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OAML research trust small grants awarded for 2003


Toronto, ON July 30, 2003 The Ontario Association of Medical Laboratories has announced that Dr Cynthia Balion, Hamilton Health Sciences Centre, Dr Denis Snider, McMaster University and Dr PC Chan, Sunnybrook and Women’s College Hospital are the recipients of the OAML research grants for 2003.

“The response to the call for applications was gratifying, and the quality of the applications was very high,” says Paul Gould, the OAML’s chief executive officer.

The applications were reviewed by an independent panel, comprised of Dr Andrew Baines, University of Toronto School of Medicine, Dr Julie Silver, professor of microbiology, University of Toronto and Dr Roger Thibert, emeritus professor, University of Windsor and scientific director, Medical Laboratories of Windsor.

Dr Balion is receiving C$34,724 to pursue her work in the application of aptamers in diagnostics. Aptamers are a new, stable form of molecule made from synthetic DNA or RNA. Dr Balion’s project is to develop and test aptamers to proteins associated with diabetes and heart failure.

Dr Snider has been awarded $26,465 for his work in the field of testing for pre-existing anti-HLA (human leukocyte antigen) antibody in renal transplantation. A major objective of the project is the development of a new, significant test for screening patients for immune sensitization against allogeneic HLA.

Dr Chan is receiving $8,811 to underwrite research into the development of novel, molecular, diagnostic approaches to screening patients for sensitivity to neuromuscular blockers. The ability to diagnose specific sensitivities may result in a significant decrease in anaesthetic complications.

Since 1997, when the program began, the OAML has awarded nearly $500,000 to outstanding researchers in the field of the laboratory sciences.

“We’re very proud of this program,” says Mr Gould. “We hope to be able to do even more in future years.”