE for more than 20 years and is an
experienced, knowledgeable and creative researcher. He is a very deserving recipient of this award,”
says Rolando Barrios, acting director of the Epidemiology & Population Health program at the BC-CfE.
In addition to the CIHR Foundation Grant awarded to Hogg, four other SFU researchers have received CIHR operating
grants totaling $2.6 million. They include Ryan Allen from
the Faculty of Health Sciences, Alexander Chapman from the Department of Psychology, and Steven Jones and Michel Leroux from the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.
ABOUT SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY:
As Canada's engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education,
cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded almost 50 years
ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach
to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today,
SFU is a leader amongst Canada's comprehensive research universities and is ranked
one of the top universities in the world under 50 years of age. With campuses
in British Columbia's three largest cities—Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby—SFU
has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 30,000 students,
and boasts more than 130,000 alumni in 130 countries around the
"Reproduced with permission - Simon Fraser University (SFU) "
Simon Fraser University (SFU)
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