Irving Shipbuilding and Kent Donate $1 Million to IWK Health Centre

Halifax, NS, May 8, 2013:  In advance of Mother’s Day, Irving Shipbuilding and Kent announced a $1 million donation to support ground-breaking research in the treatment of childhood disorders and leukemia and a state-of-the-art neo-natal intensive care unit. 

”I’m standing here today on behalf of the men and women of Irving Shipbuilding, dedicated and hard-working members of your community.  That our region offers excellence in its health services for infants and children is very important to our employees and their families, and the IWK is well-known in our community as true centre of excellence,” said Ross Langley, Vice Chairman and Interim President of Irving Shipbuilding in his opening remarks.

Irving Shipbuilding’s $500,000 contribution will be used to support the recruitment of a hematologist; research and leading edge clinical trials; as well as a related expansion of Dr. Jason Berman’s zebrafish laboratory.

After a drug has been shown to be promising in cells in test tubes, it is then most frequently tested in mice and eventually, in humans.  Dr. Berman’s lab is being developed to provide an intermediate step between the test tube and the mouse. 

 Dr. Berman’s lab has already shown that the effectiveness of new drugs against human tumours in zebrafish can serve as a screen to decide to advance or not to advance drugs into other test systems. Dr. Berman is developing partnerships that will allow this program to significantly expand, and the Irving donation will be an important contributor to that capacity expansion.  In addition, a portion of the Irving Shipbuilding contribution will be dedicated to recruiting a hematologist whose primary interest is in treating children with blood disorders like hemophilia.

 “Excellence in health services for infants and children is very important to our employees and their families and the IWK is well-known in our community as a true centre of excellence,” said Ross Langley, Vice Chairman and Interim President of Irving Shipbuilding.  “Dr. Berman’s research is unique in Canada and we are pleased to support the expansion of his lab which will create a sought-after, attractive research environment – an environment where investigation, learning and discovery will lead to improvements that will benefit not only children in the Maritimes, but around the world.”

View our video coverage here

Contact:
Mary Keith / J.D. Irving Limited / (506) 632-5122 / (506) 650-8209 (cell) / keith.mary@jdirving.com

Deborah Page / Irving Shipbuilding / (902) 484-4552 / (902) 499-7975 (cell) /page.deborah@irvingshipbuilding.com