National Research Council Canada-NRC

National Research Council Canada-NRC

October 08, 2009 16:08 ET

Harper Government Supports Medical Research to Map Genetic Makeup of Deadly Cholera Bacteria

Innovative research could save lives; lead to new antibiotic, vaccine development

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Oct. 8, 2009) - A Canadian microbiologist has won a National Research Council of Canada (NRC) award, which will fund two years of research to map the genetic makeup of a bacteria that has killed millions around the world.

Dr. Brian Davies will use the $198,000 H.L. Holmes Award to try to understand how cholera — a bacteria that causes severe gastrointestinal disease — reacts inside the body to make people sick. The research will be conducted at Harvard Medical School.

"Our government supports science and technology because they improve the quality of life of Canadians, create jobs and strengthen the economy," said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). "Dr. Davies' research will have important benefits for Canadians and for people around the world."

"NRC is proud that, through the H.L. Holmes Award, we will be able to help Dr. Davies reach his important research goals," said NRC President Dr. Pierre Coulombe. "Supporting talented researchers is critical to strengthening our country's innovation system and contributes to Canada's priorities in health and wellness — areas critical to our future."

This leading-edge research has the potential to determine the pathways and processes by which bacteria in general create disease, helping medical researchers develop more effective ways to block disease at the cellular level.

"I'm excited about studying this bacterium and the changes in gene expression it undergoes once it's taken up by the human host," said Dr. Davies. "Using a combination of traditional genetics, functional genomics and a novel proteomic technology, I intend to map the gene regulatory networks and identify the secreted proteins that cause cholera."

Dr. Davies is the sixth recipient of the NRC H.L. Holmes Award. Past winners include Dr. Jennifer Estall (2007), Dr. Michael Cowan (2005), Dr. Alison Allan (2003), Dr. Suzanne Demczuk (1997) and Dr. Carol Dallaire (1994).

About the H.L. Holmes Award

The H.L. Holmes Award was established by NRC in honour of the late Dr. R.H.L. Holmes, a chemist who spent most of his research career in Alberta. The award gives recipients the opportunity to conduct post-doctoral studies under outstanding researchers at world-famous graduate schools or research institutes.
Research must be undertaken in the fields of chemistry, physics, biology or mathematics as they relate to medical and biological processes. Awards cover a one or two year period and can have a monetary value of up to $100,000 per year.

About the National Research Council

Recognized globally for research and innovation, the National Research Council Canada (NRC) is a leader in the development of an innovative, knowledge-based economy for Canada through science and technology.

For more information (media only), please visit NRC's Web site www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/about/holmes-awards.html

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