Inaugural Pfizer Ripples of Hope Award in Mental Health Awarded in British

Pfizer supports the future of mental health research in Canada through award program

VANCOUVER, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - Pfizer Canada is pleased to announce Valeria Uribe as the first recipient of the newly established Pfizer Ripples of Hope Trainee Award in Mental Health. Ms. Uribe is currently working towards a Masters in Science at the University of British Columbia in her pursuit of a career in neuroscience.

"Ms. Uribe is a tremendous example of what this award is all about - a dedication to uncovering new information which will lead to novel approaches to patient management," explained Dr. Michael Hayden, co founder of the Award and Director of University of British Columbia's Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at the Child & Family Research Institute. "Mental illness represents a tremendous burden on individuals, families and society as a whole, but with commitment and research, that burden can be eased."

The Pfizer Ripples of Hope Trainee Awards in Mental Health and Rare Diseases were created in 2008 by Dr. Hayden and Pfizer Canada. The award's purpose is to support the next generation of scientists in their quest to make major contributions to human health in British Columbia, across Canada and around the world.

"Through this award, Pfizer is in a position to contribute today to the future of mental health management by supporting talented young researchers. We are very proud of this award," explained Dr. Bernard Prigent, Vice President and Medical Director, Pfizer Canada. "There is no question there is a need for new understanding and management approaches in the area of mental health; Ripples of Hope will help to turn the current need into a new reality." Pfizer has contributed $700,000 towards the creation of an endowment fund dedicated to the Pfizer Ripples of Hope Award in Mental Health and also the Pfizer Ripples of Hope Award in Rare Diseases.

The name of the award was inspired by a famous speech by Robert F. Kennedy, which includes a reference to the power of a 'ripple of hope':

Each time a man ... acts to improve the lot of others... he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls....

Other areas for Ripples of Hope annual trainee awards are in the areas of Global Health as well as Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship. The BC Innovation Council (BCIC) has partnered with Dr. Hayden on the first BCIC Ripples of Hope Trainee Award in Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship. The recipient of this award is Mahmoud Pouladi.

About the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT)

The Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) is a synergistic group of scientists and researchers who share a strong sense of commitment to solve the many genetic questions surrounding human illness and well being. Affiliated with the University of British Columbia and the Child & Family Research Institute, CMMT conducts discovery research and translates that research into effective clinical and therapeutic strategies to promote health. For more information, visit

About Pfizer in Canada

Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., the world's leading biopharmaceutical company. The company is one of the largest contributors to health research in Canada. Our diversified health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world's best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer Canada employees work to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life. Our commitment is reflected in everything Pfizer does, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships, to our belief that it takes more than medication to be truly healthy. To learn more about Pfizer's More than Medication philosophy and programs, visit To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit

About the BC Innovation Council (BCIC)

The British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC) is the lead organization driving the commercialization of innovation in British Columbia. BCIC is focused on accelerating the growth of our science and technology communities and competitively positioning British Columbia in the global science and technology economy in order to provide significant employment opportunities and a high standard of living for British Columbians. BCIC is a Crown agency of the Province of British Columbia. For more information about BCIC, visit

SOURCE Pfizer Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: Julie-Catherine Racine, Pfizer Canada Inc., (514) 693-4602; Nicki Kahnamoui, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, (604) 875-2345 ext. 4832

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