Dr. John Trachtenberg recognized for clinical and research expertise


Toronto (Jan. 19, 2003) - The Canadian Society for the Weizmann Institute of Science (Weizmann Canada) is teaming up with Princess Margaret Hospital to honour one of Canada's leading prostate disease experts. Dr. John Trachtenberg, director of the Prostate Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, will be recognized for his clinical and research expertise at a Gala Dinner to be held Thursday, June 19, 2003.

"Dr. Trachtenberg is renowned in medical circles the world over," says Weizmann Canada Chairman, H. Thomas Beck. "He has been instrumental in the development of new treatments for prostate cancer and has worked to create a greater awareness of the disease."

"Equally as important from our perspective is that he is conducting in Canada the first clinical trials of a new light-activated drug that was developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science."

Dr. Trachtenberg holds the prestigious Fleck Tanenbaum Chair in Prostatic Diseases at the University Health Network and the University of Toronto, where he is a Professor in the Department of Surgery and Department of Medical Imaging. He has published numerous papers and books, and is a member of many hospital and scientific committees throughout North America and Europe.

Dr. Trachtenberg has also lead numerous clinical research trials into less-invasive alternatives to standard surgery or radiation treatment for prostate cancer, from using microwaves to combat the disease, to the current Phase I/II trial of a light-activated drug developed by Weizmann Institute scientists Professors Avigdor Scherz and Yoram Salomon.

"This kind of international collaboration serves as an excellent example of how leaders in science and medicine can unite in the common cause of innovative cancer research, " says Beck.

"We are very proud of Dr. Trachtenberg and others in the Princess Margaret Hospital team developing new treatments for prostate cancer," says Neville Kirchmann, President and CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. "We are pleased to join with the Weizmann Institute of Science and with Weizmann Canada to celebrate the leadership Dr. Trachtenberg has brought to this field."

The June 19, 2003 Gala, honouring Dr. Trachtenberg, is scheduled to be held at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto. Funds raised through the event will be applied toward the establishment of a new research chair at the Weizmann Institute of Science and will help fund research and treatment initiatives at Princess Margaret Hospital.

The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation works together with health care and research professionals, patients, their families and the community to secure the financial resources necessary to enhance and support research, patient care and education initiatives at Princess Margaret Hospital. Princess Margaret Hospital is a member of the University Health Network, which also includes Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital.

The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's foremost centres of scientific research and graduate study. Its 2,500 scientists, graduate students and technicians, from more than 32 countries, pursue a multitude of sophisticated research projects to fight disease and hunger, protect the environment and harness alternative sources of energy.

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