MaRS announces the inaugural winners of the Premier’s Summit Award – A series of unpresedented 5 million dollar awards for individual researchers in Ontario

Toronto, April 24, 2007 — MaRS Discovery District (MaRS) and Premier and Minister of Research and Innovation Dalton McGuinty announced the inaugural winners of the Premier’s Summit Award in Medical Research last night. The Premier’s Summit Award in Medical Research provides extraordinary research support to outstanding medical researchers, helping attract them to or retain them in Ontario, and enabling them to significantly expand their research programs. The unprecedented Award celebrates world-class research in Ontario and is, by a significant margin, the largest research prize ever awarded in Canada.

Winners of the Premier’s Summit Award are internationally recognized leaders in medical research whose work is transformative in their field, and who are conducting research in an academic or research institution in Ontario. Each Award is intended for an individual researcher who has not only made a substantial and distinguished contribution already, but who also shows promise to do even more.

The four inaugural winners for 2007 are:

  • John E. Dick, University Health Network
  • Anthony J. Pawson, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Peter St George-Hyslop, University of Toronto and University Health Network
  • Tak Mak, Princess Margaret Hospital, University Health Network.

John Evans, Chair of the Award Committee, noted “these four researchers have already made truly exceptional contributions to their fields and to the research community and they are poised to do more path-breaking work. They represent Ontario’s best and their contributions have the potential to improve human health worldwide.”

The four scientists were honoured at the Premier’s Innovation Awards gala held at the MaRS Centre last night, along with winners of the Premier’s Catalyst and Discovery Awards.

“This Award program is significant for these individual researchers, their teams and their institutions, but it is also important for Ontario,” said Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District. “This Award represents true recognition of the outstanding quality of medical research occurring in the province.”

“This Award program is significant for these individual researchers, their teams and their institutions, but it is also important for Ontario,” said Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District. “This Award represents true recognition of the outstanding quality of medical research occurring in the province.”

In this, its first year, the Premier’s Summit Award program received fourteen applications from outstanding scientists and their sponsoring institutions across Ontario. Each applicant was nominated by the President of his or her institution and submitted a number of other application elements, including a statement focusing on how the Award will allow their research to expand and evolve. The internationally-renowned members of the Award Committee reviewed all of the applications and chose these four outstanding individuals as the first winners of the Award.

Each of the Award winners will receive $5 million over a five-year period — a $2.5 million contribution from the Award program matched by $2.5 million from the sponsoring institution. This structure is designed to help catalyze new investment in research in Ontario. The Award funds will be directed to the needs and priorities of the recipient.

The Premier’s Summit Award program forms part of a cohesive innovation strategy that focuses on exceptional research and commercialization as cornerstones of the economic future of the province of Ontario. The Ministry of Research and Innovation funded the Award and identified MaRS as the administrator of the Award program.

About MaRS
MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com) is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of technology companies. MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs to grow and scale their ventures into global market leaders in life sciences and health care, information, communications and digital media technologies, cleantech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as innovative social purpose business.

For more information, contact:
Linda Quattrin
Director Communications
MaRS Discovery District
416.673.8104
lquattrin@marsdd.com