Gairdner Foundation receives $20 million from Canadian government for endowment, expansion and excellence

    -   Finance Minister James Flaherty announces allocation in 2008 Budget.

    -   Recognizes Gairdner's role as Canada's only globally-known and
        respected international prizes in scientific research.

    -   "The Gairdner Award is one of the world's greatest biomedical
        research prizes. Where it leads, others follow, including the Nobel
        committees in Stockholm."

    -   Paul Nurse, President of the Rockefeller University, Gairdner and
        Nobel Laureate

    TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - In an initiative that reflects Ottawa's
commitment to the importance of biomedical science in succeeding in Canada's
competitiveness agenda, the Federal Government announced yesterday that it
will give $20 million to the Gairdner Foundation ( The funds
will be used for three purposes:

    1.  To increase the value of the Gairdner Awards in keeping with their
        stature as one of the most prestigious awards in all of science.

    2.  To launch a new annual award given for International Global Health,
        which will be one of the most prestigious in the world. It will be
        directed at international scientists for discoveries or major
        advances in preventing or treating disease in the developing world.

    3.  To expand the Foundation's existing Outreach through its awards.

    Said Dr. John Dirks, President of the Gairdner Foundation: "This funding
represents both a turning point in the 48-year history of the Foundation and a
signal that the Gairdner Awards represent the kind of program that will
inspire Canadians to perform at world-calibre levels of scientific
    "We are enormously grateful that the Government of Canada sees in the
Gairdners the kind of recognition, encouragement and celebration that are so
important to creating a national culture of innovation. Biomedical research
has become truly global, and the Gairdners' ability is unparalleled in drawing
to Canada the best international scientists to meet and share their work with
Canadian scientists providing opportunities for new insights, shared projects,
and participation on advisory boards for our research institutions. The
Government is clearly committed to the highest level of international science
and we are proud to recognize its contribution by renaming the awards the
Canada Gairdner International Awards".
    The Gairdner Awards are Canada's most pre-eminent international prize and
their coast-to-coast National Program, Student Outreach Program and expanding
Public Lecture Series bring the world's best research scientists to share
their work at academic research centres across Canada. Gairdner acts as a
bridge to a worldwide network of technology, talent and new ideas.
    Over the past 48 years, The Gairdner Foundation has gained a superb
international reputation through its international awards, for recognizing and
rewarding early the work of the world's leading scientists. 70 Gairdner
awardees later won the Nobel Prize. The Foundation has now entered a new
phase, with an expanded Board of Directors, new government and corporate
partnerships and a more extensive program of youth science outreach to senior
high school and CEGEP students. Mr. Jack Cantelon of the Gairdner family said
that Founder, James Gairdner, "would be most appreciative of the support and
recognition for his cause by the Government of Canada." This announcement is
opportune in assisting the Gairdner Foundation at a time when it is preparing
for an extensive 50th anniversary program in 2009.

For further information:

For further information: Catherine Leslie, Ramsay Inc., (4l6) 598 3970,

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Gairdner Foundation

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