Simon Papillon-Cavanagh announced April month winner of Étudiants-chercheurs étoiles award

24-August-12

From Med e-news

Simon Papillon-Cavanagh, a PhD student in Department of Human Genetics at McGill University, is the award winner of the Fonds Santé, one of the three Fonds awards of the Fonds de recherche du Québec. His Award-winning publication: Impaired H3K36 methylation defines a subset of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas is published in Nature Genetics.

Using public data, Simon Papillon-Cavanagh and his team discovered that head and neck cancers may be classified into five categories according to patients’ specific clinical features.

Read the full abstract here.

In addition to promoting research careers in Quebec, this competition recognizes the exceptional research contributions of university students (master’s, doctorate), postdoctoral fellows and members of professional bodies who are enrolled in advanced research training programs in the areas covered by the three Fonds de recherche du Québec.

To learn more about the awards, click here.

Congratulations Simon!

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Dr. Patricia Tonin awarded the Karen Campbell Award for Research Excellence

From RI-MUHC and Med e-news

Congratulations to Dr. Patricia Tonin on receiving the 2017 Karen Campbell Award for Research Excellence from Ovarian Cancer Canada.

Dr. Patricia Tonin, professor in the Department of Human Genetics and Faculty of Medicine received this award at The Lady Ball event, the first in a series of special events being held this year to celebrate fearless women everywhere. The Karen Campbell award recognizes overall research excellence and important scientific achievements that impact the understanding and treatment of ovarian cancer. Dr. Tonin’s outstanding contribution to the advanced understanding of the role of specific gene mutations in the development of ovarian cancer, particularly among French Canadians was recognized.

[Read more]

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Dr. Roderick McInnes appointed Acting President of CIHR

Our congratulations to Dr. Roderick McInnes on being appointed the Acting President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

On March 31st, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health has announced that Dr. Roderick McInnes was appointed the responsibility of Acting President of CIHR. Dr. McInnes said, “It is a great honour to be asked to assume this important position at this critical time in CIHR’s history. I look forward to listening to the research community for its guidance in helping me and my CIHR colleagues to build on the opportunities ahead.”

For more information, visit this webpage.

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In Memory of

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Gillian Elizabeth MacLean

December 17, 1987 – March 21, 2017

A former student of the Department of Human Genetics, McGill University, having completed her M.Sc. in February 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Nancy Braverman and whose academic pursuit lead her to the University of British Columbia to pursue a second Masters degree in Genetic Counseling.

Arrangements have been entrusted To Brunswick Funeral Home, Perth-Andover and Plaster Rock.

Resting at St. Andrew’s United Church in Plaster Rock with visitation on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 from 6-8 pm. Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 2 pm from the church. Rev. Sarah Magie officiating.

Should you wish to share your memories or express your condolences, please visit here.

A memorial page has been set up by UBC to share their memories, please visit here.

Our most sincere sympathies to Gillian Elizabeth MacLean’s family and friends.

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Canadian House of Commons Passes S-201: Genetic Nondiscrimination Act

A message from the CCMG National Office: “Yesterday, Canadians became closer to being able to make‎ informed decisions about genetic tests without fear.  Bill S-201 passed the 3rd reading in the House of Commons.  The Bill still needs to go back to the Senate but all indications are that it will be supported.  After several attempts by the Liberal Justice Minister to gut the Bill through amendments, it passed in its entirety.  The Bill includes Pan-Canada legislation that makes it a criminal act to discriminate against a person based on their genetic test information, as well as amendments to the Canada Labour Code and amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act.  The bill passed by a free vote (in which MPs are allowed to vote according to their own personal conscience rather than according to an official party line) with an overwhelming majority of 222-60.  This is a historic development, as Canada is the only G8 country without this type of legislation.”

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A surprise advance in the treatment of adult cancers

Researchers at the RI-MUHC have made a discovery that could improve care for about 15% of patients with head and neck cancer linked to alcohol and tobacco use

Simon Papillon-Cavanagh, McGill University PhD candidate, Drs Nada Jabado and Jacek Majewski, PhD

SOURCE: MUHC Newsroom

A team of researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) has found an epigenetic modification that might be the cause of 15% of adult cancers of the throat linked to alcohol and tobacco use. This is a first in the field of epigenetics and the researchers are hopeful that the discovery can blaze a path in the development of new, targeted, more effective treatments that could arise over the next few years.

“This discovery was absolutely unexpected since it seemed highly improbable that the kind of alterations of the epigenome that we had previously found in other types of tumours in children and young adults could also target an epithelial tumour like throat cancer that occurs only in adults,” explains Dr. Nada Jabado, a researcher at the RI-MUHC and one of the principal authors of the study published in Nature Genetics.

Head and neck cancers, also called oropharyngeal cancers or throat cancer often have devastating consequences. Standard treatments involve surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the side effects of these treatments are significant and relapses are common. That’s why oncologists are searching to develop more effective treatments that will be less harmful and have fewer deleterious effects. The discovery of this epigenetic modification opens new treatment possibilities. In fact, some promising drug molecules are already on the market for other illnesses and could possibly be tested for head and neck cancers as well as other cancers like multiple myeloma and lung cancer.

Dr. Jabado, who is also a pediatric hemato-oncologist, has hopes that this discover will have positive repercussions for pediatric cancers as well. “Now that we’ve identified this cohort of patients, we can move quite quickly since in the case of adults, as opposed to children, there are more patients and lots of clinical trials. The medicines could then be tested on children afterward.”

[Read More]

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Prof. Mark Lathrop re-appointed Scientific Director, McGill University Genome Quebec Innovation Centre

Our congratulations to Prof. Mark Lathrop on being re-appointed as the Scientific Director at McGill University Genome Quebec Innovation Centre.

Vice-Principle and Dean of The Faculty of Medicine, Dr. David Eidelman along with Vice-Dean, Dr. Mara Ludwig made the following announcement “It is with pleasure that we announce the re-appointment of Mark Lathrop, PhD, to the position of Scientific Director, McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre, a position he has held since 2011, during which time he has helped strengthen our position as a hub for genomic research in Quebec and a leader nationally and internationally.

A native of British Columbia, Professor Lathrop completed his Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees at the University of Alberta before obtaining his PhD from the University of Washington (Seattle) in Biomathematics. He then moved to France, where he was one of the founders of the Centre d’Étude du Polymorphisme Humain, which pioneered international collaboration on the human genome in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1993, Dr. Lathrop moved to the University of Oxford, where he was a Wellcome Trust Principal Fellow and Professor of Human Genetics, during which time he co-founded and was first Scientific Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, an institute created to apply genomic approaches to understanding the molecular basis of human disease. In 1997, he was asked by the French government to form the Centre National de Genotypage outside of Paris in Evry, which he directed until 2012.

Professor in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill, Professor Lathrop’s current research is focused on the use of the human genome sequence, and other information about the human genome, to understand the molecular basis of disease, and how these can be applied to individualize approaches to disease prevention and treatment. His work has been recognized with many honours throughout his career, including the French Order of Merit and the French Legion of Honour.”

[Read more]

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