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Toronto (Nov. 9, 2008) - The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the 2009 Inductees. These individuals will join the ranks of the 71 laureates who have gone before them in bringing distinction to Canada through their outstanding contributions to medical science and the improved health and well-being of people everywhere. The five inductees are:
Dr. Sylvia O. Fedoruk, O.C.
(Born May 5, 1927)
A Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, medical biophysicist, chancellor, professor, researcher, inventor and accomplished curler, Dr. Sylvia Fedoruk has led a full life. The only woman conducting medical-physics research in Canada sixty years ago, Dr. Fedoruk was one of four inventors of the "Cobalt Bomb", the world's first radiation machine using high intensity radioactive cobalt for the treatment of cancer in humans. Already a veteran of inductions, having been inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1986, it is Dr. Fedoruk's plethora of 'firsts' as a woman that are most inspiring to us all.
Dr. Tak Wah Mak, O.C.
Some describe him as Canada's top scientist of the day. At minimum, Dr. Tak Mak is a world-renowned, award-winning scientist and major figure in molecular and cellular biology. In 1984, Dr. Tak Mak solved, through beautiful molecular approaches, one of the toughest problems in immunology – the structure of the T cell receptor for antigens. He has since blazed a remarkable trail of discoveries and is currently Director of The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.
Dr. Ronald Melzack, O.C.
(Born July 19, 1929)
For all of us who have suffered pain, Dr. Melzack knows how we feel – literally. For almost a half a century, Dr. Melzack has dedicated himself to the understanding of pain. In 1965, he developed a new theory of pain that led to an explosion in pain research. A decade later he developed the McGill Pain Questionnaire now used in pain clinics around the world. Dr. Melzack was the driving force and co-founder of the first pain clinics in Canada at McGill's Royal Victoria (1972) and Montreal General (1974) hospitals. It is his empathy for those suffering from chronic pain however that is perhaps his greatest gift of all.
Dr. Charles H. Tator, C.M.
(Born August 24, 1936)
One woman calls him "her saviour". Thousands more are grateful for his dedication, compassion and skill as one of Canada's leading surgical scientists. Dr. Charles Tator has had a resounding impact on spinal cord injury research, clinical treatment and prevention, and founded Thinkfirst Canada, a national brain and spinal cord injury foundation. As chair of the division of neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, he developed a program that has gained national prominence. Come April, Dr. Tator will be a two-time Hall of Famer having been inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame in 2003 for his outstanding contributions in the field of spinal cord injury prevention.
Dr. Mladen Vranic
(Born April 3, 1930)
In a world where diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions, Dr. Vranic is colossal. Among a vast collection of awards, including several from the Canadian and American diabetes associations, Dr. Vranic has an honorary degree from the Karolinska Institute Medical Faculty in Stockholm. Recognized as a global leader in diabetes research, Dr. Vranic's journey of scientific achievement began with an invitation he received in 1963 while studying in Croatia, his country of origin. Dr. Charles H. Best, the co-investigator of insulin, was inviting him to come to the University of Toronto to be his post-doctoral fellow. This sojourn, and Dr. Vranic's ongoing devotion to training and mentoring future scientists, will be forever etched in the memory of Canadians.
"I am deeply grateful to have my name alongside my teacher Dr. Donald Hebb who was inducted in 2003," says incoming laureate Dr. Ronald Melzack and professor emeritus in the department of psychology at McGill University. "I sincerely hope that I too will serve as an inspiration for students everywhere through this prestigious and unexpected honour. Thank you to The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for making this happen, and particularly in my hometown of Montreal!"
The 2009 Inductees were selected by an independent committee of prominent leaders from Canada's medical community.
"The selection of this year's candidates was both a demanding and gratifying experience for all members of the selection committee!" said Dr. Alain Beaudet, president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and chair of the Selection Committee. "Indeed, the Canadian scene abounds with outstanding scientists, care providers and visionary builders of medicine, all of whom deserve our recognition and appreciation. This year's inductees exude excellence, not only in their achievements, but also as exceptional human beings."
Over 500 of Canada's leading citizens will come together to celebrate the formal induction of the incoming laureates on April 29, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec.
The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is the only national organization dedicated to recognizing Canada's medical heroes. Through an exhibit hall in London, Ontario and a national education program, thousands of Canadians gain a greater appreciation of our country's contribution to global health care, and more young people are inspired to pursue careers in medicine and the health sciences.
Biographies of the current 71 laureates are available at www.cdnmedhall.org.
Phone: 416 340 4636