Salute to Excellence

  • Researcher: Murray L. Barr, MD

    The research during which the sex chromatin was discovered belongs to the category of research known as curiosity-driven research, as opposed to clinical investigation. The former is conducted in the hope of making some discovery that adds to the existing knowledge of basic science and, should it be useful in the clinical setting – as was the case in my research – that is regarded as a welcome bonus. The latter category is directed toward improvement in the diagnosis or treatment of some specific disease. The two types of research are of equal value.

  • Researcher: W.G. Bigelow, OC, MD, FRCSC*

    The interesting aspect of this project is that it is what is called a "spin-off" from the research in hypothermia.

    You asked me to describe research that led to the development of the electrical cardiac pacemaker. The interesting aspect of this project is that it is what is called a "spin-off" from the research in hypothermia.

  • Researcher: W.G. Bigelow, OC, MD, FRCSC*

    Until the advent of heart surgery, there was virtually no special treatment for the vast number of people suffering and dying from heart failure. Surgeons were fearful of operating upon the heart.

    Heart disease is the most common cause of illness and death – a greater threat than cancer. Until the advent of heart surgery, there was virtually no special treatment for the vast number of people suffering and dying from heart failure. Surgeons were fearful of operating upon the heart.

  • Researcher: Peter M. Olley, MB.Bs., FRCPC

    In many newborns with life threatening heart defects, a specialized fetal blood vessel – the ductus arteriosus – plays a crucial role.

  • Researcher: H.J.M. Barnett, MD

    In the 1960s, it was shown by Dr. Fraser Mustard, working at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, that cells in the blood called the platelets which function to produce blood clotting after injury (the good thing), and in the presence of arteriosclerotic disease of the arteries (an unwelcome thing) can be altered by drugs tolerated by human beings. One of these drugs was a preparation used for gout (sulfinpyrazone), and the other was the well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-pain pill aspirin.

  • Researcher: Jack Hirsh, MD

    The standard blood thinners are heparin and warfarin. Both are very effective but they have the limitation that they can produce serious bleeding. Our research has been directed at producing safer blood thinners

  • Researcher: Dr. W. Carl Breckenridge

    During this study, I became interested in an unusual lipoprotein called lipoprotein (a) which was quite prevalent in the subjects under study. Although it was not considered very important at that time, I developed methods to estimate the amount circulating in plasma. Through collaboration with Dr. David Hewitt and Dr. J.A. Little, we were able to show that the amount of this lipoprotein in plasma was determined by inheritance.

  • Researcher: Adolfo J. de Bold, PhD, FRSC

    In 1968, I started a project at Queen's University aimed at unravelling the function of storage granules present in the muscle of the atrial chambers of the heart. Under the microscope, these granules resemble storage granules found in cells known to produce hormones. Twelve years and innumerable investigations later, we were able to demonstrate that these granules contain a hormone (ANF) and thus, that the heart contributes to maintain blood circulation not only by its pumping action but also by producing a hormone.

  • Researcher: R.Z. Lewanczuk, MD, FRCPC

    Parathyroid Hypertensive Factor (PHF) was first discovered in 1987 at the University of Alberta in collaboration with Dr. P. Pang. For years, high blood pressure (hypertension) was thought to represent a single disease. In the early 1980s, however, it became apparent that patients with high blood pressure could be grouped according to various metabolic characteristics.

  • Researcher: J. George Fodor, MD, PhD, FRCPC

    I joined the Medical School of Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1971. At that time, Newfoundland had the highest mortality and morbidity for cerebrovascular strokes of all provinces in Canada and has also the highest mortality for coronary heart disease. It was imperative to identify the factors in this project contributing to this situation.

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