Image of Dr. Herbert Gaisano
Dr. Herbert Gaisano says honour “gives me a deep sense of contentment.” 
(Photo: UHN)

Dr. Herbert Gaisano, one of the world's leading gastroenterologists, has been appointed to the Order of Ontario for his work in the fight against diabetes.

Dr. Gaisano, a researcher at Toronto Western Hospital's Krembil Research Institute and a professor in the University of Toronto's faculty of medicine, was among 27 individuals invested into the Order by Ontario Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell in a ceremony at Queen's Park on Wednesday.

Dr. Gaisano was previously appointed to fellowship of the Canadian Academy of Health Science and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award. He "has dedicated his work to the fight against diabetes by exploring the complexities of this pervasive illness and advancement of new treatment strategies," the Lieutenant Governor wrote in the announcement of his appointment.

Specifically, Dr. Gaisano and colleagues were first to identify how SNARE proteins, fundamental elements in secretion, could be distorted to cause insulin secretory deficiency in diabetes, and also pancreatitis. This groundbreaking work has placed him among the top five researchers in the world and first in Canada.

"This honour gives me a deep sense of contentment, particularly as an immigrant, to have been given an opportunity to make these contributions to medicine and science," Dr. Gaisano told UHN News.​

"This also shows that there is much room for clinician scientists to contribute to fundamental research underlying disease."

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