(March 9, 2012 – Toronto, ON) Some of Canada’s leading medical research was showcased earlier this week as donors, journalists and Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute scientists met during Dinner with Scientists—an event presented by Firm Capital Mortgage Investment Trust. Dinner with Scientists is an initiative of Leadership Sinai, Mount Sinai Hospital’s community of young philanthropists and volunteer leaders.
Co-Chair William Arvanitis set the tone for the evening with his opening remarks: “The Lunenfeld is a place of incredible promise. Promise that disease can be overcome, promise that care can be tailored to each individual, promise of a future full of hope, health and longevity.”
Hosts Colin Mochrie and Debra McGrath, two of Canada’s best known entertainers and TV personalities, welcomed 200 guests and Lunenfeld scientists to the occasion at The Eglinton Grand, which raised over $165,000 for research at the Institute.
“Dinner with Scientists is a fantastic event that gives our supporters a glimpse of the many wonderful advances being made by our researchers,” said Dr. Jim Woodgett, the Lunenfeld’s Director of Research. “It’s a great way to share our excitement about our work with generous donors and with journalists who have an interest in science.”
With a scientist seated at each dinner table, guests had ample opportunity to delve into the specifics of researchers’ expertise. An engaging set of lightning rounds provided a snapshot of some of the most innovative biomedical research being conducted worldwide. Eleven scientists met the difficult challenge of distilling their research into a two-minute, two-slide presentation. The result was an informative briefing on developments in the diagnosis and treatment of some of the world’s most devastating illnesses today, as well as insights into technologies and new programs.
For example, Dr. Isabella Caniggia discussed her work in placental development and pre-eclampsia; Dr. Ian Rogers talked about umbilical cord and adult stem cell research; Dr. Rebecca Gladdy discussed the application of genomics to investigate the mechanisms that lead to soft tissue sarcomas; Dr. Laurence Pelletier explained how powerful microscopy reveals new processes critical for cell division; and Dr. Sue Quaggin outlined molecular events underlying kidney diseases and her work in helping improve diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.
Lively question and answer sessions followed the presentations. Guests also focused their attention on a silent auction of microscopy images submitted by scientists and their trainees, dubbed the Art of Science, which featured the beauty of stem cells, neurons, and cellular structures.
Dinner with Scientists provided an exclusive forum for learning about the most recent advances in medical science from researchers whose discoveries have changed the way we understand and treat common, complex illnesses.