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Accolades for Recipient of AIHS Fellowship Award

Jun 14, 2012

Dr. Charles Mays won the Postgraduate Fellowship Award from Alberta Innovates Health Solutions. The AIHS Training and Early Career Development Programs focus on the development of the trainee to gain broad experience within the health research environment to facilitate success in launching careers in academia, industry and government. The proposed project supervised by Dr. David Westaway is designed to further investigate the underlying mechanism for the downregulation of Shadoo during prion disease.


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Science Café - Science & the Media

Jan 24, 2012

On January 24 the first TELUS Spark Science Cafe of 2012 featured guests Dr. Valerie Sim, prion researcher from the University of Alberta, and Jay Ingram, well known science broadcaster, with moderator Karen Owen, health reporter for CTV News, in a free-wheeling discussion of how science is reported by the news media - can we trust what we read, hear and see when it comes to reporting of science news? These are some scenes from the evening. Science Cafes are presented by TELUS Spark on the 4th Tuesday of each month, Sept to May (except December) at the Ironwood Stage and Grill in Inglewood. All are free.


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Accolades for Recipient of AIHS Studentship

Nov 22, 2010

Mr. Yanlin Wang received a Studentship Award from Alberta Innovates Health Solutions. Under the supervision of Dr. Satyabrata Kar, this project is designed to identify the potential role of the IGF-II receptor in the survival of neurons and its involvement in the generation/secretion of beta-amyloid-related peptides. This study will provide an insight how regulation of endosomal-lysosomal functions by IGF-II receptor can influence Alzheimer's disease pathology. Congratulations!


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Accolades for Recipient of CIHR Scholarship

Nov 22, 2010

Mr. Darcy Kaiser recently received a Frederick Banting and Charles Best masters award from CIHR. Under the supervision of Dr. Ted Allison, Darcy will be looking into the biological roles of APP protein and creating zebrafish models of Alzheimer disease. This scholarship recognizes students with a exceptionally high potential for future research achievement and productivity across Canada. The Allison Lab, in Collaboration with Xavier Roucou at University of Sherbrooke, has received funding from PrioNet Canada's High Impact program, co-funded by APRI. The project will expand upon our work in zebrafish to examine surprising interactions they've observed between PrP and APP. These proteins are notorious in their roles in Prion and Alzheimer Disease, respectiely. Congratulations!


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Cumulative Views Reach New High on PLoS

Nov. 1, 2010

Congratulations! Based on the metrics information and summary data for PLoS Pathogens, the research article "Prions Adhere to Soil Minerals and Remain Infectious" has reached a cumulative views of near 9000 on Nov. 1, 2010 from Apr. 14, 2006 (publication date). The view counts increases steadily over the years. Dr. McKenzie and Dr. Aiken are the main contributors of this article and Dr. Westaway was the editor. Please check out the graph link here.


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New Clinical Investigator Award

April 15, 2010

Valerie Sim, MD, FRCPC was awarded a New Clinical Investigator Award from Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions (formerly the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research) in the September 2009 Independent Investigator Award Competition. She is an assistant professor at the University of Alberta and works as both a clinical neurologist and an intramural researcher at the Centre for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases. This award will fund her work focusing on biophysical properties of infectious prion oligomers, including strain differences and the influence of environment and host. She is currently recruiting post-doctoral fellows (please see link under “Job Openings”).


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AET & CFI Award for Dr. Aiken

March 9, 2010

Dr. Judd Aiken received an equipment award totalling $932,206 for his work on the role of the environment in prion infection. The award is from the Alberta Education and Technology’s Small Equipment Grant Program and the Leadership Opportunity Funds from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. These funds will be used to purchase equipment for Dr. Aiken’s prion research at the Centre for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases. The equipment will be used to detect prions from environmental samples, determining the impact of soil and soil mineral binding on prion infectivity. Dr. Aiken’s studies have demonstrated that prions bind avidly to soils and soil minerals, suggesting that prions released from deer and elk infected with chronic wasting disease would be maintained near the soil surface, increasing the potential for animal exposure. The proposed research will provide quantitative data on the ongoing risk of chronic wasting disease in soil, identifying soil constituents that bind to and influence infectivity, as well as examining the potential for soil-bound CWD to affect other species. In addition the equipment will facilitate the identification of prion-specific molecular changes (RNA and protein) that occur during prion infection.


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Accolades for Recipient of NSERC Scholarship

May 1, 2009

Agnes Lau received a postgraduate scholarship from Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC).  Under the supervision of David Westaway, Agnes’ doctoral project is “The neuroprotective function of the cellular prion protein”.   This scholarship recognizes academic excellence and research potential as well as communication, interpersonal and leadership abilities.  Congratulations, Agnes!


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AHFMR provides “incentive” for careers in research

May 1, 2009

Following receipt of an NSERC postgraduate scholarship Agnes Lau is also the recipient of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Incentive Award.   She was among 29 trainees originally awarded full-time studentships in January.

AHFMR’s studentships have jump-started the careers of many others over the years including three researchers who are now members of the intra-mural faculty at the Centre for Prions!  They are Dr. Debbie McKenzie, Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Dr. Valerie Sim, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology (who also received a Clinical Research Fellowship) and Dr. Judd Aiken.


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Construction Drawing to a close

Apr 24, 2009

The second phase of construction at the prion centre is nearing completion. The first phase of construction on the second floor of the former Environmental Engineering Building was completed in October 2007. Phase II construction encompasses the main floor and basement of the building, and commenced in November 2007. The newly renovated space, to be completed by April 2009, will triple the amount of usable lab space in the Centre for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases. New areas will support the operations of up to four intramural scientists. The new lab space includes a zebrafish facility for system biology approaches to prion proteins, as well communal enhanced level two containment areas for the analysis of infectious prion material.


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New Website Launched

Feb 4, 2009

To match the growth in our building and our research horizons, The Centre for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases has revamped their website. The website describes an expanding spectrum of research activities, provides information on our resources and objectives, and includes new links of general use for protein folding disease researchers.


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