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By Jeff Green

More than $14 million in new federal funding will expand Memorial’s research infrastructure.

Judy Foote, minister, Public Services and Procurement and member of Parliament for Bonavista–Burin–Trinity, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development, made the announcement during a news conference Sept. 6 on the St. John’s campus.

Minister Judy Foote during the Sept. 6 funding announcement on the St. John's campus.
Minister Judy Foote during the Sept. 6 funding announcement on the St. John’s campus.
Photo: Chris Hammond

Premier Dwight Ball, Gerry Byrne, minister, Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, and Nick Whalen, member of Parliament, St. John’s East, participated in the event, which was hosted by President Kachanoski.

Bolstering research

The $14.4-million investment will replace two of Memorial’s aging animal research care facilities to ensure the university can continue to conduct its biomedical research activities and continue to offer certified degree programs. Memorial will provide an additional $15.6 million for this project.

“I thank the federal government for their continued strong support of Memorial University and the important work we do here,” Dr. Kachanoski said. “Animal care facilities are the backbone that allows much research to happen at universities. As such, a new centre will have a tremendous impact on teaching, learning and research across many disciplines. With biomedical and life science research aimed primarily at Newfoundland and Labrador but with potential global impact, this investment translates into incredibly good news for the province and the world.”

‘Excellent news’

A new Animal Resource Centre will allow Memorial to perform important research in a variety of areas, including cancer, diabetes, mental health, obesity, stroke mechanisms, osteoporosis and many others.

Recently, this research has led to discoveries related to retinal disease and blindness, pediatric cancers and neonatal nutrition.

“This is excellent news,” said Dr. Jennifer Keyte, director, Animal Care Services and university veterinarian. “Memorial has had tremendous success in securing funding for sub-cellular research, and with the clinical delivery of medicine to the province, as we’ve seen with the opening of the Craig L. Dobbin Genetics Research Centre and the Clinical Learning and Simulation Centre.

“This Strategic Infrastructure Funding speaks to ‘the piece in the middle,’ the ability to translate findings from cell to patient,” added Dr. Keyte. “A single new centralized comparative medicine facility will greatly enhance the ability of Memorial’s biomedical, scientific and pharmaceutical research community to collaborate and innovate, together, nationally and internationally.”

Win-win situation

The new centre will also complement the recently completed Faculty of Medicine research, medical genetics and IBM computing facility, as well as the future core science facility.

“This is a great day for Newfoundland and Labrador.” –Dr. Richard Marceau

“A new Animal Resource Centre will allow Memorial to intensify its research activities, improve student learning through research, and multiply its collaborations with industry,” said Dr. Marceau. “In turn, Memorial will contribute even more to the social, cultural and economic success of the province. This is a great day for Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The federal funding for the new Animal Resource Centre is awarded under the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund.

More information about today’s announcement is available online.

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