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BMO Financial Group
St-Boniface Hospital Foundation

October 30, 2013 10:00 ET

BMO Financial Group and St-Boniface Hospital Foundation Establish $500,000 Scholarship Fund

First Beneficiary a Local Grad

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Oct. 30, 2013) - St-Boniface Hospital Foundation and BMO Financial Group have established the BMO Financial Group Research Scholarship for Excellence. The $500,000 scholarship is a partnership made possible by a $250,000 gift from BMO Financial Group with a $250,000 matching grant from St-Boniface Hospital Foundation. The scholarship supports students employed at the I.H. Asper Clinical Research Institute or the MacLean Building at St-Boniface Hospital Research during their graduate studies.

"This financial support will help a student focus their time and energy on what's important - continuing to advance medical research that could result in life-saving discoveries," said Chuck LaFlèche, President & CEO, St-Boniface Hospital Foundation. "We are pleased to partner with BMO in this important initiative and are very thankful to them for giving a talented young researcher the freedom the BMO Financial Group Research Scholarship for Excellence affords."

"The end result of this contribution will have far reaching benefits now and in the future, as it lays the groundwork for the development and growth of students whose research will have a positive and long lasting effect on the entire community," said John MacAulay, Senior Vice President, Prairies Central Canada Division, BMO Financial Group.

Local Grad Rewarded for Food Research

As the inaugural scholarship winner, graduate student Cara Isaak will receive $18,560 to further her research under the supervision of Dr. Chris Siow within the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) at St Boniface Hospital Research.

Isaak, 24, is investigating whether consuming Manitoba lingonberries could alleviate the sometimes fatal injuries that result from kidney surgery or transplants. Few treatments on the market have proven successful. Isaak is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Manitoba.

"Ms. Isaak is an extremely bright and hardworking student who has already made valuable contributions to St-Boniface Hospital Research," said Dr. Grant Pierce, Executive Director of Research, St-Boniface Hospital. "She is the well-deserving recipient of a new partnership with BMO Financial Group that clearly demonstrates their commitment and ours to the health of all Canadians."

Since joining St-Boniface Hospital Research, Isaak has co-authored four scientific manuscripts and presented at several conferences, including the LifeScience Alley Tenth Annual Conference and Expo in Minneapolis where she had the opportunity to explain her work to a range of audiences - from a U.S. Senator to a group of high school students.
"Being a graduate student requires a tremendous amount of time and effort," said Cara Isaak. "I am very grateful to receive this award, which will allow me to focus my energy on being a productive nutraceutical researcher."

Outside of the laboratory, Cara is also an accomplished coach in the Winnipeg youth soccer league. Her Portage Trail Soccer Club U18 girls recently represented Manitoba at the National Club Championships in Newfoundland - an excellent example of her outstanding community involvement and citizenship.

St-Boniface Hospital Foundation was founded in 1971 and is the primary fundraising organization for St-Boniface Hospital. The Foundation is dedicated to making possible the many innovations in health research and patient care taking place at the Hospital. St-Boniface Hospital is a leader in innovative, proficient patient care delivered with genuine compassion. Research at St-Boniface Hospital is where opportunities for health innovation and discovery are created; where discovery is translated into practice to improve human health; where today's best minds are helping to shape tomorrow's.

Contact Information

  • St-Boniface Hospital Foundation
    Monique LaCoste
    Director of Communications
    204-235-3966
    mlacoste@stbhf.org

    BMO Financial Group
    Erin Marranca
    BMO Media Relations
    (416) 867-3996
    Erin.marranca@bmo.com

    St-Boniface Hospital Research
    Bill Peters
    Manager, Communications & Media Services
    (204) 258-1325
    billp@sbrc.ca