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, 2017.
  • Decision & Notification: mid-June 2017
  • Funding provided by: mid-July 2017

Funding Application Deadline

April 18, 2017

more details

Announcement of 2017 MTPRF Competition Winners:

The Board of the MTPRF is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 competitions. Overall, there were 12 applications from 10 different universities across Canada, including seven for the MTPRF Fellowship and five for the New Investigator award.

The Molly Towell Fellowship for 2017 is awarded to Dr. Floorje Spaans.  Dr. Spaans received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Groningen in 2014, and then began a postdoctoral Fellowship with Dr. Sandra Davidge in 2015.  Her MTPRF Fellowship will support her salary for the next two years of this research training.  Her proposed studies will investigate the potential role of syncytiotrophoblast-derived extracellular vesicles in the vascular pathology that occurs in women with preeclampsia.  We wish her great success in making progress in understanding the pathophysiology of this disease that remains one of the most enigmatic and serious diseases of perinatal medicine.

The Molly Towell New Investigator for 2017 is Dr. Kristin Connor from Carleton University in Ottawa.  Dr. Connor was appointed Assistant Professor at Carleton in 2016 in the Department of Health Sciences.  She received a Ph.D. in Reproductive and Developmental Physiology at the University of Toronto in 2009.  After a post-doctoral Fellowship at the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland, she returned to the University of Toronto where she was a research Fellow and leader of the Women’s and Infants’ Health Research Program.  Her proposed research at Carleton will examine the possible mechanisms through which maternal nutritional disease (underweight or obesity) can lead to increased rates of preterm birth or impaired development of fetal neurological system. We look forward to exciting results over the next 2 – 3 years that will aid our understanding of these vitally important developmental processes.

Once again, 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 8-member peer review team who evaluated and adjudicated the applications.

About 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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