Historic Honourees Celebrated at 2016 Health Research Foundation Gala

November 29, 2016

News Release

Historic Honourees Celebrated at 2016 Health Research Foundation Research Awards Gala



Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg First Female Medal of Honour Recipient


Toronto, November 22, 2016 –The Health Research Foundation (HRF), along with Prix Galien Canada and Research Canada is pleased to celebrate and honour the best and brightest minds of Canada’s life sciences and health research advocacy sectors, at the HRF Research Awards Gala.


The honourees of the HRF’s Medal of Honour, Prix Galien Canada awards and Research Canada’s Leadership Awards are:


·         Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg, awarded the HRF Medal of Honour. Dr. Rockman-Greenberg recognized the importance of molecular medicine in the 1980's and was the driving force behind the opening of the first laboratory in Manitoba for the diagnosis of genetic disease with DNA testing. She identified the molecular source of some of Canada’s most devastating inherited diseases, including those most prevalent in the Aboriginal, Mennonite and Hutterite communities, and in partnership, developed and implemented strategies for early detection and in many cases effective treatments not available previously.


·         Dr. Grant Pierce, awarded the Research Canada Leadership Award for Health Research Advocacy. Dr. Pierce has been an outstanding leader in advancing the case for the hope and promise of health research in advancing deeper understanding of factors leading to health and disease.


  ·         The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE), awarded the Research Canada Leadership Award for Health Research Advocacy, for its work which has been pivotal in the fight against HIV and AIDS in British Columbia, Canada and internationally. For more than two decades, the advances discovered at the BC-CfE have informed policy, service delivery, harm reduction approaches and quality of care.


  ·         Dr. Philip Halloran, awarded the Prix Galien Research Award, recognized for his continuing research which has examined multiple areas associated with organ transplantation including the identification of gene regulation in graft rejection, the description of antibody-mediated rejection as well as the impact of immunosuppressive drug treatment.


  ·         The Prix Galien Innovative Product Award is given to Gilead Sciences Canada for Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir) and to Takeda Canada Inc. for Entyvio (vedolizumab). This award recognizes Harvoni as it is a drug combination that has made Hepatitis C the first curable chronic viral infection and recognizes Entyvio because of its unique mechanism of action, the need for better treatment for young people with inflammatory bowel disease and the strong Canadian involvement in the discovery, development and approval of this drug.


Quick Facts


·         The HRF Medal of Honour was first awarded in 1945 and recognizes remarkable individuals whose research or contributions to public policies supportive of research and development in Canada have achieved international recognition. Recipients have made pivotal contributions to the advancement of knowledge in health sciences and/or the improvement of therapeutics healthcare.


·         The Prix Galien Canada is the most prestigious award in the field of Canadian pharmaceutical research and innovation, recognizing the efforts and achievements of pharmaceutical research and development.


·         The Research Canada Leadership Award honours champions in health research advocacy and is given on an annual basis to recognize outstanding efforts in advocating for Canadian health research at the local, provincial and/or national level.




“Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg’s work has significantly advanced the field of molecular medicine in Canada. Thanks to her lifelong work, we have a greater understanding of genetic diseases and how to treat them. I would like to congratulate Dr. Rockman-Greenberg once again for her accomplishments.” – Mel Cappe, Chair, Health Research Foundation of Innovative Medicines Canada


“We are happy to recognize the incredible contributions of both Dr. Grant Pierce and The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) in their tireless work to forward health research advocacy, for excellence in championing advanced health research and fighting HIV/AIDS respectively.” – Dr. Ryan Wiley, Chair of the Board of Directors, Research Canada


“The Prix Galien recognizes Canadian advances in pharmaceutical research, recognizing both Canadian researchers as well as products that have had significant Canadian input into their development and approval. For these reasons, I am pleased to honour Dr. Philip Halloran for his work in organ transplantation research as well as to Takeda Canada Inc. and Gilead Sciences Canada for the creation of two products that revolutionize the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and Hepatitis C.” – Dr. Jean Gray, Prix Galien Canada


– 30 –


For further information:


Sarah Douglas, Media Relations
Telephone: 613-883-7250


About the Health Research Foundation of Innovative Medicines Canada

 The Health Research Foundation (HRF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and promote the value of health research in Canada. By applying the highest standards of scientific excellence, addressing health system sustainability challenges and establishing partnerships, the HRF, one of the leading private health research foundations in the country, contributes significantly to the prevention and treatment of disease, to a better health care system and the availability for Canadians to access effective health products.


About The Prix Galien

 The Prix Galien is the most prestigious award in the field of Canadian pharmaceutical research and innovation. Referred to as the Nobel Prize of pharmaceutical research, it recognizes the efforts and achievements of pharmaceutical research and development. The Prix Galien Canada is organized by Innovation Life Canada, a non-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate Canadian innovation in the life sciences.


 About Research Canada

 Research Canada is a national, broad-based alliance dedicated to increasing investments in health research through collaborative advocacy. We believe health research is a shared benefit, shared responsibility and an investment in Canada’s future. We engage government, academia, industry and non-profit sectors to build support for balanced and long-term health research funding – investments that strengthen Canada’s innovation system and lead to better health, sustainable health care, new commercialization opportunities, and skilled jobs for Canadians. Only through sustained and balanced investments in health research will Canada succeed in keeping its citizens the healthiest and most prosperous in the world.  


Back to Listing


HRF Medal of Honour Awards Gala

Register here for the 2018 HRF Medal of Honour Awards Gala in partnership with Prix Galien and Research Canada: An Alliance for Health Discovery, on November 20th, 2018.