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REF NO.: 183

SUBJECT: Newfoundland and Labrador Health Research Showcase to be held in Montreal

DATE: June 10

The second Newfoundland and Labrador Health Research Showcase will take place in Montreal on Wednesday, June 11, at the Hotel InterContinental Montreal. An evening program hosted by the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and Memorial University will present to Canada's research-based pharmaceutical companies the range of our expertise in health research and provide an opportunity to discuss potential research partnership opportunities.

Roger Grimes, premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Dr. Axel Meisen, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University will address the showcase. "During the past 14 years, Canada's research-based pharmaceutical member companies have invested $31.5 million in research and development activities in Newfoundland and Labrador. Almost half has been spent at Memorial University and affiliated hospitals," Premier Grimes said. "These research partnerships with industry provide immediate economic benefits and also lead to innovations that result in better health care and better quality of life for people. Memorial University is committed to medicine and medical research and is poised to do much more. We welcome the opportunity to develop partnerships with these companies."

Dr. Meisen said this second showcase provides a new forum to communicate with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry. The first Health Research Showcase was held in Toronto March 4. Dr. Meisen noted that the university provides the facilities and expertise to conduct much of the medical and health research in Newfoundland and Labrador, one-third of which is funded by the private sector. "Research investments at Memorial University have not only led to new discoveries but have also served to increase valuable employment opportunities and to increase the capacity for training of highly qualified personnel. This second research showcase is a very important element in promoting an increased awareness of our research capabilities. It will help develop new partnerships with industry that will benefit patients and researchers throughout the world."

As special guest speaker, Premier Roger Grimes will give a pre-dinner address on the topic of Memorial University....Exploring Opportunities for Research and Development. Dr. Meisen will give an overview of Memorial University.

Also participating in the Research Showcase is Richard Comerford, acting vice-president, ACOA Newfoundland and Labrador, and George Tilley, President and CEO of the Health Care Corporation of St. John's.

Memorial's dean of medicine, Dr. Ian Bowmer will introduce speakers for the four research presentations. Dr. Dale Corbett, professor of neurosciences and Senior Canada Research Chair in Stroke and Neuroplasticity, will talk about stroke research. Dr. Proton Rahman, assistant professor of internal medicine/rheumatology, CIHR New Investigator and Arthritis Society of Canada Scholar will talk about Population Choice in Applied Genomics.

A presentation about the genetics of obesity will by made by Dr. Guang Sun, an assistant professor in the Discipline of Genetics who holds the Novartis Professorship in Pediatric Genetics. Dr. Christopher Kovacs, associate professor of medicine (endocrinology), obstetrics & gynecology, and basic medical sciences will make a presentation titled Of Mice and (Wo)men: Novel approaches in osteoporosis research. Dr. Kovacs is a CIHR New Investigator, 2003 Gold Medalist, Royal College or Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and 2003 Young Investigator, Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Over dinner, concluding remarks will be made by Dr. Christopher Loomis, Memorial's vice-president (research).

Memorial University's Office of Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine, will display information at the event to promote The Office of Professional Development is a recognized national leader in continuing medical education (CME), distance education, and new media learning. Its innovative R&D model and partnering strategy have fostered many fruitful projects including the national online CME initiative Fran Kirby, manager, and Kerry Arnold, business consultant, will be available as resource personnel for continuing health education research and development.

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