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Champion of Genetics funding to Ottawa researcher
Date:5/8/2013

May 8, 2013, Victoria BC The Canadian Gene Cure Foundation (CGCF), in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) through its Institute of Genetics, is pleased to announce the awarding of a $90,000 Champions of Genetics: Building the Next Generation Grant to Dr. Faraz Farooq, a Scientist at the Children Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute.

Dr. Farooq's research aims to take a drug already used in the clinic today and study its effect on the rare disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). By testing the drugs in mice, both normal and mice with SMA, Dr. Farooq's team can establish whether the promising results from the lab can be replicated in living organisms. Assessing drugs already in clinical use has the advantage of speeding up the research process, particularly important for children with rare diseases.

Canadian scientists are world leaders in human genetic research and in the discovery and advancement of cures for inherited genetic diseases. The CGCF Champion of Genetics Award both honours the work of Canada's established scientists and provides inspiration and financial support to bright young researchers in the early years of their careers.

Genetic scientists just starting their research careers face many obstacles including heavy teaching assignments, low research budgets, and difficulties recruiting highly qualified personnel. The Next Generation Grant provides much needed funding to promising young scientists, such as Dr. Farooq, to hire graduate students or post doctoral researchers in their laboratories. The grant allows them to advance their own exciting genetic research while mentoring the next generation of scientists, thereby; thus perpetuating Canada's level of excellence in genetic research.

"My mentor, Dr. Alex MacKenzie inspired me through his approach of re-purposing drugs to fast track treatments for rare disorders," Dr. Farooq says. "Through his guidance I was abl
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Contact: Adrienne Vienneau
avienneau@cheo.on.ca
613-737-7600 x4144
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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