Division of BioMedical Sciences

News stories from BioMedical Sciences

August 30, 2022
Dr. Sevtap Savas, a professor of genetics and oncology at the Faculty of Medicine, has been appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of CAPO (Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology).
March 11, 2022
After many delays due to COVID-19 restrictions, Dr. Vianne Timmons enthusiastically handed out the 2021 President’s Awards to outstanding employees during a luncheon March 9 at the Signal Hill Campus.
March 11, 2022
A well-known health researcher is taking on a new leadership role.

Dr. Sherri Christian, associate professor, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, has been named assistant scientific director in Newfoundland and Labrador for the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute (BHCRI).
February 25, 2022
Memorial University’s musculoskeletal research expertise is growing, thanks in part to a $445,000, five-year project grant funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
February 1, 2022

A pair of Memorial researchers have landed recognition for their innovative studies aimed at transforming the future of arthritis.

Salem Werdyani, PhD student, and Dr. Guangju Zhai, professor, Discipline of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, are included on the Arthritis Society of Canada’s list of the top 10 research advancements for 2021.

January 25, 2022
Dr. Sevtap Savas, PhD., a cancer scientist and professor at the Division of Biomedical Sciences, has been appointed as the Chair of the Advocacy Committee of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO), a national organization with a mandate to “improve the capacity and excellence in psychosocial oncology services in Canada and beyond” through research, education, collaboration, and clinical practice.
March 23, 2021
In recognition of Brain Awareness Week which was held March 15-21, two graduate students, Lisa Fang and Stephanie Blandford created an awareness campaign about research happening in the Faculty of Medicine.
November 17, 2020
"Living in a different province with different cultures, you tend to learn how to improve your interactions along the way to suit the situation around you as well. It's all about improving and adapting while still maintaining your core values that you grew up with."
October 2, 2020
Researchers part of national team studying COVID-19 immunity

Before March 11 and before most of the world had ever heard of COVID-19 and before the ensuing pandemic brought the world to a standstill, nearly 121,000 people worldwide already had the virus.
September 28, 2020
Dr. Michael Grant is among the newest Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS).
Fellows of the CAHS, which recognizes excellence in health sciences, have demonstrated, through their careers and lives, that they are committed to their field of expertise in many ways. 
September 9, 2020
Gaylene Russell McEvoy used her time during her masters degree to give back to her fellow students and, for that, she recently received two generous awards.
August 21, 2020

​The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is providing more than $830,000 for critical infrastructure and equipment for five specialized research projects based at Memorial.
July 17, 2020
Dr. Michiru Hirasawa, Division of Biomedical Sciences, was part of an $8M investment of several Memorial recipients of research funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) recently.
June 17, 2020
Two researchers based in the Faculty of Medicine are benefitting from a $1-million federal investment.

by Jeff Green
January 31, 2020
Faculty of Medicine researchers are advancing critical health-related studies that matter to Canadians thanks in large part to more than $1.8 million in new funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

October 11, 2019
Dr. Curtis French is hoping some new funding will help figure out which molecules in cannabis plants help reduce seizures.
September 26, 2019
Hannah Wallace has a thing for viruses. As in, eradicating them. A PhD learner in the Division of Biomedical Sciences, Ms. Wallace is particularly interested in eliminating hepatitis C virus (HCV) and, what she calls, her side project, Ebola.
March 27, 2019
A Faculty of Medicine researcher is being recognized for his transformative research to advance the understanding of the brain, in illness or health.
March 21, 2019
Growing up in the small community of Bell Island, Leah Curnew saw the gaps in scientific leadership, literacy and engagement. That’s what prompted her love of mentoring.
March 7, 2019
Personal connection pushes researcher to do it ‘for this family’
February 7, 2019
Research ranging from how to treat fatal neurodegenerative diseases to better understanding the affects of type 2 diabetes are among six critical health-related studies receiving nearly $3.7 million in new funding, most of which is for research in the Faculty of Medicine.
January 8, 2019
A PhD candidate and graduate student from the Faculty of Medicine have both taken home best poster awards at recent competitions.
October 22, 2018
By Jeff Green and Michelle Osmond

Research ranging from developing sustainable road pavements for harsh Canadian climates to evolutionary drivers of variation in bat migration are among more than 60 projects receiving roughly $8.8 million from the Government of Canada.
June 15, 2018
Dr. Michael Grant, professor of immunology, Division of BioMedical Sciences, is the 2018 Hardy Cinader Award recipient from the Canadian Society for Immunology (CSI).
May 16, 2018
The university’s Faculty of Medicine hosts the 2018 provincial Brain Storm Competition
May 9, 2018
A team from the Division of BioMedical Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine offer new research into mechanisms of cancer cell division.
May 9, 2018
The Division of BioMedical Sciences crowns the best high school science fair project at the annual Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador Science and Technology Fair.
April 24, 2018
Within the span of two weeks, four prestigious honours with the combined value of approximately $90,000 were awarded to graduate students in the Division of BioMedical Sciences.
April 9, 2018
Graduate student Emilie Comeau will be presenting her research at the 2018 Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) Conference thanks to a travel award from the Mark Wainberg Fund.
February 28, 2018
A lucrative faculty award is empowering a Faculty of Medicine researcher to better understand — and potentially find a cure — for the world’s most common neurodegenerative disease.
October 12, 2017
Dr. Matthew Parsons has always been interested in how the brain forms and holds memories. After all, our identities depend on the memories we form over our lifetime. But for people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), those memories get interrupted.
June 30, 2017
As part of a celebration for Canada 150, the Canadian Institutes Health Research (CIHR) has posted profiles in its Celebrating Health Research storybook highlighting health researchers.
May 26, 2017
Faculty of Medicine researchers garner $2.8 million in new federal funding.

By Jeff Green and Michelle Osmond
April 10, 2017
Graduate Studies, CBC Radio bring doctoral research to public airwaves
(with files from the Gazette)

Completing a PhD takes years, but some Memorial doctoral students presented their research in just three minutes.
March 28, 2017
The office of MD students Stephen Ryan and Michael Bartellas is not your typical office. It’s full of plastic models and storage units with trays full of different plastic prototypes including umbilical clamps, skulls and joints. All made on 3D printers.
December 21, 2016
Dr. Vipin Shankar, a post-doctoral fellow in Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine, received a certificate recently for top presentation at an international conference, Photodynamic Therapy and Photodiagnosis.
December 16, 2016
Dr. Thomas Michalak has been named University Research Professor in recognition of his seminal scientific contributions to the medical world, pioneering research discoveries and advancement of our understanding of immunology and infectious diseases.
October 21, 2016
Dr. Donald McKay is the latest recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Service Award from Hypertension Canada. 
March 1, 2016
Dr. Michiru Hirasawa, professor of neurosciences at Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine, has received a grant from the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research to pursue research on the rare genetic disorder, Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). 
October 20, 2015
Lauren Fogarty came to the Faculty of Medicine to study neuroscience and left with so much more.
July 10, 2015
Completing a graduate degree was an aspiration Justin King had hoped to achieve upon completion of his undergraduate degree at Memorial. Mr. King planned on applying to one of Memorial’s master degree programs but upon recommendation from his undergraduate supervisor, he was directly admitted into the Faculty of Medicine as a PhD student.
June 24, 2015
Faculty members and graduate students from Memorial University are among the recipients of grants and scholarships awarded recently by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
May 20, 2015
A PhD student in Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine has won first place in the Eastern Regional Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition.
April 10, 2015
Dr. Mani Larijani, associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases in the Division of BioMedical Sciences has been awarded the Canadian Society for Immunology New Investigator Award.
March 4, 2015
Dr. Gary Paterno has been appointed associate dean of the Division of BioMedical Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine for a three-year term as of Jan. 1.
December 12, 2014
President Gary Kachanoski has announced the Memorial University’s outstanding educators, researchers and staff members for 2014. Three members of the Faculty of Medicine received awards at a ceremony Dec. 11 at the Bruneau Innovation Centre for Research and Innovation. 
November 7, 2014
The fall 2014 issue of MUNMED is now available in electronic format. This issue features the opening of the new Medical Education Centre, the 2014 international ASPIRE Award of Excellence in Social Acountability, and Dr, Thomas Michalak's induction into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
October 27, 2014
Dr. Ken Hirasawa, an associate professor in the Division of BioMedical Sciences, has received an innovation grant from the Canadian Cancer Society. Dr. Ann Dorward, also an associate professor in the Division of BioMedical Sciences, is a co-applicant of the grant.
October 21, 2014
Dr. Craig Moore, an assistant professor of neuroscience in Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine, is leading a national study that will identify and validate new drug targets for progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), with a particular focus on understanding how inflammation in the brain leads to subsequent tissue injury and repair.
October 15, 2014
Dr. Cliff Guy, who did his PhD at Memorial under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Michalak, is an author on a number of significant papers.
October 2, 2014
Two talks about weight reduction and obesity management will take place on Friday Oct. 24 in Lecture Theatre B from 1:30 noon-3:30 p.m.
October 2, 2014
Dr. King Holmes, recipient of the Canada Gairdner Global Health Award for 2013, will present the 2014 Gairdner Lecture at Memorial University on Wed. Oct. 22 from 1:30-2:30 in the main auditorium of the Faculty of Medicine.
September 19, 2014
Dr. Thomas Michalak, a prominent researcher in the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University, was inducted as a fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) on Sept. 18. Election to fellowship in the CAHS is considered one of the highest honours for individuals in the Canadian health sciences community and carries with it an agreement to serve the academy and the future well-being of the health sciences. 
July 15, 2014
Brian Roome, a recent graduate student from Dr. Jacqueline Vanderluit’s laboratory, is author of the paper titled A reproducible Endothelin-1 model of forelimb motor cortex stroke in the mouse, published in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience Methods. This work is based on his M.Sc. thesis in neuroscience in the Faculty of Medicine.
May 13, 2014
The road to being a successful PhD student involves dedication and an enthusiastic approach to research. Justin King, a doctoral student in the Immunology and Infectious Disease Program, has received a three-year Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Doctoral fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).   
May 9, 2014
Whether they do research in a biomedical lab or in the community, the Faculty of Medicine’s graduate students continuously show that they work hard and win awards. On May 1 these awards were acknowledged and celebrated at the annual Graduate Student Achievement Awards luncheon at R. Gushue Hall.
May 6, 2014
The spring 2014 issue of MUNMED is now available in electronic format. This issue features HSIMS and the growth of technology in the Faculty of Medicine. There’s also a special contribution from Dr. Jill Allison on Haiti Village Health as well as information about the Faculty of Medicine’s contributions to WONCA’s International Guidebook on Rural Medical Education
May 5, 2014
Dr. Gary Paterno has a lot of fun teaching, and the medical students in his embryology class appreciate his style so much that they successfully nominated him for the MUN Student Union Excellence in Teaching Award and Outstanding Contribution to Student Life, presented April 10, 2014.
February 11, 2014
Dr. Jane Green, professor of genetics in the Faculty of Medicine, was one of seven exemplary individuals inducted into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador (ONL) at a ceremony hosted at Government House Feb. 7. 
February 7, 2014
Dr. Michael Woods, associate professor of genetics in the Faculty of Medicine, is a contributing author on a paper published in December 2013 in the journal Nature Genetics which describes a model of DNA variant interpretation for bowel and uterine cancer that will help diagnose those at high risk.
December 9, 2013
The inaugural Faculty and Staff Awards Luncheon took place Dec. 6, celebrating awards at the university, provincial, national and international level in the last five years. Dr. James Rourke, dean of medicine, welcomed everyone to this special event. Before the lunch, he played a video of the 100th laureate of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame – Dr. Ian Rusted, founder of Memorial’s medical school.
October 1, 2013
The Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) is investing $3.7 million in Memorial University to support 34 academic-led research projects aimed at solving technical challenges and closing knowledge gaps. The research is being conducted in a range of areas, including 10 projects led by Faculty of Medicine researchers.
September 26, 2013
Dr. Pardis Pedram, a PhD student in the Faculty of Medicine, has received $5,000 from the Janeway Research Advisory committee to investigate the role of food addiction and gastrointestinal hormones play in the development of childhood obesity.  
September 9, 2013
A new paper from the laboratory of Dr. Guang Sun, professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University, shows that food addiction is an important contributing factor in the development of obesity.
August 22, 2013
Dr. Mani Larijani, a biomedical sciences researcher in the Faculty of Medicine, has been awarded a new Canadian Cancer Society Innovation Grant to study how to stop an immune system enzyme from turning some immune cells into aggressive cancer cells. The presentation was made Aug. 22 at Daffodil Place.
August 8, 2013
Mahmud Hasan, a research technician supervised by Dr. Jacqueline Vanderluit, is the author of the paper titled Mcl1 regulates the terminal mitosis of neural precursor cells in the mammalian brain through p27Kip1, published in the August 1, 2013 issue of the journal Development. 
July 11, 2013
An update was provided July 11 on the new Molecular Imaging Program that will provide the people of Newfoundland and Labrador with state-of-the-art technology to greatly improve the diagnosis and treatment of certain illnesses, such as cancer.
June 25, 2013
The achievements of graduate students in the Faculty of Medicine during 2012-13 were celebrated April 30 with a luncheon in the Junior Common Room. Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president of Memorial, and Dr. James Rourke, dean of medicine brought greetings. Dr. Jules Doré, assistant dean for graduate studies (medicine) emceed the event.
June 19, 2013
Neuroscience graduate student Natasha Belanger-Willoughby won the Oral Presentation Prize at 2013 Canadian NeuroMetabolic Club meeting in Toronto on May 20.
June 18, 2013
With the help of some dedicated graduate students in the Faculty of Medicine, Neria Aylward, a grade 11 student at Holy Heart of Mary High School, went from being winner of the provincial Brain Storm competition April 20 to placing third in the Canadian Brain Bee. 
June 14, 2013
By reaching out beyond the university, some faculty members in the Division of BioMedical Sciences have helped a number of high school students to prepare science projects for competition and go on to win awards.
June 13, 2013
Dr. Laura Gillespie, professor of molecular oncology, has received a Prevention Translation Award in the amount of $149,900 from the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute. This program targets the translation of basic research findings into the clinic. Co-investigators are Drs. Joy McCarthy, Ken Kao, Nik Makretsov and Gary Paterno.
June 12, 2013
The latest research in a new field of therapy for treatment of lymphoma or leukemia was featured at this year's first public meeting of the Newfoundland & Labrador Thrombosis, Blood and Immune Disorders Education and Research Project, held May 30 at the St. John’s Geo Centre.
May 23, 2013
Dr. Shakti Chandra, an associate professor of anatomy, was presented with an Excellence in Teaching Award on April 8, 2013, at a presentation ceremony organized by Memorial University’s Student Union (MUNSU).
May 3, 2013

Faculty of Medicine’s inaugural Research Excellence Awards were held on April 29, 2013. The new annual awards, created by Dean James Rourke, recognize faculty members whose contributions to research in their fields have made them active and valued participants in Memorial’s vibrant research community. 

March 25, 2013
Dr. Mani Larijani, an assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases and oncology in the Division of Biomedical Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine, has received the Terra Nova Young Innovator Award in recognition of his research.
March 19, 2013
A paper recently published by Farrell Cahill, a PhD student supervised by Dr. Guang Sun, has discovered strong evidence that dietary magnesium intake is inversely associated with insulin resistance.
March 15, 2013
Two funding announcements in recent weeks have given Memorial researchers a major boost. On March 11, the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) announced $1.3 million in 12 health-related research projects. That news came on the heels of a Feb. 28 announcement of $1.6 million for nine research projects led by Memorial researchers.
March 5, 2013

Brain Storm is a province-wide competition organized through the Division of BioMedical Sciences, aimed at high school students taking biology, advanced placement psychology or other high school science courses.



January 17, 2013
Dr. Ken Kao and his team at the Faculty of Medicine have made an important discovery that could lead to better detection and treatment methods for those diagnosed with prostate cancer.
October 9, 2012
Justin King, a first-year PhD student in Dr. Mani Larijani’s laboratory in the Division of Biomedical Sciences, was awarded the first place poster prize at the Canadian Society for Immunology annual conference held this summer.
August 6, 2012
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Dr. Janine Post, an alumna from Memorial University is visiting from the Netherlands and on Tuesday, Aug. 7 is presenting a seminar to the cancer and development group in the Faculty of Medicine.
April 20, 2012
Justin King, a fourth-year undergraduate student who has been conducting research in Dr. Mani Larijani’s laboratory for the past year, has just been awarded a prestigious graduate fellowship from the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Institute.
April 19, 2012
Kerri Smith, a PhD student supervised by Dr. Ann Dorward, has received a travel award from Ovarian Cancer Canada to attend the 6th biennial Canadian Conference on Ovarian Cancer Research (CCOCR) taking place May 27-29, 2012 in Quebec City.
January 11, 2012
Two graduate students in the Faculty of Medicine have received $5,000 from the Janeway Children's Hospital Foundation to investigate the role that appetite and energy regulation gastrointestinal (GI) hormones play in the development of childhood obesity.