Outstanding university scholars in Ontario honoured for improving women's health

TORONTO, June 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Six outstanding researchers at Ontario universities are being recognized with the 2014 Women's Health Scholars Award, drawing total research awards of almost $150,000 to improve the health of women through research into issues such as fetal brain development, women's cancer, depression and Alzheimer's disease.

"These awards were established to help Ontario attract and retain the best scholars in women's health," says Max Blouw, President of Wilfrid Laurier University and Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU), which administers the awards. "These researchers excel in furthering knowledge about and improving women's health."

Recipients this year include post-doctoral, doctoral and master's students from three Ontario universities, who receive research grants of $19,000 to $45,000 each through the awards, which were established in 2001 with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

"Women have unique health care issues and, by focusing on them, Ontario university researchers are improving women's health across the globe," says Bonnie M. Patterson, President and CEO of COU. "That's to be commended, and we thank the province for funding this important university research."

This year's recipients and their areas of research are:

  • Alex Kitson, University of Toronto – assessing whether pregnant women are creating enough omega-3 fatty acid for optimal fetal brain development and conserving enough to avoid post-partum depression
  • Dziyana Kraskouskaya, University of Toronto – the development of fluorescent sensors that can detect the molecules that lead to women's cancer
  • Kristin Marks, University of Waterloo – the effect of the hormone estrogen in regulating fatty acid metabolism
  • Kara Hawkins, York University – research to enhance early detection of Alzheimer's disease in women
  • Tara Gralnick, University of Toronto – the effects of brooding and reflection on women's depression
  • Maurice Pasternak, University of Toronto – the ability of high-frequency ultrasound to detect the death of breast cancer cells during treatment

Click here to learn more about this year's recipients.

COU is a membership organization of 21 publicly assisted universities in Ontario. It works closely with the provincial and federal governments to shape public policies that help universities deliver high-quality programs for students and advance the research and innovation that improves the social, cultural and economic well-being of Ontarians.

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SOURCE: Council of Ontario Universities

For further information: Wendy McCann, Director, Strategic Communications and Media Relations, Telephone: 416-979-2165 x233, Cell phone: 647-271-0825, Email Wendy McCann: wmccann@cou.on.ca

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