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REF NO.: 98

SUBJECT: Memorial University receives new Canada Research Chair in Proteomics

DATE: Nov. 10,2005

Memorial University is home to a new Canada Research Chair in Proteomics. The Tier 2 chair was awarded to Dr. Valerie Booth at an announcement made today by Minister of Transport Jean C. Lapierre on behalf of David L. Emerson, minister of Industry and minister responsible for the Canada Research Chairs Program.

Dr. Christopher Loomis, vice-president (research) at Memorial, welcomed the addition of the new chair. “Dr. Booth’s accomplishments in the field of proteomics will greatly enhance MemorialUniversity’s research capacity in this emerging field. Her cutting-edge research has important implications for the Canadian biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. We are grateful to the Canada Research Chair program for its continuing efforts to help our university attract and retain the highest quality researchers to our institution,” Dr. Loomis said.

"One of Canada's most important national assets is its greatest minds," said Minister Emerson. "By empowering the most talented university researchers, the chairs program has become the keystone of the government's strategy to invigorate Canadian research, innovation and know-how.”

Dr. Booth’s research will assist Canadians suffering from respiratory distress and immune diseases and contribute to the Canadian biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry. Her focus will be on proteins which she calls the body's "molecular machines" These proteins are central in the countless processes that maintain all living organisms.

The proteins that Dr. Booth and her team are examining pose unique technical challenges and relatively little is known about their structures. However, recent technological advances have made many membrane proteins amenable to structure determination for the first time. The results from Dr. Booth’s research will underlie the design of therapeutic strategies to treat inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis, microbial infections in immuno-compromised patients, and respiratory distress syndrome in premature babies and adults with lung surfactant deficiency.

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For more information please contact Deborah Inkpen, communications co-ordinator (research), Memorial University, (709)737-4073 or inkpend@mun.ca.

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