Canadian Cancer Researchers Win Lasker Award

"The Albert Lasker Award recognises world-leading scientists who have made an exceptional contribution to the understanding, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases," said Minister Ujjal Dosanjh, Minister of Health,. "I send my congratulations to Drs. Till and McCulloch, and thank them on behalf of all Canadians."

"The Government of Canada has made significant investments in R&D to generate knowledge, train highly qualified personnel and encourage commercialisation," said Minister Emerson. "This prestigious award highlights the great work of both scientists and recognizes Canada's contribution to the international scientific community."

Drs. Till and McCulloch are being honoured for their groundbreaking discovery demonstrating the existence of stem cells in the blood-forming system. In the early 1960s, their discovery laid the foundation for human bone marrow transplantation for patients with leukaemia and other cancers.

"Drs. Till and McCulloch motivated me as a young scientist - and continue to influence an entire generation of Canadian health researchers," says Dr. Bernstein, a former student of Dr. Till at the University of Toronto and the Ontario Cancer Institute.

"The pioneering stem cell discovery made by Drs. Till and McCulloch opened up the entire stem cell field. The Lasker Foundation's recognition of their pioneering research almost 40 years after the research was carried out, is a measure of just how far ahead of their time they were, " said Dr. Bernstein. “It is so appropriate that this announcement take place on the 25th anniversary of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope, for their groundbreaking research has truly been one of the most important advances in cancer research."; Source: Canadian Institutes of Health Research