"Saskatchewan has a proud legacy of leadership in the area of nuclear medicine, through the work of pioneers like Sylvia Fedoruk," said Saskatchewan Minister Responsible for Innovation Jeremy Harrison. "Through these investments, the Fedoruk Centre is helping shape our province's innovation future by putting Saskatchewan in the forefront in areas of nuclear research, development and innovation."
"The grant will grow Saskatchewan's capacity in nuclear imaging research and training, creating a core of experts to use the province's first cyclotron radioisotope facility when it becomes operational in 2016," said Neil Alexander, executive director of the Fedoruk Centre. "This gives Saskatchewan a unique research capability using radioisotopes that could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of conditions such as cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases."
U of S Vice-President Research Karen Chad said nuclear imaging offers enormous potential to improve understanding of human, animal and plant health, including leading-edge "one health" researchâa U of S signature area that finds health solutions at the animal-human-environment interface.
"Thanks to the generous support of the Saskatchewan government through the Fedoruk Centre, we will build a critical mass of research leaders with the tools, knowledge and talent to achieve global impacts in areas of strategic importance to Saskatchewan and Canada," she said.
The grant will:
- establish three research chairs, two at the U of S (one in nuclear imaging and another in nuclear chemistry or radiopharmacy) and one at the University of Regina (in nuclear physics);
- enable the hiring of a research coordinator at U of S to organize clinical trials of new radiopharmaceuticals (drug compounds containing a radioisotope); and
- support graduate students and develop curriculum for the training of medical radiologic technicians at Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
The U of S will also recruit a researcher in nuclear chemistry or radiopharmacy to support the Fedoruk Centre initiative.
Nuclear medicine is a powerful tool for the detection, diagnosis and treatment of a number of diseases, especially cancers. It involves injecting a patient with radiopharmaceuticals and then detecting those drugs in the body using imaging systems such as the PET-CT scanner at Royal University Hospital.
Nuclear imaging techniques make it possible to 'see' physiological processes inside cells, such as the uptake and metabolism of nutrients. This information can lead to enhanced understanding of a number of processes in humans and animals (such as the development of cancers or changes in nerve cells in patients suffering Parkinson's disease) and plants (such as the uptake of nutrients by roots).
The Fedoruk Centre is funded by Innovation Saskatchewan as an independent, not-for-profit subsidiary of the Â Â Â Â Â Â Â U of S.
Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation
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