Volume 92, Issue 90

Thursday, March 18, 1999


Student fee increases passed

USC communications officer calls it quits

Fee may be cut for legal services

London police close in on T.J. Baxter's bomber

Charges laid in latest London stabbing

Parental care receives financial boost


Caught on campus

Parental care receives financial boost

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

Western's Lawson Research Institute has something to celebrate after receiving a $1.1 million research grant this week.

Bryan Richardson, Western professor of obstetrics, gynecology and physiology and researcher with the LRI, was awarded a $1.1 million chair for research in the field of perinatology.

The Medical Research Council of Canada's announcement of a five-year, $4.4 million chair affecting four university research centres, comes after 10 years of research into antinatal and neonatal care at the LRI.

"We're looking to expand our program. Our research is very interested in characterizing the role of fetal behaviour, activity and growth of the brain. Hopefully this is going to do a lot for babies as well as pregnant women," Richardson said.

The grant comes after a year long application process which requires each applicant to submit a formal grant proposal outlining research progress and productivity to date. Various expert groups must then rate each candidate's work and the intended program according to a difficult set of criteria.

Monique Renaud-Gagne, communications officer with the MRC, said the requirements are very rigid. "Each applicant is evaluated on content, methodology, scientific usefulness and then the top scorer in that field is awarded the chair."

Of the 27 nation-wide applicants, only four were chosen – three universities in Ontario and one Quebec, said Michelle Martin, marketing and public relations officer with the LRI. "This is the first clinical research chair awarded to a centre working on women's health care issues. It will be allowing Dr. Richardson to continue with maternal and newborn research which is our biggest area."

The three other areas of research awarded chairs were cardiovascular research at the University of Ottawa, women's mental health at McMaster University and reproductive endocrinology at McGill University. All four universities will be focusing on medical research exclusive to women's health.

The grants are a joint effort by the MRC, Wyeth-Ayerst Canada Inc., a pharmaceutical company with a stake in medical research and the participating university research centres. Each university will match Wyeth-Ayerst's donation of $2 million with the MRC contributing the remaining $400,000.

Jennifer Manning, VP-external for Western's women's issues network, said the chair was a positive trend and a step in the right direction for women. "The more that we promote women's health, the better," she said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999