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CIHR honours scientists for health research excellence


Ottawa, ON – March 17, 2004 – Dr Alan Bernstein, president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), has announced the recipients of Canada’s top awards for excellence in health research.

The following Canadian researchers are being recognized for their contributions to improving the health of Canadians:

– Dr Brett Finlay (University of British Columbia), recipient of the Michael Smith Prize in Health Research, has developed a vaccine to prevent Escherichia coli 0157:H7 (E. coli) in cattle and is a leading SARS researcher;

– Dr Anthony Pawson (Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto) and Dr Peter A Singer (University of Toronto), are recipients of CIHR’s Distinguished Investigator Award. Dr Pawson is using proteomics to develop new treatments for diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Dr Singer, a bioethicist, is working to prevent a genomics divide between developed and developing countries;

– Dr Andrew Roger (Dalhousie University), recipient of the Peter Lougheed/CIHR New Investigator Award, is challenging Darwin’s theories by using genetics to trace how life evolved on Earth;

– Dr Jeremy Grimshaw (University of Ottawa) and the Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare (OHSAH), are recipients of the Knowledge Translation Award. Dr Grimshaw is known for his work on how health research discoveries are translated into practice. OHSAH is putting knowledge translation into action to make the healthcare profession a safer place to work;

– The Arthritis Society, recipient of the Partnership Award, has brought together all partners, including patients, to develop and implement an integrated research agenda on arthritis; and

– Dr Henry Friesen, recipient of the CIHR Distinguished Leadership Award, is the visionary who conceived of CIHR and worked for its creation.

“These awards recognize the excellence of Canada’s internationally renowned health researchers and the essential role they play in improving the health of Canadians,” says Dr Bernstein. “Canadian health research is in constant evolution and these awards recognize the exceptional creativity, willingness to overcome challenges and ability to embrace new concepts, all in the pursuit of new knowledge, that characterize Canada’s finest researchers.”

The recipients were officially recognized last night at CIHR’s A Celebration of Excellence in Canadian Health Research, which was held at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. The event was a partnership with the University of Ottawa, in collaboration with the Health Charities Council of Canada and the Council for Health Research in Canada.