EDMONTON, Feb. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - Dr. Michael Sean McMurtry, assistant professor at the University of Alberta, has been presented the prestigious Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Distinguished Clinician Scientist award. This high-impact award is given to the Heart and Stroke Foundation's highest-ranked clinician in the New Investigator competition.
"This is the highest ranking and one of the most eminent awards offered to a researcher by the Foundation," says Bobbe Wood, president of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "Talented researchers like Dr. McMurtry are an important part of our quest to reduce deaths due to heart disease and stroke by 25 per cent by 2020."
The award will go towards Dr. McMurtry's research investigating ways to treat blocked arteries using the body's natural process of growing new blood vessels. Narrowing of the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis, is caused by a buildup of fat in the walls of arteries. It can eventually lead to serious problems including heart disease and stroke, which account for one in three deaths in Canada each year.
The award is given annually to a clinician doing research in the areas of heart disease or stroke. It provides a stipend and research funding for five years (approximately $100,000 per year).
"This award is a critical support for me," says Dr. McMurtry "It supports my academic salary, which means that I am able to have protected time to do research. I am very grateful to the Heart and Stroke Foundation for their support."
Dr. McMurtry is an assistant professor at the University of Alberta and director of the Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Clinic at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, where he specializes in treating patients who have atherosclerotic vascular disease.
The Distinguished Clinician Scientist Award is presented in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health.
"On behalf of CIHR, I congratulate Dr. McMurtry on receiving this award and thank him for his contributions to this important field of research," says Dr. Jean Rouleau, scientific director of the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health. "Atherosclerosis leading to heart failure and stroke remains one of the most significant and increasing health problems in Canada. Dr. McMurtry's research could help develop better treatments that ultimately improve health outcomes and quality of life, especially for patients with cardiac conditions that are presently difficult to treat."
The award will be presented tomorrow during the University of Alberta Research Lab Tours.
Since 1956, the Foundation has contributed more than $1.3 billion to research. This investment in research has made a significant impact. Since 1952, the cardiovascular death rate in Canada has declined by more than 75% - and nearly 40% in the last decade alone - largely due to research advances in surgical procedures, drug therapies and prevention efforts.
Media are invited to attend the award ceremony
WHAT: University of Alberta Lab Tours on February 4, 2012.
WHEN: Saturday, February 4th, 2012 from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.
WHERE: Bernard Snell Hall, University of Alberta, Edmonton. (Media parking is available outside of the east entrance to the hospital.)
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its applications, the promotion of healthy living and advocacy. www.heartandstroke.ca
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada. www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca
For further information:
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Canadian Institutes of Health Research