Ottawa, ON July 21, 2003 Dr Robert Korneluk, professor of paediatrics and of biochemistry, microbiology and immunology at the University of Ottawa has received the McLaughlin medal from the Royal Society of Canada.
Dr Korneluk is internationally recognized for his contributions in human molecular genetics. He has researched therapies for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, neurodegeneration, myotonic dystrophy, and retinal eye disease through the modulation of programmed cell death (apoptosis). In 1995, Dr Korneluk and his team discovered a family of genes that control apoptosis. As a result, Dr Korneluk co-founded Aegera Therapeutics, a biotechnology company which focuses on exploiting apoptosis to help cancer patients.
"Bob Korneluk is an outstanding investigator tackling enormously important biological questions," says Dr Peter Walker, dean at the university’s faculty of medicine. "Bob’s leadership of a young team of talented researchers has led him to discover a family of genes that have important implications in cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. He is a superb mentor, an excellent motivator, a creative thinker and an example for us all. I am delighted to see his qualities and his contributions recognized by the Royal Society of Canada."
Dr Korneluk’s contributions have been recognized with numerous other awards, including the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine Award of Excellence (1992), a Governor General of Canada 125th Anniversary Commemorative Medal (1993), and an Ottawa Life Sciences Applied Research Award (1995).
Dr Korneluk is the director of the Solange Gauthier Karsh Laboratory and the Apoptosis Research Center at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), where he has laid a foundation for research and the training of future Canadian scientists. He is also a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Senior Scientist, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) International Research Scholar and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC).
The McLaughlin Medal was established in 1978 to recognize outstanding achievements in medical science in Canada.