Scholarship recipient has the makings of a future medical laureate



    Laura Drudi's cancer research - conducted at age 16 - is breaking
    new ground in a Montreal lab

    LONDON, ON, Aug. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Nineteen-year-old Dawson College
graduate, Laura Drudi, launched a study three years ago on the effects of
aspirin and cancer that has sparked interest in  the medical field and
contributed to her most recent award, The 2007 Canadian Medical Hall of Fame /
Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Scholarship Award.
    This fall, Laura will begin her journey to become an aerospace doctor.
She is one of eighty students selected from 500 applicants entering the
preparatory medical program at McGill University, a program unique to Quebec
residents. The scholarship will help lighten her financial load.
    "I want to be the first one on the Red Planet and find a cure for a
chronic disease," says Laura, a Top 20 Under 20 finalist. "Ever since I was a
child, I imagined a world without limits. I remember spending time with my
grandmother in her palliative care unit watching the community of nurses,
doctors and volunteers care for her, and deciding then that I wanted to be
someone who could help others."
    Touted by her mentors as having all the qualities to pursue a medical
career, Laura has a deep respect and appreciation for those who have supported
her ideas. She is particularly grateful to Dr. Josette Noel, an associate
professor of the physiology department at the Université de Montréal. Dr. Noel
postponed her summer vacation and made room in her lab three years ago to help
Laura explore her hypothesis that aspirin and salicylic acid may have a role
in the inhibition of cancer cell proliferation and invasion.
    "After repeating Laura's results, I was so convinced of the potential of
her study that I wrote full grant proposals," says Dr. Noel. "Since then, this
subject has become a major focus in my lab. We still need to continue our work
to firmly convince researchers and companies, but our results are going in the
direction of Laura's expectations."
    Already a remarkably accomplished scientist, Laura is also a provincial
level rugby player, a volunteer in the geriatric unit at St. Mary's Hospital,
a math and French tutor, and was a member of both Dawson College's Reach for
the Top team and Blue Ring Society (the school's student ambassadors).
    The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame / Great-West Life, London Life and
Canada Life Scholarship Award is administered by the Association of Faculties
of Medicine of Canada (AFMC). It provides $1,000 each year towards a four-year
undergraduate degree in the health sciences at a Canadian university.
    "Our funding allows deserving students to pursue their goals through a
Canadian medical and academic centre," says Jan Belanger, Assistant
Vice-President, Community Affairs, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada
Life. "Our support helps develop and keep medical expertise in Canada, for
Canadians. The future of health care rests with our youth, and we're proud to
promote the health sciences as an essential career path."

    Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life serve the financial security
needs of more than 12 million people across Canada. Through the Key to
Giving(TM) - the national corporate citizenship program of Great-West Life,
London Life, and Canada Life - the companies contribute to non-profit,
charitable and community organizations across the country to address health
and wellness, education, social services, arts and culture and civic
initiatives. The Key to Giving program also supports the volunteer involvement
of staff and financial security advisors in their efforts to meet the needs of
the communities in which they live and work.

    The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is a national charitable organization
dedicated to celebrating Canada's medical heroes and history, and fostering a
new generation of scientists, physicians and builders through our educational
programs.




For further information:

For further information: and photographs, please contact: Janet Tufts,
Executive Director, The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, (519) 488-2003,
jtufts@cdnmedhall.org; Marlene Klassen, APR Assistant Vice-President,
Communications, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life, (204) 946-7705,
marlene.klassen@gwl.ca; For more information about The Canadian Medical Hall
of Fame and our scholarship program, visit www.cdnmedhall.org

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The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

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