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UBC Recognizes Three of Canada’s Top Health Scientists

By September 7, 2017September 11th, 2017No Comments

Three of Canada’s leading researchers in heart health, brain health and cancer have been singled out by the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine for their accomplishments, and for their potential to make further contributions in their fields.

The seventh annual Margolese National Heart Disorders Prize will be given to Stanley Nattel of the University of Montreal, for his paradigm-shifting discoveries about the molecular basis of arrhythmia. The Margolese National Brain Disorders Prize will be bestowed on UBC’s Ian Mackenzie, who has pulled back the curtain on the molecular pathology leading to frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The fourth annual Dr. Chew Wei Memorial Prize in Cancer Research will be awarded to Eduardo Franco, a molecular epidemiologist at McGill University who helped convince the scientific community that human papillomavirus caused cervical cancer, bringing about the development of a vaccine and a more sensitive screening method.

All three prizes include a $50,000 award, making them among the most lucrative honours given by a Canadian university. The recipients were chosen by an international panel of experts and a UBC committee chaired by Robert McMaster, Executive Associate Dean, Research and Deborah Money, Executive Vice Dean.

The Margolese prizes were created by an estate gift to UBC by Leonard Herbert Margolese to recognize Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to the treatment, amelioration or cure of brain or heart disorders. Margolese, who died in 2000, was a Vancouver businessman who had a heart condition and whose brother had Alzheimer’s disease.

The Dr. Chew Wei Memorial Prize in Cancer Research is named for a Hong Kong physician who retired to Vancouver in 1988. An obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Chew grew determined to improve outcomes for people with cancer. After his death in 2009, his family and friends sought to honour his goals by donating $4.5 million to the Faculty of Medicine for a prize in cancer research and a professorship in gynecologic oncology.