New lab expected to attract global talent

University of Manitoba will be the proud recipient of a brand new immunology lab at the U of M’s Bannatyne Campus, worth $5.6 million. The new lab will be an extension of the faculty of Medicine’s department of immunology.

The lab is made up of 18,000 square feet of research and teaching space and it will be located on the fourth floor of the Apotex Centre, a $32 million dollar building opened last fall, said a press release from the U of M.

Funding for the lab came from the federal and provincial government who contributed $1.6 million and the rest was provided by a partnership with Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba.

“The exemplary research facilities housed here will build on our tradition of innovation and facilitate the training of new generations of scientists,” said U of M president David Barnard.

MP of Winnipeg South, Rod Bruinooge, explained in a press release that he was happy to be part of such a huge advancement at the U of M.

“By strengthening Manitoba’s existing immunology and infectious disease research cluster with state-of-art equipment and expanded facilities we are further developing this university’s research capacity and providing our medical graduates with exciting and rewarding career opportunities,” said Bruinooge.

The U of M’s department of immunology is the oldest department of its kind in North America said the department head, Dr. Redwan Moqbel.

Established in 1969, the immunology department has been known for its contributions to cutting edge research in various areas ranging from, immunization against infection, parasitic infection and immune regulation.

Most of the research is transnational, meaning it has to have impact on health issues, said Dr. Moqbel.

Another thing the laboratories plan to attract are the leading minds in the field of immunology, “The facilities we have at the department are going to be extremely attractive for recruitments of graduate students and post doctorate trainees in Canada and beyond.”

He continued, “It will also open the door for us for recruitment of cutting edge scientists who will hopefully join our laboratories as faculty members [ . . . ].

“Technology at the end of the day is a tool. Without the person power to operate the technology and use it in the best possible way, we can’t make any advances.”

The faculty of Medicine also held an international symposium to announce the development of the laboratories and to raise the profile of the program on an international scale, said Moqbel.

“It was because of the coming of international authorities in immunology to the meeting that we know it will have a great impact on attracting very significant caliber of researchers from various parts of Europe and North America to [the U of M],” he continued.

The department currently has 25 faculty members, more than 70 students and researchers and the program offers a research thesis Masters in Science. Two Canada research chairs and one Manitoba Health Research Council chair are part of the department.