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