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Vol 38  No 8
January 12, 2006




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Learn about health research

Exercise your brain

By Sharon Gray

Looking for something to do on these wintry Sunday afternoons? For the next four Sundays you can visit the Fluvarium on Nagle’s Hill Road from 2:30-4 p.m. for a free afternoon of talks and discussion on health research at Memorial University.

The series will be opened Sunday by Dr. Axel Meisen, president of Memorial. He will discuss health research at Memorial and the contribution of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to this research enterprise. Since it was founded in 2000, the CIHR has approved more than $69 million in funding for health research at Memorial.

Each “Sunday at the Fluvarium” features two presentations and a tasty nutrition break. Things get rolling on Jan. 15 with presentations on stroke and kidney disease. Stroke is a devastating disorder that strikes more than 45,000 Canadians each year. While most patients survive stroke, many are left with lifelong disabilities. Dr. Dale Corbett, Canada Research Professor of Stroke and Neuroplasticity, will illustrate findings from basic research that encourage the brain to reorganize itself after experimental stroke in order to restore lost brain function. The second presentation on Jan. 15 will address the growing problem of advanced kidney disease and how it is linked to cardiovascular disease. Dr. Brendan Barrett, professor of Medicine (Nephrology), will discuss how the right care for kidney disease can be delivered to those who most need to receive it.

On Sunday, Jan. 22, the topics are chronic pain management and occupational health and safety. Dr. Sandra LeFort, director of the School of Nursing, will speak about her research on chronic pain management. Drs. Barbara Neis and Stephen Bornstein, co-directors of SafetyNet, will talk about aspects of their work on occupational health and safety in marine and coastal work. Dr. Christopher Loomis, vice-president (research), will open the Jan. 22 event.

On Sunday, Jan. 29, the topics are breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Dr. Gary Paterno of the Terry Fox Cancer Research Laboratory will talk about the work he and Dr. Laura

Gillespie are doing on breast cancer research. Dr. Cathy Popadiuk, a gynecologic oncologist from the Division of Women’s Health, will talk about her collaborative work with Dr. Ken Kao of the Terry Fox Labs and current progress on research and treatment for ovarian cancer.

On Sunday, Feb. 5, the series concludes with a look at how research affects patients and their families. Kathy Hodgkinson, a medical researcher, will discuss her work with patients and their families with hereditary ARVC (arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy), a degenerative condition in which heart muscle is slowly replaced by fibrous scar tissue and fat. Medical ethicist Dr. Daryl Pullman will discuss some of the issues concerning privacy and ethics in human research.

This series of free public talks is being held to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the CIHR, which funds research in four areas: biomedical; clinical; health systems and services; and the social, cultural and environmental factors that affect people’s health.

For further information on this series visit


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