University of Saskatchewan

September 19, 2014   

U of S Health Researchers honoured with SHRF Santé! Awards

From top: Enrique Lukong, Top Researcher award (Biomedical); Lori Hanson, Top Researcher award (Socio-Health, Clinical and Systems); Rita Gruodyte, Top Researcher award (Postdoctoral Fellowship, Socio-Health, Clinical and Systems); Jake Pushie (right), Top Researcher award (Postdoctoral Fellowship, Biomedical), with supervisor Graham George (Photos: SHRF)
January 04, 2011

Four University of Saskatchewan researchers were honoured with Top Researcher awards at the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation’s (SHRF) annual Santé! Awards Evening at Saskatoon’s TCU Place on December 2, 2010.

The awards are presented to the top-ranked recipients in SHRF’s New Investigator Establishment and Postdoctoral Research Fellowship funding competitions.

For New Investigator Establishment grants, the Top Researcher award in the Biomedical category went to Erique Lukong from the department of biochemistry in the College of Medicine. Lukong is investigating whether breast tumour kinase (BRK) protein creates or stimulates breast tumours. His work could lead to new strategies for breast cancer treatment that target and block this protein.

In the Socio-Health, Clinical and Systems category, top honours went to Lori Hanson from the department of community health and epidemiology in the College of Medicine. Hanson is looking at ways to make midwifery care equal and accessible throughout Saskatchewan.

For Postdoctoral Fellowships, the Top Researcher award in the Socio-Health, Clinical and Systems category went to Rita Gruodyte from the College of Kinesiology. Gruodyte is looking at the role of childhood exercise in preventing osteoporosis later in life. She will be looking specifically at low-intensity gymnastics as a means of improving future bone health.

Top Researcher in the Biomedical category went to Jake Pushie from the department of geological sciences in the College of Arts and Science. Pushie is studying the role of prions (a type of protein) in diseases such as BSE (mad cow), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Wilson’s, and hemochromatosis. In particular, he is looking at how these proteins may regulate levels of naturally occurring metals such as copper, iron and zinc in the brain and nervous system. His work could inform development of new therapies to treat patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

The 2010 SHRF Achievement Award went to Heather Hadjistavropoulos of the University of Regina, for her career work in assessing the impact of anxiety on patients, especially the elderly and those suffering from multiple sclerosis and chronic pain.

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