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From Alzheimer's and Parkinson's to childhood obesity: McGill highlights some of its best health research

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November 18, 2005

Source: McGill University:

From Alzheimer's and Parkinson's to childhood obesity: McGill highlights some of its best health research

Source: University Relations Office (URO) [newswire]
November 18, 2005

Medical researchers traded test tubes for pointers today, as they presented their newest findings to the Montreal public at McGill's inaugural Health Fair. Themed around the epidemic of chronic and infectious diseases, researchers presented their innovative studies on Alzheimer's, cancer, chronic disease prevention, childhood obesity, Parkinson's and parasitic diseases. The ultimate goal of their work is to find solutions for these diseases — some of Canada's biggest health problems. This is being accomplished thanks to funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

"McGill has an outstanding reputation for research, and today we sampled just a few of the highlights," says McGill Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations) Professor Denis Thérien. "In the 2004/2005 fiscal year McGill and its partner institutes were awarded more than 900 research grants from the CIHR. This is a testimony of the strength and expertise of our researchers, their past successes and ongoing competitive and innovative projects. McGill is at the forefront of knowledge, making significant progress towards bringing new innovations to the bedside."

Research projects that were presented at the Health Fair include:

  • Dr. Judes Poirier's research findings linking blocked delivery of cholesterol to the brain with Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Poirier is director of the McGill University Centre for Studies in Aging at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre.

  • Dr. Michel Tremblay's work on the tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP-1B) enzyme and its role in breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. Tremblay is director of the McGill Cancer Centre.

  • Dr. Laurette Dubé's research on how individuals can modify their behaviour to resist over-consumption and obesity. Dr. Dubé is a McGill professor in the Desautels Faculty of Management.

  • Dr. Laurent Legault's program with Mentors in Motion of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Montreal for children who are overweight or obese. Dr. Legault is a pediatric endocrinologist at the Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).

  • Dr. Edward Fon's studies looking at the cellular and molecular events that cause nerve degeneration in Parkinson's disease. Dr. Fon is a clinician scientist at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital.

  • Dr. Brian Ward and Dr. Momar Ndao's research at the MUHC's National Reference Centre for Parasitology (NRCP), involving the development of a comprehensive test that clinicians can use to immediately determine whether blood is parasite-free and hence safe for transfusion.

    "As our population ages, we will see a huge impact of chronic and infectious diseases," says McGill professor of Medicine Dr. Phil Gold. "Medical researchers are making discoveries today that will mean a healthier life tomorrow."
    About McGill University

    McGill University is Canada's leading research-intensive university and has earned an international reputation for scholarly achievement and scientific discovery. Founded in 1821, McGill has 21 faculties and professional schools, which offer more than 300 programs from the undergraduate to the doctoral level. McGill attracts renowned professors and researchers from around the world and top students from more than 150 countries, creating one of the most dynamic and diverse education environments in North America. There are approximately 23,000 undergraduate students and 7,000 graduate students. It is one of two Canadian members of the American Association of Universities. McGill's two campuses are located in Montreal, Canada. McGill tied for first place with the University of Toronto as Canada's top university in the Maclean's magazine ranking, Research Infosource ranked McGill as Canada's most research-intensive university, and the Times Higher Education Supplement named McGill as Canada's top school overall and one of the 25 best in the world.
    Christine Zeindler
    Communications Consultant
    514-671-9878, 514-969-0219

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