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Volunteer Advocate
cf insights cf insights

Announcing the New Cathleen Morrison Research Impact Award


Cathleen Morrison

Cystic Fibrosis Canada is pleased to announce the new Cathleen Morrison Research Impact Award. Cathleen Morrison was Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s longest-serving Chief Executive Officer. Under her leadership from 1981 – 2011, the organization and its supporters grew nationwide and Cystic Fibrosis Canada-supported research produced remarkable advancements. Over this period, the estimated median age of survival for Canadians living with cystic fibrosis (CF) rose from 22.5 years to 47.9 years.


The Cathleen Morrison Research Impact Award is presented to the grant applicant who earned the highest score from the community stakeholder members in Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s annual peer-reviewed research competition. Two community stakeholders sit on the Scientific Review Panel that convenes in January to score and rank applications. While the researchers and clinicians on the panel focus on the scientific merit of a grant proposal, the community stakeholders are concerned with the potential of each proposal to positively impact the Canadian CF community. Cystic Fibrosis Canada aims to fund research that is relevant in improving the lives of those in our community, so the scores of the two community stakeholders are a key part of the research review process. Their input is one way to ensure that research funded reflects the priorities of our key stakeholders: people with CF and their families.

Cystic Fibrosis Canada is pleased to present the 2017 Cathleen Morrison Research Impact Award to Dr. Paul Linsdell from Dalhousie University. Dr. Linsdell will receive $300,000 over three years, 2017-2020, to support his work on the structure of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein, the protein defective in CF. Dr. Linsdell and his team are studying changes in the shape of the CFTR protein as it carries out its function, with the ultimate goal of developing improved CFTR-targeted drugs to address the underlying cause of CF.


Dr. Paul Linsdell is a faculty member at Dalhousie University in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. He holds a B.Sc. in Pharmacology from University College London in the UK and a Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Leicester in the UK. Dr. Linsdell first came to Canada in 1995 to work in the laboratory of CF researcher Dr. John Hanrahan at McGill University. Dr. Linsdell’s association with Cystic Fibrosis Canada began later that year when he was awarded a three-year postdoctoral fellowship award. His own research laboratory, focussed on understanding the structure and function of CFTR, has received continuous research funding support from the Cystic Fibrosis Canada since 1999. A number of trainees in his laboratory over the years have also been supported directly by fellowships, studentships, and summer studentships from the Cystic Fibrosis Canada.