Donation to facilitate ground-breaking research project looking into autism triggers in children
MONTREAL, June 12, 2008 – CIBC (CM: TSX;NYSE) is donating $500,000 to the Montreal Neurological Institute’s (MNI) “Thinking Ahead” campaign to create the CIBC Fellowship in Brain Imaging. This fellowship gift will facilitate exciting research projects at the MNI over the next five years, like the MNI’s pivotal role as the only Canadian institution in the Autism Centre of Excellence, a US-based multi-institutional study looking for early indicators of autism.
In this four-year study, which began in July 2007, four medical centres in the US – University of North Carolina; Duke University; University of Washington, Seattle; and University of Pennsylvania – are scanning siblings of children diagnosed with autism and will send their raw data to the MNI – one of only three centres in the world with the capacity and know-how to process it. As the data-coordinating site for this project, the MNI will receive all information and images about the test subjects and will be responsible for quality control and populating the database. Knowing that there is a 20 per cent chance a sibling of a child with autism will exhibit autism, the project will map the siblings’ brains to see what changes are associated with the risk and/or development of autism.
“Health is a pillar of CIBC’s community investment program, and we are pleased to be part of this leading-edge brain imaging research,” said Gerry McCaughey, CIBC’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The MNI and its four US partners are on the cusp of science that will reveal promising new information about the brain that hopefully will lead to reductions in the early onset of autism and other neurological disorders.”
“Training the next generation of scientists is one of our top priorities and is key to advancing science and shaping the future of patient care,” said Dr. David R. Colman, Director of the MNI. “Private funding to attract top-notch trainees is essential and we salute CIBC for its outstanding support.”
CIBC’s Fellowship support will allow the MNI to recruit some of the brightest and most highly motivated future scientists to proceed at full speed with careers in academic medicine. New fellows bring with them new ideas and perspectives and having a productive start at this early stage in their careers will multiply their potential impact on the future of medical science many times over.
The MNI is a McGill University research and teaching institute, dedicated to the study of the nervous system and neurological diseases. Founded in 1934 by the renowned Dr. Wilder Penfield, the MNI is one of the world's largest institutes of its kind. MNI researchers are world leaders in cellular and molecular neuroscience, brain imaging, cognitive neuroscience and the study and treatment of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular disorders. The MNI, with its clinical partner, the Montreal Neurological Hospital (MNH), part of the McGill University Health Centre, continues to integrate research, patient care and training, and is recognized as one of the premier neuroscience centres in the world. At the MNI, we believe in investing in the faculty, staff and students who conduct outstanding research, provide advanced, compassionate care of patients and who pave the way for the next generation of medical advances. Highly talented, motivated people are the engine that drives research - the key to progress in medical care. A new building, the North Wing Expansion, is currently under construction and will house state-of-the-art brain imaging facilities. Once the construction is completed and the new building is fully equipped, the scientific community focused on brain imaging research at the MNI will be without equivalent anywhere in the world. For more information, please visit www.mni.mcgill.ca.
About CIBC CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. With a strategic focus on youth, education and health, and employee commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, United Way and the CIBC World Markets Children’s Miracle Foundation, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2007, CIBC group of companies contributed more than $36 million worldwide to charitable organizations and community initiatives. Of this, $27 million was invested in Canada to support national regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit www.cibc.com/pas.