Gustavo Turecki honoured by UBC Faculty of Medicine

24-August-12

Chair of the Department of Psychiatry will be awarded the Margolese National Brain Disorders Prize

The Margolese National Heart Disorders Prize will be awarded to Ruth McPherson of the University of Ottawa, for her international impact on the genetic basis of coronary artery disease. John Dick of the University of Toronto will be awarded the Dr. Chew Wei Memorial Prize in Cancer Research for his pioneering discovery of the origins of leukemia and causes for relapse.

Each prize is valued at $50,000, making them among the most prestigious honours bestowed by a Canadian university. The recipients were chosen by a committee of international experts chaired by Robert McMaster, Executive Associate Dean, Research, and Deborah Money, Executive Vice Dean.

Turecki, the Canada Research Chair in Major Depressive Disorder and Suicide; and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, has devoted his career to improving our understanding of major depression and suicide. The UBC announcement said his “groundbreaking work in depression and suicide has been instrumental in the development of suicide research, intervention and prevention initiatives in Canada and internationally.”

read more here


Keerthana Harwalker – 2019 CSMB Poster Award

Keerthana Harwalker (Dr. Yojiro Yamanaka lab) was one of the winners of a poster award at the  2019 Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences annual conference at Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC.

Congratulations Keerthana!

 


McGill researchers included in IRIC-led cancer initiative

$10M awarded to IRIC for the development of new cancer-fighting drugs and immunotherapies

NEWS PROVIDED BY Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal  Jun 04, 2019, 12:56 ET

Dr. Nada Jabado at the Research Institute of the MUHC and Pr. Morag Park from the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre will join forces with IRIC, CRCHUM, MILA, and the Centres de recherche du CHUL et CHUS to provide new cancer-fighting drugs and immunotherapies. This initiative led by IRIC was awarded a $10-million dollar grant from the government of Quebec’s Fonds d’accélération des collaborations en santé, at the BIO International Convention, held in Philadelphia this week. Read more.


Taking stock of the implications of genomic advances

by Patrick McDonagh

Yann Joly is the researcher director for the Centre of Genomics and Policy, and Bartha Knoppers is its director (Photo: Owen Egan)

In November 2018, Chinese biophysics researcher He Jiankui shocked the world with the announcement that he had created the world’s first gene-edited infants. A storm of condemnation followed.

“The fact that you can now edit genes more precisely than ever before raises some classical issues that have been coming up since the in vitro birth of Louise Brown, the first ‘test tube baby,’ in 1978,” says Bartha Knoppers, PhD, LLB’78, BCL’81, director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy, based in McGill’s Faculty of Medicine.

In response, she and CGP colleague Erika Kleiderman, BSc’10, outlined these “classical issues” in the January 2019 Canadian Medical Association Journal; they included the potential for eugenic manipulation, the possibility of future health risks to children unanticipated by the gene-editing, a general concern about regulatory frameworks, and the potential for a chilling effect on less controversial gene-editing research.  Read more here


The unanticipated early origins of childhood brain cancer

Canadian researchers identify earliest traces of brain cancer long before the disease becomes symptomatic

Brain tumours are the leading cause of non-accidental death in children in Canada, but little is known about when these tumours form or how they develop. Researchers from SickKids, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and McGill University, have recently identified the cells that are thought to give rise to certain brain tumours in children and discovered that these cells first appear in the embryonic stage of a mammal’s development – far earlier than they had expected.

Their findings, published today in Nature, could lead the way to the discovery of better treatments to attack these lethal tumours.

“The brain is extraordinarily complex. These findings are not only important for better understanding brain tumours but they will also allow us to learn more about these cells and how they work, in order to help children with neurodevelopmental delays. What we have accomplished as a team in this study brings hope for patients,” says co-lead of the study,  Dr. Nada Jabado, paediatric hemato-oncologist and senior scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and a professor of Pediatrics and Human genetics at McGill University.  Read more here.


Québec siblings with rare orphan disease lead to discovery of rare genetic diseases

Discovery of mutations in ACTL6B gene offers insight into brain development

Mutations in a gene involved in brain development have led to the discovery of two new neurodevelopmental diseases by an international team led by researchers at McGill University and CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center.

The first clues about the rare disorder arose after doctors were unable to diagnose why two siblings from Québec City were experiencing seizures and neurodevelopmental deficits. Desperate, the children’s family turned to Carl Ernst at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal for answers.

Ernst, who is also a professor in McGill’s Department of Psychiatry, and his team used harvested skin cells from the toddlers and “reprogrammed” them to assume a stem cell-like state—induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). By making neurons from the iPSCs and comparing them to those of healthy individuals, the researchers found that they did not develop properly. Upon further investigation, they discovered a potential culprit: the family carried a mutation in ACTL6B – an epigenetic regulator implicated in neuronal development.

Read more here.


 

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