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2006

Dr. Stuart Foster

Dr. Stuart Foster

Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation Award of Distinction

The Manning Foundation honoured Dr. Stuart Foster for his development of an ultrasound microimaging system that allows researchers to see the effects of experimental therapies in preclinical models—in real-time and unique detail—over the duration of the treatments. The discovery has significantly propelled the global explosion of genetic of research into cancer, heart disease and human development over the last decade. Foster, a senior scientist at SRI in the discipline of imaging research, founded spin-off company VisualSonics in 1999 to make his discovery commercially available, and it is now used in more than 300 research facilities around the world including Harvard University, Stanford University, the Max Planck Institute and the University of Toronto, in addition to several pharmaceutical companies. Foster will receive $25,000 with the distinction.
Read the Manning Foundation's news release on Foster's award.

Dr. Miles Johnston

Dr. Miles Johnston

2006 Robert H. Pudenz Award of Excellence for Research in Cerebrospinal Fluid Physiology

Minneapolis-based Medtronic, Inc., presented Dr. Miles Johnston with the 2006 Robert H. Pudenz Award of Excellence for Research in Cerebrospinal Fluid Physiology, on December 5 at the Estates of Sunnybrook. Johnston, a senior scientist at SRI in clinical integrative biology, has helped define mechanisms of cerebrospinal fluid transport in hydrocephalus. The award includes a $7,500 research grant and a $1,000 grant for the Hydrocephalus Association in Johnston's honour. Read more.

Dr. Jonathan Rast

Dr. Jonathan Rast

Ministry of Research and Innovation Early Researcher Award

Recent advances in genome sequencing and other technologies have allowed biologists to study previously uncharacterized genetic and cellular interactions. The complexity of these interactions has in turn spurred experimental interest in small, simple organisms with few cells whose genetic processes—those which share evolutionary origins and functions with humans—can be more readily identified and understood. The purple sea urchin is one such animal. The Early Researcher Award, worth $100,000, matched by $50,000 from SRI, will help Dr. Jonathan Rast expand his lab and pursue research on the sea urchin. Rast and his team are part of a large, international effort to sequence the entire sea urchin genome, and have uncovered important genetic similarities and differences between sea urchins and humans that may better explain the regulatory gene networks involved in adaptive immunity, the ability unique to humans and other vertebrates which allows our immune system to recognize and establish immunity to pathogens. Rast is a scientist in molecular and cellular biology at SRI and an assistant professor of medical biophysics at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Sandro Rizoli

Dr. Sandro Rizoli

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Gold Medal in Surgery Award

Dr. Sandro Rizoli received this award for leading a trauma study, "The immunomodulatory effects of hypertonic saline resuscitation in patients sustaining traumatic hemorrhagic shock—a randomized, controlled, double-blinded trial," published in the Annals of Surgery in January 2006. The study showed that trauma patients suffering from severe hemorrhage due to blunt trauma, such as a motor vehicle collision, have a more balanced inflammatory response when a mixture of hypertonic saline in Dextran 70 is administered. (It is often the inflammation caused by the shock of trauma that is responsible for later complications and even death.) Rizoli was effusive on receiving news of the award: "I have to say, it was a wonderful surprise to receive the news. This award is an incredible honour." Rizoli is director of the trauma research program and an associate scientist in clinical integrative biology at SRI.

Dr. Dean Rowe-Magnus

Dr. Dean Rowe-Magnus

Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation Early Researcher Award (formerly Premier's Research Excellence Award)

Vibrio vulnificus is an invasive human pathogen found in some shellfish that has the highest death rate of any food-borne disease agent. Dr. Dean Rowe-Magnus recently discovered that it contains gene-capture systems that bacteria use to rapidly adapt and evolve called super-integrons, a discovery with implications for Vibrio vulnificus vaccine production and the growing problem of resistance to multiple antibiotics in other bacteria. The $100,000 Early Researcher Award, granted by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, and matched with $50,000 from SRI, will help Rowe-Magnus establish a lab team to move this exciting research forward. Rowe-Magnus is a scientist in the discipline of clinical integrative biology at SRI.

Dr. Richard Wells

Dr. Richard Wells

SickKids Foundation New Investigator Award, National Grants Program

Dr. Richard Wells has secured funding for an innovative research project titled, "Mechanistic analysis of the oncogenic role of EAR-2 in leukemia". Wells' lab recently demonstrated that the EAR-2 gene plays a key role in the multiplication of leukemia cells, and this $130,000 grant from SickKids, co-sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, will enable further investigation of EAR-2 as a potential therapeutic target. Wells is a scientist in the molecular and cellular biology discipline at SRI and a medical oncologist at the Odette Cancer Centre.