LifeSciences BC Announces Recipients of the 2007 British Columbia Biotechnology Awards



    VANCOUVER, March 26 /CNW/ - LifeSciences British Columbia today announced
the recipients of the 2007 BC Biotechnology Awards. They are:

    
        -  Drs. Allen and Connie Eaves for the Genome BC Award for Scientific
           Excellence
        -  Drs. Alan Winter and Aubrey Tingle for Leadership
        -  Dr. Max Cynader for Researcher of the Year
        -  Ultrasonix Medical Corporation for Medical Devices Company of the
           Year
        -  Dr. David Dolphin for Lifetime Achievement
    

    These awards are presented annually by LifeSciences British Columbia
(formerly BC Biotech) to recognize individuals and organizations that have
made outstanding contributions to the development of British Columbia's
biotechnology industry, and to increase public awareness and understanding of
life sciences in the province.
    "On behalf of the biotechnology and greater life sciences industry in
British Columbia, we congratulate each of these very deserving recipients,"
commented David Hall, Chair of LifeSciences British Columbia. "The
achievements being made here in British Columbia are truly of a global
caliber, which is exemplified tremendously by this impressive slate of
recipients."
    Added Karimah Es Sabar, President of LifeSciences British Columbia, "To
have such amazing leadership here in British Columbia is really very special,
and LifeSciences British Columbia is honoured to be able to recognize these
leaders, and bring their accomplishments into the spotlight."
    The awards will be presented at a gala ceremony April 18th in front of an
audience of approximately 600 biotechnology and public policy leaders at the
Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver, beginning with a reception at 5:00pm. Award
presentations and acceptance speeches will take place between 7:00 and 9:30pm
(see www.lifesciencesbc.ca for full details).
    The BC Biotechnology Awards are presented by Ernst & Young; Farris,
Vaughan, Wills & Murphy, LLP; Raymond James; Rx&D (Canada's Research-Based
Pharmaceutical Companies); and Genome British Columbia. Media sponsor:
Business in Vancouver Magazines.


    About the Recipients
    --------------------


    Drs. Allen and Connie Eaves
    Genome BC Award for Scientific Excellence

    Husband and wife Drs. Allen and Connie Eaves are cancer researchers
internationally recognized for their pioneering work in area of stem cell
research.
    Dr. Allen Eaves, a physician-scientist, became the founding Director of
the Terry Fox Laboratory at the BC Cancer Agency in the early 1980s with a
$1 million grant from the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope together with several
million-dollar contributions from corporate and individual donors. He was
joined in 1982 by Dr. Connie Eaves as the second scientist hired to the newly
formed research center of excellence. Their seminal work in the 1980s led to
many of the early discoveries that today underpin the field of stem cell
biology and its fledging application to the treatment of diseases such as
cancer and transplantation.
    Dr. Allen Eaves is also President and CEO of StemCell Technologies Inc.,
a very successful private life sciences company dedicated to providing a range
of products that support innovative research in hematology, immunology, cancer
research, development biology and many other areas of life science research.
StemCell has been in operation since 1993, and currently has offices in
Canada, the UK and France with distribution of its products in over
40 countries. In 1996, Eaves also started Malachite Management Inc. to provide
professional management services to societies active in blood and marrow
transplantation. Additionally, in 2000 StemSoft Software was formed to provide
clinical trials and management software for bone marrow and other
transplantation programs.
    Dr. Connie Eaves was the co-founder of the Terry Fox Laboratory and
continues as its Director. She is also the Associate Scientific Director of
the Stem Cell Network, established in 1981 and has been its Deputy Director
since 1986. Dr. Connie Eaves specializes in blood stem cells and their
regulation, with particular emphasis on chronic myeloid leukemia. She has
received numerous awards and scholarships throughout her scientific career and
in 1994 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Dr. Connie Eaves
is an active member of numerous national and international societies and was
one of the first Co-Chairs of the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Initiative
and later served as President of the National Cancer Institute of Canada
(1996-98).


    Drs. Alan Winter and Aubrey Tingle
    Leadership Award

    Publicly-funded research is the foundation of the life sciences and
biotechnology industry in British Columbia, and Genome British Columbia and
the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, under the leadership of
Drs. Alan Winter and Aubrey Tingle respectively, have had an unprecedented
impact on strengthening that foundation.
    Dr. Alan Winter is President and CEO of Genome British Columbia,
appointed in January 2002. Genome British Columbia is a research organization
that is investing approximately $273 million in 28 large-scale genomics and
proteomics research projects and four technology platforms focused on areas of
strategic importance such as human health, forestry, fisheries, ethics,
agriculture and the environment. By working collaboratively with all levels of
government, universities and industry, Genome BC is the catalyst for a
vibrant, genomics-driven life sciences cluster with far-reaching social and
economic benefits for the province and Canada.
    Dr. Winter has wide experience at senior levels in the technology
industry and in government over the past 25 years, including such roles as the
founding President and CEO of the New Media Innovation Centre in Vancouver,
the President of the ComDev Space Group in Ontario, and the President and CEO
of MPR Teltech in Vancouver.
    Dr. Winter is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. He is also
a Fellow of the Canadian Astronautics and Space Institute and received their
inaugural Alouette Award. He is Chair of the Board of Directors of the
Communications Research Centre, and a Director of a number of technology
companies across Canada. Dr. Winter is Deputy Chair of the Council of Science
and Technology Advisors (CSTA) to the federal government, was a member of the
BC Premier's Council on Science and Technology, was a founding Director of
CANARIE, and was Chair of the Canadian Research Management Association and of
PRECARN Associates. Dr. Winter was recently honoured with a Legacy Achievement
Award at Queen's University.
    Dr. Aubrey Tingle was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of
the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research in March 2001. The mission of
the organization is to lead, partner and serve as a catalyst to build British
Columbia's capacity for excellence in clinical, biomedical, health services
and population health research, while working to create a vibrant and
sustainable British Columbian health research environment that is recognized
for excellence and has the human resources, infrastructure and research space
to compete effectively for national and international funding across all
sectors; anticipates and responds to BC health needs; and builds the BC
economy. Under the leadership of Dr. Tingle, and as British Columbia's
provincially-mandated health research organization, the Michael Smith
Foundation for Health Research has been extremely successful in achieving
these objectives.
    Dr. Tingle was founding chair of the Coalition for Health Research in BC,
an ad hoc group of research stakeholders that was responsible for planning and
obtaining the provincial funding to establish MSFHR. Dr. Tingle is a Professor
of Pediatrics and Pathology at the University of British Columbia. He
previously served in concurrent positions as Assistant Dean of Research in
UBC's Faculty of Medicine, Vice President of Research and Education with the
Children's & Women's Health Centre of British Columbia, and Executive Director
of the BC Research Institute for Children's & Women's Health.
    If it were not for the outstanding leadership of Drs. Winter and Tingle,
British Columbia simply would not be recognized as it is internationally for
the world-class research conducted here.


    Dr. Max Cynader
    Researcher of the Year

    Dr. Max Cynader is Director of the Brain Research Centre, a leading
neuroscience research institute at Vancouver Coastal Health and The University
of British Columbia (UBC). In the recent 2007 Federal Budget, it was announced
that the Brain Research Centre, led by Dr. Cynader, would receive $15 million
in federal funds to develop new facilities and purchase equipment to support
research at the Centre and to help translate research discoveries into better
diagnoses and treatments for patients. This recent allocation of federal funds
builds on the Centre's success earlier this year in obtaining $17 million from
the Canada Foundation for Innovation to help advance laboratory research
towards improved therapeutics for patients.
    From 1988 to 1998, Dr. Cynader headed the Ophthalmology Research Group in
the UBC Department of Ophthalmology. His research has focused on understanding
the nature of the processing performed by the cerebral cortex, especially the
sensory cortices dealing with vision and audition, and on the neural and
molecular mechanisms underlying the development and adaptability of the
cortex. He is the author of over 200 articles published in scientific
journals, has presented over 350 papers at national and international
scientific meetings, and is the holder of several patents. Among the honors he
has received since coming to UBC are the Killam Research Prize (1989-91),
Distinguished Medical Research Lecturer (1992), Honor Roll of Maclean's
Magazine (1993), and the Gold Medal in Health Sciences from the Science
Council of British Columbia (1995). He was appointed a Fellow in the CIAR's
Human Development Program in 1993, and was awarded the Canada Research Chair
in 2001.
    Dr. Cynader and his collaborators have been at the forefront of new
approaches to identification of genes and gene products associated with brain
plasticity, and with various types of neuronal injury. His research group has
developed new viral vector systems to efficiently transfer
potentially-therapeutic genes into specific neuronal populations. His studies
of brain mechanisms in cortical development are relevant to visual disorders
such as amblyopia, strabismus, dyslexia, and glaucoma, and also to various
neurological dysfunctions including stroke and Alzheimer's disease. Dr.
Cynader is one of the scientific founders of NeuroVir, a Vancouver-based
biotechnology company which has developed gene therapy products to treat brain
diseases. He is also the co-founder of Wavemakers Research, a software company
which has developed new and proprietary noise-reducing technology.


    Ultrasonix Medical Corporation
    Medical Devices Company of the Year

    Ultrasonix Medical Corporation is a Canadian healthcare manufacturer that
specializes in Ultrasound equipment and informatics. Incorporated in 2000,
Ultrasonix has enjoyed double-digit growth year over year, and combining its
history of technological innovation with a unique partnering strategy and
sales presence on every continent, Ultrasonix is poised for long-term
international success.
    The company's current innovative product line titled Sonix was launched
in May 2005, with their two commercial products, Sonix OP and Sonix SP,
composed of 100% Canadian content including all assembly taking place in their
Burnaby manufacturing facility. Sales for this series of Smart Ultrasound
products has grown substantially over the last year, with an increase of more
than 250% over the same period in 2005.
    Ultrasonix was founded by Laurent Pelissier, a research engineer with
more than 10 years' experience designing software and hardware sub-systems
related to the field of Ultrasound. Pelissier envisioned a new approach to
Ultrasound technology through the adaptation of computerized software and
state-of-the-art miniaturization of technology.
    The release of Sonix CEP in the fourth quarter of 2006, a dedicated
Ultrasound system specifically designed for Emergency Medicine, received
widespread praise and interest in Critical Care and Emergency Medicine markets
for its uniquely designed system. Ultrasonix continued to strengthen its sales
and marketing network around the world in 2006 and its balance of sales
globally is a key indicator of the company's effort to service its market at
large. Leveraging the momentum generated from the launch of the UltraSonix's
new innovative Sonix CEP system, their Sales and Marketing team delivered
record growth and solidified Ultrasonix as a leader in competitively priced
ultrasound systems.
    As more and more private practice clinics and smaller hospitals recognize
the benefits of having in-house Ultrasound technology available for their
patients, the marketplace continues to widen for companies like Ultrasonix.
The market is embracing innovative new technologies and patient-focused
approach that Ultrasonix offers in its Smart Ultrasound systems. Consistently
proving it delivers on its mission to help deliver better patient care,
Ultrasonix's passion for innovation makes it a natural fit for today's market
and the forerunner of choice for tomorrow's emerging markets.


    Dr. David Dolphin
    Lifetime Achievement

    David Dolphin is a chemist who has been internationally recognized for
many outstanding facets of his career. As a researcher, UBC Chemistry
Professor Emeritus, Dr. Dolphin pioneered the study of porphryins and their
medicinal applications. By 1980, he had established himself as a world-leading
scientist and over the past 40 years, he has published nearly 400 scientific
papers and authored or edited 18 books.
    Dr. Dolphin is also the lead creator of Visudyne, the lead product for
QLT Inc., which made the company British Columbia's first biotech success
story, and which continues to help millions of macular degeneration patients
worldwide. Dr. Dolphin served as QLT's Vice President of Technology
Development, and is also the NSERC-QLT Inc. Industrial Research Chair in
Photodynamic Technologies at UBC.
    In addition to his scholarly and commercial accomplishments, Dr. Dolphin
has also been a champion of research at UBC and throughout British Columbia.
Since 1985, he held the positions of Associate Dean of Science, Acting Dean of
Science and Acting Vice-President of Research at UBC. In 1995, he assumed the
role of CEO of the BC Innovation Council to assist with leveraging of the
province's capacity in technology research and innovation.
    Dr. Dolphin is the recipient of numerous awards. In July 2006, he
received the title Officer of the Order of Canada, the country's highest
honour awarded to its citizens for a lifetime of outstanding achievement,
dedication to the community and service to the nation honouring people in all
sectors of Canadian society. In 2005 he was awarded the Gerhard Herzberg Gold
Medal, which is considered to be Canada's top science prize and comes with
$1 million of research funding over five years from NSERC. Other awards
include: Izaak Walton Killam Research Prize, Prix Galien, Friesen Rygiel
Prize, Syntex Award of the Canadian Institute of Chemistry, Bell Canada Forum
Award, CSPS Award of Leadership Canadian Pharmaceutical Sciences, CUFA/BC
Academic of the Year Award, Gold Medal in Health Sciences from the Science
Council of British Columbia, NSERC Award of Excellence.
    His honours include: Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Fellow of the
Canadian Institute of Chemistry, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry,
Guggenheim Fellow, Hero of Chemistry by the American Chemical Society, D.Sc.
from his alma mater Nottingham University.
    The contributions Dr. Dolphin has made to not only the scientific
community, but to the overall development of the life sciences sector in
British Columbia makes him a truly exceptional recipient of the Lifetime
Achievement Award.


    About LifeSciences British Columbia
    Life Sciences British Columbia supports and represents the biotechnology
and greater life sciences community of British Columbia through leadership,
advocacy and promotion of our world-class science and industry. Via active
facilitation of partnering and investment into the life sciences sector,
British Columbia is fast becoming a global life sciences leader. LifeSciences
British Columbia is a not-for-profit, non-government, industry-funded
association.





For further information:

For further information: Barry Gee, Director, Operations and
Communications, LifeSciences British Columbia, Tel: (604) 602-5226, Email:
bgee@lifesciencesbc.ca

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