From Toronto -2, Gairdner Foundation Global Health Symposium


One major new initiative of the Gairdner Award at the occasion of its 50th anniversary is the launch of Global Health Award, an important issue and challenge for our global age, which thus is quite timely. The inaugural laureate is Dr. Nubia Munoz for her global epidemiological study to identify papilloma virus as the cause of cervical cancer and effects of its vaccine. 

Thus, in the afternoon of October 28th, Gairdner Global Health Symposium was held at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and Dr Munoz as our honorable guest. I moderated the first session (of two) with Drs Jeffrey Koplan of Emory University, Tachi Yamada,  of Gates Foundation, Mark Walport of Wellcome Trust, and Peter Singer (Ref.1), of University of Toronto, as panelists, a powerful quartet of Global Health. It was fun to moderate this powerful session; I felt enthusiasm of the full audience.

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Photo 1-4: At the reception, photo 1; Dr Oliver Smithie (humorous speech typical of him); photo 2; Dr David Sackett (left), of McMaster, well known to us for clinical epidemiology and EBM, of Gairdner Wightman award, and John Dirks (President of the Gairdner Foundation); photo 3; Dr and Mrs Ogawa, Dr Yamanaka and me; and photo 4; Drs Ogawa, Mori and me

The reception of the evening was held at MaRS of the University of Toronto. It was a very enjoyable evening with friends and many past Gairdner laureates and this year’s laureates. Three Japanese laureates are there, Drs Seiji Ogawa, Shinya Yanamaka, and Kazutoshi Mori .

5img_1928_2 Photo5: with Dr Blackburn

Among many guests was Dr Elizabeth Blackburn, this year’s Nobel laureate in medicine and physiology  for her discovery of telomerase; one of three co-recipients with her is one of her former graduate student, Dr Carol Greider.  Dr Blackburn is also a recipient of the Gairdner and of the L’Oreal Woman in Science Award at its 10th anniversary, which I served as a proud member of the Jury.

What a wonderful and stimulating day it was, indeed, my honor and privilege.