With a mandate of improving the quality of life for all Canadians, a new research center specializing in respiratory health has launched at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

The Respiratory Research Centre (RRC) is an interdisciplinary and intersectoral initiative that will foster innovative respiratory research throughout the health sciences.

“We take breathing and our respiratory health for granted, but respiratory illness is a big concern,” says Donna Goodridge, director of the RRC and a professor in the College of Medicine’s Division of Respirology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, in a release. “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the number-one chronic medical condition leading to hospitalization in Canada, and lung cancer kills more people than breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancers combined. This is a significant area of healthcare and we need a respiratory research strategy that allows us to learn more about lung disease, boldly intended to reduce risk, discover cures, save lives, and improve the quality of life for all Canadians.”

Housed within the College of Medicine, the RRC encompasses interdisciplinary research collaborations from across the U of S campus—including medicine, pharmacy and nutrition, veterinary medicine, nursing, kinesiology, arts and science, agriculture, engineering, public health, public policy, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac ), and the Canadian Light Source.

It will also work with external partners, such as the Health Quality Council, the Lung Association of Saskatchewan, and the Saskatoon Health Region to build on existing respiratory research expertise and provide opportunity for new direction and discovery.

“This is a great example of how interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships can advance health research to benefit the people of Saskatchewan and beyond,” says Karen Chad, U of S vice-president of research. “This exciting new research center builds on initiatives currently underway within One Health, a signature research area at the U of S which provides health solutions at the animal-human-environment interface. It will enable our graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to become leading experts and health care professionals in this critical area of respiratory health.”