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David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian have won the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology. Awarded for their discoveries related to how the human body perceives touch and temperature known as somatosensation, secretary general of the Nobel Committee, Thomas Perlmann calls the pair’s work “crucial for our survival., a very profound discovery”.

David Julius was awarded the Canada Gairdner International Award in 2017 for the same body of work, using distinctive molecules from the natural world – including toxins from tarantulas and coral snakes, and capsaicin, the molecule that produces the “heat” in chili peppers – to understand how signals responsible for temperature and pain sensation are transmitted by neural circuits to the brain. His work helps to explain how such positive and negative aspects of pain sensation arise – insight that is critical to understanding the genesis of chronic pain syndromes.

Dr. Julius becomes the 96th Canada Gairdner Award laureate to go on to win the Nobel Prize.

A hearty congratulations to Drs. Julius and Patapoutian!

 

WATCH: David Julius accepts his Gairdner in 2017

 

Photo: David Julius, PhD, in his office at UCSF Mission Bay. Photo by Steve Babuljak

 

The Gairdner Foundation is saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Zena Werb on June 17th, 2020.

Dr. Werb was one of the world’s leading experts on extracellular matrix influences on cancer development. Her fundamental discoveries led to new paradigms about the role of the cellular microenvironment and intercellular communication in breast development and cancer.

She was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, former President of the American Society of Cell Biology, and winner of numerous national and international awards. She was also a member of the Gairdner Foundation’s Wightman Award Committee, responsible for the annual adjudication of the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award.

She was an outstanding scientist and mentor and the Gairdner Foundation will remember her fondly for her contributions to our programming and awards. We wish her family, friends and colleagues strength during this difficult time.

2013 Canada Gairdner International Award Laureate, Sir Gregory Winter was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry today. His research accomplishments “for the phage display of peptides and antibodies” are recognized alongside fellow laureate George P. Smith. The overall prize is also shared with Frances H. Arnold who is recognized in the same category “for the directed evolution of enzymes.”

Through his work, Sir Gregory discovered how to create synthetic human antibodies against human targets in a way where they will not be rejected by the immune system. This advance has led to the development of modern treatments for inflammatory conditions, cancers and infectious diseases and has impacted human health worldwide.

Sir Gregory becomes the 89th Gairdner laureate to subsequently win the Nobel Prize joining fellow 2018 Nobelist, Dr. James Allison (Nobel Prize in Medicine) earlier this week.

(photo credit: Aga Machaj © 2016)

2014 Canada Gairdner Award Laureate Dr. James P. Allison was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine this morning at an announcement held in Stockholm, Sweden.

The award, which he shares with Dr. Tasuki Honjo is for pioneering an approach to cancer treatment which harnesses the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells. The approach, called immune checkpoint theory completely changed the way cancer is treated and managed.Immune checkpoint theory opened a new field of cancer therapy and many patients are alive today because of the revolutionary idea.

Dr. Allison was awarded the Canada Gairdner Award in 2014 for “For his discovery of immune checkpoint blockade and its successful application to immune therapy of cancer” and becomes the 88th Canada Gairdner Award Laureate to go on and win the Nobel Prize.

(Photo credit: UT News- University of Austin Texas)

 

On Tuesday, March 27, the Gairdner Foundation announced its 2018 Canada Gairdner Award laureates at the Toronto Reference Library.

Joining Gairdner for the announcement were 2017 awardees Dr. Frances Shepherd and Dr. Edward Boyden who both addressed the audience to recount their research and speak about winning the Gairdner. The other awardees participated in the announcement via webcast from around the world.

Special thanks to the Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister, Research, Innovation & Science for sharing his greetings and Dr. Brad Wouters, Executive Vice President, Science & Research at UHN and Dr. Sheena Josselyn, Senior Scientist, Neurosciences & Mental Health at the Hospital for Sick Children for their help in introducing the awardees.

Congratulations to the 2018 Canada Gairdner Award Laureates!

 

Read full press release here: EN  FR  

The Gairdner Foundation is pleased with the Government of Canada’s historic investment of nearly $4 billion over five years in Budget 2018 to support the next generation of researchers through investments in Canada’s granting councils, the Canada Research Chairs and in essential equipment and infrastructure to support innovative research discoveries. We commend the Government’s recognition of the importance of fundamental research in driving innovation and improved health outcomes for Canadians.

Gairdner is also thrilled that the government will continue to support our activities both within Canada and internationally, with a focus on expanding the diversity of our laureates, through an investment of $1 million over the next five years. Our outreach programs celebrate biomedical and global health research and also play a key role in inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in STEM.

The Government of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research have been a strong supporter of Gairdner since 2008 and we’re thrilled to continue this strong partnership. Together, we have raised the profile of the Canada Gairdner Awards and the reputation of Canada as a leader in science and innovation.

Click here to see the full media release.

 

 

Federal Government invests $1m in Gairdner Foundation

February 27, 2018 [OTTAWA] The Gairdner Foundation is pleased with the Government of Canada’s historic investment of nearly $4 billion over five years in Budget 2018 to support the next generation of researchers through investments in Canada’s granting councils, the Canada Research Chairs and in essential equipment and infrastructure to support innovative research discoveries. We commend the Government’s recognition of the importance of fundamental research in driving innovation and improved health outcomes for Canadians.

Gairdner is also thrilled that the government will continue to support our activities both within Canada and internationally, with a focus on expanding the diversity of our laureates, through an investment of $1 million over the next five years. Our outreach programs celebrate biomedical and global health research and also play a key role in inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in STEM.

Read full press release here: EN  / FR  

The Gairdner Foundation is pleased to share that our President & Scientific Director, Dr. Janet Rossant is one of the five women scientists celebrated by the 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards.

Dr. Rossant is being awarded “For her outstanding research that helped us to better understand how tissues and organs are formed in the developing embryo.”

Each Laureate will receive €100,000 in prize money for her outstanding contribution to advances in science. They will be celebrated in a ceremony that will be held on March 222018 in Paris, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme.

Click here to learn more. 

 

 

2012 Canada Gairdner International Award laureates, Drs. Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young have been awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.

Together, the trio discovered that our circadian clocks are regulated by a small group of genes that work at the level of the individual cell. Subtle mutations in any of these genes can accelerate or slow our daily rhythms. They worked with fruit flies to isolate a gene that controls normal daily biological rhythm and discovered that this gene encodes a protein that accumulates in the cell during the night and degrades during the day, eventually identifying the mechanism that governs the internal clockwork of the cell.

Their discoveries have far-reaching applications including sleep and appetite disorders and insights into the brain, liver, lungs and skin which use the same genetic mechanisms to control their rhythmic activities.

Drs. Hall, Rosbash and Young were awarded the Canada Gairdner International Award in 2012 and have become the 85th, 86th and 87th Canada Gairdner Award laureates to also be awarded the Nobel Prize.

(Photo credit: Chinese University Of Hong Kong Handout/EPA)

Gairdner President and Scientific Director, Dr. Janet Rossant received an honorary degree, Doctor of Science from Cambridge University this month for her contributions to stem cell biology and scientific research.

Dr. Rossant, an alumna of Cambridge’s Darwin College, received the degree for research that has helped uncover the cellular and molecular events that control early-stage embryo development in mice. Dr. Rossant’s research has broad, practical implications for stem cell biology and understanding developmental disorders. Her citation read:

“She has taken cells from the placenta and restored to them the miraculous, protean power of transformation by which they can grow into any tissue—bone, say, or muscle, or white marrow; and so she has opened up a new source of stem cells, which can be exploited without harm to the embryo.”

This is Dr. Rossant’s fifth honorary degree, having already been recognized by Dalhousie University, University of Windsor, University of British Columbia and Mount Allison University during her accomplished career.

“It is an incredible honour to receive this honorary Doctor of Science from Cambridge University where I carried out my PhD studies,” Dr. Rossant said. “ Steeped in tradition, we paraded through town to the sounds of the bells of Saint Mary’s ringing in our honour.  I was thrilled to be one of an outstanding, diverse group of individuals who have all contributed to society in different ways”

Pictured above is Dr. Rossant with her two PhD supervisors, Dr. Martin Johnson and Dr. Richard Gardner.

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