Announcement of the February winners of the Étudiants-chercheurs étoiles Award
Montreal, February 4, 2013 – Québec’s Chief Scientist, Rémi Quirion, is pleased to announce the February winners of the Étudiants-chercheurs étoiles Award, a competition spearheaded by the three Fonds de recherche du Québec.
Award winner, Fonds Nature et Technologies
Michel Lavoie, PhD student in in environmental studies at INRS.
Award-winning publication: Influence of Essential Elements on Cadmium Uptake and Toxicity in a Unicellular Green Alga: the Protective Effect of trace Zinc and cobalt concentrations. Published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 31(7):1445-52, July 2012.
Award winner, Fonds Santé
Jean-Baptiste Pingault, Postdoctoral student at Université de Montréal’s Department of Social and Preventive Medicine.
Award-winning publication: Childhood trajectories of inattention, hyperactivity and oppositional behaviors and prediction of substance abuse/dependence: a 15-year longitudinal population-based study. Published in Molecular Psychiatry, 06-2012.
Award winner, Fonds Société et Culture
Leslie Tomory, Postdoctoral student in history at McGill University.
Award-winning publication: Progressive Enlightenment: The Origins of the Gaslight Industry,1780–1820. Published by Cambridge: MIT Press, mars 2012.
In addition to promoting careers in research, the competition aims to recognize the exceptional research contributions of college and university students, postdoctoral fellows and members of professional bodies who are enrolled in advanced research training programs in the areas covered by the three Fonds de recherche du Québec.
Every month, each Fund will award $1000 to a student researcher. An overview of the recipient’s project and a photo of the recipient will be featured on the Web site www.frq.gouv.qc.ca.
Dr. Quirion sends his congratulations to the winners.
A five year study conducted with thousands of local teenagers by University of Montreal researchers reveals that those who used speed (meth/ampthetamine) or ecstasy (MDMA) at fifteen or sixteen years of age were significantly more likely to suffer elevated depressive symptoms the following year. “Our findings are consistent with other human and animal studies that suggest long-term negative influences of synthetic drug use,” said co-author Frédéric N. Brière of the School Environment Research Group at the University of Montreal. “Our results reveal that recreational MDMA and meth/amphetamine use places typically developing secondary school students at greater risk of experiencing depressive symptoms.” Ecstasy and speed-using grade ten students were respectively 1.7 and 1.6 times more likely to be depressed by the time they reached grade eleven.
The researchers worked with data provided by 3,880 students enrolled at schools in disadvantaged areas of Quebec. The participants were asked a series of questions that covered their drug use – what they had used in the past year or ever in their life – and their home life. Depressive symptoms were established by using a standard epidemiological evaluation tool. 310 respondents reported using MDMA (8%) and 451 used meth/amphetamines (11.6%). 584 of all respondents were identified as having elevated depressive symptoms (15.1%). The range of questions that the researchers asked enabled them to adjust their statistics to take into account other factors likely to affect the psychological state of the student, such as whether there was any conflict between the parents and the participant. “This study takes into account many more influencing factors than other research that has been undertaken regarding the association between drugs and depression in teenagers,” Brière said. “However, it does have its limitations, in particular the fact that we cannot entirely rule out the effects of drug combinations and that we do not know the exact contents of MDMA and meth/amphetamine pills.”
The study’s authors would like to do further research into how drug combinations affect a person’s likelihood to suffer depression and they are keen to learn more about the differences between adults and adolescents in this area. “Our study has important public health implications for adolescent populations,” said Jean-Sébastien Fallu, a professor at the University of Montreal and study co-author. “Our results reinforce the body of evidence in this field and suggest that adolescents should be informed of the potential risks associated with MDMA and meth/amphetamine use.”
About this study
Frédéric N. Brière, Jean-Sébastien Fallu, Michel Janosz, and Linda S. Pagani published “Prospective associations between meth/amphetamine (speed) and MDMA (ecstasy) use and depressive symptoms in secondary school students” in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health on April 18, 2012. The study received funding from Fonds Québécois de Recherche sur la Santé et la Société (FQRSC, 2007-NP-112947). Frédéric Brière is affiliated with the University of Montreal’s School Environment Research Group. Jean-Sébastien Fallu is affiliated with the University of Montreal’s School Environment Research Group, School of Psycho-Education, and Public Health Research Institute. The University of Montreal is officially known as Université de Montréal.
This tumblr started as a whimsical experiment, and more of a replacement for posting links to Facebook than anything else. However, it’s rapidly became the cornerstone of my professional and personal communications – a looking glass that offers a glimpse into research at universities in Quebec and out to the cultural and geographical dimensions that colour my work and my life.
The name came to me as I was coming down from the Rutherford physics building at McGill. Rutherford, such a hearty sounding name. And a brilliant scientist who was born in New Zealand – I can’t claim much in common with the great man, but I can claim that. So can Katherine Mansfield. Mansfield was a poet and an artist who left Wellington to pursue her artistic interests in the South of France. I think the two names go together quite nicely, and the combination of their careers reflects the kind of juxtaposition I would like to offer my readers. The combination also sounds vaguely évocateur of the place names you find in Montréal.
Créer un compte tumblr, c’était pour moi question d’expérimenter avec les médias « sociaux » et surtout évoluer au-delà du simple partage des liens sur Facebook. Or, cet outil est rapidement devenu la pierre angulaire de mes communications professionnelles et personnelles – une vitrine qui vous permettra de découvrir la recherche scientifique entreprise par les universitaires québécois.
J’ai conçu le nouveau titre à la sortie du Pavillon Rutherford à McGill. Rutherford, ça comporte un certain cachet sonore. C’était un scientifique excellent né en Nouvelle-Zélande ; à part le lien McGill, c’est probablement la seule chose que j’ai en commun avec cette sommité de la physique. C’est également une racine que je partage avec Katherine Mansfield, une poète et une artiste qui a quitté Wellington pour s’installer dans le sud de la France afin de poursuivre sa carrière. Je trouve que les deux noms vont ensemble bien, et la conjugaison de leurs profils représentent bien celui du contenu que j’aimerais proposer à mes lecteurs. De coup, « Rutherford-Mansfield », c’est assez évocateur de la toponymie montréalaise, à mon avis.
Senator John Pastore: “Is there anything connected with the hopes of this accelerator that in any way involves the security of the country?”
Physicist Robert Rathburn Wilson: “No sir, I don’t believe so.”
Pastore: “Nothing at all?”
Wilson: “Nothing at all.”
Pastore: “It has no value in that respect?”
Wilson: “It has only to do with the respect with which we regard one another, the dignity of man, our love of culture. It has to do with: Are we good painters, good sculptors, great poets? I mean all the things we really venerate in our country and are patriotic about. It has nothing to do directly with defending our country except to make it worth defending.”
— From the testimony of Robert Rathburn Wilson before the Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, 1969. As quoted in a lovely memorial to Wilson and the Fermi National Laboratory’s Tevatron by science blogger Jennifer Ouellette vient de publier le texte suivant… Il m’a beaucoup touché. J’espère qu’il vous inspirera la prochaine fois qu’on vous demande de justifier une subvention à la recherche.