University of Calgary researcher named Canada's Health Researcher of the Year

November 16, 2011

University of Calgary researcher Paul Kubes, PhD, is the recipient of one of Canada's top awards for medical research. An internationally-recognized scientist specializing in visualizing the mammalian immune system, Kubes will accept the 2011 Canada's Health Researcher of the Year award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) at a ceremony in Ottawa this evening.

"I congratulate Dr. Kubes for winning this prestigious award," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health for Canada. "His contributions and those of the other award recipients have led to great advancements in health and medicine, which are benefitting Canadians and people around the world."

"Dr. Kubes and the other award recipients have achieved exceptional impact through their work," said Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR. "Their accomplishments reflect Canada's strong and diverse health research community and the positive outcomes that are improving the health and quality of life of Canadians."

University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon said the award is outstanding recognition for one of the university's top investigators.

"Paul Kubes is one of the leading experts in his field, and over the past 20 years he has built a centre of excellence that is recognized on the world stage," Cannon said. "The University of Calgary's strategic direction, Eyes High, is to be among Canada's top five research universities by our 50th anniversary in 2016. Dr. Kubes' achievements highlight the university's strong national leadership in discovery and innovation, and we congratulate him on this wonderful honour."

Kubes is a professor in the Faculty of Medicine's Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and Medicine and is director of the university's Calvin, Phoebe & Joan Snyder Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation. As lead researcher of the Alberta Sepsis Network, Kubes has been examining the role that leukocytes (white blood cells) play in preventing and reversing sepsis - a potentially fatal condition in which the blood becomes infected by harmful bacteria. His findings will be of vital importance as the number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria grows and we need to find alternatives for treating infection. His research is also providing insights into the immunological effects of stroke, cancer, diabetes and other immune-related diseases. He hopes to collaborate with physicians and the private sector to translate his findings into treatments to improve health outcomes for patients.

"I am honoured to receive this award, which represents the work of many exceptionally talented research colleagues and students," Kubes said. "It also represents the vision of Joan Snyder, who as a philanthropist invested in our institute and helped fund the cutting-edge imaging technology that has placed the Snyder Institute and the university among the very best. I would also like to thank CIHR, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and Alberta Innovates − Health Solutions for their outstanding support, as well as a number of health foundations including the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Crohn's Colitis Foundation of Canada."

"Paul Kubes' research is a wonderful example of the value of basic scientists working with clinicians," said Dr. Tom Feasby, dean of the University of Calgary's Faculty of Medicine. "Some of Dr. Kubes' key advances in understanding sepsis arose from observations made at the bedside in the critical care unit. And ultimately, the impact of his discoveries will be felt in those same clinical settings by the patients affected by infections."

The CIHR's Canadian Researcher of the Year Prize (formerly the Michael Smith Prize in Health Research) is the CIHR's most prestigious prize in its annual Canadian Health Research Awards. One prize is awarded annually and consists of a medal and a research grant of $500,000 given as $100,000/year for five years.
-end-
For more information about the Canadian Institutes of Health Research visit: www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca

For more information about the Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, visit: www.iii.ucalgary.ca

* Editor's note:

Media Availability: Paul Kubes will be available for interviews in Ottawa today, and at the University of Calgary on Friday, November 18, by appointment between 9 a.m.- 12 p.m.

Photos and video b-roll of Paul Kubes are available for media use at: http://www.ucalgary.ca/news/media/media_kit/

University of Calgary

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