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REF NO.: 74

SUBJECT: Three major grants for Memorial University researchers in CIHR competition

DATE: Feb. 6

Memorial's University's Faculty of Medicine has received three major Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) awards in the latest round of funding announcements.

Dr. Guang Sun, Genetics, will receive over $142,000 this year in a new three-year award. He is doing a comparative expression study on the alteration of global mRNA profiles of human adipose tissue in response to overfeeding in obese and non-obese subjects.

Five-year grant renewals were awarded to Dr. George Carayanniotis and Dr. Kenneth Kao. Dr. Carayanniotis's work is on immunoregulation of experimental autoimmune thyroiditis. He will receive over $130,000 in CIHR funds in the coming year.

Basic sciences cancer researcher Dr. Kao will receive over $150,000 in the first year of his five-year renewal. His research is on the regulation of embryonic cell differentiation by a cancer causing gene called Rel/NF-kappaB. Dr. Kao has been the recipient of the Faculty of Medicine's Dr. A.R. Cox Award and a Medical Research Foundation Award.

Dr. Chris Loomis, Memorial's vice-president of research and international affairs, noted that this was a very tough competition with an overall success of less than 25 per cent across the country. "The five-year renewal awards to Dr. Carayanniotis and Dr. Kao are a clear indication of the quality of basic research being led by these two accomplished investigators. The new award to Dr. Sun is also a significant achievement and represents an important step in building our research capacity in genetics."

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