Gairdner Award Laureates Meet Parliamentarians to Share Their Award-Winning Research


OTTAWA, October 23, 2018Research Canada and the Gairdner Foundation have established a partnership that will bring Dr. Alan Lopez, one of the eight 2018 Canada Gairdner Award Laureates and Dr. Lewis Kay, one of the 2017 Canada Gairdner Award Laureates to Ottawa to participate in a series of events designed to share their research and promote global health and biomedical science.

The Parliamentary Health Research Caucus, in partnership with the Research Canada and the Gairdner Foundation, will host a luncheon on Parliament Hill (Ottawa) on October 23rd in honour of the Canada Gairdner Awardees. It will highlight the importance of their research and its impact on human health and well-being. Dr. Lopez’s work in developing the Global Burden of Diseases study has led to policy changes and improvements in health systems in countries around the world. The research of Canada’s own Dr. Kay has expanded our understanding of the flexible nature of protein structure and the importance of flexibility to both function and malfunction. The luncheon will feature laureates, parliamentarians and representatives from Research Canada in conversations that promote Canada as a valuable contributor to international science and an exceptional place to do research.

The Gairdner Foundation has a strong partnership with the Government of Canada that supports its awards program and coast-to-coast outreach programming. The Gairdner Foundation will also be hosting lectures at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa with support from The Government of Canada, The Government of Ontario and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. The events are expected to draw more than 800 high school students, faculty and trainees from across the city to hear about the laureates’ research and their career journeys.

Quote: Dr. Janet Rossant, President & Scientific Director, The Gairdner Foundation

“The Gairdner Foundation and Research Canada are strong partners with very similar goals. Together, we can promote Canada on the world-stage of science and continue to grow our profile as a global leader in research.”

Quote: Dr. Robert McMaster, Chair, Research Canada

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Gairdner Foundation to bring such meaningful science to Ottawa and Canada. This year, we are proud to welcome our own Dr. Kay, winner of the 2017 Canada Gairdner International Award, as well as Australia’s Dr. Lopez to meet with Parliamentarians in Ottawa. Along with the other laureates, they are outstanding examples of why research excellence matters. The Gairdner Foundation and its awards help demonstrate Canada’s leadership in health research to the world.”

The Gairdner Foundation was established in 1957 and is best known for its Canada Gairdner Awards. Since its founding, the Gairdner Foundation has awarded more than 380 prizes to laureates from 35 countries (89 of whom have gone on to win receive Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine). Each year seven Canada Gairdner Awards are presented to honour the world’s most significant biomedical and global health researchers. The Canada Gairdner International Award is given to five individuals for outstanding international biomedical research, while the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award is given to an individual leader in Canadian medicine. The John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award recognizes a contribution to health in the developing world. These seven awards both distinguish Canada as a leader in science and elevate the profile of science in Canada. They are Canada’s only globally known and respected international science awards. All laureates are chosen by international adjudication committees.

The Gairdner Foundation promotes a stronger culture of research and innovation across the country through outreach programming including lectures and research symposia. The programs bring current and past laureates to a minimum of 15 universities across Canada to speak with faculty, trainees and high school students to inspire the next generation of researchers. Annual research symposia are organized across Canada to provide Canadians access to leading science through Gairdner’s convening power.

Research Canada is a national alliance dedicated to increasing investments in health research through collaborative advocacy and engaging government, academia, industry and the non-profit sector to build support for long-term health research funding. For more information, visit

The Parliamentary Health Research Caucus is a non-partisan educational forum that hosts events on Parliament Hill to educate politicians on the social and economic benefits of Canadian health research and innovation, as well as to introduce them to the multi-sector partnerships among academic, private sector and health charity stakeholders essential to a robust health research enterprise and innovation system. The PHRC is chaired by Ms. Kim Rudd, MP (Northumberland – Peterborough South), with Past Chair, Mr. John Oliver, MP (Oakville), Vice-Chairs, Ms. Carol Hughes, MP (Algoma – Manitoulin – Kapuskasing) and Ms. Marilyn Gladu, MP (Sarnia-Lambton), and Senate Representative, The Honourable Judith Seidman.

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For further information:

Mrs. Sommer Wedlock
Vice President & Director of Communications
Gairdner Foundation
Telephone: 647-293-6785
Full listing of Gairdner Events

Ms. Brittany Faulkner
Director of Operations
Research Canada
Telephone: 613-234-5129


9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Carleton University Student Outreach Program Lecture Watching Proteins Dance Using Biophysics


Dr. Lewis Kay, Professor, Departments of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Chemistry, University of Toronto; Senior Scientist, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Parliamentary Restaurant, Parliament Hill Luncheon in Honour of 2018 and 2017 Gairdner Awardees Dr. Alan Lopez, Melbourne Laureate Professor, Rowden-White Chair of Global Health and Burden of Disease Measurement, University of Melbourne and Dr. Lewis Kay
2:05 p.m. – 2:35 p.m. University of Ottawa National Outreach Program Lecture NMR Why Bother? Studies of the p97 Molecular Machine Provide an Answer


Dr. Lewis Kay

2:35 p.m. – 3:10 p.m. University of Ottawa National Outreach Program Lecture Strengthening the evidence base for health policy: the Global Burden of Disease Study


Dr. Alan Lopez