Heartfelt Account Wins Journalism Award

Envisioning better strategies for dealing with cardiac disease

MONTREAL, May 26 /CNW/ - Our ability to mend damaged and diseased hearts came a long way in the 20th century, as procedures such as coronary bypass procedures became common, life-saving operations. If the work being conducted at Toronto's McEwan Centre for Regenerative Medicine is any indication, we can expect even more dramatic progress to dominate the 21st century.

Macleans magazine writer Kate Lunau has foreshadowed that progress in an article that has earned her this year's sanofi pasteur Medal For Excellence In Health Research Journalism. "Growing a new heart," which appeared in the publication's 25 February 2009 issue, provides an introduction to promising techniques for regenerating and replacing heart cells as a way of treating ailments in this organ. The field represents a complex branch of biotechnology that readers might otherwise find daunting, but Ms. Lunau's treatment of the subject makes for compelling reading.

"She has made a challenging piece of medical research entirely accessible," says CHR president, Patricia Guyda. "This work is an example of how good writing and good reporting can take an audience to places they might never venture. And in this case, we all want to venture there, because this news about the future of treating heart disease is inspirational."

That perspective was shared by the panel of scientists and writers who judged the winning entry. They praised the way Ms. Lunau was able to encourage an understanding of basic biology in order to foster an appreciation of the significant challenges that are now being overcome by cardiac researchers.

CHR launched the sanofi pasteur Medal in 1995, and administers the selection process. Sponsored by sanofi pasteur, Canada's premier vaccine company, the inaugural medal recipient was Globe and Mail science reporter Stephen Strauss for his longstanding contribution to promoting public awareness of science. Other recent awardees include Mark Witten from Canadian Living, and Marcia Kaye from More magazine.

"As a company that is built on nearly a century of science, sanofi pasteur is pleased to be associated with this prestigious award that recognizes excellence in science journalism," says Nancy Simpson, Director, Communications at sanofi pasteur Canada. Dr. Eileen Macallum, Associate Vice President Quality Operations, Sanofi Pasteur Limited, will present the award to Ms. Lunau on June 5 during the Canadian Science Writers' Association annual general meeting in Ottawa, Ontario. Ms. Lunau will receive a commemorative medal and a $2,500 bursary.

Canadians for Health Research (CHR) is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting the stability and quality of Canadian health research. It fosters communication between health researchers, the government and the Canadian public, and publishes a quarterly magazine entitled Future Health. For more information, or to become a member, please visit the CHR website at http://www.chrcrm.org.

Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, provided more than a 1.6 billion doses of vaccine in 2008, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, sanofi pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.com

SOURCE Sanofi Pasteur

For further information: For further information: Julieta Bach, Administrative Assistant, CHR, Montreal, QC, (514) 398-7478, julietabach@chrcrm.org; Nancy Simpson, Director, Communications, Sanofi Pasteur Limited, Toronto, Ontario, (416) 667-2955, nancy.simpson@sanofipasteur.com

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