$11.8M investment to support Can-SOLVE CKD Network through 2027

August 5, 2022

The network’s second phase will focus on translating research findings into better kidney health care for Canadians

News release
AUGUST 5, 2022 – Vancouver, BC

The Can-SOLVE CKD Network is Canada’s largest-ever kidney research initiative. Since 2016, this national partnership of patients, scientists, and health care professionals has advanced innovative kidney care solutions to help the millions of Canadians affected by chronic kidney disease.

A new investment announced August 5 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) supports the continuation of this transformative work through 2027. Can-SOLVE CKD will receive $3.75 million in new funding from CIHR matched by more than $8 million raised through the generous support of more than 60 partners. This funding, more than $11.8 million in total, enables the network to mobilize innovations in diagnosis, treatment, and care that will enhance kidney health.

“This is a significant boost for Canadian kidney research that builds upon the successes of Can-SOLVE CKD’s first phase,” said Dr. Adeera Levin, Co-Principal Investigator of the Can-SOLVE CKD Network. “We are striving to change the culture of research, create new knowledge about kidney health, and enhance Canada’s kidney research landscape. Now, as we look towards Phase 2, this investment by CIHR and our partners will take our work to the next level and effect real changes in how Canadians with kidney disease are treated and cared for.”

Can-SOLVE CKD Phase 2 is focused on mobilizing the findings of projects launched during the network’s first five years. To date, Can-SOLVE CKD has undertaken 18 research projects based directly on patients’ experiences and priorities. Nine of these have been selected through an internal review process for implementation during Phase 2. Funding will support project teams to effectively move innovative kidney health solutions into health care policy and practice across Canada.

“Can-SOLVE CKD research is already improving living donor kidney transplantation, supporting self-management of kidney disease, and enhancing kidney health screening in rural and remote Indigenous communities,” said Heather Harris, Can-SOLVE CKD Executive Director. “Our continued work to mobilize these and other Phase 2 initiatives will impact kidney health care for years to come.”

In addition to mobilizing new interventions and innovations, Can-SOLVE CKD Phase 2 will focus on changing the culture of kidney research in several priority areas:

  • Enhancing Indigenous cultural competency in research
  • Advancing principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI)
  • Creating new resources and infrastructure to enhance Canada’s leadership in kidney-focused research and clinical trials

Please refer to the attached infographic for details of Phase 2 activities in these areas.

Kidney disease affects 1 in 10 Canadians – nearly four million people – and has a significant economic impact. The Canadian health care system spends nearly $2.5 billion annually caring for those who are on dialysis; more broadly, health care costs for those living with chronic kidney disease exceed $40 billion per year in Canada. Can-SOLVE CKD is committed to reducing the human and social toll of chronic kidney disease by partnering with patients to understand what matters most and developing innovative solutions.


“Can-SOLVE CKD represents a new way of doing research – one that puts patients at the centre and is shaped by our needs and priorities. Reflecting on Phase 1, we have much to be proud of. We built a robust model for involving patients in research that endured even in the face of unprecedented challenges. As a testament to this success, more than 75 patients have taken part in innovative studies as true partners. As we look to Phase 2, we are excited to expand our network of patients across the country and see the fruits of our research projects deliver even better kidney care to Canadians. We also look forward to leading the way to a more inclusive research system that celebrates diversity and practices cultural competency. We are thrilled that CIHR and our partners recognize the potential in our vision and have made a strong commitment to continuing this important work.”
-Mary Beaucage, David Hillier, Michael McCormick, Hans Vorster (Patient Governance Circle Executive)

“Being a part of the Can-SOLVE CKD Network has transformed the way I approach research. Working with patients has enriched our project in so many different ways that we could not have anticipated. Our patient partners are not merely study subjects – they have been true partners in designing and implementing our work. They ask questions that challenge our usual modes of thinking. Most importantly our patient partners have helped us to prioritize what is most important to them through their wealth of lived experience. Can-SOLVE CKD is at the leading edge of a culture change in research that will make it more person-centred and responsive to the needs of patients. I am thrilled that this important infrastructure has been renewed and excited to continue our implementation work in Phase 2.”
– Dr. Marisa Battistella, Project Lead (STOP Med-HD)

Quick facts:

  • The Can-SOLVE CKD Network was established in 2016 through CIHR’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR). It is one of five SPOR networks created to address chronic disease issues.
  • Phase 2 of Can-SOLVE CKD is funded through CIHR’s Knowledge Mobilization Implementation Science competition. Funding is also provided by more than 60 partners, including provincial kidney care agencies, health charities, universities, and pharmaceutical companies.
  • Can-SOLVE CKD coordinates and conducts innovative research using a patient-oriented approach. The network is changing the culture of kidney research by designing studies around patients’ priorities and involving patients throughout the research process.
  • Can-SOLVE CKD comprises more than 450 research team members and more than 75 patient partners across Canada.
  • Since 2016, Can-SOLVE CKD has generated more than 100 publications in high-impact scientific journals. Notably, 44% of these publications include patient partners as co-authors.

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