CIBC donates $500,000 to the Montreal Neurological Institute for the CIBC Fellowship in Brain Imaging



    Donation to facilitate ground-breaking research project
    looking into autism triggers in children

    MONTREAL, June 12 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX;NYSE) is donating $500,000 to the
Montreal Neurological Institute's (MNI) "Thinking Ahead" campaign to create
the CIBC Fellowship in Brain Imaging. This fellowship gift will facilitate
exciting research projects at the MNI over the next five years, like the MNI's
pivotal role as the only Canadian institution in the Autism Centre of
Excellence, a US-based multi-institutional study looking for early indicators
of autism.
    In this four-year study, which began in July 2007, four medical centres
in the US - University of North Carolina; Duke University; University of
Washington, Seattle; and University of Pennsylvania - are scanning siblings of
children diagnosed with autism and will send their raw data to the MNI - one
of only three centres in the world with the capacity and know-how to process
it. As the data-coordinating site for this project, the MNI will receive all
information and images about the test subjects and will be responsible for
quality control and populating the database. Knowing that there is a 20 per
cent chance a sibling of a child with autism will exhibit autism, the project
will map the siblings' brains to see what changes are associated with the risk
and/or development of autism.
    "Health is a pillar of CIBC's community investment program, and we are
pleased to be part of this leading-edge brain imaging research," said Gerry
McCaughey, CIBC's President and Chief Executive Officer. "The MNI and its four
US partners are on the cusp of science that will reveal promising new
information about the brain that hopefully will lead to reductions in the
early onset of autism and other neurological disorders."
    "Training the next generation of scientists is one of our top priorities
and is key to advancing science and shaping the future of patient care," said
Dr. David R. Colman, Director of the MNI. "Private funding to attract
top-notch trainees is essential and we salute CIBC for its outstanding
support."
    CIBC's Fellowship support will allow the MNI to recruit some of the
brightest and most highly motivated future scientists to proceed at full speed
with careers in academic medicine. New fellows bring with them new ideas and
perspectives and having a productive start at this early stage in their
careers will multiply their potential impact on the future of medical science
many times over.

    About the MNI

    The MNI is a McGill University research and teaching institute, dedicated
to the study of the nervous system and neurological diseases. Founded in 1934
by the renowned Dr. Wilder Penfield, the MNI is one of the world's largest
institutes of its kind. MNI researchers are world leaders in cellular and
molecular neuroscience, brain imaging, cognitive neuroscience and the study
and treatment of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular disorders. The
MNI, with its clinical partner, the Montreal Neurological Hospital (MNH), part
of the McGill University Health Centre, continues to integrate research,
patient care and training, and is recognized as one of the premier
neuroscience centres in the world. At the MNI, we believe in investing in the
faculty, staff and students who conduct outstanding research, provide
advanced, compassionate care of patients and who pave the way for the next
generation of medical advances. Highly talented, motivated people are the
engine that drives research - the key to progress in medical care. A new
building, the North Wing Expansion, is currently under construction and will
house state-of-the-art brain imaging facilities. Once the construction is
completed and the new building is fully equipped, the scientific community
focused on brain imaging research at the MNI will be without equivalent
anywhere in the world. For more information, please visit www.mni.mcgill.ca.

    About CIBC

    CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our
employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities
through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of
employees. With a strategic focus on youth, education and health, and employee
commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run
for the Cure, United Way and the CIBC World Markets Children's Miracle
Foundation, we are investing in the social and economic development of
communities across the country. In 2007, CIBC group of companies contributed
more than $36 million worldwide to charitable organizations and community
initiatives. Of this, $27 million was invested in Canada to support national
regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit www.cibc.com/pas.





For further information:

For further information: Doug Maybee, Director, External Communications
and Media Relations, CIBC, Tel: (416) 980-7458, doug.maybee@cibc.com; or
Sandra McPherson, PhD, External Affairs, Montreal Neurological Institute, Tel:
(514) 398-1902, sandra.mcpherson@mcgill.ca


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