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(July 25, 2011 - Toronto, ON) Six rising stars at the Lunenfeld were recently awarded prestigious fellowships from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in the most recent fellowship competition. The new support will help these postdoctoral fellows pursue their pivotal research in areas including glucose metabolism, placental development, pre-term birth, and cell signaling.
The CIHR Fellowship program is highly competitive, with a national success rate of only 10%. This round, 66% of Lunenfeld applicants were successful!
“CIHR is the largest funder of health research in Canada, and competition for its limited fellowship funding is extremely vigorous,” says Dr. Jim Woodgett, the Lunenfeld’s Director of Research. “Our trainees are at the heart of the Lunenfeld, and their ability to garner these awards reflects the fantastic caliber of work being conducted here.”
Specifically, the new fellowship winners are Jan Heng and Kristin Connor from the Lye lab, John Campbell from the Drucker lab, as well as Ruijun Tian and Melany Wagner from the  Pawson lab.
“I am so grateful to be awarded this fellowship,” says Kristin. “After pursuing postdoctoral training abroad, this fellowship has enabled me to return to Canada to further contribute to the research and teaching environments of the country that has supported my training throughout the majority of my scholarship and research endeavours.”
Kristin is investigating the role of gene-environment interactions during early life in shaping the developmental potential of individuals and in influencing long-term health. “These investigations can only be carried out in a research environment with world-class facilities and with the support of investigators with long-standing expertise in the field.”

Jon Campbell, who is investigating the specific actions of one of the incretins (GIP) in various tissues throughout the body, says that “holding a prestigious fellowship like this from the CIHR does add confirmation of career choice. I hope to make the best use of the research allowance to travel internationally for conferences and collaborations.”

The Research Training Centre
Over 200 trainees (including postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows, graduate and summer students) work at the Lunenfeld. They hail from countries as far ranging as Iran, China, Belgium, Korea and more, because the Lunenfeld labs and its Research Training Centre are known for offering an exceptional research learning environment.
Many trainees who have been mentored at the Lunenfeld are emerging as top scientists in their own right, achieving prestigious scholarships, awards, and highly competitive research funds, before moving on to attain new positions at top-ranked universities, hospitals and research centres worldwide.

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