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Behind every innovative, world-leading researcher, lies a dedicated team of research trainees. 

The best research trainees are critical thinkers and problem solvers. They are creative, dedicated, and passionate about their respective disciplines. A breadth and depth of knowledge in their field of study, the ability to analyze problems, ask the right questions, and apply their skills to finding the answers is second nature to them. They are at the forefront of tackling the world’s most intense health challenges—from health equity to treating and curing cancer, to pandemic preparedness and prevention.

This Fall’s Molly Appeal Campaign is focused on raising funds to invest in research trainees at the Faculty of Medicine. Graduate studies in the faculty are intensive, hands-on specialty programs in which students are developing and facilitating ground-breaking medical research day-in and day-out. Guided by our world-leading research supervisors and highly skilled research teams, research trainees are critical to the work at the research bench and are the true driving force behind medical breakthroughs made at Dalhousie University.

“When you fund a research trainee, you fund the next generation of medical researchers and empower them to do great things,” says Dr. Paola Marcato, professor and researcher in the departments of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at Dalhousie University. Dr. Marcato is a world-renowned breast cancer researcher, and was recently appointed the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF)-Atlantic Region Endowed Chair in Breast Cancer Research Chair. 

One of the trainees working in Dr. Marcato’s lab, Marie-Claire Wasson, is focused on investigating a relatively unexplored group of molecules and their potential application in cancer therapy. “The initial findings and identification of a new molecule are extremely encouraging,” says Wasson. “We are now onto next steps to push this discovery closer to the clinical use.”

Dr. Paola Marcato

Without their vital contributions, and the guidance they receive from some of our most brilliant research minds, medical research at the Faculty of Medicine—and within the larger ecosystem of medical research in Canada—simply wouldn’t move forward, and medical advancements would be fewer and farther between.

When we support research trainees, we are investing in the future of health care and building the next generation of researchers in the Martimes, in Canada, and around the world.

Supporting Graduate Studentships

Labs at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine are made up of diverse, creative, brilliant research trainees. They are the ones in the lab coats, running experiments, and finding solutions to health challenges—big and small. There is a critical need for more graduate trainees, students who are at the apprenticeship stage of their careers and need financial support to allow them to be dedicated to their work in the lab.

“The Faculty of Medicine is embarking on a new era, one defined by our commitment to impact and building healthier communities. We cannot achieve impact without prioritizing the critical need of attracting and retaining the next generation of the best and brightest students—and to attract and retain, we must support them.” Dr. David Anderson, Dean of Medicine

From neuroscience to cancer research, to drug development, and innovative research programs like the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology and the Brain Repair Centre, Dalhousie research trainees are leading in their fields in Canada, and around the world.

“Graduate students in Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine hold a pivotal position within the research team, making substantial contributions to scientific endeavors that pave the way for improved health outcomes,” says Wasson. “The support we receive through donors is imperative as it allows us to channel our energy and focus wholeheartedly into the pursuit of discoveries.”

Whether you’re passionate about cancer research, improving access to care, protecting against infectious diseases, or other health challenges Dalhousie researchers are tackling, supporting research trainees means solving the health problems that you care about most.

Molly Appeal

"Research is the best medicine" - Molly Moore

The Molly Appeal is Dalhousie University's annual campaign created to raise critical funds throughout the year in support of local health research excellence.

Learn more about Molly

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The Impact

Better, more impactful research

We have the opportunity to attract high-quality students to Dalhousie and Atlantic Canada who are committed to achieving research excellence in the Faculty of Medicine. To do that, the faculty needs a sustainable way to fund these students, so it can foster a competitive atmosphere that attracts top talent.

Vibrant laboratories attract the best and brightest grad students to Dal, where they contribute to the knowledge economy we are building here in the Maritimes.

Economic benefits

Working with industry partners, our researchers are developing commercially viable drugs, vaccines, and biomedical devices that will change lives and benefit our Maritime community.

Right now, some top graduate students are choosing other universities and provinces for their studies, limiting the growth of both the research ecosystem and the larger biomedical economy in Atlantic Canada. Not choosing to study here means some of our best and brightest are not able to consider continuing their studies here, working here, living here, or starting a family here. Without this expansion, how will we attract physicians or grow the technology and biomedical sectors in the region?

Bringing new perspectives

The cost of graduate studies is also a barrier to diversity at Dalhousie. Many students from underrepresented communities, lower socioeconomic, and rural backgrounds simply can’t afford to delay receiving steady paycheques to further their educations. This results in a lack of diversity of thought and lived experience in labs—perpetuating biased research that is not representative of the communities it serves. Students from varied socio-economic and cultural backgrounds bring unique and varied perspectives to the research conducted at the Faculty of Medicine, making it better and stronger.

Supporting research trainees through philanthropy means your gift will enable more highly skilled and educated individuals to begin careers, start families and plant roots in the Maritimes, supporting our goals for growth and development in the region.