Genomic Scientist and Academic Leader Professor Lap-Chee Tsui is named the winner of the 2014 Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research.

TORONTO, March 24, 2014 /CNW/ - The Prize, established by Friends of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (FCIHR), in collaboration with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences recognizes leaders of exceptional achievement in science and health policy of international stature.  Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong, will receive the Prize and deliver a Public Forum Lecture on September 17th, 2014 in Ottawa.  In 2015, he will undertake one or more Institutional visits to Canadian universities and health science centres.

Dr. Tsui has had a distinguished academic career with major discoveries in Genetics and Genomics.  He identified the Cystic Fibrosis gene in the late 1980s and in further studies of the human genome, characterized chromosome 7.  He contributed significantly to fighting the SARS coronavirus in 2003 and led the Hong Kong consortium in the international effort in completing the first comprehensive catalogue of the human genetic evaluations.  Dr. Aubie Angel, President of Friends of CIHR, notes that "Dr. Tsui has brought international recognition to Canadian strength in Human Genetics".  He has trained a cadre of scientific investigators who are part of the next wave of Canadian scientific leadership. He maintains close ties with the Canadian genomics community as Emeritus University Professor, University of Toronto, and Adjunct Scientist, Hospital for Sick Children, Research Institute.

Dr. Tsui has made significant policy and government contributions early on with the Medical Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He was instrumental in the establishment of Genome Canada in its earlier phase and served as Co-Chair of the interim Board.  Noteworthy is his leadership in organizations such as the Human Genome Project (HUGO) and his presidency in the University of Hong Kong, a position he took up in 2002.  Here he led efforts to open scientific linkages to China through active collaborations with mainland institutions.

Born in Shanghai and raised in Hong Kong, Professor Tsui received his Bachelors degrees from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 1979.  He joined the Department of Genetics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto in 1983, where his work led to the identification of the defective gene that causes Cystic Fibrosis. He has 300 peer-reviewed scientific publications and 65 invited book chapters.

Dr. Tsui is the recipient of many national and international prizes, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences USA and a Laureate of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. He received the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.

The Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research was established in 2005 by FCIHR in recognition of Dr. Henry Friesen's distinguished leadership, vision and innovative contributions to health and health research. The $35,000 Friesen Prize is awarded annually.  For further information on Friends of CIHR and the Friesen International Prize, please visit: www.fcihr.ca

For a full biography of Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui, visit: http://www.vcoffice.hku.hk/menu/biography.htm

SOURCE Friends of Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For further information: Cristina S. Castellvi, Administrative Assistant, FCIHR. Tel. #: (416) 506-1597. Email: fcihr@fcihr.ca