Dr. Edith Hamel, neuroscientist at the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University, has received the prestigious Prix Adrien-Pouliot 2007 from the l’Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas) sponsored by the Consulat Général de France à Québec and the Ministère des Relations Internationales du Québec. The prize recognizes the excellence of research done in collaboration with scientists in France that has an impact both in Canada and in France. Dr. Hamel received the award at the 63rd Annual Gala de l’Acfas at the Centre des Sciences de Montréal on Thursday evening.
Edith Hamel is internationally renowned for her innovative work in neuroscience which focuses on the regulation of cerebral circulation. The goal of Dr. Hamel’s work is to understand how nerve cells control regional blood flow in the brain and how this relationship is altered in pathological states like Alzheimer's disease and migraine headache. Through understanding of the mechanisms involved, her research could help in the development of new drugs aimed at preserving a normal blood supply to the brain or decreasing vascular head pain.
Created in 2000, the prize is in honour of Adrien Pouliot – distinguished mathematician and former president of Acfas. “I am honoured to receive this award and feel fortunate to be in a dynamic, world-class research environment that allows me to pursue science without boundaries and contribute to the understanding of brain function and disease mechanisms,” said Dr. Hamel.
The Prix Adrien-Pouliot 2007 is the latest award for Dr. Hamel, who has received numerous honours throughout her career, including the Medical Research Council of Canada Centennial Fellowship, Scholarship and Scientist awards and, most recently, a Blaise Pascal International Research Chair from France.
Dr. Hamel’s close ties to the field of research in France can be traced back to her post-graduate studies and have since continued. She conducted part of her post-doctoral training in France, and was a Project Leader at the laboratory of Cerebral Circulation and Metabolism, Laboratoire d'Etudes et de Recherches Synthélabo, Bagneux where she worked on vascular targets for the treatment of migraine headache.
For more than 80 years, Acfas has pursued a noble mission: to promote scientific activity, to stimulate research and to disseminate knowledge. The Quebec-based organization has been an active player in the scientific community through a number of activities, including its annual congress, a bimonthly magazine and the awarding of prizes for outstanding contributions to research.