Vancouver, BC – Dr Neil Cashman, scientific director of PrioNet, has been awarded the Genome BC Award for Scientific Excellence. The award is presented annually by Genome BC to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the development of the province’s life sciences industry across all sub-sectors, from biopharmaceuticals and medical devices to bioproducts and bioenergy. The award will be presented at the Life Sciences BC annual awards gala on April 19 in Vancouver.
In addition to being PrioNet Canada’s scientific director, Dr Cashman is a neurologist/neuroscientist and a senior investigator at the University of British Columbia’s Brain Research Centre. His research efforts focus on translating research discoveries in protein misfolding into innovative therapeutics and diagnostics for neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, as well as protective vaccines for the infectious prion diseases, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). He has authored over 300 scientific publications, filed 30 patent applications and received grant support in excess of $50 million.
To kick start Canadian prion research after the socioeconomic shock of BSE in 2003, Dr Cashman organized a Network of Centres of Excellence named PrioNet Canada, to network multidisciplinary researchers in Canada and internationally, and to investigate the causes and prevention of animal and human prion diseases. He also holds the Canada Research Chair in neurodegeneration and protein misfolding diseases, is a clinically active professor of neurology at UBC and serves as an expert consultant for the Canadian government and international industry.