In 2018, an unprecedented $100 million anonymous donation fuelled the launch of the CAMH Discovery Fund. The fund fosters hope as it drives research that aspires to bold, concrete impacts: lower rates of suicide; reduced disability associated with common mental disorders; and better outcomes for people with psychosis.
The fund invests in people, ideas and a discovery platform. To date, its results include the launch of two major and ongoing funding competitions: a seed-funding competition that has supported 15 CAMH researchers with two-year awards; and a talent development competition that has supported the recruitment of 36 post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. The fund will also support the launch of several “transformative idea” projects in 2020–2021. This will include research around ways to decrease disability related to addiction.
The fund supports convergence platforms such as the CAMH BrainHealth Databank (under the leadership of the Krembil Centre for Neuroinformatics). Designed to collect all types of data from patients (e.g., behavioural, brain structure, genetic, sleep pattern, electronic health record), the databank will advance personalized treatment for mental illness.
In alignment with the “Hope through Discovery” priority action (within Inspire) and the “Patient and Family Engagement” priority action (within Include), the fund unlocks new ways to diagnose, predict, prevent and recover from mental illness. It enhances the data, platforms and analytics that support research, and enables work to integrate research with
- Launch the Toronto Adolescent and Youth CAMH Cohort Study, which follows 3,000 youth over five years to study psychosis risk and the relationship between risk trajectories and functional outcomes.
- Launch the Centre for Complex Interventions, which is dedicated to developing and testing complex interventions (e.g., integrated care pathways) and multi-step outcomes (e.g., reduced disability).
- Support research excellence, diversity and inclusion through competitions for emerging scientists.
- Continue to develop, invest in and monitor “transformative idea” projects with local, national and international effects.
- Leverage investments in our discovery platform toward sustainable clinical research excellence.
- Evaluate the Discovery Fund’s impacts to ensure ongoing progress toward its three aspirations.