Infections, inflammation, and chronic diseases are one of the greatest burdens to global health. This burden will worsen as the number of people over 60 will more than double by 2020. Growing evidence suggests that many chronic diseases occur as a result of an imbalance between the gut microbiome and its host. Launched in November 2015, the Infections, Inflammation and Chronic Diseases (IICD) Research Strategy aims to address these critical challenges to our health and the global economy.
To address the major health impacts due to chronic diseases, world health in the 21st century will be dependent upon:
• Discovery-based fundamental research with transformative translation and innovation in the areas of host-microbial
interactions, infections and chronic disease
• Improved immunotherapies and biologics for infections, inflammation and chronic diseases
• Understanding and optimizing microbiomes in humans, animals and plants
• Managing the threat that chronic diseases pose for the sustainability of the health system and our economy.
The Infections, Inflammation and Chronic Diseases in the Changing Environment (IICD) research strategy at the University of Calgary highlights five grand challenges to address societal health impacts.
1) Adapting to a changing environment
2) Producing safe and healthy food in a changing world
3) Building and battling microbial biofilms
4) Developing immunotherapies: novel approaches to treating infections and chronic disease
5) Managing the growing economic burden of chronic diseases
The focus of the research under the grand challenges is to connect our communities with scholars, government and industry to better enable translation of research that is relevant to our communities. The IICD team has developed four research directives to support our scholars as they develop and implement research with maximal impact:
- Identify and understand our local, national, and international community challenges
- Use our natural resources and agriculture sectors to promote health and combat disease
- Create innovative ideas through academic-industry collaborations and partnerships
- Enable clinical translation in a changing physical, social and economic environment