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Hamza Bari and Ali Arif Awan

Location: Montreal, QC

Award: Young Canadians


Year: 2004


Sars: There is a Cure!

News Release

Two Montreal health projects capture Manning Awards at national science fair

ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland — (May 21, 2004) — Two Montreal science projects were selected today for recognition as Innovation Awards by the national Manning Awards Foundation which promotes and recognizes innovation in Canada. The awards were presented at the 2004 Canada-Wide Science Fair, which was the largest national fair to date, with 483 students working on 375 projects. Representation in the Fair, held all week on the Memorial University campus, included students from every province and territory.

Hamza Bari, 17, from St. Laurent, a Grade 11 student at Wagar High School, was named one of four Manning Young Canadian Innovators. His $4,500 cash award and a trip this fall to the yet-to-be-announced site of the national Manning Innovation Awards were among his project's total honours which included the Gold medal and $1,500 for the senior Biotechnology Division, and two scholarships — a $10,000 grant to attend the University of Saskatchewan and a $2,000 entrance scholarship at the University of Western Ontario.

A $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Award was also presented to Justin Tan, 17, from Westmount, a Grade 11 student at Selwyn House School, for his project work Vitrification: Eggs and Embryos addressing the ability to cryopreserve oocytes (eggs) and embryos through vitrification, the solidification of a solution without crystallization. This is viewed to be critical to the continued development of assisted reproductive technologies for the treatment of infertility.

Bari's project, SARS: There is a cure!, was in collaboration with teammate Arif Awan, but represented by Bari at the Fair. The project investigated ways to design inhibitors (compounds or peptides — chains of proteins ) for the SARS virus using modem computational structure based techniques. Their project conclusion was that two of the 10 compounds they selected as having potential as proficient inhibitors, using computational drug design techniques, would be more potent and specific than the current inhibitors used to control this virus. Mr. Bari said they hoped to be able to fully publish the project work this Fall.

This is the 13th year for the Manning Innovation Awards at the Canada-Wide Science Fair, co-sponsored by Petro-Canada on behalf of the Manning Awards Foundation.

Don Park, Executive Director,