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 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.


Applications for 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 18th, 2016.
  • Decision & Notification: mid-June 2016
  • Funding provided by: mid-July 2016

Funding Application Deadline

April 18, 2016

more details

Announcement of 2016 MTPRF Competition Winners:

The Board of the MTPRF is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 competitions. Overall, there were 18 applications from 9 different universities across Canada, including eleven for the MTPRF Fellowship and seven for the New Investigator award.

The new Molly Towell Fellow for 2016 is Monique Rennie from the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto. The title of the application was, “Non-invasive Screening for Women at risk of Stillbirth.” Dr. Rennie will use Magnetic Resonance Imaging technology to try and validate a measure of placental deoxyhemoglobin. Development of a clinically applicable test to assess placental function would be an extremely important tool for use in the evaluation of at-risk pregnancies. Her post-doctoral studies will be performed under the supervision of Dr. John Sled. We wish her smooth sailing and rapid progress in her continuing studies.

The Molly Towell New Investigator for 2016 is Dr. Robin Clugston of the University of Alberta Department of Physiology. Dr. Clugston is a new appointment to the University in March 2016 following a post-doctoral Fellowship at Columbia University. His studies will investigate “The role of abnormal retinoid signaling in the development of fetal diaphragmatic hernias with a particular emphasis on maternal dietary vitamin A content.” We look forward to seeing important new information arising from Dr. Clugston’s lab over the next 2-3 years regarding this relatively common and very serious congenital anomaly.

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 7-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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