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TFRI News | June 26, 2012

McGill trainees earn top honours at TFRI Scientific Meeting Poster Competition

TFRI 2012 Poster Presentation
(l-r): Chief Judge Dr. Robert Rottapel (Ontario Node Leader) with winners Dr. Carolina Ilkow (3rd place), Dr. Jennifer Knight (1st place), Ms Jill Ranger (2nd place), and Mr. Darrell Fox (TFRI Senior Advisor).

A key highlight at TFRI's third annual scientific meeting (Victoria, BC, May 10-12, 2012) was the presentation of 77 posters from trainees who are working on Terry Fox-funded research in partner research laboratories across the country. Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who submitted successful abstracts and are funded by the Terry Fox Foundation's New Frontiers Program Project Grants (PPGs) and Strategic Training In Health Research at CIHR grants or TFRI's Translational Projects, were awarded grants to travel to present research posters.

Taking home top honours from this year's poster competition were McGill University's Goodman Cancer Research Centre trainees Dr. Jennifer Knight (1st place) and Ms Jill Ranger (2nd), along with Dr. Carolina Ilkow (3rd place) of the Ontario Health Research Institute. Dr. Ilkow is a PDF in Dr. John Bell's lab while Dr. Knight is a PDF supervised by Dr. Morag Park and Dr. Ranger is a graduate student supervised by Dr. William Muller. All three are affiliated with TFF-funded PPGs. Dr. Knight's poster was titled "Met synergizes with P53 loss to induce mammary tumours that possess features of claudin-low breast cancer."

"Winning first was a great privilege. Like other trainees at the meeting, I take my research very seriously and have a great deal of passion for the work I do. It felt very special to have this recognized at the Terry Fox meeting and to be awarded my certificate by Darrell Fox," said Dr. Knight. She said she had positive and encouraging experience and now has added incentive to continue her career in cancer research.

Their work , and that of their peers ,was judged by 20 participants - including TFRI executive members, funded investigators and invited guests from partner and funding institutions -- who attended the meeting.

The awards went to those who scored highest in the following areas: abstract; poster content, appearance and organization; and oral presentation. Eligible posters were evaluated to determine a shortlist of 10 presenters who then each made a five-minute oral presentation at the meeting. Providing students with the opportunity to meet new people and share ideas, the two poster sessions proved to be a highlight of the meeting. The judges were impressed with the quality of the posters and the presentations made by the finalists.