CIHR-CMAJ Top Canadian Achievements in Health Research Awards

Monday, September 28, 2009


Drs. Bob Litchfield and Fred Possmayer are among eight outstanding Canadian individuals and teams honoured today with the first ever CIHR-CMAJ Top Canadian Achievements in Health Research Awards, which recognize and celebrate Canadian health research and innovation excellence. The winners were selected by a peer-review panel of Canadian and international experts, who looked for the discoveries and innovations that had the biggest impact on the health of people in this country and around the world.

The winners are:


     -  Drs. Paul Armstrong, Robert Welsh and Padmaja Kaul, of the University

        of Alberta, who trained ambulance crews to liaise with doctors and

        begin treatment of heart attack victims about one hour earlier on

        average, dramatically improving chances of a full recovery.

    -   Dr. Adolfo de Bold, of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, for

        the revolutionary discovery of hormone secretion by the human heart.

        This knowledge now allows physicians to control water and salt levels

        in the body, reducing hypertension and helping the heart recover

        after heart attacks.

    -   Drs. Geoffrey Fong, Mary Thompson and David Hammond, of the

        University of Waterloo, for their outstanding work with the

        International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project in assessing

        the effectiveness of various programs to reduce smoking around the


    -   Dr. Bob Litchfield, of the University of Western Ontario, for a

        ground-breaking study of patients with arthritic knees, proving that

        knee surgery provided no extra value over physiotherapy and patient


    -   Dr. Michel LeMay, of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, who

        developed a new way to handle heart attacks that empowers paramedics

        to read electrocardiograms and identifies patients with blocked heart

        arteries who need to be fast-tracked for angioplasty surgery -

        reducing mortality by 50 per cent.

    -   Dr. Nizar Mahomed, of the University Health Network in Toronto, who

        led a team involving some 35 hospitals that introduced new procedures

        for hip and knee surgery. These procedures reduced wait times, cut

        rehabilitation stays and dramatically improved patient outcomes.

    -   Dr. Stephen Moses, of the University of Manitoba, who demonstrated

        the effectiveness of male circumcision in reducing the transmission

        of HIV in Africa.

    -   Dr. Fred Possmayer, of the University of Western Ontario, who

        developed a technique to purify and sterilize lung surfactant - a

        substance that allows lungs to expand and breathe - so it could be

        used in premature babies to greatly improve their chances of


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