QUÉBEC CITY, Dec. 4, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Microbiologist and researcher Gary Kobinger received the Ernest C. Manning Innovation Awards' Principal Award in Toronto on November 29, in recognition of the treatment he developed, trademarked ZMapp, for Ebola virus disease, a severe and often fatal infection. Dr. Kobinger is the director of the Québec City–Université Laval Hospital Research Centre's CRI Infectious Disease Research Centre as well as a professor with Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine and a world authority in vaccine research. He shares the award with his research partner Dr. Qui Xiangguo of Winnipeg.
The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation was established in 1980 to foster a culture of innovation and cement Canada's position as a global leader in that area. It recognizes and tells the stories of outstanding Canadian innovators whose work improves the lives of people in Canada and world-wide. Its evaluation and selection process is modelled on that of the Nobel Prizes.
"This kind of recognition shows how the Québec City–Université Laval CHU Research Centre (CRCHU) acquired its reputation for excellence," said Centre director Serge Rivest. "Here again one of its members is celebrated at the top of their field. The work of our researchers—Dr. Kobinger's being a case in point—is sure to open up new treatment possibilities for patients in the very near term." Dr. Kobinger was also named Scientist of the Year in 2015 by Radio-Canada for contributions to the fight against Ebola virus disease.
"This high-level Canadian recognition is further proof of the global leadership shown by Université Laval and its Faculty of Medicine in such cutting-edge fields as microbiology and infectiology," said Eugénie Brouillet, Vice Rector of Research, Creation, and Innovation. "Professor Kobinger and his team are internationally recognized for their work on Ebola virus disease and are now turning their attention to the development of an HIV vaccine."
The treatment developed by Dr. Kobinger's team, in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada, is based on three specific antibodies, two of which came from CRI. It made headlines all over the world when first used on humans in 2014—two American medical missionaries infected with the virus in Liberia. This was at the height of the Ebola epidemic the World Health Organization had declared a "public health emergency of international concern."
Canada's Top 40 Research Hospitals ranks the Québec City–Université Laval CHU Research Centre second in Québec and ninth in Canada, with research spending of just under $97 million. It's also the largest French-language health research centre in North America.
About CHU de Québec-Université Laval
CHU de Québec-Université Laval is the largest university-affiliated hospital centre in Québec and one of the largest in Canada, encompassing member institutions CHUL, Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, Hôpital de l'Enfant-Jésus, Hôpital Saint-Sacrement, and Hôpital Saint-François d'Assise. It provides general and specialized care as well as being Eastern Québec's main dispenser of highly specialized care, serving a catchment area population of close to two million. CHU's future focus and close ties with Université Laval feed into a mission that encompasses education, research—in which it excels in numerous specialized fields—and the assessment of healthcare technologies and treatment methods. It is staffed by over 12,500 employees along with 1,500 doctors, dentists, and pharmacists, 338 regular and associate researchers, 169 partner researchers, 927 graduate students, and 425 volunteers. www.chudequebec.ca
About Université Laval
Université Laval, located in the world heritage city of Québec, is the oldest French-language university in North America. It ranks among Canada's top research universities—last year's $377 million research budget being sixth in the country. The University's 3,730 professors, lecturers, and other teaching and research staff share their knowledge and understanding with a student body of 42,700, of whom 25% are graduate students.
SOURCE CHU de Québec-Université Laval
For further information: Lindsay Jacques-Dubé, Direction des ressources humaines, des communications et des affaires juridiques, CHU de Québec-Université Laval, 418-525-4387, [email protected]; Andrée-Anne Stewart, Media Relations, Direction des communications, Université Laval, 418-656-3952, Cell: 418-254-3141, [email protected]