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National pride

Memorial research highlighted during Parliament Hill event

Research | Frameworks in Action

By Jeff Green

The research of one Memorial scientist was front and centre in the nation’s capital recently as federal leaders celebrated research excellence across the country.

Award-winning molecular geneticist Dr. Terry-Lynn Young, Faculty of Medicine, was one of 13 invited researchers who were on Parliament Hill Feb. 24 from to meet with MPs, high school students, post-secondary education leaders and science policy-makers.

“Memorial has significant contributions to make to the nation regarding health research and innovation.” — Dr. Terry-Lynn Young

President Gary Kachanoski was also in Ottawa for the event, organized by Universities Canada, an organization that provides university presidents with a unified voice for higher education, research and innovation.

“I was one of the four health researchers who met with the Simon Kennedy, the deputy minister of Health Canada, and several staff scientists and program directors at Health Canada,” explained Dr. Young. “They were interested in hearing about our research and to discuss potential partnerships.”

Dr. Terry-Lynn Young, front row, far left; and Dr. Gary Kachanoski, standing, middle row, far right, were among delegations on Parliament Hill on Feb. 24
Dr. Terry-Lynn Young, front row, far left; and Dr. Gary Kachanoski, standing, middle row, far right, were among delegations on Parliament Hill on Feb. 24.

During a luncheon Kirsty Duncan, federal minister of Science, joined delegates and met one-on-one with the invited researchers.

“She talked about her new ministry and then asked us to talk about what we would like to see the ministry do for Canadian research,” added Dr. Young.

International impact

A Memorial alumna, Dr. Young has significantly contributed to the understanding of the genetic causes of blindness, kidney disease and several neurological conditions including hearing loss. She and her team made international headlines when it discovered the gene that causes sudden death in many Newfoundland families due to a form of cardiomyopathy known as ARVD5. She currently leads a national team to identify molecular markers of lethal arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and also explores their ethical, economic and social impact.

“I was very honoured to be invited by Universities Canada to join this event in Ottawa,” noted Dr. Young. “I do believe that Memorial has significant contributions to make to the nation regarding health research and innovation. It is very important for us to bring our accomplishments to the Hill to explain the impact of our genomics research program on saving lives and improving the health of our communities and teaching the next generation of researchers.”


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