(Photo: University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization)

Infectious disease research bolstered by Hospitals of Regina Foundation

To help protect Saskatchewan residents from emerging disease threats, Hospitals of Regina Foundation (HRF) has invested $150,000 to help establish Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research at the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO).

The Foundation’s investment will support vaccine research and development to strengthen frontline health care and help reduce the impact of future infectious diseases and pandemics.

“We are grateful to Hospitals of Regina Foundation for this support. Their investment will benefit the people of Saskatchewan, including frontline healthcare providers, as we address potential new threats as Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research,” said VIDO director and CEO Dr. Volker Gerdts.

This new funding will help expand VIDO’s infrastructure to develop new vaccines. With the addition of global scientific leaders and enhanced training, VIDO will be poised to lead Canada’s response to future pandemic threats.  

“We are pleased to be investing in this new vaccine centre in our province to support the research and development of a made-in Saskatchewan COVID-19 vaccine, as well as other vaccines that will positively impact the health of our southern Saskatchewan community and prepare our province for the next pandemic,” said HRF president and CEO Dino Sophocleous. “With what we’ve experienced over the past year and a half, this is a needed step in building our capacity to deal with future pandemics.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, USask’s VIDO took a national leadership role, and the organization recently announced positive interim Phase 1 results for COVAC-2 — one of VIDO’s COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

With support from Hospitals of Regina Foundation, other private donors and all levels of government, Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research will soon be established at VIDO. This expansion to VIDO’s infrastructure will be completed during the next three years.