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Press Release | December 11, 2018

Outstanding researchers from Montreal, Halifax and Toronto receive $1.35 million to find new treatments for metastatic and ovarian cancers

As recipients of the 2019 TFRI New Investigator Award, Drs. Meaghan O’Reilly, Livia Garzia and Jeanette Boudreau will each receive $450,000 over the next three years to further their research.

VANCOUVER – Three outstanding early-career investigators from Montreal, Halifax and Toronto will each receive $450,000 over the next three years to explore new treatments for metastatic cancers like the one Terry Fox had and identify new ways to make immunotherapy more effective for patients with ovarian cancer.

A total of $1.35 million will be shared by Dr. Livia Garzia (Montreal), Dr. Jeanette Boudreau (Halifax) and Dr. Meaghan O’Reilly (Toronto) who were named 2019 Terry Fox New Investigators following a recent awards competition. It is the first time in the award’s history that all awardees are female scientists.

“These three remarkable and accomplished researchers have each demonstrated that they are able to think outside the box and bring really innovative approaches forward to help find new solutions for some of cancer’s most challenging problems,” said Dr. Victor Ling, TFRI president and scientific director.

TFRI’s New Investigator Award provides research operating grants to future leaders as they develop their independent careers in cancer research. The awards program pairs competition winners with larger TFRI-funded programs and projects for mentorship and research development. Candidates must be scientific and clinical investigators within the first seven years of a first faculty-level appointment in Canada.

“This award will really have an impact on my research and my career. It is a very generous research allowance and allows me to receive mentorship from senior scientists working on well-established projects,” says Dr. Livia Garzia, a pediatric cancer specialist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. She received the award to study metastatic sarcomas – the type of cancer that claimed Terry Fox. 

Dr. Jeanette Boudreau, an immunologist at Dalhousie University who will study how natural killer (NK) cells can be mobilized to make immunotherapy more effective for deadly ovarian cancers, echoed the sentiment, saying that she is “honoured and humbled” to receive the award and the mentorship from world-renown immunotherapists.

Dr. Meaghan O’Reilly, an ultrasound therapist at Sunnybrook Research Institute, will study the use of ultrasound-stimulated microbubbles to treat leptomeningeal metastasis, the spread of cancer to membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. “The funding and the mentorship we will receive from the sponsoring program is really going to push the research forward and allow us to optimistically, in three years time, have a safety study well under way, so that in a very near future we can bring this technology into a clinical study,” she says. 

Dr. Meaghan O’Reilly (Toronto), Dr. Livia Garzia (Montreal) and Dr. Jeanette Boudreau (Halifax) have received the TFRI New Investigator Award 2019.

About The Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) 

Launched in October 2007, The Terry Fox Research Institute is the brainchild of The Terry Fox Foundation and today functions as its research arm. TFRI seeks to improve significantly the outcomes of cancer research for the patient through a highly collaborative, team-oriented, milestone-based approach to research that will enable discoveries to translate quickly into practical solutions for cancer patients worldwide. TFRI collaborates with over 70 cancer hospitals and research organizations across Canada. TFRI headquarters are in Vancouver, BC. 

Information for media

Kelly Curwin
Chief Communications Officer
Terry Fox Research Institute
675 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver BC Canada V5Z1L3
Office: 604-675-8223; cell: 778-237-8158