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Cole Foundation injects $700,000 into childhood cancer research

This release is available in French.

Pediatric and young adult leukemia and lymphoma research in Quebec received a massive boost today, following the Cole Foundation's announcement that it would provide more than $700,000 to be shared among 10 Universit de Montral and four McGill University young scientists.

"The Cole Foundation is dedicated to the fight against leukemia and lymphomas in people under the age of 25, and the research projects we finance are significant in the Montreal research community," explained Barry Cole, President of the Cole Foundation. "The fellowships that have been awarded today have been selected on the basis of their scientific excellence by a jury of medical experts in the field." The awards are part of a concerted pediatric leukemia program for which the Cole Foundation spends $1.5 million annually.

The research will cover a variety of areas that are ultimately critical to the diagnosis and the understanding of the disease. "Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or A.L.L., is the most frequent cancer in children, accounting for approximately 25% of all pediatric tumors," explained Dr. Andrea Alter, whose research project was one of the 14 chosen by the foundation. Alter recently obtained her PhD from McGill and her new fellowship is for research to be undertaken at Universit de Montral. "Using next-generation sequencing technology, we will examine all gene sequences in a well-characterized group of A.L.L. patients to identify leukemia-specific errors in DNA sequences. Subsequently, we will study the impact of these leukemia-specific mutations on disease susceptibility and disease initiation."

Over 80 two-year post-doctoral and graduate fellowships have been awarded by the Cole Foundation since 2007. "We are delighted to have the excellence of our researchers recognized and supported by the Cole Foundation. These fellowships will enable our universities to make important contributions to both science and the well-being of our community," said Dr. Hlne Boisjoly, designated dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Universit de Montral. "Philanthropy is instrumental to the advancement of medical breakthroughs," agreed Dr. Richard I. Levin, Vice-Principal of Health Affairs and Dean of Medicine at McGill. "This support opens up a world of opportunities for students, ensuring a bright future in the worldwide fight against leukemia and lymphoma."


Contact: William Raillant-Clark
University of Montreal

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