News Archives

05/26/2015

 

Aditya Mohan, 18, of Ottawa’s Colonel By Secondary School Recognized for Novel Cancer Therapy

 

Ottawa, Ontario – May 26, 2015 – Aditya Mohan of Colonel By Secondary School in Ottawa has been awarded top honours at the national final of the prestigious Sanofi Biogenius Canada (SBC) competition.  The 18-year-old grade 12 student was chosen by judges for his research project focusing on a novel cancer treatment that manipulates the common cold virus to target and selectively kill cancer cells.

Aditya’s research, which was completed with the support of mentor Dr. Angela Crawley of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, could offer numerous advantages over cancer therapies like chemotherapy and radiation, which can impact healthy cells and cause debilitating side effects. 

“Cancer has affected so many families, including people who are close to me. My project was motivated by the need for a new way to diagnose, monitor and treat this disease with lower dosages and a more targeted approach,” he said. “I am truly honoured to win Sanofi Biogenius Canada. This competition has been an incredible opportunity to pursue my research and take this project to the next level.”

One of the country’s most prestigious student competitions, Sanofi Biogenius Canada pairs exceptional young scientists at the high school level with academic mentors to pursue real-world research projects. These enriching partnerships have resulted in many promising breakthroughs across various scientific fields.

Hosted by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) in Ottawa, the competition’s national final featured the winners of all nine Sanofi Biogenius Canada regional competitions across the country. The nine finalists presented their research projects to a judging panel of esteemed members of the scientific community, including Dr. Jim Richards, R&D Director and Vaccine Program Leader at the NRC; Dr. Pierre Meulien, President, Genome Canada and Dr. Robert Tsushima, Associate Dean, Research and Partnerships, Faculty of Science, York University.

“What distinguishes Sanofi Biogenius Canada from other science fairs and competitions is that it’s a real-life experience for the participants, who pursue groundbreaking research projects with leading-edge researchers. Not only is Aditya’s work a tribute to the culture of innovation that programs like these help foster in our country, but it also reinforces the importance of mentorship in a young scientist’s career,” said Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur, one of the competition’s two title sponsors.

“Our mission at Sanofi is to shape tomorrow’s health, and programs like Sanofi Biogenius Canada are an essential stepping stone for Canada’s next generation of scientists and researchers. We offer our heartiest congratulations to Aditya and look forward to following his future achievements,” said Jon Fairest, President of Sanofi Canada, the competition’s co-title sponsor.

Aditya receives a cash prize of $5,000, a portion of which will go to Colonel By Secondary School. He also receives a prestigious student internship at the NRC. Aditya will now progress to the 2015 International BioGENEius Challenge in Philadelphia in June, where he will submit his work to a panel of pre-eminent international scientists.  

Runners-up in this year’s national SBC competition were awarded cash prizes ranging in value from $1,000 to $4,000.

Second prize went to Austin Wang, a grade 11 student at David Thompson Secondary School in Vancouver, British Columbia. Austin earned high praise for his research project exploring cell bacteria as an environmentally-friendly alternative source of energy, which was completed with the support of mentor Dr. Susan Baldwin, professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia. As the second-place winner, Austin has also earned a trip to the 2015 International BioGENEius Challenge.

Third prize was awarded to Catharine Bowman from St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario, for a project that focuses on a treatment for the inflammatory disease Chronic Lymphedema, which affects up to 140 million people worldwide. Catharine’s project was supported by mentor Dr. Pierre-Yves von der Weid, researcher in Inflammation Research in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Calgary.

Justin Lessard-Wajcer from Jean-de-Brébeuf College in Montreal earned both the competition’s Commercialization and Professionalism prizes. The Commercialization prize recognizes the project with the most commercial potential and viability, while the Professionalism prize recognizes the student with the highest commitment to professionalism and etiquette. Justin’s research focuses on the ‘CLARITY’ technique, which creates highly detailed pictures of the brain in order to investigate the link between heart disease and neurological diseases.

 

About Sanofi Biogenius Canada (SBC)

Sanofi Biogenius Canada is a national science research competition open to high school students. Since 1992, SBC has helped almost 4,000 young Canadians pursue real-world scientific research projects that have been the launch pads to future studies and careers. Coordinated by Partners In Research, the initiative is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur Limited, Sanofi Canada, the Ontario Government (Ministry of Research & Innovation), York University, the National Research Council Canada/Conseil national de recherches Canada (NRC-CNRC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada (CIHR-IRSC) and Genome Canada.

For more information, visit biogenius.ca, or follow SBC on Facebook (facebook.com/SanofiBiogenius) or Twitter (@biogeniusca) using the hashtag #SBC2015.

 

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Media Contacts:

 

Kristin Gable
NATIONAL Public Relations
kgable@national.ca
Tel. : 514- 843-2378

Mel Kern
Partners In Research
mkern@pirweb.org
Tel. : 519-433-7866 ext. 29

05/08/2015

 

Exploring the genetic foundations of human behaviour

Award winning story reveals how big data sheds new light on the human brain

 

Montreal May 08, 2015 — Autism can be an all too obvious condition to identify but its underlying cause remains a mystery. Now tantalizing clues are starting to emerge from an ambitious project that has been collecting detailed genetic information about how the brain develops and functions. Researchers at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children have been mining the massive database created for the Brainspan Atlas, which is an American initiative to map the human brain’s biochemical activity to an unprecedented degree. Their findings have established new links between a key set of genes and the appearance of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

 

In fact, these unique genetic features may represent even more than the roots of ASD. They could be the distinguishing characteristic of modern human beings, the core of what makes us different from now extinct relatives such as Neanderthals as well as non-human primates. In this way we may finally be able to understand our evolutionary nature even as we learn to deal with how problems like autism conflict with that nature.

 

Globe and Mail science writer Ivan Semeniuk travelled to the Seattle headquarters of the Brainspan Atlas in order to assemble a feature story about this project. The resulting article, “The Hunt for Humanity”, is being honoured with this year’s Sanofi Pasteur Medal of Excellence in Health Research Journalism.

 

“This is a high quality report,” said one of the award judges, referring to Semeniuk’s account of the work to determine which genes were active during a human being’s fetal development. Another judge highlighted the clear explanation of how big data, imaging and genetic analysis together explained ASD in evolutionary terms.

 

CHR Past President Patricia Guyda adds that it would be satisfying enough to gain insight into the nature of ASD. “However, this research also offers us an extraordinary perspective on who we are as a species,” she says. “This is an outstanding example of why we should continue to support science dedicated to discovery as well as applied solutions.”

 

CHR launched the Sanofi Pasteur Medal of Excellence in Health Research Journalism in 1995, and administers the selection process. Sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur Limited, Canada's premier vaccine company, the inaugural medal recipient was Globe & Mail science reporter Stephen Strauss for his longstanding contribution to promoting public awareness of science. Other recent awardees include Paul Webster for his work in Vancouver Magazine, Marine Corniou for her work in Québec Science magazine and François Bouthillette a journalist at Radio-Canada.

 

“As a company that is built on over a century of science, Sanofi Pasteur is pleased to be associated with this prestigious award that recognizes excellence in science journalism,” says Nancy Simpson, Director, Communications at Sanofi Pasteur Limited.

 

As part of the award, Semeniuk will receive a plaque and a $2,500 bursary on June 20, 2015, during the Canadian Science Writers’ Association annual general meeting in Saskatoon.

 

Canadians for Health Research (CHR) is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting the stability and quality of Canadian health research.  It fosters communication between health researchers, the government and the Canadian public, and publishes a quarterly magazine entitled Future Health.  For more information, or to become a member, please visit the CHR website at http://www.chrcrm.org.

 

About Sanofi

 

Sanofi, an integrated global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

 

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.com or www.sanofipasteur.ca

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Patricia Guyda                                                Nancy Simpson                     

CHR                                                                Director, Communications

Montreal, QC                                                 Sanofi Pasteur Limited

                                                                        Toronto, Ontario

514-398-7478                                                  416-667-2955

pguyda@chrcrm.org                                      nancy.simpson@sanofipasteur.com

chrpat@videotron.ca

 

11/19/2014

TORONTO, ON – Wednesday, November 19, 2014 – The Schulich School of Business at York University is pleased to announce the establishment of the J. Mark Lievonen Scholarship for MBA students enrolled in the School’s Health Industry Management Program (HIMP), which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

The J. Mark Lievonen Scholarship was established by Sanofi Pasteur Limited and Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) to honour Mr. Lievonen’s exceptional leadership and contributions to the health and pharmaceutical sectors. Mr. Lievonen, BBA’79, MBA’87, is currently President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited and Chair of the Board of Directors for Rx&D and was recently honoured for his Outstanding Public Contribution at Schulich’s 2014 Alumni Recognition Awards. Lievonen has also made a generous gift towards the establishment of the scholarship.  

The annual scholarship, which will award approximately $7,000 to a second-year MBA student enrolled in Schulich’s Health Industry Management Program, is being announced at a first-ever stakeholder conference being organized by Rx&D. Rx&D and Sanofi Pasteur Limited have each contributed $25,000, and Mark Lievonen has contributed an additional $25,000. York University will match the annual income generated by their contributions, effectively creating an endowment valued at $150,000.

“The J. Mark Lievonen scholarship is a tremendous vote of confidence by industry leaders in Schulich’s MBA students, who are preparing to become Canada’s next generation of leaders within this country’s vitally important health industry,”  said Brenda Zimmerman, Director of Schulich’s Health Industry Management Program. “We especially appreciate this important industry investment in our students as Schulich’s HIMP program celebrates its 10th anniversary.”

Since 2004, more than 300 MBA students have graduated from Schulich’s  Health Industry Management Program, which prepares students for leadership careers in public, private and non-profit sectors within the complex, rapidly growing industry, both in Canada and globally.  

“As an alumnus of York, I am proud to be able to further the success of Schulich’s Health Industry Management Program,” said Mark Lievonen, BBA ’79, MBA ’87, president of Sanofi Pasteur Limited and Chair of the Board of Directors for Rx&D.  “We recognize the need to prepare the best and brightest minds to take leadership roles in Canada’s healthcare sector.”

“Schulich is proud to be able to offer this scholarship in honour of one of Canada’s foremost health industry executives and one of our School’s most successful graduates,” said Schulich Dean Dezsö J. Horváth. “Any student of business, and especially those planning a career in health industry management, would do well to follow the excellent example of Mark Lievonen.”

The HIMP specialization provides students advanced standing towards earning their Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation, Canada’s only professional credential available to health leaders, under the Schulich School of Business’ strategic alliance with the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL).

 

About Schulich

Known as Canada’s Global Business School™, the Schulich School of Business in Toronto is ranked among the world’s leading business schools by a number of global surveys. Schulich’s MBA program is ranked #1 in the world by Corporate Knights, the world’s largest circulation magazine with an explicit focus on Corporate Social Responsibility, and #2 in the world by the Aspen Institute (a Washington, DC-based leadership think tank) in global surveys that identify which schools are doing the best job of preparing future business leaders for the environmental, social and ethical complexities of modern-day business. Schulich’s MBA program is also ranked among the world’s leading schools by The Economist, Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek and Expansión, Mexico’s leading business publication. The Kellogg-Schulich EMBA program is ranked #1 in the world by The Economist, and #1 in Canada by the Financial Times of London. For complete ranking details, please visit www.schulich.yorku.ca.

Global, innovative and diverse, Schulich offers business programs year-round at its state-of-the-art complex at York University; at its Miles S. Nadal Management Centre located in the heart of the Toronto’s financial district; and at its new campus in Hyderabad, India. Schulich also operates a number of satellite centres in Beijing and Shanghai, China; Mumbai, India; Seoul, South Korea; Mexico City, Mexico; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Schulich offers undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate business degrees that lead to rewarding careers in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, and has 27,000 alumni working in over 90 countries. The School pioneered Canada’s first International MBA (IMBA) and International BBA (iBBA) degrees, as well as North America’s first ever cross-border executive MBA degree, the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA. In addition to Schulich’s Master of Finance and Master of Accounting degrees, the School recently launched one of the world’s first Master of Business Analytics degrees. Schulich’s Executive Education Centre provides executive development programs annually to more than 10,000 executives in Canada and abroad.

 

About Mark Lievonen

Mark Lievonen is President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited, the Canadian vaccine division of Sanofi. Under his leadership, Sanofi Pasteur has become a billion dollar enterprise in Canada, manufacturing over 50 million doses of vaccines for both domestic and international markets.

Mr. Lievonen is a Director of Oncolytics Biotech Inc., Chair, Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), Vice-Chair of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and serves on the Boards of the Public Policy Forum, BIOTECanada and the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation.

He is a past Chair of the Ontario Genomics Institute, BIOTECanada, the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation, the Centre for the Advancement of Health Innovations and the Steering Committee for the BIO 2002 International Conference. He served on the York University Board of Governors, and is a former director of Markham Stouffville Hospital and YORKbiotech.

Mr. Lievonen was a Co-Chair of the Ontario-Quebec Private Sector Advisory Committee and was a member of the Ontario Investment and Trade Advisory Council, the BIOCouncil, and the Toronto Mayor’s Economic Competitiveness Advisory Committee. He served as a member of the United Way of Greater Toronto Cabinet, chairing the Health Care Division.

He holds a BBA in accounting and an MBA in finance and marketing from the Schulich School of Business, York University. He is a Chartered Accountant and received his designation while working with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Mr. Lievonen was the recipient of a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medallion in 2002, was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre National de Mérite by the government of France in 2007 and received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. He was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 2009 and was inducted into the Canadian Healthcare Marketing Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2014, Mr. Lievonen received the Life Sciences Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

For more information, please contact:

Brenda Zimmerman, Director
Health Industry Management Program
Associate Professor of Strategic Management/Policy
Schulich School of Business
Phone: 416-736-2100, ext. 33357
Email: bzimmerman@schulich.yorku.ca

11/19/2014

 

Toronto, November 19, 2014 – Today Russell Williams, President of Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), is pleased to announce the creation of the J. Mark Lievonen Scholarship in Health Industry Management at the Schulich School of Business (Schulich) at York University, during the association’s first-ever stakeholder conference celebrating its 100th-year anniversary.

“As the demand grows for strong and skilled healthcare management professionals, Rx&D is proud to further strengthen the link between industry and Canada’s top academic centres,” said Russell Williams.

The scholarship has been established in recognition of Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited and outgoing Chair of the Rx&D Board.

“The J. Mark Lievonen scholarship is a tremendous vote of confidence by industry leaders in Schulich’s MBA students, who are preparing to become Canada’s next generation of leaders within this country’s vitally important health industry,”  said Brenda Zimmerman, Director of Schulich’s Health Industry Management Program.

The J. Mark Lievonen Scholarship will provide a second-year Master of Business Administration or International Master of Business Administration student in the Schulich Health Industry Management Program with a scholarship of approximately $7,000 to further their studies in the program. Rx&D and Sanofi Pasteur Limited have each contributed $25,000, and Mark Lievonen has contributed an additional $25,000. Schulich will match the annual income generated by their contributions, effectively creating an endowment valued at $150,000.

“As an alumnus of York, I am proud to be able to further the success of Schulich’s Health Industry Management Program,” said Mark Lievonen. “We recognize the need to prepare the best and brightest minds to take leadership roles in Canada’s healthcare sector.”

About Rx&D

Rx&D is the association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents the men and women working for more than 50 member companies which invest more than $1 billion in research and development each year to fuel Canada’s knowledge-based economy, contributing over $3 billion to the Canadian economy.  Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, our membership is committed to working in partnership with governments, private payers, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

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For further information:

Sarah Douglas
Media Relations, Rx&D
Telephone: 613-236-0455 extension 525
E-mail: sdouglas@canadapharma.org

05/23/2014

 

2014 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) Highlights Newest Crop of Young Scientists

 

OTTAWA, May 23, 2014 – A novel method of HIV detection for newborns under the age of 18 months and for adults before three months post-transmission earned a grade 10, British Columbia student top national honours today in the 2014 “Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada” (SBCC).

 

Nicole Ticea, 15, from York House School in Burnaby, BC was awarded the top prize of $5,000 by a panel of eminent Canadian scientists assembled at the Ottawa headquarters of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). 

 

Her impressive research project, mentored at Simon Fraser University by associate professor, Dr. Mark Brockman, is the first test capable of analyzing HIV viral nucleic acids in a point-of-care, low-resource setting. Nicole’s research, was deemed an incredibly innovative solution to a global challenge according to the judges led by Dr. Julie Ducharme, General Manager, Human Health Therapeutics, NRC.

See a full project description below and online here: http://sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca/2014/05/23/

 

Ten brilliant young scientists from nine Canadian regions, all just 15 to 18 years old, took part in the national finals. They had placed first at earlier regional SBCC competitions, conducted between March 27 and May 22, 2014.

 

High school and CEGEP students from Victoria to Saskatoon to St. John’s, focused on biotechnology fields of discovery and study, submitted more than 200 proposals. Working closely with mentors, these students conducted research in diverse areas such as telomeres, diabetes, stress management, Alzheimer’s, autism and pulp production. Since its inauguration in 1994, more than 4,700 young Canadians have competed in SBCC, with the majority of competitors going on to pursue careers in science and biotechnology.

 

1st place winner, Nicole Ticea will compete for Canada on June 22-25 at the International BioGENEius Challenge, conducted at the annual BIO conference in San Diego, CA.

 

2nd place, $4,000 – Ontario: Varsha Jayasankar, 17, grade 12, Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, St. Catherines won with research into how an extract created from mango ginger can be used to inhibit the growth of multiple antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Project description: http://sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca/2014/05/23/

 

3rd place, $3,000 – Ontario: Anoop Manjunath, 17, grade 11, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto investigated image processing techniques for the analysis of ultrasound stimulated bubble interactions with fibrin clots. Project description: http://sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca/2014/05/23/

 

4th place, $2,000 – Manitoba: Ryan Wang,18, grade 12, St. John’s-Ravenscourt School, Winnipeg, found that a protein called scleraxis is directly involved in cardiac fibrosis, which is characterized by the stiffening of the heart muscles. Project description: http://sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca/2014/05/23/

 

5th place, $1,000 – Quebec: Julien Sénécal, 18, 1st year CEGEP, Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, Montreal, used the defense system of the Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria to inhibit the replication of HIV-1) Project description: http://sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca/2014/05/23/

    

SBCC 2014 National Winners, from left to right: Julien Sénécal, Varsha
Jayasankar, Anoop Manjunath, Nicole Ticea, & Ryan Wang.

 

Sanofi Canada President and CEO Jon Fairest, who presented the top national prize, said, "The Sanofi Group is very proud to be founding sponsors of the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada and participate in this inspiring competition. With its 21-year heritage, the SBCC shows how critical partnerships are to advance science and talent in Canada. From the mentoring provided by dedicated academics, to the support of government and the private sector, the SBCC truly stands out as a model for collaboration. The program is one response to Canada’s national priority of encouraging skills development, education and jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.”

 

The SBCC gives young scientists access to professional labs and academic mentors, encouraging the pursuit of future studies and careers in the country’s fast-growing biotechnology sector.

 

Each of the students worked for months conducting research and collaborating with university mentors.

 

1st Place Project Title: Isothermal Nucleic Acid Amplification System for Point-of-Care HIV Diagnosis. The project presents a novel method of HIV detection in developing countries. The test is capable of diagnosing HIV in newborns under the age of 18 months and for adults before three months post-transmission. It is the first test capable of analyzing HIV viral nucleic acids in a point-of-care, low-resource setting.

 

The nine final national projects were presented at NRC headquarters Friday, May 23 to a panel of eminent Canadian scientists:

  • Dr. Julie Ducharme, General Manager, Human Health Therapeutics, National Research Council
  • Dr. Pierre Meulien, President, Genome Canada
  • Ms. Jessie McAlpine, SBCC Alumna, Student at University of Toronto
  • Dr. Jim Richards, Director, Better Vaccine High-Risk Population, Human Health Therapeutics, National Research Council
  • Dr. Robert Tsushima, Associate Dean, Research and Partnerships, Faculty of Science, York University



 

National Awards Presenters included :

 

  • MC – Senator Joseph A. Day
  • MC – Denise  Amyot, President and ceo of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges
  • VROC Expert Participation Awards – Brent Peltola
  • SBCC commercialization Award – Karimah Es Sabar, CEO and president of the Centre for Drug Research and Development
  • 5th Place - Ms. Jessie MacAlpine, SBCC alumna
  • 4th Place - Pierre Meulien, Genome Canada
  • 3rd Place - Dr. Jim Richards, NRC
  • 2nd Place - Kevin Cougler, Partners In Research
  • 1st Place– Jon  Fairest, Sanofi Canada President and CEO

 

 

About the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)

The Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) is a national, biotechnology research competition that encourages high school and CEGEP students to pursue future studies and careers in the exciting field of biotechnology. Coordinated by Partners In Research, the initiative is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur Limited, Sanofi Canada, the Ontario Government (Ministry of Research & Innovation), York University, the National Research Council Canada/Conseil national de recherches Canada (NRC-CNRC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada (CIHR-IRSC) and Genome Canada.

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Media Contacts:

Andrea Mancini

CASACOM

amancini@casacom.ca

Tel: 416-944-2145

 

Anne Ramsay

Partners In Research

aramsay@pirweb.org

Tel: 519-433-7866

 

For more information, please visit www.sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca, follow us on Facebook or Twitter at https://twitter.com/@SBCCDBSC hashtag: #SBCC2014

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