Ovarian Cancer Canada names Dr. David Huntsman for inaugural research award

TORONTO, Feb. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Ovarian Cancer Canada has named Vancouver researcher Dr. David Huntsman as inaugural recipient of its Karen Campbell National Award for Research Excellence. The award recognizes excellence in research that has had a significant impact on the understanding, future research and treatment of ovarian cancer. It will be presented at the charity's LOVE HER event on February 23, 2012 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto and celebrated at LOVE HER in Vancouver on February 29, 2012 at the BIRKS Flagship store.

"Ovarian Cancer Canada is delighted to acknowledge Dr. Huntsman's tremendous contributions to ovarian cancer research through this award," says Karen CinqMars, the charity's vice president, marketing and business innovation.

Dr. Huntsman leads a research team that discovered ovarian cancer is not one disease but is actually made up of five subtypes that behave like distinct diseases. His work has provided a roadmap for clinicians and researchers studying ovarian cancer - Canada's most fatal gynecologic cancer. It has shed light on practices that could help prevent the disease, and change the way in which it is diagnosed and treated.

"This award is a huge honour for me and for the OvCaRe team," says Dr. Huntsman, director of the Ovarian Cancer Research Program operated jointly by the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA) and Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). "It will encourage us to push harder in our drive to develop the cancer prevention and treatment strategies to beat this disease." A professor in the departments of pathology and laboratory medicine and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Huntsman is also a staff pathologist at BCCA and a consulting pathologist at VGH.

The award is named in honour of the late Karen Campbell of Toronto, who died of ovarian cancer at the age of 57 in 2010. Four of Karen's friends worked with Ovarian Cancer Canada to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and funds to support the work of the charity through the LOVE HER event and fashion show. To further honour Campbell's memory and all women who have lost their battles with ovarian cancer, and to bring recognition to outstanding work by Canadian researchers, Ovarian Cancer Canada launched the Karen Campbell National Award for Research Excellence.

Canadian born and internationally acclaimed artists Joseph Landry and Brian Gazeley have created and donated a unique sculpture that embodies the spirit of the award. It will be unveiled at LOVE HER in Toronto on February 23 with the sculptors and Dr. Huntsman present.

"When we heard of the opportunity to design a specially-made sculpture for Ovarian Cancer Canada's Karen Campbell National Award for Research Excellence at LOVE HER, we knew we had to be involved," says Landry. "We have created a very special piece to represent the diligent and poignant work of the winner and honour this individual with a beautiful work of art."

Landry and Gazeley's body of work includes commissions to celebrate the 100th birthday of Rose Kennedy and the 99th birthday of the Queen Mother. Their Resurrected Christ at St. Peter's Church in New York City was created from reconstituted remains of the World Trade Centre.

"We are honoured to partner with the brilliant sculptors Joseph Landry and Brian Gazeley to make this prestigious, national research award a reality," says CinqMars.

The LOVE HER event includes comedienne Jessica Holmes as Master of Ceremonies, a fashion show featuring fashion label Judith & Charles and will display the latest trends in footwear by Stuart Weitzman. Guests will enjoy drinks and hors d'oeuvres while bidding on unique prizes in live and silent auctions. The Landry Gazeley Foundation has also generously donated a unique opportunity to be sculpted or have a love one immortalized. Entertainment at LOVE HER will feature jazz vocalist Shannon Butcher in Toronto and DJ Leanne in Vancouver. For more information, visit love-her.ca.

Ovarian Cancer Canada is the only national charitable organization dedicated to overcoming ovarian cancer. Founded in 1997, Ovarian Cancer Canada supports women and families living with the disease; raises awareness of ovarian cancer among the public and health professionals; and funds research into early detection, improved treatments, and ultimately, a cure. For more information, visit ovariancanada.org.

Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OvCaRe) is a multidisciplinary research program involving clinicians and research scientists in gynaecology, pathology, and medical oncology at VGH and BC Cancer Agency. OvCaRe is a unique collaboration between the BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and the University of British Columbia. The OvCaRe team is considered a leader in ovarian cancer research, breaking new ground in better identifying, understanding, and treating this disease. Their seminal paper in PLOS (Public Library of Science), which outlines the discovery that ovarian cancers are a group of distinct diseases, has been embraced by the global research community who are taking the BC approach to ovarian cancer research.

Image with caption: "Dr. David Huntsman (CNW Group/Ovarian Cancer Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120215_C4297_PHOTO_EN_10101.jpg

SOURCE Ovarian Cancer Canada

For further information:

Media contacts

Ovarian Cancer Canada:
Catherine Argiropoulos
1 877 413-7970, ext. 284

Lisa Carver
604 875-4111, ext. 61777


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