Merck Frosst donates $1 million for new chair

January 13, 2005, vol. 32, no. 1

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Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. has pledged $1 million to support a new arthritis research chair in the faculty of health sciences.

The first privately funded chair in the new health sciences faculty, it will serve as the foundation of the world's only interdisciplinary research program devoted to arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases.

“Arthritis is a major cause of disability for millions of Canadians, especially in the growing senior population,” says health sciences dean David MacLean. “Very little research has been conducted into the causes, prevention and management of arthritis. This new partnership between SFU, Merck Frosst and the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada (ARC) will enhance the quality and quantity of research conducted in arthritis and musculoskeletal disease, and will ultimately improve the quality of life for people living with these diseases.”

According to Health Canada, arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases cost the nation's health care system $16 billion per year and represent Canada's second most costly group of diseases.

SFU's faculty of health sciences will begin accepting students in 2005, and promises to bring a dynamic interdisciplinary approach to new programs in public and population health, epidemiology and bioinformatics, and virology and immunology.

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