Research We Support

Dr. Tarun Katapally

2020-2021 Mitacs Accelerate Award Recipient

Dr. Tarun Katapally and his team from the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Regina are investigating CO-Away – A Rapid Response Digital Tool to Tackle COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an extremely complex threat that requires cohesive societal effort to address health system inefficiencies and overcome gaps in real-time data analytics. Understanding and mitigating the impact of globally debilitating pandemics such as COVID-19 requires precise big data about population risks and behaviors.

CO-Away will be a digital epidemiological platform that leverages the approach of a SMART Platform in integrating ethical surveillance, integrated knowledge translation, and policy and behavior interventions in a northern Saskatchewan Indigenous community. CO-Away will gather data, where citizens will engage with the researchers in real-time to manage this evolving pandemic. The data sourced will be used for local decision-making in partnership with the community leadership.  

CO-Away will be designed to not only address population health risks during the current wave of the pandemic, but will also be structured for rapid response during subsequent waves of COVID-19 as well as other communicable disease outbreaks.

Dr. Donna Goodridge

2019-20 Collaborative Innovation Development Grant Recipient

Dr. Donna Goodridge and her team from the University of Saskatchewan are looking at the influence of health literacy and self-efficacy on treatment acceptance and adherence in patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep-disordered breathing, which can cause serious physical, cognitive and emotional problems if left untreated. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) has documented effectiveness as the primary therapy for OSA. In spite of the availability of this therapy, up to 30% of patients fail to accept CPAP and another 34% fail to adhere to the prescribed treatment.

While some of the reasons for failure to accept and/or adhere to CPAP have been studied, little is known about how health literacy – access, understanding and use of information to make wise health care decisions – influences choices for people with OSA.


Drs. Nicole Hansmeier and Tzu-Chiao Chao

2019-20 Collaborative Innovation Development Grant Recipient

Drs. Nicole Hansmeier and Tzu-Chiao Chao and their team from the University of Regina will look at the molecular effects of second-hand cannabis exposure.

The legalization of cannabis in Canada has provided many opportunities, but also comes with significant challenges and uncertainties. In order to deploy fair and meaningful policies and regulations, it is important to accurately and objectively investigate the impact of cannabis and its use on public health and safety.

Currently, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis, is measured in blood, saliva or urine as a means to test cannabis consumption. However, the presence of THC is an insufficient indicator of impairment, as it can reside in the body for longer than its actual biological effects. This research will improve the ability to assess cannabis-related impairment.

This project aims to identify biomarkers indicative of active impairment and investigate the impact of delivery, such as oral consumption or inhalation of cannabis smoke and aerosols on the biological effects of cannabis. This will lay the foundation for the development of an innovative cannabis-testing method to detect real impairment and in the long run, improve road and work safety.

Page Last Updated: 04/09/2020