Honourees celebrated At 2019 Health Research Foundation Gala Reception

Posted on November 20, 2019

Montreal, November 20, 2019 – The Health Research Foundation (HRF) of Innovative Medicines Canada, along with Prix Galien Canada and Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery, are proud to announce the winners of this year’s pre-eminent Canadian health research awards.These awards recognize and celebrate the best and brightest minds and discoveries in the Canadian life sciences sector.

The winners of this year’s awards are:

HRF Medal of Honour: Dr. Geoffrey T. Fong, University of Waterloo

Dr. Geoffrey T. Fong is a Professor of Psychology and Public Health and Healthy Systems and Senior Investigator at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Dr. Fong’s research focuses on population-based measures to combat the number one preventable cause of death in Canada and globally: tobacco smoking. Dr. Fong created and leads the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project, the largest tobacco research program in the world, involving over 150 researchers across 29 countries, covering over half of the world’s population. Dr. Fong and his team have used ITC Project findings to work with governments and international health organizations and advocates to support implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the first-ever WHO treaty. His pioneering research on evaluating tobacco control policies in Canada and globally, especially in low- and middle-income countries, is what makes Dr. Fong an outstanding leader in global health, and a most deserving recipient of the HRF Medal of Honour.

Research Canada Leadership in Advocacy Award: Dr. Roderick McInnes, Dr. Ryan Wiley and the Science & Policy Exchange

Drs. Roderick McInnes and Ryan Wiley and the Science & Policy Exchange are all champions of health research and health innovation. Using collaborative and innovative advocacy approaches, Drs. McInnes and Wiley have advanced the health research and innovation ecosystems.

2019 Prix Galien Canada Research Award: Dr. Susan R. George, Dr. Brian F. O’Dowd and the Omeros Corporation

Dr. Susan George is a Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology in the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, a physician at the Toronto General Hospital, and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair. Dr. Brian O’Dowd is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Toronto. The work of Drs. George and O’Dowd on G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) with the expansion provided by the Omeros Corporation has considerably widened the field of potential drug targets, offering significant opportunities for future drug development.

2019 Prix Galien Canada Innovative Product Award: GSK (SHINGRIX)

SHINGRIX, an innovative vaccine indicated for prevention of herpes zoster (shingles), was shown to be over 90% effective at preventing shingles for people 50 years of age and older. Canadian input to the development of SHINGRIX has been substantial. Canadian researchers have participated in 15 clinical trials at 31 sites including 2100 patients, and have contributed to scientific articles published in The New England Journal of Medicine and Cancer.

Prix Galien 25th Anniversary Researcher Award: Dr. Jacques Gagné

Prix Galien 25th Anniversary Innovative Product Award: Harvoni (Gilead)

Quick Facts

  • The HRF Medal of Honour was first awarded in 1945 and recognizes remarkable individuals whose research or contributions to public policies supportive of research and development in Canada have achieved international recognition. Recipients have made pivotal contributions to the advancement of knowledge in health sciences and/or the improvement of therapeutics healthcare.
  • The Prix Galien Canada is the most prestigious award in the field of Canadian pharmaceutical research and innovation, recognizing the efforts and achievements of pharmaceutical research and development.
  • The Research Canada Leadership Award honours champions in health research advocacy and is given on an annual basis to recognize outstanding efforts in advocating for Canadian health research at the local, provincial and/or national level.

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For further information:

Sarah Dion-Marquis
Director, Media and Public Relations
Telephone: 613-769-6510

About the Health Research Foundation of Innovative Medicines Canada

The Health Research Foundation (HRF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and promote the value of health research in Canada. By applying the highest standards of scientific excellence, addressing health system sustainability challenges and establishing partnerships, the HRF, one of the leading private health research foundations in the country, contributes significantly to the prevention and treatment of disease, to a better healthcare system and the availability for Canadians to access effective health products.

About The Prix Galien

The Prix Galien is the most prestigious award in the field of Canadian pharmaceutical research and innovation. Referred to as the Nobel Prize of pharmaceutical research, it recognizes the efforts and achievements of pharmaceutical research and development. The Prix Galien Canada is organized by Innovation Life Canada, a non-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate Canadian innovation in the life sciences.

About Research Canada

Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery, is a national, broad-based alliance dedicated to increasing investments in health research through collaborative advocacy. We believe health research is a shared benefit, shared responsibility and an investment in Canada’s future. We engage government, academia, industry and non-profit sectors to build support for balanced and long-term health research funding – investments that strengthen Canada’s innovation system and lead to better health, sustainable health care, new commercialization opportunities, and skilled jobs for Canadians. Only through sustained and balanced investments in health research will Canada succeed in keeping its citizens the healthiest and most prosperous in the world.

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