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McGill's three-year-old centre for Research on Pain has received a booster shot in the arm worth $2.5 million over five years from international pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. The funding will enable five postdoctoral fellows to work as part of research teams with the centre's members. "The goal is for us to enhance the centre by hiring new postdocs and enlarging space," says Catherine Bushnell, the director of the centre. "The funding will also facilitate closer collaborations between researchers at McGill and those in AstraZeneca's Montreal labs." The collaborations could take the form of regularly scheduled meetings for researchers to exchange ideas. "One reason for AstraZeneca setting up a research unit in Montreal was the proximity to McGill, so we've been looking forward to developing this relationship," she says. "We've already selected three stellar applicants who match well with advisors at McGill, and have a very good fourth candidate for whom we just need to find the right match of advisor."
"McGill has one of the strongest pain research groups in world," says Bushnell, also noting that Canada itself has a very strong pain research community. The centre's research projects focus on understanding the basic mechanisms of pain and developing approaches to address the problem. Its 31 full-time members include laboratory researchers and clinicians.