Ripples of Hope Pfizer Award Granted To Two Dedicated Researchers

Nov 17, 2010 | Corporate Member News

Awards given to students in Mental Health and Rare Diseases

Pfizer Canada is pleased to announce that this year’s Ripples of Hope Award will be given to two individuals for their outstanding work in the areas of Mental Health and Rare Diseases. Safia Ladha is currently working towards a Masters in Science at the University of British Columbia in her pursuit of a career in Medical Genetics. Dr. Amber Southwell is a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics and is conducting research for the treatment of Huntington Disease (HD).

“While at different stages in their careers, what Dr. Southwell and Ms. Ladha have in common is their drive and dedication to make a difference in the lives of patients,” explained Dr. Michael Hayden, co-founder of the Award and Director of University of British Columbia’s Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at the Child & Family Research Institute. “These young researchers exemplify what it means to be a Ripple of Hope and I am thrilled that they have been named this year’s award recipients.”

The Pfizer Ripples of Hope Trainee Awards in Mental Health and Rare Diseases were created in 2008 by Dr. Hayden and Pfizer Canada. The awards’ purpose is to support the next generation of scientists in their quest to make major contributions to human health in British Columbia, across Canada and around the world.

“Pfizer is proud to support local researchers in their quest to find healthcare solutions for patients in the area of Mental Health and Rare Diseases,” explained Mr. Paul Lévesque, President, Pfizer Canada. “Continued research in Mental Health and Rare Diseases are essential, and we are pleased that this year we can recognize the work of two individuals who are dedicating their time to finding treatments in these areas.”

Pfizer has contributed $700,000 towards the creation of an endowment fund dedicated to the Pfizer Ripples of Hope Award in Mental Health and also the Pfizer Ripples of Hope Award in Rare Diseases.

The name of the award was inspired by a famous speech by Robert F. Kennedy, which includes a reference to the power of a ‘ripple of hope’. Other areas for Ripples of Hope annual trainee awards are in the areas of Global Health as well as Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship.

About the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT)
The Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) is a synergistic group of scientists and researchers who share a strong sense of commitment to solve the many genetic questions surrounding human illness and well being. Affiliated with the University of British Columbia and the Child & Family Research Institute, CMMT conducts discovery research and translates that research into effective clinical and therapeutic strategies to promote health. For more information, visit

About Pfizer in Canada
Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company.  The company is one of the largest contributors to health research in Canada. Our diversified health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world’s best-known consumer products.  Every day, Pfizer Canada employees work to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time.  We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life.  Our commitment is reflected in everything Pfizer does, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships, to our belief that it takes more than medication to be truly healthy.  To learn more about Pfizer’s More than Medication philosophy and programs, visit To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit

For further information:

Daphne Weatherby
Pfizer Canada
1-866-973-4937Nicki Kahnamoui
Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, CFRI, UBC
604-875 2345 x 4832

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