Symposium Schedule June 8, 2017




 William Kaelin, Jr. MD

William G. Kaelin, Jr. MD.

Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Boston, MA

Gairdner International laureate, 2010


New Approaches for Treating Anemia, Ischemia, and Cancer Emerging from Studies of the VHL Tumor Suppressor Protein


William Kaelin obtained undergraduate and M.D. degrees from Duke University and completed his internal medicine training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he served as chief medical resident.  He was a clinical fellow in medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of David Livingston, during which time he was a McDonnell Scholar.  He is currently a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School.  He is the Associate Director, Basic Science, for the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. Doctor Kaelin is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the American College of Physicians, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. He recently served on the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors, the AACR Board of Trustees, and the IOM National Cancer Policy Board. He has received numerous awards including the MSKCC Paul Marks Prize, the AACR Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Prize, a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award, the Canada International Gairdner International Award, the ASCI Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award, the Scientific Grand Prix of the Foundation Lefoulon-Delalande and the Institute of France, and the Albert Lasker Prize.

            View Dr. Kaelin Jr's presentation

 Janet Rossant, PhD

Janet Rossant, PhD.

Hospital for Sick Children and

University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Gairdner Wightman, 2015


Establishing Pluripotency and Modelling Disease


Janet Rossant, CC, PhD, FRS, FRSC, is President & Scientific Director of the Gairdner Foundation, SickKids Chief of Research Emeritus and a world-renowned expert in developmental biology.

Widely known for her studies of the genes that control embryonic development in the mouse, Dr. Rossant has pioneered techniques for following cell fate and altering genes in embryos. Her current research focuses on stem cell development and cell differentiation in the developing embryo, important areas for the study of birth defects as well as regenerative medicine.

Dr. Rossant trained at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, UK and has been in Canada since 1977, at Brock University and then the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto. She joined SickKids in 2005 and established it as a global forerunner in genetic research.  Dr. Rossant has been recognized for her contributions to science with many awards, including the ISDB Ross G. Harrison Medal, Killam Prize for Health Sciences, March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, SDB Conklin Medal, and CIHR Michael Smith Prize in Health Research. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Societies of London and Canada, and is a foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Science. 

                  View Dr. Rossant's presentation


 James Hogg, MD, PhD

James Hogg, MD, PhD

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Gairdner Wightman, 2013


The “Achilles’ Heel” of the Lung


Dr Hogg earned an MD from the University of Manitoba in 1962, completed a rotating internship at the Winnipeg General Hospital in 1963 and served as a Medical Officer in the Royal Canadian Air force from 1963-66.He completed the  PhD program in Experimental Medicine at McGill University in 1969, received further training in anatomic pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital  in Boston and Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal and was appointed Assistant Professor of Pathology at McGill University in 1972, followed by  promotion to the Miranda Fraser professorship in Pathology at McGill in 1975. In September 1977 He and Dr Peter Pare moved from McGill to the University of British Columbia where they founded the UBC Pulmonary Research Laboratory at St Pauls Hospital in Vancouver. That was renamed the  center for Heart and Lung innovation in 2010 and currently accommodates more than 20 principle investigators and supports approximately 250 undergraduate, graduate and post doctoral students with their technical and administrative support staff. Dr Hogg has won several prestigious awards including appointment as an officer of the Order of Canada 2005, Honorary Degrees from UBC, McMaster and McGill Universities and the Gairdner Whiteman award for lifetime contributions to Canadian Medicine.

            View Dr. Hogg's presentation

 Lea Harrington, PhD

Lea Harrington, PhD

Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC

Chair of the Gairdner Medical Review Panel


Critically Short Chromosome Ends Impact Stem Cell Fate


Lea Harrington is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Montreal, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Harrington studies the mechanisms by which chromosome ends, or telomeres, are elongated and protected by the enzyme telomerase. Her laboratory employs several models, from yeast to mammals, to reveal unexpected consequences of limiting telomerase function in aging, cancer, or stem cells.


Dr. Harrington obtained her M.Sc. at the University of Toronto (1990) and her Ph.D. at SUNY, Stony Brook (1993). She led a research group at the Ontario Cancer Institute from 1995 until 2007, and in Edinburgh from 2007-2011. She has been honored with a Terry Fox Young Investigator award from the National Cancer Institute of Canada (2001), and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Scholar Award (2007).


Dr. Harrington serves on the editorial boards of two scientific journals, and is a regular member of a National Institutes of Aging study section. She is editor of a textbook on the Basic Science of Oncology. Dr. Harrington has enjoyed the opportunity to work with over 50 students, postdoctoral fellows, or associates, including several who have pursued careers in academic, industry or governmental positions.

            View Dr. Harrington's presentation


 Antoine Hakim, MD, PhD

Antoine M. Hakim, MD, PhD

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON

Gairdner Wightman, 2017


The Canadian Stroke Network: Bringing Knowledge to Society


Dr. Hakim was first an engineer and at the age of 29 began his medical training. In 1979 he completed his residency in Neurology at the Montreal Neurological Institute at which time his research career began. Since coming to Ottawa in 1992, Dr. Hakim has held the following positions:

1992-present Neurologist, The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa

1992-2001 Division Head, Division of Neurology, The Ottawa Hospital

1992–2001 Director, Neuroscience Research Institute, University of Ottawa

1999-2014 CEO and Scientific Director, Canadian Stroke Network

2001-2008 Founding CEO & Scientific Director, Heart & Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery

2001-2015 Director, Neuroscience Research Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

2010-2014 Founding Director, University of Ottawa Brain & Mind Research Institute

Dr. Hakim has received many honours during his career some of which are:

2007: The Thomas Willis Lifetime Achievement Award, from the American Stroke Association & Appointed Officer of the Order of Canada

2009: Heart and Stroke Foundation announced the Dr Tony Hakim Innovative Stroke Research Award” an annual grant of $100,000

2013: Inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

2017: Canada Gairdner Wightman Award

Dr. Hakim has recently authored a book, titled “Save Your Mind – Seven Rules to Avoid Dementia” which is published in both English and French.

               View Dr. Hakim's presentation


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