About our research

Leading the way to better health

Research is an integral part of Dalhousie Medical School’s mission to advance the quality of health and health care in the Maritimes and beyond. Not only does research lead the way to the better understanding and treatment of disease, it also provides health care providers and policymakers with the solid information that is essential for making real improvements to clinical practice, health service delivery and public health policy.

Dalhousie Medical School researchers are finding better ways to detect, diagnose and treat a range of diseases common in the Maritimes – from cancer and dementia to heart disease and stroke. Our researchers are also finding ways to deliver health care services more efficiently, prevent disease, and improve overall health in Maritime communities.

Integrated research training

Because of its integral role, research is embedded in Dalhousie’s MD curriculum. Undergraduate medical students enter the Research in Medicine program at the beginning of first year, so they learn to adopt a research mindset from the outset of their training. Residents are also required to complete a research project.

Building on strengths

The medical school is known for the accomplishments of collaborative research groups in four key areas of strength: neuroscience, cancer, cardiovascular, and inflammation, infection and immunity research.

Collaborative community

Dalhousie Medical School’s collegial environment promotes the cross-pollination of ideas and formation of highly productive interdisciplinary collaborations that are creating innovative solutions for many health problems.

Attracting talent

Many of our researchers have come to the Maritimes from leading universities in other parts of Canada, the United States, and overseas. Dalhousie’s reputation for a supportive, collegial environment and leading expertise also attracts top graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from around the world.

Sophisticated facilities

Dalhousie Medical School optimizes its use of resources and encourages collaboration by developing shared “core” research facilities. These facilities provide researchers with unlimited access to an array of high-tech research equipment, supported by dedicated experts.

Economic driver

As they pursue new solutions to pressing health problems, our researchers are generating a powerful economic side effect. They’re creating satisfying, good-paying jobs and promising business opportunities, while training the people and attracting the investment to build a thriving knowledge economy in the Maritimes. At the same time, Dalhousie Medical School researchers are finding ways to save the health system money and make more effective use of limited health care resources.

Local sources of funding leverage larger outside investments

Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation, QEII Foundation and IWK Foundation provide recruitment, start-up, equipment and special funding awards essential to launching and growing research endeavors. Made possible by generous donor contributions, this funding enables researchers to do the necessary groundwork to secure funding from external granting agencies such as the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust, health charities, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada Foundation for Innovation, NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council), Genome Canada and other funding bodies. Industry invests in certain kinds of research, such as clinical trials and biomedical device development. Entrepreneurial researchers attract venture capital funding from private investors for projects with high commercial potential.