About the MTPRF

The Molly Towell Perinatal Research Foundation was established in 1988 as a legacy of the estate of Dr Molly Towell. Dr Towell was a pioneering clinician-scientist in the field of maternal-fetal medicine and had a particular interest in the influence of maternal nutrition on infant outcomes. This was many years prior to the seminal works of Barker, which gave birth to the current concepts of the developmental origins of health and disease. For more about Dr Towell, see “About Molly Towell”.

MAJOR OBJECTIVES OF THE MTPRF

Dr Towell instructed that the major objectives of the Molly Towell Perinatal Research Foundation were:

  • To provide funding of graduate and undergraduate fellowships for students in the field of fetal and neonatal medicine
  • To provide start-up operating funds to assist in research and education in the field of fetal and neonatal medicine

About Funding

The directions for submitting applications are provided on the appropriate forms. Please note that there are separate forms for requesting assistance for operating funds and fellowships.


Important dates for this year:

  • Application Deadline: April 17th, 2015.
  • Decision & Notification: June 15th, 2015
  • Funding provided by mid July, 2015.

The overall goal of the Molly Towell Perinatal Research Foundation is to encourage perinatal research in Canada. According to Dr. Towell’s direction, the Foundation will support original and innovative research, which she defined as the pursuit of new information derived from basic or clinical research. High priority is given to projects that concern fetal growth or metabolism but any studies that involve original research in fetal or neonatal medicine will be considered. However, purely epidemiological research or clinical trials will not be considered.

Funding Application Deadline

April 17, 2015

more details

Announcement of 2015 MTPRF Competition Winners:

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 competition for Molly Towell Fellowships and MTPRF New Investigator Operating grants. Once again, there was a record number of applications this year, which included 12 applications for Fellowship and 9 for the New Investigator award. Because of the large number and exceptional quality of the applications, the Board elected to provide 2 years of funding for two Fellowships as well as one New Investigator award.

One of the Fellowships was awarded to Dr Samantha Benton who completed her PhD at the University of British Columbia and is currently working with Dr Shannon Bainbridge at the University of Ottawa on a project entitled, “Using molecular sub-classes of preeclampsia to improve early pregnancy screening and neonatal risk.”

The second Fellowship went to Dr Nicole Barra who obtained her PhD from McMaster University and is currently performing post-doctoral studies with Dr Daniel Hardy at Western University. The title of her project is, “Perinatal exposure to nicotine leads to long-term obesity in women: elucidating the underlying mechanisms.”

The New Investigator operating award was given to Dr John Ussher who is a new faculty member in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta. His proposal was entitled, “Targeting epigenetics via perinatal interventions to prevent early onset obesity.”

We also express our sincere thanks to all of the applicants for their excellent proposals and our congratulations to the winners. Finally, we are extremely grateful to the 6-member peer review team who evaluated and adjudicated the applications.

About Molly Towell

Molly Towell

Molly Towell was a pioneer in the field of perinatology in Canada, whose contributions in fetal physiology and in patient care have had a lasting impact.

She was born in Sussex, England and graduated from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London in 1952.  Following house officer positions in England in medicine, surgery, and obstetrics, she came to Canada in 1955 to accept a position as a rotating intern at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London, Ontario.

During 1956 and 1957, she was Ship’s Surgeon on the Columbia Coast mission boat operated by the Anglican Church, serving approximately 3500 people in widely scattered fishing and logging camps, fish canneries, lighthouses, and Native villages along the British Columbia coast.  Her detailed diary, now housed in the B.C. Archives in Victoria, captures a glimpse of the lives of the isolated workers and their families to whom she became a counsellor and a friend… read more

About Funding

The directions for submitting applications are provided on the appropriate forms. Please note that there are separate forms for requesting assistance for operating funds and fellowships.


Important dates for this year:

  • Application Deadline: April 17th, 2015.
  • Decision & Notification: June 15th, 2015
  • Funding provided by mid July, 2015.

The overall goal of the Molly Towell Perinatal Research Foundation is to encourage perinatal research in Canada. According to Dr. Towell’s direction, the Foundation will support original and innovative research, which she defined as the pursuit of new information derived from basic or clinical research. High priority is given to projects that concern fetal growth or metabolism but any studies that involve original research in fetal or neonatal medicine will be considered. However, purely epidemiological research or clinical trials will not be considered.

Funding Application Deadline

April 17, 2015

more details

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