Research Competition Winners Leading the Fight on Diabetes and Obesity With the Novad Fund

ALBERTA, CANADA – June 6, 2019 – The University Hospital Foundation (UHF), Government of Alberta, and Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. are proud to announce the winners of the 2019 Novo Nordisk Alberta Diabetes (NOVAD) Fund Competition. NOVAD is a $2.5 million fund focused on improving diabetes-obesity interventions, supporting independent living and improving acute care for hospital patients distributed over three years.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has highlighted non-communicable diseases, including diabetes and obesity, as the most pressing global health need. The impact of diabetes on health is significant: diabetes contributes to 70% of non-traumatic lower limb amputations, and is associated with other chronic conditions such as obesity; 1 in 5 hospital admissions in Alberta will be a person living with diabetes, while over 300,000 Albertans are known to have diabetes with numbers on the rise. The NOVAD fund collaboration aims to improve health outcomes for Albertans living with diabetes and obesity and address risk factors contributing to this concerning trend.

2019 Competition Winners of the NOVAD Fund

The research supported by the NOVAD fund aims to identify care gaps in diabetes and obesity. The three selected recipients of the fund are being announced today at Inventure$ 2019. Learn more about how these ground-breaking investigators are pushing the boundaries of diabetes and obesity knowledge at

The selected NOVAD fund recipients are:

  • Dr. Diana Mager, Principal Investigator
    • Development of innovative home-based strategies for frailty prevention in the community in adults with Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease.
  • Dr. Denise Campbell-Scherer, Principal Investigator
    • Addressing clinical and social determinants of health to advance obesity and diabetes prevention and management in vulnerable newcomer ethno-cultural communities
  • Dr. Padma Kaul, Principal Investigator
    • Examining social and clinical determinants of childhood obesity at the population level

“These projects will help to identify gaps in care, an important first step to fuel future innovations that can change the trajectory of diabetes and obesity in Alberta,” said Iain Graham, President of Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. “We’re proud to support these investigators whose research has the potential to have a positive impact on the health of Albertans.”

But just as Alberta’s rates of diabetes and obesity are high, the province is uniquely positioned to change this trend through collaboration.

“Through Public Private Philanthropic Partnerships like this, we are able to tackle pressing global health problems with a breadth of experience and perspective that would not be possible for any one of us on our own,” says Christy Holtby, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships with the University Hospital Foundation. “We’re so grateful for the support from community members through our Foundation to help fund this forward-thinking collaboration.”

Alberta is uniquely positioned for these partnerships because of the strength of our life sciences sector, the proven willingness of many organizations to partner with a common vision, and the provincial government’s commitment to increasing economic diversification, by building Alberta’s knowledge economy.

Through Novo Nordisk’s partnership with the Government of Alberta and the University Hospital Foundation, the power of collaboration between industry, the public and philanthropic sectors is harnessed, to advance and translate innovations into solutions that impact the health of all Albertans. The made-in-Alberta solutions built through this partnership will not only impact the health outcomes of Albertans; this partnership has the opportunity to impact Canada and the world.

About the NOVAD Partners

The University Hospital Foundation raises and manages funds to advance patient care, research and healthcare education at the University of Alberta Hospital, the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and the Kaye Edmonton Clinic. You can find more information at

The Ministry of Alberta Economic Development, Trade and Tourism focuses on economic growth and diversification by supporting innovation and research; expanding access to capital for small and medium-sized enterprises; promoting trade, investment and market access initiatives; and leading Alberta’s negotiations on trade agreements. Please visit our website at

Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 95 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. This heritage has given us experience and capabilities that also enable us to help people defeat obesity, haemophilia, growth disorders and other serious chronic diseases. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 42,700 people in 79 countries and markets its products in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit

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