I'VE BEEN AROUND. AND ONE THING
I'VE LEARNED IS THAT THE UNDERWORLD
OF HUMAN GENETICS CAN
BE A TROUBLESOME PLACE.
IT'S A PLACE FILLED WITH HIDDEN SIGNALS
AND SEQUENCES. UNDISCOVERED OBSTACLES
SEEM TO BE WAITING AROUND EVERY CORNER.
THIS IS NO PLACE FOR THE WEARY. DOWN HERE
THERE IS A CODE. A GENETIC CODE THAT, ONCE
CRACKED, WILL REVEAL A WORLD OF LIGHT
AND UNDERSTANDING FEW HAVE EVER SEEN.
FORTUNATELY FOR THOUSANDS OF
PEOPLE, TERRY-LYNN YOUNG HAS
MANAGED TO CRACK THAT CODE.
Terry-Lynn joined forces with Sean Connors and Kathy Hodgkinson to create an interdisciplinary
Memorial research team striving to identify the genetic causes of Sudden
Cardiac Death such as arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). ARVC is
a cruel condition that has taken the lives of many young men and women in this province.
The Sudden Cardiac Death gene discovered in Terry-Lynn's lab was initially believed to be
unique to the Newfoundland population. However, collaborations with international heart
research institutes are uncovering new evidence of this gene and related lethal mutations
in other populations — a much larger "super family" with a genetic connection to sudden
cardiac death. The team is now working with research groups internationally to explore
sudden cardiac death elsewhere in the world.
Thanks to the dauntless deeds of Terry-Lynn and her courageous team, carriers of this
gene, both at home and abroad, can now be easily identified and implanted with an internal
defibrillator that is ready to jump-start the heart faster than a speeding neurotransmitter.
THE WORLD IS SO CROWDED WITH PEOPLE.
EVERY DAY WE GO ABOUT
EACH OF US WITH A STORY
THAT WE CARRY WITH US.
WE SLING THE STORY OF OUR LIVES UPON
OUR BACKS LIKE SOME WORN LEATHER BAG
AND GO ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF LIVING.
SOME BAGS ARE FILLED WITH
THE MUNDANE — WHILST
OTHERS, IF YOU LOOK CLOSE
ENOUGH, ARE FILLED WITH THE
MOST EXQUISITE OF SURPRISES.
Jeffrey Pittman is a man with a bag brimming with ingenuity.
At first blush, he's a regular man walking the city streets with his fellow city-dwellers, clad in a
simple black overcoat with a worn leather rucksack strapped tightly to his back. Although, dig
a little deeper and you'll find a man who has the world buzzing with his evidence on the role
that corporate tax incentives play in motivating firms to invest in research and development tax
credits. Even the President of the United States, Barack Obama, referenced Jeffrey's research on
tax credits and private sector investment in innovation to help support the policy rationale for a
business tax reform proposal. Jeffrey and his colleagues, Ken Klassen and Margaret Reed, make
the case for a permanent adoption of the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit — a temporary
credit system in place since 1981. Jeffrey estimates that if this bionic booster for stimulating
economic growth is permanently adopted, then firms will spend nearly $3 more on research and
development projects for every tax dollar foregone. This is yet another example of Memorial's
impact in research having international significance. In this case, the effects have reached all the
way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Jeffrey's electrifying contribution could spark valuable and
much needed investments in an otherwise ailing economy.
When it comes to great research, Jeffrey Pittman has got it in the bag.
THE GLASS. IT'S PECULIAR.
ONE MINUTE IT CAN BE HALF FULL AND THE
NEXT IT CAN BE HALFWAY TO BONE DRY.
IT'S THE MIND THAT DOES THAT. PERSPECTIVE IS
EVERYTHING. WE SEE THE GLASS THE WAY WE
WISH TO SEE IT. BUT THERE ARE THOSE WHO
YEARN TO LOOK MUCH DEEPER.
Lesley James is chief among them.
On a great and gelid Thursday in December of 2011, Chevron Canada and RDC partnered together
to appoint the Chevron Chair in Petroleum Engineering at Memorial. Lesley James was given the
nod to assume this prodigiously pertinent position. A wonder woman with a blend of academic
and industry experience, Lesley holds a PhD in chemical engineering. Her research, which is largely
focused on enhanced oil recovery, aims to increase the proportion of oil recovered from petroleum
reservoirs. As the Chevron Chair in Petroleum Engineering, with strong financial support from
the Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. and with technical support from
ExxonMobil, she boldly goes where few have gone before, researching ways to maximize the
recovery of oil from offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. Memorial is committed to stimulating
research and connecting with businesses and communities at home and abroad. To this end, the
university has established other chairs with support from Statoil, Husky Energy and Wood Group.
They allow people like Lesley to bring locally relevant real-world data together with industry
challenges in the classroom and teaching laboratory, so that many may benefit from the scope
of her research.
To Lesley, each and every glass should be far more than half full.