We request you to take a moment to read and support Bill S- 201: The Genetic Non-Discrmination Act, which is currently under consideration by the Parliament of Canada. The President of CCMG, Dr. Gail Graham says “If passed, Bill S-201 will make it illegal to require an individual to undergo a genetic test as a condition of providing goods or services, including insurance, to that individual. Similarly, insurers will not be allowed to deny insurance to an individual on the grounds that they have refused to undergo a genetic test. Canada is the only G7 country without this type of legislation. All of us in this field are acutely aware of how genetic testing is transforming health care. Genome-wide technologies are cheaper and more accessible than ever. Whole exome sequencing is now being used for clinical care and the movement toward “personalized medicine” is well underway. Those of us on the front line of patient care understand how fear of genetic discrimination can influence genetic test decisions. Fear of repercussions should not prevent our society from realizing the potential of genomics. I personally believe that Canadians deserve this type of protection. If you support Bill S-201, please take a moment to write to or email your Member of Parliament (M.P.) to let him or her know. You can quickly find the address and email of your member of Parliament“
ASHG has recently issued a statement of support for S-201, and is working with Canadian organizations to move the bill forward.
Quebec’s Network of Applied Medical Genetics (RMGA) has also released a position statement, in support of Bill S-201.
Read the full text of Bill S-201
Stand Up To Cancer Canada’s (SU2C)- New Cancer Stem Cell Dream Team
Congratulations to Dr. Nada Jabado on being named Principal Investigator of the SU2C Canada Cancer Stem Cell Dream Team. “The Dream Team will bring new insights to brain cancer research, which has been an underfunded area.” “In their search for new treatment approaches in two of the most devastating cancers, both in brain, in adults and children – glioblastomas and infant ependymomas – the Dream Team will focus on a specific type of cell, called brain tumor stem cells (BTSCs).”
Dr. Nada Jabado along with Research Teams from across Canada will receive $11.7 Million in funding from SU2C, Genome Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Cancer Stem Cell Consortium and Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
Dr. Nada Jabado, Senior Scientist at RI-MUHC, Professor at the Department of Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University research focuses on brain tumors, the leading cause of cancer-related mortality and morbidity in the pediatric years. Using Next Generation Sequencing, her research team was among the first to use and achieve a breakthrough in cancer research. Published in the journals Nature, and Cancer Cell her work identified two genetic mutations involved in up to 40% of pediatric glioblastomas, a fatal cancer of the brain.
The annual Department of Human Genetics Teaching Award is given to one member of the clinical faculty and one member of the research faculty to recognize their contributions in the teaching, supervision and mentorship of students.
This year’s winners were chosen from among several nominations submitted by students, residents and faculty members, and were announced at the Department meeting on March 14th and at the Graduate Student research Day on June 21st.
David Rosenblatt, MD
Patricia Tonin, PhD
Congratulations to the winners!
Please keep your ideas in mind for next year’s award nominees.
The Faculty Awards Committee:
Congratulations to the Winners of our Research Day Prizes:
Xiaoyang Liu – 1st prize, oral presentation
Jaeseung Kim – 1st prize, poster presentation
Juan Pablo Lopez – 2nd prize, oral presentation
Lena Dolman – 2nd prize, poster presentation
Gregory Boivin – 3rd prize, oral presentation
Jeremy Saban – 3rd prize, poster presentation
It is our pleasure to announce that Bartha Maria Knoppers, Director of the Centre of Genomics & Policy and Professor in the Department of Human genetics received the Order of Québec on June 7th, 2012 in Québec City. Please see her profile here.
David L. Rimoin, MD, PhD
The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) Mourns the Loss of Founding President and Genetics Pioneer David L. Rimoin, MD, PhD
After a career that spanned nearly half a century, Dr. David L. Rimoin, founding president of ACMG and in many ways the founder of one of the most fast- paced specialties in modern clinical medicine, passed away on Sunday May 27, 2012 in Los Angeles of pancreatic cancer, which had only been diagnosed a few days before.
Dr. Rimoin was a giant in the field of medical genetics. He leaves not only an enduring legacy but also a void in the hearts of the many who loved him, including his beloved wife Ann of 32 years and their three cherished children, Anne, Michael and Lauren.
Clarke Fraser was inducted to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2012 http://www.cdnmedhall.org/list-name?year=2012
If you haven’t heard it already, Dr. Fraser was interviewed by CBC radio. The podcast can be heard here (fast forward to about 19 minutes 30 seconds) http://podcast.cbc.ca/w6/worldatsix.mp3
On April 24, during a ceremony at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, Mary Argent-Katwala, Director of Research at the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, presented the William E. Rawls Prize to Dr Nada Jabado, researcher at the Montreal Children’s Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at McGill University.
The Canadian Cancer Society wants to recognize “Dr Nada Jabado’s remarkable contribution to our understanding of brain cancers in children in the last decade,” Mary Argent-Katwala said at the award ceremony.
At the Montreal Children’s Hospital, Dr Jabado diagnoses fatal tumours. Brain cancers are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among children because existing treatments are often ineffective. A caring doctor, Dr Jabado focuses on research to one day give hope to the children she treats. “What I am hopeful and proud of is that my work might one day help cure these cancers,” the researcher said.
Innovative in her research, Dr Jabado established a multidisciplinary team composed of pediatric oncologists, bioinformaticians, pathologists and basic scientists. She then equipped the laboratory with a database of childhood tumours, thanks to the collaboration of her peers in Canada and abroad.
To this day, her work has led to great progress in the understanding of brain cancers in children and paved the way for promising treatments. Dr Jabado’s team has most notably identified a genetic mutation present in 40% of glioblastomas, a type of brain cancer. It explains the resistance of glioblastomas to radiation and chemotherapy.
Her recent work has also been the subject of several articles, notably two that appeared in Nature magazine (January and February 2012 issues).
She also won the Maude Abbott prize which was established in 2010 by the Faculty of Medicine in order to recognize outstanding female Faculty Members who excel in Education, Research or Administration with a focus at the early career stage.
Congratulations to our new Human Genetics Students Society (HGSS) members for 2011-2012. We have students from many different sites, which should help with communication and organizing. Click here to find out more about our HGSS members!
The Department’s Human Genetics Graduate Student Research Day was held on June 2, 2011, with many of our students presenting their work, and featuring keynote speaker Dr. Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D. – Director, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH.
Three students were awarded prizes for presenting talks, and four students were awarded for poster presentations. The third prize winner for presenting a talk was Justine Garner, a student in Dr. Jacquetta Trasler’s lab, and winner of a $200 prize.