Since 1959, the Gairdner Foundation has awarded its prestigious prizes to some of the world’s top scientists whose fundamental science discoveries have changed our understanding and treatment of serious health problems worldwide. In the current global pandemic, we are proud to say that many of our laureates are actively involved in many different aspects of COVID-related research.
Join us for an exploration of the science of coronavirus infections, the urgent search for new drug therapies and new vaccines, how to model the time course of pandemic outbreaks and the social and economic impact on vulnerable populations worldwide.
We bring together illustrious Canada Gairdner laureates, alongside an outstanding Canadian scientist and previous Chair of the Gairdner Board of Directors, to provide their unique insights into the pandemic and the hope for the future.
Quarraisha and Salim Abdool Karim
Quarraisha and Salim Abdool Karim are the founding leaders of the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), Professors at Columbia University, and Pro-Vice Chancellors at University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. They are the 2020 John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award laureates for their discovery that antiretrovirals prevent sexual transmission of HIV, laying the foundations for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and contributing to the reduction of HIV infection in Africa and around the world. Their scientific work has been amplified by their focus on the social and behavioral aspects of prevention, transmission and treatment.
D. Lorne Tyrrell
Lorne Tyrrell is the Founding Director, Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology, University of Alberta, in Edmonton, AB, Canada and Chair Emeritus, Gairdner Foundation. For four decades he has been a leading figure in Canadian health research and in understanding and addressing viral disease, in particular hepatitis B and C.
Christopher Murray is the Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and Professor of Global Health, University of Washington in Seattle, WA, USA. Along with longtime collaborator Alan Lopez, he received the 2018 John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award for conceptualizing and quantifying the Global Burden of Disease, part of an extensive career in understanding and interpreting the data of health worldwide.
Rino Rappuoli is Chief Scientist and Head External R&D, GSK Vaccines in Siena, Italy and 2017 Canada Gairdner International Award laureate for reverse vaccinology, a genomic approach to vaccine discovery that resulted in a life-saving meningococcus B vaccine. Dr. Rappuoli is a leader in vaccine innovation, introducing novel scientific concepts including genetic detoxification, cellular microbiology, reverse vaccinology, and pangenome.
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