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Dal researchers receive funding for sophisticated tools and laboratories to help with innovative new discoveries

Posted by Michele Charlton, Niecole Comeau and Jennifer Lewandowski on April 11, 2018 in Research, News, Funding

Five researchers from Dalhousie are receiving new funding to acquire the cutting-edge tools needed to conduct world-class research. This morning (Wednesday, April 11), at the University of Victoria, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, announced an investment of more than $42 million for 186 research projects taking place at 37 universities across Canada.

Dal researchers Jeanette Boudreau, Saurabh Chitnis, Rebecca Moyer, Owen Sherwood and Svetlana Yurgel were included in the national announcement, and will receive a total of $559,571 in funding for their research projects.

The funding is provided through the Canada Foundation for Innovation's (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF). It is designed to help universities attract and retain the best and brightest researchers from around the world by giving them access to cutting-edge research infrastructure.

“I want to congratulate all of today’s recipients who will now have access to state-of-the-art tools and research infrastructure that will allow them to explore some of our most pressing questions,” said Minister Duncan in a news release. “The answers they find contribute to the evidence our government needs to build a stronger economy and a more prosperous future for all Canadians.”

Highlights of funded projects:

Jeanette Boudreau – Faculty of Medicine

Developing natural killer cells for immunotherapy

The Boudreau laboratory is studying a type of immune cells called natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells are important for fighting viruses and cancer, and permitting successful pregnancy. They are controlled by genes that vary from person to person, and by proteins that vary from NK cell to NK cell. They hold immense potential for immunotherapies - medicines that use a patient’s immune system to cure disease - but NK cells have been challenging to study because of their diversity.
“I’m thrilled to receive this award from CFI-JELF,” says principal investigator Jeanette Boudreau. “With this grant to my laboratory, we will be able to purchase state-of-the art equipment that will accelerate my laboratory’s research by enabling multi parametric assessments of human NK cells.
With the funding provided by this CFI John R. Evans Leadership Fund award, the Boudreau laboratory will be equipped to study the genes, proteins and functions of human NK cells at a resolution that has previously not been possible. Specifically, their new suite of equipment will allow laboratory members to establish a biobank of samples from over 300 healthy human donors, to study the genes and function of these cells, and to build tests to perform experiments to discover how NK cells work, and can be used in medicine.

For full story visit Dal News.