First fellowships awarded in new Canadian stem cell and regenerative medicine research program

Posted: May 3, 2012 at 7:12 pm

"See The Potential" program sponsored by Canada's Stem Cell Network and Pfizer

MONTRAL, May 2, 2012 /CNW/ - The first two postdoctoral research fellowships of a new program to promote stem cell research in Canada were announced today by the program's sponsors, Canada's Stem Cell Network and Pfizer.

"See The Potential" is a program established to encourage the work of promising young scientists in the field of stem cell and regenerative medicine research. Under the program, six postdoctoral fellowships will be funded from competitions over the next three years. Fellows will receive a grant of $50,000 per year for up to three years and will conduct two years of stem cell and regenerative medicine research at a recognized research laboratory in Canada as well as another year of research at the Pfizer Neusentis laboratories in the United Kingdom.

The 2011 fellowship recipients that have just been announced, following an internationally publicized competition, are Dr. Corinne Hoesli from Laval University in Qubec City and Dr. Reaz Vawda from University Health Network in Toronto. Dr. Hoesli proposes to conduct research related to engineering artificial blood vessels and is speaking today at the Till and McCulloch Meetings in Montral about the program and her research strategies. The research specialty of Dr. Vawda is comparative investigations on the therapeutic repair function of mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of spinal cord injury.

"We are very pleased to name these first recipients of the See The Potential postdoctoral fellowships in partnership with Pfizer Inc," said Dr. Verna Skanes, Chair of the Board of the Stem Cell Network. "This program is an exciting way to provide young researchers with the opportunity to develop their research efforts and their careers while building important collaborations for the future with other researchers connected to the Stem Cell Network and, internationally, through Pfizer network. This is exactly the type of collaboration with industry that is the hallmark of translational research and one that can provide benefits to all involved."

Half the program is funded by the Stem Cell Network and other half shared by Pfizer.

"This is an excellent initiative aligned with the Pfizer Neusentis' mission to develop innovative cell therapies to benefit patients through research and development, clinical and business innovation," said academic liaison, Dr. Tim Allsopp, Head of External Research for the Regenerative Medicine activities at Pfizer Neusentis Ltd. "We congratulate our winners and look forward to witnessing the results of their important research."

The second See The Potential fellowship competition is now open with an application deadline set for June 26, 2012. For more information on the competition please visit

Canada's Stem Cell Network The Stem Cell Network, established in 2001, brings together more than 100 leading scientists, clinicians, engineers, and ethicists from universities and hospitals across Canada. The Network supports cutting-edge projects that translate research discoveries into new and better treatments for millions of patients in Canada and around the world. Hosted by the University of Ottawa, the Stem Cell Network is one of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence funded through Industry Canada and its three granting councils.

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First fellowships awarded in new Canadian stem cell and regenerative medicine research program

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