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March 28, 2017

2017 Canada Gairdner Laureates Announced!

On Tuesday, March 28, the Gairdner Foundation announced its 2017 Canada Gairdner Award laureates in front of a packed audience at the Toronto Reference Library. (See the gallery on Flickr).

The 2017 laureates represent outstanding advances in biomedical science with research that runs the gamut from basic research to clinical science and back.

Joining Gairdner for the announcement were 2017 awardees Drs. Antoine Hakim and Lewis Kay who both addressed the audience to recount their research and speak about winning the Gairdner. The five other awardees participated in the announcement via webcast from around the world.

Special thanks to the Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister, Research, Innovation & Science and Dr. Elaine Chin, Chief Wellness Officer, TELUS for sharing their greetings and Dr. Joe Goldstein, 1981 Gairdner Laureate and Chair, Lasker Medical Awards Jury and Dr. Michael Salter, Chief of Research at the Hospital for Sick Children for their help in introducing the awardees.

Congratulations to the 2017 Canada Gairdner Award Laureates!


Dr. Akira Endo

President, Biopharm Research Laboratories; Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo, Japan

Awarded “For the first discovery and development of statins, inhibitors of cholesterol biosynthesis that have transformed the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.”

Dr. David Julius

Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology and the Morris Herzstein Chair in Molecular Biology and Medicine, UCSF, San Francisco, California, USA

Awarded “for determining the molecular basis of somatosensation- how we sense heat, cold and pain”

Dr. Lewis E. Kay

Professor, Departments of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Chemistry, University of Toronto; and Senior Scientist, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Awarded “For the development of modern NMR spectroscopy for studies of biomolecular structure dynamics and function, including applications to molecular machines and rare protein conformations”

Dr. Rino Rappuoli

Chief Scientist and Head External R&D at GSK Vaccines, Siena, Italy

Awarded “For pioneering the genomic approach, known as reverse vaccinology, used to develop a vaccine against meningococcus B which has saved many lives worldwide”

Dr. Huda Y. Zoghbi

Professor Baylor College of Medicine, Investigator Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA

Awarded “For the discovery of the genetic basis of Rett syndrome and its implications for autism spectrum disorders”


Dr. Cesar Victora

Emeritus Professor, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil

Awarded “For outstanding contributions to maternal and child health and nutrition in low and middle income countries, with particular focus on the impact of exclusive breastfeeding on infant mortality and on the long-term impact of early-life nutrition.”

Dr. Antoine M. Hakim

Emeritus Professor, Neurology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Awarded “For outstanding research into stroke and its consequences and championing stroke prevention and treatment in Canada and beyond”