Learning, discovering, improving

The impetus for health research is to learn more about human health, to discover better ways to prevent and treat disease, and to help improve patient care and treatment.

With the creation of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the federal government has implemented the four following pillars of health research:

Biomedical research

The goal of biomedical research is to understand normal and abnormal functioning at the molecular, cellular and organ system and whole body levels.

Clinical research

Clinical research involves people or material of human origin. It is focused toward improving the diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury and improving the health and quality of life of individuals as they pass through normal life stages.

Health systems services research

The multidisciplinary field of health systems services research seeks to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health professionals and the health-care system through changes to practice and policy.

Social, cultural, environmental and population health research

Social, cultural, environmental and population health research explores the way in which our social and physical environments impact our health.


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