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June 26, 2017

Gairdner President awarded honorary degree at Cambridge

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.