Research projects zero in on women

How these scientists are working to close the gender research gap
Heather Foulds headshot

Dr. Heather Foulds is working to shine a light on factors impacting the heart and brain health of Indigenous women.

Heart & Stroke researchers across Canada are increasing our understanding of women’s heart and brain health. Through research competitions focused on topics specific to women, 27 scientists will share a total of $4.3 million over five years. Here are some of the 15 awardees already at work:

  • Dr. Nathalie Auger, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal: Studying how pregnancy complications can affect and predict women’s risk of developing heart disease and stroke later.
  • Dr. Thalia Field, University of British Columbia: Investigating the impact of CVT (cerebral venous thrombosis) on young women. CVT is the second most common cause of stroke for women during pregnancy.
  • Dr. Heather Foulds, University of Saskatchewan: Shining a spotlight on social and cultural factors impacting the heart and brain health of Indigenous women.
  • Dr. Kara Nerenberg, Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary: Studying ways to improve heart and brain health of new mothers.

General Heart & Stroke research funding — more than $33 million in 2018 — also supports many studies that will provide critical clues to women’s health. We’ve also changed our expectations: researchers must now consider sex and gender in all research projects, so the results apply to women as well as men. Here are a few funded researchers:

  • Dr. Susan Howlett, Dalhousie University, Halifax: Examining the effect of frailty on the development of heart disease, to better understand sex differences in heart failure.
  • Dr. Jennifer Thompson, University of Calgary: Investigating the risk of cardiovascular disease in children born to mothers with obesity or gestational diabetes.
  • Dr. Amy Yu, University of Toronto: Investigating differences in disability and healthcare costs after stroke for men and women, and the potential causes of these differences.
Related information

2020 Spotlight on Women

Research is starting to close the sex and gender gap.