Diabetes Canada operating and scholar grant, a first in New Brunswick.

The hefty grant of $300,000 over three years was awarded to Dr. Thomas Pulinilkunnil, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick (DMNB). Dr. Thomas Pulinilkunnil was awarded this grant to continue his research into diabetic heart disease in New Brunswick.

The investment in Pulinilkunnil’s research program will help his team to continue the research on diabetes triggered by obesity. He’s already pieced together two out of three critical elements needed to develop a new treatment for obesity related diabetic complications.

Over the next three years, the research he does at DMNB will enable him to gather the third element to launch a new company or collaborate with existing pharmaceutical companies.

“This science won’t just produce a manuscript—it will change people’s lives,” said Pulinilkunnil. “It’s very motivating to see the needs of patients in Saint John and include them as part of a new solution—and very quickly at that.”

Achieving this milestone is a reputation-setting moment for the four-year-old medical school. Amongst 50 applicants in the bid for these valuable CDA Grants, Pulinilkunnil ranked 5th overall in the country, beating out labs from medical schools that have existed for over 100 years.

“People said, you cannot do science in New Brunswick. There were many discouraging people, but we have proved that is not true,” said Pulinilkunnil. “We can deliver. We have delivered. I’m a strong believer that good science can happen anywhere, and Saint John is a very supportive community with a flourishing scientific environment—that’s all it takes.”

Pulinilkunnil’s ultimate goal is to create a world class lab.

“Big institutions are known for exporting talent. DMNB has imported top-notch scientists from Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, USA, Cuba, Switzerland, India, Austria and England—all of whom are now training local students,” Pulinilkunnil said.

“Someday in the future, DMNB will be a place that exports talent to the most prestigious universities around the world. Someday soon, we will be known for a unique brand of research—well known.”

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