Canada honours pioneers of the sciences in Israel

The 2011 Canada Gairdner International Awards winners

On April 14 the Canadian Ambassador in Israel, Paul Hunt, co-hosted a VIP reception to honour the Israeli recipients of the 2011 Canada Gairdner International Awards, together with Dr. John Dirks, President of the Gairdner Foundation. The Foundation, which rewards the seminal achievements of the world’s most innovative and accomplished scientists, announced that two leading Israeli medical researchers, Drs. Howard Cedar and Aharon Razin of Hebrew University would be among this year’s winners.

Over the past 30 years they have pioneered in the study of DNA methylation. These discoveries help explain how genes are regulated and have lead to better understanding of human development and the molecular basis of many diseases.

Both men are passionate about sharing knowledge. Cedar has trained over 35 doctoral students, many of whom have gone on to become faculty members in universities throughout Israel.

Many of the past recipients of this prestigious award have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.

The reception, which took place at the Official Residence of Canada, attracted many of Israel’s top scientists and business leaders. As well, a high level Canadian delegation, featuring multiple Order of Canada members from the University of Alberta and the Canada Gairdner Foundation, as well as the Canadian Technion Society, were on hand to congratulate the prize winners, including Dr. Indira Samarasekera, President of the University of Alberta and member of Canada's Science, Technology and Innovation Council of Canada. The event was a success and served to increase bilateral innovation ties.Drs. Cedar and Razin and their fellow award recipients will be honored at the annual gala awards dinner to be held at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto on October 27, 2011.