|New U of M research chair focuses on liver health|
|Posted Wednesday, April 4, 2012 11:11 AM|
|Liver research in Manitoba received a $3 million boost on March 28, thanks to the generosity of donations from the Morberg family and private donors to the Health Sciences Centre Foundation and the University of Manitoba. |
The Morberg Family Chair in Hepatology at the Health Sciences Centre is a joint initiative of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation and U of M. It is named after the Morberg family, who contributed $1 million to the campaign. All faculty members in the department of internal medicine at the U of M also contributed a total of $1 million toward the establishment of this chair.
Hepatology, focused on the functions and disorders of the liver, is a relatively new subspecialty. The creation of the Morberg Family Chair in Hepatology at the Health Sciences Centre positions Manitoba at the forefront of liver disease treatment and research.
“The University of Manitoba is already a trailblazer when it comes to liver research in Canada. The establishment of the Morberg Family Chair in Hepatology at the Health Sciences Centre will further establish Manitoba as a global leader,” said David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor of the U of M.
Gerald Minuk, a 1975 University of Manitoba MD graduate and professor/ section head, hepatology, internal medicine, was appointed to the new position.
He will pursue independent research in hepatobiliary diseases such as hepatitis, immune mediated liver diseases and liver cancer, as well as lead research activity in the Faculty of Medicine in the field. The Morberg Chair will enhance the competitiveness of the faculty to recruit top researchers and increase prominence for funding from national and international funding agencies.
“An endowed chair is an excellent way to attract and retain renowned faculty members like Dr. Gerald Minuk whose contributions will improve the quality of life of liver patients not just in Manitoba, but around the world,” said Brian Postl, dean of the Faculty of Medicine. “Having a chair associated with our strong hepatology research team will further establish an international centre of excellence in this subspecialty here in Manitoba.”
John Mohan, President and CEO of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation, said the foundation is delighted to celebrate the announcement and naming of the research chair, and thankful for the many generous donors who supported this initiative. “We extend a special thank you to Gail Morberg — an excellent example of Manitoba’s nation-leading generosity,” he said. “It’s just what we Manitobans do. We see a need, we own it, and work together to create a solution.”
Gail Morberg, former chair and co-founder of Calm Air, donated $1 million in memory of her late husband Carl Arnold Lawrence Morberg who passed away in 2005.
“I really wanted to start giving back to the community, especially Manitoba where my husband and I made our wealth,” she said, of her reason for donating to the HSC Foundation. “And it was important to me that it would touch the North, where we started our company.”
Morberg was thrilled that Gerald Minuk was appointed the new research chair. “Dr. Minuk took care of my husband at HSC. He cared enough to phone me after Arnold passed. This is a great guy, and I am happy to know we are growing the knowledge in our own province.”
Hepatology has emerged as a strong research area over the last 30 years, with the University of Manitoba and the Health Sciences Centre leading the charge.
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