Lakehead University, in Partnership with Warnex PRO-DNA Services, Awarded Funding for Forensic Mitochondrial DNA Database

BRAMPTON, ON, March 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories announced today that Lakehead University, in partnership with Warnex PRO-DNA Services (a division of Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories), has been awarded a grant from the Government of Canada to create a new North American mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) database for use in forensic investigations by law enforcement agencies.

As announced today by the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister for FedNor, the federal government will contribute an investment of $338,050 as part of a $1.3 million initiative to create MitoNorth - a new DNA database for mtDNA, to support the use of mtDNA in forensic investigations.  Mitochondrial DNA testing is crucial in cases where nuclear DNA testing is not possible, such as for shed hairs at crime scenes, identification of missing persons (skeletal remains with degraded DNA) and when there is insufficient nuclear DNA.

The funding will be shared between Lakehead University's Paleo DNA Laboratory and the Warnex PRO-DNA Services laboratory, both of which are based in Thunder Bay, Ontario and are the only two Canadian-based facilities to provide mtDNA services to law enforcement agencies.

"We are very pleased to obtain this funding, which will enable us to expand the use of our mtDNA testing services to benefit forensic investigators, law enforcement agencies and the legal community," explained Dr. Yvan P. Côté, General Manager of Warnex PRO-DNA Services, a division of Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories.  "This new database will significantly improve the use of mtDNA for law enforcement around the world, helping to incarcerate guilty parties or add credibility to the acquittal of innocent individuals.

"We look forward to working with our partners at Lakehead University to lead the creation of a Canadian mtDNA centre of excellence in Thunder Bay," said Dr. Yvan P. Côté.

About Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories

Providing Information.  Impacting Lives.  Caring for People.  By living this mission, Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories will achieve its vision of becoming the trusted leader in transforming laboratory information and services into solutions that improve health, wellness and the Canadian health care system.

Gamma-Dynacare (www.gamma-dynacare.com) is one of Canada's largest and most respected providers of laboratory services and solutions, with more than 50 years of experience serving Canadians. Headquartered in Brampton, Ontario, Gamma-Dynacare operates five laboratories in Ontario (Brampton, Bowmanville, London, Ottawa and Thunder Bay), two in Quebec (Pointe-Claire and Laval) and three in Winnipeg.  In addition, Gamma-Dynacare operates more than 200 Patient Services Centres in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  Gamma-Dynacare's 2,000 skilled and dedicated employees perform millions of tests each year, playing a key role in the prevention and diagnosis of disease and the treatment of patients.

For more information on Warnex PRO-DNA Services' forensic and DNA identification services, visit www.prodna.ca.


SOURCE Gamma Dynacare Medical Laboratories

For further information:

Shelley Jourard, Director, Corporate Communications, Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories, (905) 790-3515 or 1-866-790-3515, ext. 5377.

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