Pfizer announces new round of Psychiatry Research Awards recipients

Pfizer announces new round of Psychiatry Research Awards recipients 
~ Pfizer commits $100,000 to each winner and launches new partnership awards 
for 2013 ~ 
MONTREAL, May 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Pfizer Canada is pleased to announce the second 
round of recipients of the Psychiatry Research Awards Program. The program, 
launched in May 2011, was developed to advance clinical research and patient 
care in psychiatry by supporting Canadian investigators in their research 
Dr. Rajamannar Ramasubbu, MD, Associate Professor, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, 
University of Calgary and Dr. Jorge Armony, PhD, Douglas Mental Health 
University Institute, McGill University will each receive $100,000 to support 
their research in psychiatric diseases. 
"This award represents a major advance towards improving treatment outcomes 
for major depression. The current trial-and-error approach delays recovery and 
causes significant side effects," says Dr. Ramasubbu, who is researching 
prediction of individual treatment response based on brain changes at the 
early phase of antidepressant treatment. "By working towards an individualized 
and personalized model, we hope to ensure early intervention so patients are 
matched with the right medication early on." 
The Psychiatry Research Awards Program is a competitive research grant program 
open to all researchers interested in psychiatric diseases including 
physicians and academics. 
"It is an honor to receive this award. The research we're doing is helping us 
better understand emotional disorders and seek more effective treatments," 
says Dr. Armony, who is conducting research on how the brain detects, analyzes 
and responds to environmental events with affective value and how these 
processes can affect those living with bipolar disorder. "Better understanding 
the neural basis of emotion might eventually lead to new mood stabilizer 
treatments and therapies for this disorder." 
Submitted proposals are reviewed by an independent external review committee, 
chaired by Dr. Glenda MacQueen, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Professor at the Department of 
Psychiatry, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta. 
"This year's submissions to the Pfizer Psychiatry Research Awards Program 
showcase the quality of mental health research that is happening across the 
country," says Dr. MacQueen. "This research makes a difference to Canadians in 
so many different areas, so to recognize the outstanding work of remarkable 
Canadian researchers driving world-class research is truly an honour." 
2013 Request for Proposals 
Pfizer is now accepting proposals for the 2013 round, which includes five new 
awards with the support of its program sponsors. The 2013 awards are: 

    --  Pfizer Canada Major Depressive Disorders Research Award
    --  Pfizer Canada Geriatric Anxiety Research Award
    --  Hotchkiss Brain Institute/Pfizer Canada Research Award
    --  Healthy Minds Canada/Sun Life Financial/Pfizer Canada Research
    --  Institut Universitaire en Santé Mental de Montréal
        (IUSMM)/Pfizer Canada Research Award

"With the addition of these exciting new partnership awards, Pfizer Canada can 
expand its support for research that will improve the mental health and 
well-being of Canadians," says Dr. Bernard Prigent, Vice President and Medical 
Director, Pfizer Canada. "We are proud of the accomplishments of our 2012 
recipients, and look forward to continued success in the coming year."

The Psychiatry Research Awards Program is the most recent initiative in 
Pfizer's ongoing commitment to mental illness in Canada. Additional 
information and application information can be found at The 
submission deadline for the 2013 competition is October 1, 2013.

Mental Illness in Canada

One in five Canadians will personally experience a mental illness during their 
lifetime.(1) Mental illnesses can affect people of all ages, educational and 
income levels, and cultures(2) and are the result of a complex interplay of 
genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors.(3 )

Nearly three million Canadians will experience depression in their 
lifetime,(4) with most people being affected between the ages of 24 and 44.(5) 
A major depressive disorder can occur once in a lifetime, or episodes can be 

The disorder also has an impact in the workplace, with 1 in 20 employees 
experiencing depression at any given time.(7)The consequences of undiagnosed 
depression include decreased productivity, inability to concentrate and 
frequent 'sick' days.(8)

Five to 10 per cent of those aged 65 and older are suffering from anxiety 
disorder, a condition which often affects daily functioning and becomes a 
significant source of distress.(9) The prevalence of anxiety in seniors is 
even higher for those living in institutions such as retirement homes.(1)

About Pfizer Canada Inc.

Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the 
world's leading biopharmaceutical companies. Our diversified health care 
portfolio includes some of the world's best known and most prescribed 
medicines and vaccines. At Pfizer, we're working together for a healthier 
world. For more information, visit

About Our Award Partners

Hotchkiss Brain Institute

The Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary is dedicated to 
advancing neurological and mental health research and education. The 
Institute's research strengths in foundational neuroscience are leading to new 
treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders, aimed at improving 
quality of life and patient care. More information on the Hotchkiss Brain 
Institute can be found at

Healthy Minds Canada

Healthy Minds Canada (HMC) is a national charitable organization that was 
founded in 1980 and since this time has funded close to 400 research projects 
at 42 universities and teaching hospitals across Canada. In addition to 
funding the best mental health and addiction research in Canada, HMC hosts 
workshops and symposia across the country and publishes resources and tools to 
translate the outcomes of mental health and addiction research and deliver 
this valuable information to those who need it the most.

Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization 
providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and 
services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life 
Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, 
including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, 
the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Vietnam and Bermuda. As of 
September 30, 2012, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets 
under management of $515 billion. For more information please visit Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York 
(NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Institut Universitaire en Santé Mental de Montréal

The Institute provides specialized and ultra-specialized services in mental 
health. As a leader in its field, the hospital develops knowledge through 
research, teaching, and assessment. The Institut universitaire en santé 
mentale de Montréal is a member of the Université de Montréal excellence in 
health network.


(1)  Public Health Agency of Canada. Mental Illnesses in Canada: An Overview. Accessed April 2, 2013.

(2)  Ibid.

(3)  Ibid.

(4)  Canadian Mental Health Association. Depression in the Workplace. Accessed April 2, 2013.

(5)  Public Health Agency of Canada. Mental Illnesses in Canada: An Overview. Accessed April 2, 2013.

(6)  Statistics Canada. Affective Disorders.
     Accessed April 2, 2013.

(7)  Canadian Mental Health Association. Depression in the Workplace.
     Accessed April 2, 2013.

(8)  Canadian Mental Health Association. Depression in the
     Workplace. Accessed April 2, 2013.

(9)  Anxiety Canada. Anxiety Disorders in the Elderly. Accessed April 2, 2013.

(10) Ibid.

or to arrange an interview with one of the award recipients and/or Dr.  
MacQueen, please contact:

Meghan Sharp Edelman Tel: 416-849-5029 

Christina Antoniou Pfizer Canada Tel: 1-866-9PFIZER (973-4937)  

SOURCE: Pfizer Canada Inc.

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