The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
Stronger Communities Together

Stronger Communities Together

August 10, 2007 08:30 ET

CMA: Scholarship Recipient has the Makings of a Future Medical Laureate

Laura Drudi's cancer research - conducted at age 16 - is breaking new ground in a Montreal lab

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 10, 2007) - Nineteen-year-old Dawson College graduate, Laura Drudi, launched a study three years ago on the effects of aspirin and cancer that has sparked interest in the medical field and contributed to her most recent award, The 2007 Canadian Medical Hall of Fame / Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Scholarship Award.

This fall, Laura will begin her journey to become an aerospace doctor. She is one of eighty students selected from 500 applicants entering the preparatory medical program at McGill University, a program unique to Quebec residents. The scholarship will help lighten her financial load.

"I want to be the first one on the Red Planet and find a cure for a chronic disease," says Laura, a Top 20 Under 20 finalist. "Ever since I was a child, I imagined a world without limits. I remember spending time with my grandmother in her palliative care unit watching the community of nurses, doctors and volunteers care for her, and deciding then that I wanted to be someone who could help others."

Touted by her mentors as having all the qualities to pursue a medical career, Laura has a deep respect and appreciation for those who have supported her ideas. She is particularly grateful to Dr. Josette Noel, an associate professor of the physiology department at the Universite de Montreal. Dr. Noel postponed her summer vacation and made room in her lab three years ago to help Laura explore her hypothesis that aspirin and salicylic acid may have a role in the inhibition of cancer cell proliferation and invasion.

"After repeating Laura's results, I was so convinced of the potential of her study that I wrote full grant proposals," says Dr. Noel. "Since then, this subject has become a major focus in my lab. We still need to continue our work to firmly convince researchers and companies, but our results are going in the direction of Laura's expectations."

Already a remarkably accomplished scientist, Laura is also a provincial level rugby player, a volunteer in the geriatric unit at St. Mary's Hospital, a math and French tutor, and was a member of both Dawson College's Reach for the Top team and Blue Ring Society (the school's student ambassadors).

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame / Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Scholarship Award is administered by the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC). It provides $1,000 each year towards a four-year undergraduate degree in the health sciences at a Canadian university.

"Our funding allows helps deserving students pursue their goals through a Canadian medical and academic centre," says Jan Belanger, Assistant Vice-President, Community Affairs, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. "Our support helps develop and keep medical expertise in Canada, for Canadians. The future of health care rests with our youth, and we're proud to promote the health sciences as an essential career path."

Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life serve the financial security needs of more than 12 million people across Canada. Through the Key to Giving™ - the national corporate citizenship program of Great-West Life, London Life, and Canada Life - the companies contribute to non-profit, charitable and community organizations across the country to address health and wellness, education, social services, arts and culture and civic initiatives. The Key to Giving program also supports the volunteer involvement of staff and financial security advisors in their efforts to meet the needs of the communities in which they live and work.

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is a national charitable organization dedicated to celebrating Canada's medical heroes and history, and fostering a new generation of scientists, physicians and builders through our educational programs.

For more information about The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and our scholarship program, visit www.cdnmedhall.org.

Contact Information

  • For more information and photographs:
    The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
    Janet Tufts
    Executive Director
    519-488-2003
    jtufts@cdnmedhall.org
    or
    Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life
    Marlene Klassen, APR
    Assistant Vice-President, Communications
    204-946-7705
    marlene.klassen@gwl.ca