Canada’s top health researchers recognized for their life-changing work

News Release

Winners of the CIHR Gold Leaf Prizes to be honoured tonight at Rideau Hall

May 16, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

It is thanks to the hard work and dedication of some of the brightest minds in our country that health research has known such impressive progress. Health research has helped prevent diseases and injuries, enabled medical professionals to deliver vital treatment and care, and has even led to cures that save lives. Canadian health researchers have been responsible for creating indispensable new scientific knowledge and, through their efforts, have touched the lives of Canadians everywhere.

It is only fair that we take some time to acknowledge them in turn.

Today, CIHR is pleased to present our inaugural CIHR Gold Leaf Prizes, which recognize excellence in health research and its translation into benefits for Canadians. The four winners will receive their medals at a recognition ceremony to be held tonight at Rideau Hall.

The recipients of the 2016 CIHR Gold Leaf Prizes for excellence in health research are:

CIHR Gold Leaf Prize for Discovery

Dr. John Dick A professor at the University of Toronto, Dr. John Dick is being recognized for his pioneering work as the first scientist to identify cancer stem cells. His research holds the promise for improved treatments and quality of life for cancer patients.

CIHR Gold Leaf Prize for Impact

The British Colombia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS For 25 years, the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS has been providing care and treatment for those living with HIV, educating health professionals and promoting evidence-based policy to protect people from the virus.

CIHR Gold Leaf Prize for Outstanding Achievements by an Early Career Investigator

Dr. Gregory Steinberg – A professor at McMaster University, Dr. Steinberg’s work on understanding, at the molecular level, how obesity causes type 2 diabetes and the role that nutrition and exercise play in maintaining good health, shows enormous promise for the more than 10 million Canadians who have diabetes or are at high risk of developing the disease.

CIHR Gold Leaf Prize for Transformation: Patient Engagement

Dr. Charlotte Loppie – Director of the Centre for Indigenous Research and Community-Led Engagement and professor at the University of Victoria, Dr. Charlotte Loppie is being acknowledged for her continued dedication to bringing Indigenous peoples into research projects that touch their lives. 


 “I offer my sincere congratulations to the four recipients of the CIHR Gold Leaf Prizes. From cancer and HIV/AIDS to diabetes and the health disparities facing our Indigenous peoples, your research tackles some of the most pressing health challenges facing Canada. By providing the evidence to inform government policy, your research is contributing to improved health and well-being for all Canadians. Thank you for your important work.”
Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

“Canadians should be proud of the health researchers currently at work in their country who are conducting research that has the power to change lives. The four winners of the CIHR Gold Leaf Prizes are shining examples of the dedication, hard work and excellence which characterize our research community. Thank you for your work, and congratulations on these well-deserved awards.”
Roderick McInnes, CM, MD, PhD, FRSC
Acting President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Quick Facts

  • The CIHR Gold Leaf Prizes honour and celebrate Canadian discoveries as well as our best and brightest health researchers who are making a difference in the lives of Canadians.

  • Each CIHR Gold Leaf Prize has a value of $100,000.

  • These prizes cover achievements across all pillars of health research and will be awarded every two years.

  • Prize winners were selected on the recommendation of a Gold Ribbon Panel comprised of individuals with a broad array of expertise across all of CIHR’s health research theme areas.

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Andrew MacKendrick
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

David Coulombe
Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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