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Gairdner Award winners for 2014 include McMaster scientist


Toronto, ON – The Gairdner Foundation has this morning announced the winners of the 2014 Canada Gairdner Awards, recognizing some of the most significant medical discoveries from around the world. This year’s winners include McMaster University’s Dr. Salim Yusuf, who is professor of medicine, McMaster University, director, Population Health Research Institute, and VP of research, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton General Hospital, David Braley Research Institute.

Among the world’s most esteemed medical research prizes, the awards distinguish Canada as a leader in science and provide a $100,000 CDN prize to each scientist for their work.

The selections for the Canada Gairdner International Awards, recognizing individuals from various fields for seminal discoveries or contributions to medical science, are as follows:

Canada Gairdner International Awards:

  • James P. Allison, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Immunology, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. For his discovery of immune checkpoint blockade and its successful application to immune therapy of cancer.
  • Titia de Lange, Ph.D., Leon Hess professor, American Cancer Society professor, head, Laboratory of Cell Biology and Genetics, director, Anderson Center for Cancer Research, Rockefeller University, New York. For her discovery of the mechanisms by which mammalian telomeres are protected from deleterious DNA repair and damage responses
  • Harold Fisher Dvorak, M.D., Mallinckrodt distinguished professor of pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston. Napoleone Ferrara, M.D., distinguished professor of pathology, distinguished adjunct professor of opthalmology, senior deputy director for basic sciences, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla. For discovering Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), a key molecular mediator of new blood vessel formation and the development of effective anti-VEGF therapy for cancer and wet macular degeneration.
  • Professor Sir Marc Feldmann, FRS, FAA, head, Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford. Sir Ravinder Nath Maini, FRS, FMedSci, FRCP, visiting professor Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, University of Oxford, Oxford. For the discovery of anti-TNF therapy for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases

Canada Gairdner Global Health Award:

  • Satoshi Omura, Ph.D., distinguished emeritus professor, special coordinator, Department of Drug Discovery Sciences, Kitasato University, Tokyo. For the discovery of the microorganism Streptomyces avermitilis and its extraordinary biologic activity that in partnership with Merck led to the identification of avermectin and development of ivermectin, a highly successful treatment for many parasitic diseases, and the global consortium directed at eliminating river blindness.

Canada Gairdner Wightman Award:

  • Salim Yusuf, MBBS, DPHIL, FRCP(UK), FRCPC, FACC, FRSC, OC, professor of medicine, McMaster University, director, Population Health Research Institute, VP of research, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton General Hospital, David Braley Research Institute, Hamilton. For his exceptional leadership in global clinical trials and population studies of cardiovascular disease that shaped best guidelines for prevention and treatment.