By Kyle Glennie
Posted on November 5, 2008
The Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research honoured six of its researchers with awards on Tuesday as part of its annual fall reception.
The list of honorees reads like a who's who of UCalgary Faculty of Medicine researchers, including Dr. Sam Weiss, director of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. Weiss' discovery of neural stem cells in the brains of adult mammals earned him a prestigious Gairdner Award earlier this year.
Joining Weiss on the list of 20 year award recipients-given to researchers who have been working with the AHFMR for the last two decades- is Dr. Anthony Schryvers, who was recently named associate dean, Undergraduate Science Education at the Faculty of Medicine. Schryvers' research over the last 20 years has been focused on bacterial infections and developing vaccines to prevent them.
The final 20-year award winner is Dr. John Wallace of the Faculty of Medicine's Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Wallace's research into the fundamental process of inflammation is aimed at the development of more effective and safe anti-inflammatory therapies.
Not to be outdone by the 20 year award winners, the AHFMR also honoured three distinguished scientists with 25 year awards. They include Dr. James McGhee, a professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, who has focused on a tiny worm called C.elegans to help understand how the human intestine develops.
The final two winners are Dr. John Remmers, a professor in the Department of Medicine at the Faculty, who has spent the last quarter-century developing treatments for sleep apnea, and Dr. Hendrik ter Keurs of the Faculty of Medicine's Department of Cardiac Sciences. He studies cardiac muscle function in normal and diseased hearts, and has also focused his research on heart cells that survive after a heart attack.
The highlight of the reception was the keynote address by Bob MacDonald, host of the award-winning CBC Radio program Quirks and Quarks.
"I really appreciate the Foundation bringing me here to speak," MacDonald said. "I get to talk to the smartest people in the world, I have to pinch myself sometimes. I get to see science in action."
MacDonald's speech-complete with a slideshow-not only acknowledged the great work done by the award recipients, but also the work of other various Canadian scientists and researchers in fields outside of medicine.
About the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary
The U of C's Faculty of Medicine is a national leader in health research with an international reputation for excellence and innovation in health care research, education and delivery. Through its educational programs, the Faculty of Medicine trains the physicians and scientists who will lead the next generation of health practitioners. Through its clinical work, continuing medical education programs, and close relationship with the Calgary Health Region, the Faculty of Medicine moves new treatments and diagnostic techniques from the laboratory bench to the hospital bedside efficiently and effectively, improving patient care.
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