Donation from TD Bank Financial Group brings key researcher back to Canada

    TORONTO, Nov. 30 /CNW/ - A promising and rising research star has
returned to Ontario to continue his cancer research at the Samuel Lunenfeld
Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital thanks in part to a $1-million
leadership gift from TD Bank Financial Group.
    Dr. Abdallah Al-Hakim, a post doctoral research fellow, had been studying
in Scotland but returned home to Ontario in time for a special ceremony today
recognizing TD Bank Financial Group's generous donation that will assist
25 fellows at the Lunenfeld over the next 10 years.
    "I feel fortunate to be able to return to Toronto to conduct research at
the internationally-renowned Lunenfeld institute," said Dr. Al-Hakim. "Being
here will help pave the way to more research insights that will hopefully one
day lead to better treatments and prevention of cancer." The funds will
support Dr. Al-Hakim's work identifying components of DNA cell damage that
holds promise for further understanding how cancer takes root.
    Dr. May Alarab will also receive funding from the TD Bank Financial Group
Fellowship Program. Dr. Alarab is a clinical research fellow in the Lawrence
and Frances Bloomberg Centre for Women's and Infants' Health at Mount Sinai
Hospital, where she is working to advance her research in pelvic floor
dysfunction to ensure pregnant women choose the safest delivery method.
    TD Bank Financial Group has been investing in medical practitioners at
hospitals and healthcare facilities across Canada under the TD Grants in
Medical Excellence program since 2000. "One of the most pressing concerns for
health care professionals is a lack of funding for ongoing research and
education. Ensuring Canada is able to keep its best medical talent in the
country is a critical component of health care - we created our TD Grants in
Medical Excellence program so Canadians can continue to benefit from our
incredibly talented physicians," says Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank
Financial Group.
    Dr. Jim Woodgett, Director of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute,
called the TD gift an investment in research and thereby an investment in the
future of health care.
    "Excellent medical research has a direct impact on the quality of health
care and this type of special donation will make a difference in research by
promoting excellence," said Dr. Woodgett. "As a result, we have two young,
bright minds whose work holds great promise for the health of cancer patients,
mothers and their newborn babies."

    About the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital

    The Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, a
University of Toronto affiliated research centre, established in 1985, is one
of the world's leading centres in biomedical research. 32 principal
investigators lead research in diabetes, cancer biology, epidemiology, stem
cell research, women's and infants' health, neurobiology and systems biology.
For more information on the Lunenfeld, please visit

    TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together

    Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the
three primary areas of focus for TD's community giving. The major flagship
programs within these areas are: TD Children's Hospital Fund, TD Friends of
the Environment Foundation and the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, TD
Canadian Children's Book Week, TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community
Leadership, and the TD Summer Reading Club. In addition, through the support
of our customers and employees, TD is involved with a host of national,
regional and local programs in support of diversity, arts and culture and
other causes. In 2007, TD donated $33 million to charities and not-for-profit
organizations across Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Jodi Salem, Media and Communications
Specialist, Mount Sinai Hospital, Phone: (416) 586-4800 ext. 8306, Email:

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