Thursday, May 12, 2005

Teens' biomedical research lands them a slew of prizes

PUBLICATION: The Ottawa Citizen
DATE: 2005.05.12
EDITION: Final
SECTION: City
PAGE: C6
BYLINE: Jenni Lee Campbell
SOURCE: The Ottawa Citizen
ILLUSTRATION: Photo: Jana Chytilova, The Ottawa Citizen / Ghadi Antoun,left, and Marisa Rossi took 'the first step in the development of a gene therapy for hypertension.'

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Teens' biomedical research lands them a slew of prizes: Pair head to Vancouver for nationwide science fair

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Best friends and budding scientists Ghadi Antoun, 16, and Marisa Rossi, 18, have an exciting summer ahead of them.

On Sunday, they're jetting off to Vancouver to compete in the Canada Wide Science Fair. When they return, they'll be starting full-time paid summer jobs at an area research lab. Come August, they'll be preparing to go study biomedical science at the University of Ottawa on scholarships.

Last night at the Congress Centre, the teens were honoured for their work in health and biomedical research at an event called the Ottawa Evening, sponsored by Partners in Research and Friends of CIHR.

Their project, titled SiRNA's: The Science of Silence, cleaned up in the essay, science fair and biotechnology categories. At the University of Ottawa's Heart Institute lab, the two developed a method to stop protein synthesis in the gene for arterial hypertension.

"Basically, it's a first step in the development of a gene therapy for hypertension," Ghadi said.

Also honoured at the event that aimed to increase scientific literacy and interest were CJOH anchor Max Keeping and Dr. Dr. Leo Renaud.

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