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New frontiers in immunology
Posted Wednesday, September 9, 2009 3:00 PM

University of Manitoba students and faculty working at the forefront of knowledge in allergy, asthma, cancer, immunization and auto immune disease research have a new $5.6M home on Bannatyne Campus. The Faculty of Medicine's Department of Immunology officially opened its new location today as part of an international symposium called "New Frontiers in Immunology."

Featuring 18,000 square feet of research and teaching space, the Immunology Department is now located on the fourth floor of Apotex Centre, a $32M building that opened on Bannatyne Campus last fall.  The space includes a state-of-the-art open-concept research laboratory with tissue culture facilities, molecular facilities to study and experimentally manipulate genes that control cell differentiation, and flow cytometry and confocal facilities to investigate the immune system at the single cell level.

The new Department of Immunology was made possible thanks to $1.6M funding generously provided by the Federal, Provincial and City governments through the Winnipeg Partnership Agreement with the remaining support coming from the University of Manitoba, the Faculty of Medicine, the private sector, and faculty members within the department.

"Our Government is proud to support this new and innovative research centre at the University of Manitoba," said MP Rod Bruinooge.  "By strengthening Manitoba's existing immunology and infectious disease research cluster with state-of-the-art equipment and expanded facilities, we are further developing this university's research capacity and providing our medical graduates with exciting and rewarding career opportunities."

"The exemplary research facilities housed here will build on our tradition of innovation and facilitate the training of new generations of scientists," said Dr. David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manitoba.

"The Faculty of Medicine is a proud supporter of the well-regarded and successful Immunology research program, and of this new facility that will promote further achievement and growth in this fertile area," said Dr. J. Dean Sandham, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. "Creation of this infrastructure, some of the best in the world, provides Manitoba and the University the opportunity to build on the existing critical mass and momentum established by this country's first Immunology Department."

The department has been a leader in Immunology since it was established as Canada's first in the 1960s.  It currently has 25 faculty,  more than 70 students and researchers, and offers research thesis Masters in Science, PhD training, co-op, undergraduate and post-graduate Medical and Pharmacy students, Undergraduate Science students, and graduate students from at least five faculties at the University of Manitoba. Three Research Chairs are also located within the department.

The Immunology Department has received international recognition for major research and is home to two Canada Research Chairs and one Manitoba Health Research Council chair.

"Demand for top talent is exceptionally competitive internationally.  Attracting and then retaining top award winning students, advanced research trainees, faculty and academic leadership requires tangible support or the opportunity is lost," said Dr. Redwan Moqbel, Head, Department of Immunology.

For more information, contact:
Ilana Simon
Director of Communications & Marketing
Faculty of Medicine
Phone: (204) 789-3427