Health Research Foundation Announces Recipient of its Medal of Honour

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Ottawa, ON – The Health Research Foundation (HRF) of Innovative Medicines Canada is pleased to announce that Dr. Allison McGeer is the recipient of its distinguished Medal of Honour. Dr. McGeer is an esteemed medical microbiologist and infectious diseases specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital, and Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto.

“The Health Research Foundation is extremely proud to present Dr. McGeer with its Medal of Honour. Dr. McGeer has been instrumental in Canada’s fight against COVID-19, and has inspired, trained, and mentored an entire generation of infectious diseases specialists in Canada and abroad. On behalf of the HRF, I congratulate her on this well-deserved distinction,” said Mel Cappe, Chair of the HRF Board of Directors.

Dr. McGeer has been at the forefront of emerging infectious diseases in Canada and globally for several decades. She led the Canadian investigations into SARS in 2003, worked with the World Health Organization in Saudi Arabia in 2013 to help combat MERS, and again in West Africa in 2014-15 during the Ebola virus outbreak. She has also been a key scientific advisor to local, provincial, and national policymakers on multiple infectious diseases-related issues, including antimicrobial resistance and immunization.

“I’m very humbled to have been selected as the HRF Medal of Honour recipient,” said Dr. McGeer. “The HRF has been a longstanding pillar in the health research community and it’s an honour to receive this recognition.”

For over 75 years, the HRF has proudly recognized Canadians whose contributions have advanced health research and improved the lives of individuals. Dr. McGeer joins the ranks of Sir Alexander Fleming, Dr. Charles Best, and the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, who are all previous Medal of Honour recipients. In addition, Dr. McGeer will receive $20,000, which she has chosen to donate to Indspire, a national Indigenous charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people.

“We’re incredibly fortunate in Canada to have individuals like Dr. McGeer working tirelessly on behalf of patients to improve health outcomes. Our members are pleased to support the ongoing work of the HRF and celebrate the Canadians that help shape research-driven health innovation and policy outcomes for the benefit of Canadians,” said Pamela Fralick, President of Innovative Medicines Canada.

To learn more and stay up to date on Canadian health research, follow the HRF on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About the Health Research Foundation

The Health Research Foundation (HRF) of Innovative Medicines Canada is a non-profit organization that invests in Canadian academic health research and promotes the value of research-driven health innovation in Canada. The HRF is one of the country’s leading private health foundations; its contributions help prevent illness, treat disease, and improve Canada’s healthcare systems. The organization is committed to addressing health challenges through research excellence, stakeholder partnerships and the advancement of public policy.

About Innovative Medicines Canada

Innovative Medicines Canada is the national association representing the voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. The association advocates for policies that enable the discovery, development, and delivery of innovative medicines and vaccines to improve the lives of all Canadians and supports the members’ commitment to being a valued partner in the Canadian healthcare system. The association represents 50 companies who invest nearly $1.4 billion in R&D annually, fueling Canada’s knowledge-based economy, while contributing $8 billion to Canada’s economy. Guided by the Code of Ethical Practices, all members work with governments, private payers, healthcare professionals, and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

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For further information:

Marise Varanda
Director, Media Relations & Content

Telephone: 613-462-5369



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