Golden Globe winning actor Idris Elba headlines the 2016 Leaders in Innovation Dinner

Acclaimed actor Idris Elba is the featured guest for the 2016 Leaders in Innovation Dinner, hosted by Western University’s Robarts Research Institute. This year’s dinner celebrates research excellence in the field of chronic lung disease.

The UK superstar continues to captivate audiences and secure his position as the one to watch in Hollywood, with a string of well-received performances in high-profile films as well as multiple critically acclaimed television series.

Elba showcases his creative versatility both on-screen in television and film as well as behind the camera as a producer and director. His most notable roles include John Luther in the crime series drama Luther, drug baron Russell "Stringer" Bell on the HBO series The Wire, and Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. He was most recently seen in Zootopia, The Jungle Book, and Star Trek Beyond.

On November 10, 2016 he will be in London, Ontario, not to promote his latest movie, but instead to share his story as a chronic asthma sufferer to help bolster awareness and advocate for research into chronic lung disease. In 2013 Elba was rushed to hospital after suffering an asthma attack on a plane. He will shed light on this complex disease as part of an armchair discussion with Master of Ceremonies Heather Hiscox, Anchor, CBC News Network.

The Leaders in Innovation Dinner also includes the presentation of the 2016 J. Allyn Taylor International Prize to renowned asthma researchers Dr. Stephen Holgate from the University of Southampton in the UK and Dr. Malcolm Sears from McMaster University’s Department of Medicine. The Taylor Prize is named after the founding Chair of the Board at Robarts, and includes a cash prize of $25,000 and a medal bearing the likeness of J. Allyn Taylor. The award is generously supported by the C. H. Stiller Memorial Foundation and the family of the late J. Allyn Taylor.

“Leaders in Innovation will provide us with an exciting opportunity to recognize and celebrate important research advances being made in asthma research right here at the Robarts Research Institute,” said Marlys Koschinsky, Executive and Scientific Director at Robarts. “I am confident that Idris Elba’s viewpoints on this disease will motivate us to continue to push ahead with leading edge research to improve asthma diagnosis, management and treatment.”

The Leaders in Innovation Dinner takes place on November 10, 2016, at the London Convention Centre in London, Ontario. Tickets are $250 per person or $2,000 for a table of eight.